News From the Latah County Library District Director
by Chris Sokol
Renovation of the Moscow Library main floor is finally happening! The board of trustees of the Latah County Library District voted to accept a bid from K & G Construction and the project will begin right after Labor Day. We will try to keep the library open during the entire construction period so be prepared for occasional dust, din and discombobulation when you visit the library over the next few months.
Here’s what we’re planning:
- Improve the two petite-sized restrooms in the Carnegie portion of the library by modernizing, insulating and making them as ADA-compliant as possible. Remove the false ceiling to expose the arched top of the windows.
- Install a café-style counter at the south-facing windows in the New Book area to allow multiple readers and laptop users to enjoy a direct view to the outside.
- Convert the two restrooms in the adult area to gender-neutral single-user access, with locking outer doors.
- Improve the dim lighting in the youth rooms.
- Create a circulation workroom where the current circulation desk and work area are now, to reduce clutter and allow staff to perform work with less distraction (and less room for error), while lessening workspace congestion in the lower level.
- Replace the circulation desk with a mobile service desk that will be more accommodating to those in wheelchairs as well as children.
- Create a small office between the existing women’s restroom and the new circulation workroom, to provide the circulation department manager with an office that has real walls and a door rather than a 5’x 6.5′ cubicle nestled among several other cubicles in the lower level
Here’s a snapshot of the Moscow Library building history: It was built in 1905-1906 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie. In 1931 an addition almost doubling the space was added on the east side. In 1982 a modest addition was added on the north side. No major renovation to the main floor has been done since 1982, except for new carpet, paint and realignment and addition of shelving in the early 2000s. Our space continues to be inadequate for a modern public library, but until we can expand, we opted for a facelift and some reconfiguration to make more efficient use of the space we have. This project is partially supported by a grant from the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation.
In other Moscow Library news:
We’d like to thank Avista Utilities for enabling us to purchase an upgraded bicycle pump installed in front of the library. Don’t forget, well-filled bicycle tires make it easier to climb Moscow hills, so use our new orange pump’s gauge to check if your tire pressure needs a boost!
We received an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, through the Idaho Commission for Libraries, for $34,900. This one-time funding was targeted towards pandemic recovery efforts and will be used to purchase these items:
- Haley Technology Book Bike that we can take out into the community to such events as the Farmer’s Market, to display and check out library materials and register people for library cards using a mobile hotspot. Check it out: https://www.haleytricycles.com/book-bikes
- 20 patron computers, six monitors, and Microsoft licenses
- Eight iPads to be loaded with fun educational software for youth, and used in-house at all LCLD libraries
- Two colorful Sphere tablet stands to lock down two iPads at Moscow
- Six iPad cases for our branch libraries
- Two tablets + wall mounts or stands for patron catalog use at Moscow
- Meeting room USB-speakerphone to make it easier to hold Zoom meetings
- Large print, high-contrast color keyboard for those with low vision (this is now available)
- Device chargers for patron use in-house
The Valnet catalog was enhanced in March with the addition of NoveList Select. This integrated feature provides reader’s advisory assistance such as “Read-alikes,” where you can find other authors similar to your favorites, and preferred story elements such as “Compelling appeal,” “Complex characters” or “Historical fiction.”
In July we had a surprise visit from three generations of descendants of Carol Ryrie Brink. The family traveled from California to view the portrait of Brink as a girl, painted by Audrey Barr. Brink grew up in Moscow and wrote several children’s and some adult books. She won the Newbery Medal in 1936 for her novel Caddie Woodlawn, based on the life of her eleven-year-old grandmother and her family of Wisconsin pioneers.
If you didn’t get a chance to take in this summer’s delightful Artwalk pieces on display at the Moscow Library, created by Julene Ewert, you can catch a glimpse of her work when we mount two of her colorful banners purchased for the children’s nonfiction room. The Moscow Library’s participation in Artwalk is funded every year by the Friends.
And speaking of colorful, you may have noticed the new Latah County Library District logo. It reflects the fanlight windows of the Carnegie building of the Moscow headquarters, while incorporating seven differently-colored elements representing the seven LCLD libraries (Bovill, Deary, Genesee, Juliaetta, Moscow, Potlatch, Troy). The logo was designed by our Marketing Specialist Hannah Kroese.
The Return of Repair Café!
by Jackie Carter
In June, we were able to reopen the Repair Café for the first time since before the Pandemic. The volunteers and myself were very excited to be back in business. The event wasn’t heavily attended, possibly due to 100+ degree temperatures during that time, but the visitors we did have were very enthusiastic and happy to see us returning. One visitor told me she had been saving up all her household items over the past year in anticipation of the next Repair Café, and she brought a pile of those items with her. She apparently wasn’t the only one, because, though our door count was 14, we repaired over 40 items that day!
One thing I would like to do in the future is have a scale and a “tote board” at the events so we can weigh and keep track of the cumulative weight of the items we are saving from the landfill. This display will provide an interesting visual for our visitors as well as graphic evidence of the impact we are having on our community.
Another thing that we will be doing is offering books on repair and mending for checkout at the Repair Café events. We have always had the books there at a reading table for people to browse, but we weren’t set up for checkout. We did this for the first time in June and we were prepared to set up library accounts for anyone who didn’t have one. There were no takers this time, but there were several people at the reading table.
Our next event is set for October 17, contingent upon Covid conditions of course. As always, many thanks to the Friends of the Moscow Library for their continued support of the program. At each event, I am told over and over again how much people appreciate the opportunity to get things repaired for free and it’s very gratifying to hear.
by Adult Services Manager, Bailey Gillreath-Brown
In the spring, thanks to the support of the Friends of the Moscow Library, I hosted several programs that I’m proud of, including a Virtual Author Event with Annie Lampman, author of “Sins of the Bees” and two sessions of Evil Librarians, a fake true crime podcast with accompanying book scavenger hunts!
Summer Reading this year was open to all ages. We had an amazing 250 adults register for Moscow’s Summer Reading Program! I was excited to partner with the Youth Services Department to offer some all-ages programs throughout June and July, including Fairyopolis – a beloved annual fairy-house-building program, Make-A-Zine an interview with local author and illustrator Noah Kroese, and The Mystery of Nancy Drew, an exploration the history of the Nancy Drew books for the 90th anniversary of the series, all of which had a to-go activity for pick-up, thanks to the support of the Friends! The Friends also supported two adult FUNtivity pick-up programs that each featured a unique candy taste-test, one in June and one in July, as well as to-go tie-dye kits for all ages for our TIE DYE For All program. We closed out Summer Reading with an all-ages HULA-Baloo, an outdoor hula hoop party that featured music, bubbles, crafts, and snacks! Adults had a chance to win one of many exciting Grand Prizes that the Friends funded, including a dutch oven and camping cookbook, a punch needle and rug hooking book, two different charcuterie boards and accompanying cookbooks, a cake stand and Great British Bake-Off cookbook, two locally-sourced “Latah Love” prizes, and more!
This fall, I have an exciting line-up of adult programs, many of which will be hosted at the 1912 Center’s Lecompte Auditorium thanks to the support of the Friends! In August I hosted the first session of the new, limited series Lawn Chair Book Club, and On the Trail of Dr. Robinson An Author Talk with Brandon R. Schrand, author of “Psychiana Man: A Mail-Order Prophet, His Followers, and the Power of Belief in Hard Times”, hosted in partnership with the Latah County Historical Society. Brandon R. Schrand discussed his book, “Psychiana Man”, which traces the rise and fall of Frank B. Robinson, founder of Psychiana, a Moscow-based self-help religion that flourished throughout the Great Depression and WWII. The author signed copies of the book and attendees had a chance to win a free copy!
Coming in September the Friends will be supporting two exciting author talks: What Really Happened (And Didn’t Happen) at Roswell with Dr. Richard Spence and Author Talk with Dr. Ryanne Pilgeram, author of “Pushed Out: Contested Development and Rural Gentrification in the Us West”.
At the Roswell program, Dr. Richard Spence will offer an overview of the Roswell UFO case, looking at what was actually said and done at the time as opposed to all the stories and spin that have cropped up since. He will also touch on the recent Unidentified Aerial Phenomena report. This program is scheduled for Thursday, September 9th at 5:30 pm in the beautifully restored Lecompte Auditorium on the 2nd floor of the 1912 Center, 412 E 3rd St. in Moscow.
At the second September program, Dr. Ryanne Pilgeram will give an author talk about her new book, “Pushed Out”, which explores the structural forces driving rural gentrification and examines how social and environmental inequality are written onto these landscapes. Attendees will have a chance to win a free copy. This talk will take place on Friday, September 24th at noon in the Lecompte Auditorium at the 1912 Center.
On Friday, October 8th at noon the Friends will be helping to fund “Lizzie Borden… Took an Axe. Or Did She? A Living History Portrayal by Leslie Goddard”. Award-winning actress Leslie Goddard, Ph.D., will bring to life Lizzie Borden, accused of the brutal hatchet murder of her father and stepmother in 1892. “Lizzie” will talk about her life growing up in Fall River, Massachusetts, her estrangement from her stepmother, and her troubled relationship with her father. Was Lizzie a desperate and unsettled daughter who resorted to murder …. Or an innocent woman who could never escape the trauma that destroyed her life? This event is virtual on Facebook Live.
In November, the Friends are heavily involved in planning and supporting Everybody Reads! This year’s featured author is Matthew Sullivan and his book “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore”. Sullivan’s debut novel is a fiendishly clever mystery that will keep you guessing until the very last page, where the truth, in the end, may be stranger than fiction. Everybody Reads takes place on Tuesday November 2nd at 7:00 pm in the Lecompte Auditorium at the 1912 Center.
Also in November, we will host “Accessing Internet in Idaho” with Dr. Katie Blevins. The pandemic has highlighted the reliance we have on the internet for daily tasks. Come learn, about and discuss, the issues surrounding access to the internet in the state of Idaho: geographical, federal and state regulation, designation as a utility, and technology. Dr. Blevins will give her talk on Tuesday, November 16th in the Lecompte Auditorium at the 1912 Center at 5:30 pm.
This has been a very strange and exhausting time to work in a public library. I’m grateful to the Friends for their generous support that has allowed us to adapt our programs to meet the needs of the community during the pandemic.
A Friend-ly Summer:
Summer 2021 at the Moscow
by Stacie Echanove – Youth Services Manager
If there is one thing that is constant with libraries, it is that libraries are ever changing! And this year is no different. The coronavirus pandemic has rocked our library programming for the second summer in a row, and while we were all in the thick of the terrible woods, we were able to connect with our community and offer a fun Summer Reading Program with the ever-helpful Friends of the Moscow Library. Just HOW exactly did the Friends support this year’s pandemic version of Summer Reading? Keep reading to find out!
One of the highlights of this Summer’s Program was our FUN-tivities To-Go. Many families were not comfortable venturing out, especially to public events, this summer, so our to-go programs were a perfect solution! With the generous financial support of the Friends we were able to create two different FUN-tivity programs which served a large number of children. The FUN-tivities included a Candy Sushi activity and Wizarding World Harry Potter activities. We received wonderful feedback on each of these activities and are excited to offer similar programs during next year’s Summer Reading Program.
This summer brought back a yearly standby: Entertainment in the Park! This year’s partnership with the City of Moscow (Moscow Arts Department) brought us two fun and local musical performances: Sesitshaya Marimba Ensemble and The Border Highlanders. It was fun to offer these child and family friendly performances for the Moscow community. We are already thinking of the children’s performances for next summer, and hope to bring back crowd favorites such as Radical Rick or Reptile Man.
We were so impressed with the amount of Summer Reading participants this year! Originally, we had expected to serve far fewer children and families simply due to pandemic concerns. However, many patrons still registered for Summer Reading and dutifully completed each reading milestone. We wanted to make sure each child who participated in this year’s Summer Reading Program felt loved and acknowledged, and what better way to convey those feelings than through prizes?! With the funds provided by the Friends, we were able to supply every registered child with a free book and small milestone prizes. For our Grand Prizes we brought back the ever-popular *backpacks stuffed with the school supplies you REALLY want.*
The Youth Services Department is so thankful to the Friends of the Moscow Library. With their support we were able to add joy and light to a very dark year for a lot of children. Here at the Moscow Public Library, we felt that especially this year, kiddos needed a win, and it was an honor to be such a bright spot in their lives. We are very hopeful that next summer the pandemic will be behind us and that it will be safe for children to gather and celebrate Summer Reading with the library!
FOL Fall Book Sale
Over the past year, dozens of generous donors have contributed books to Friends of the Moscow Library. After the Book Room at the 1912 Center was full, we began storing books for our next big book sale.
Time for that sale is almost here and many treasures await shoppers. As well as a wide variety of books from individuals, we received many gifts from estates and organizations. A few of note are:
- Hundreds of science fiction classic paperbacks by Hugo and Nebula award winners of the 1950s-1970s
- Books on pet breeds and their care from the Humane Society of the Palouse
- Quilting, knitting, and lots of other hand work books from Palouse Patchers
- A large collection of babies’ board books
- How-to-write manuals and reference books for all genres
- Popular fiction featuring doctors and nurses: romance, mystery and general fiction
- Cookbooks: ethnic specialties, special diets and those by famous chefs
- Jazz CDs from a musician’s collection
- Arts and crafts from advanced jewelry making to beadwork…
- plus all of our usual genres in abundance.
Many thanks to everyone who gave us all these books!
by Molly Smith
When I think about all the ways a library can enrich our lives, I often remember a time that was bleak. Such times come into every life once in a while – times when action is impossible and there is nothing to do but wait. For me, it happened in 1984 when my four month old son was diagnosed with cancer. My life became weeks spent in the hospital and more weeks rocking my baby who didn’t feel so good. I wanted to be anywhere else, preferably on a different planet. Thus began my life long appreciation for science fiction and fantasy. Why let reality wreck your day, right? Our library has plenty of resources to get you away for a few hours, or however long you need.
One series I particularly enjoyed was Merovingen Nights, which begins with a novel by C.J. Cherryh. In Merovingen, a girl from the poor part of town (the canals) rescues a handsome man from the rich part of town (the towers) when he falls into the canal. He’s on the run and she hides him. The other books in the series were written by multiple authors and create quite an interesting world to fall into. Alas, it’s out of print, but there are many other titles that will get you nicely into an alternate universe. I’ve enjoyed Dune by Frank Herbert, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, The Bobbiverse books by Dennis E. Taylor, and Fred the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes. And there are so many more I can’t possibly list them.
So I urge you, when things are looking bad, go to the library and get yourself some escapist fiction. Reality is overrated
Volunteer Help Wanted!
September 24-25, 2021
at the Latah County Fairgrounds
After a year off, the Friends booksale will be back the weekend after the County Fair. Many asked, “Will there be enough books for a sale with the Book Room still in operation?” The answer is a resounding “Absolutely!” Once again, we will be setting books out on the tiered exhibit shelves. Put on a mask and come help us set up and run a socially distanced sale.
Friday, 9/24 at 9am
- Set out books on shelves
- Prep boxes for return to storage
We’d also welcome help during the sale:
Friday, 9/24 from 6 to 8pm
- Help with checkout
Saturday, 9/21 from 10 to 2pm
- Help with checkout
- Clean up chores
Since the book sale runs 100% on volunteer power, we are grateful for every bit of help!
RSVP or ?s to: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Mary Hughes
Since our last newsletter we have received $3356 in donations from our Book Room at the 1912 Center. Hooray! Thank you 1912 Center! We have also received $3495 in Membership renewals. Thanks to all who renewed their membership!
Our recent outlays of funds include:
- $2036 for Books for Babies
- $2211 for Summer Reading
- $717 for Adult Programming
- $159 for the Repair Cafe
I know there are still some Summer Reading Program costs to come in the next billing cycle as well as more Adult Programming. We can continue the Book Room until the 2nd WInter Market on November 13th. Then we have to clear the room for Christmas for Kids and after that, renovations. We are in better financial shape than expected and I hope the upcoming fall book sale will further shore up our finances.
Friends of the Library
Book Sale returns!!!
Our book sale will take place on the 24th & 25th of September at the Latah County Fairgrounds, 1021 Harold St. in Moscow. We’re making a few changes to keep everyone safe with the resurgence of Covid. We strongly urge everyone to wear a mask. We’ll have plenty of hand sanitizer available. We won’t be having any finger foods or drinks at either the public sale or the presale, and seating will be very limited. We will have a larger number of shopping carts available for shoppers. We’ll have our traditional “Friends Only” presale on the evening of Friday, September 24th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. If your membership has lapsed or you’d like to become a member, you may sign up at the door. Dues start at $15 for an individual membership, $25 for family membership, $50 for a Patron, $100 Carol Ryrie Brink Club, $500 Carnegie Club. You may also renew at the library or send your membership dues in advance of the book sale to Friends of the Moscow Library, 110 S. Jefferson St. Moscow, ID 83843
Remember, we can now accept debit and credit cards for your membership dues and purchases. This will mean we lose a couple of percent to the bank so if you’d like to voluntarily add a little to your total to offset that we’d really appreciate it.
We will open our doors to the general public at 8:00 am on Saturday September 25th. The book sale will close at Noon and reopen at 12:15 pm for our big “Buck a Bag” sale. The book sale will then close for good at 1:30pm. Please feel free to bring your reusable bags to use at the sale or the Buck a Bag event. We don’t mind if they’re a bit bigger than regular grocery bags. In response to customer questions I must stress that books may not be held over from the regular price sale to the buck a bag sale. That would defeat the whole purpose of having a regular price sale.
See the “Help Wanted” article in this newsletter for info on how you can get involved and help out at this fun event. If you have books to donate you may bring them directly to the Fairgrounds on Friday, no later than noon, the earlier the better. Or you may drop them off at the library anytime prior to the book sale during normal business hours. Our brave book sorters wish me to remind you that it’s not necessary (or even kind) to wait until the last minute to donate. Donations of clean, good condition grocery bags will also be gratefully accepted at the Fairgrounds both before and during the sale. Be sure to attend and join in the fun while supporting your library. See you there!