How to Stand Up for Your Library
by Chris Sokol, Director Latah County Library District
Public libraries are a symbol of the individual freedoms held dear by Americans and affirmed by the Constitution and the courts. Libraries represent the freedom afforded to everyone to read, view and associate with others. Yet public libraries are under assault like never before.
According to Unite Against Book Bans, an advocacy campaign organized by the American Library Association, the first ten months of 2022 saw almost 800 attempts to ban or restrict library resources. This figure tops the 2021 record. The Latah County Library District was not immune to such attempts last year. However, none of the requests to remove materials reached the formal challenge stage. Encouragingly, the unsolicited expressions of support we received in favor of not banning any materials outnumbered these requests. We even received monetary donations to buy “banned” books for our collection!
A survey conducted in March 2022 by Hart Research Associates and North Star Opinion Research indicated that 71% of voters oppose efforts to have books removed from their local public library. This included 75% of Democrats, 70% of Republicans and 58% of independents. In the same month, House Bill 666, which passed the Idaho House of Representatives but never reached the Senate, would have opened the door to library and school employees spending a year in jail and paying a $1,000 fine for the vague offense of “disseminating material harmful to minors.” There is speculation that similar legislation may be introduced again in the near future.
People who support the mission of public libraries to provide citizens with a diverse array of viewpoints and materials often ask what they can do to safeguard intellectual freedom, as well as the rights of parents to guide their children’s use of the library. As a public library employee I cannot lead such an effort but I can suggest a few options: Express your views to the library director and board of trustees, attend a board meeting, write letters to the editor, share opinions and facts on social media, organize a get-together of like-minded people, contact legislators at https://tinyurl.com/43v9p86n , and become informed and active through an organization such as Unite Against Book Bans.
If you missed the October 2022 Daily News article featuring this topic and the Moscow Library, you should be able to read it here: https://tinyurl.com/bdet2rcp
More info here: https://tinyurl.com/ys8ja5rn
You can reach me at chriss@sys_admin
New Homebound Library Service
Beginning the first week of February, the Latah County Library District will begin offering a monthly Homebound Library Service to Moscow residents who are unable to come to the library due to physical or mental disabilities, but would still like to borrow library materials. Library staff will select materials based upon individual borrowers’ interests and requests and items will be delivered to patrons’ homes. Please contact the Moscow Public Library at 208-882-3925 for more information.
By Adult Services Manager, Rebecca Rivapalacio
After the busy months of last year’s Summer Reading, the fall and winter seasons that followed had some fun adult programs and events that were made possible with support from our Friends!
Beginning in September, the Moscow Public Library began hosting a monthly book club on the second Tuesday of every month called the Tuesday Teabirds Book Club. As you can tell by the name, our book club loves delicious tea! Because of our generous Friends funds, every book discussion is complemented by a hot cup of tea and a sweet treat.
In November, the Friends of the Moscow Library played a huge part in hosting author Beth Piatote as of our yearly Everybody Reads event. This year, Beth presented in the auditorium of the 1912 Center to talk about her collection of short stories, The Beadworkers. The Friends helped at every step of the way to ensure that Beth had a great time here in Moscow, even baking homemade cookies for everyone to enjoy at the event! Everybody Reads was a great success, and we couldn’t have pulled it off without help from our Friend, Terry. Thanks, Terry!
The Friends also supported many of our passive programs this year! Once the weather started getting colder and more people were spending time inside, we created a few rounds of some movie night bundles. After all, one of the best ways to spend the cold winter months is wrapped up with a blanket and a great movie! Each bundle had a movie to check out from the library, a bag of microwavable popcorn, and a box of candy. Some bundles even included a family-friendly board game and some extra popcorn and candy! We were able to create 26 of these bundles of at-home fun with the generous financial support of our Friends!
Finally, the Friends also funded the supplies and incentives for our outreach efforts. Thanks to help from our Friends, we were able to go to the University of Idaho and the Latah County Fair to sign community members up for library cards! It’s so important to get into the community and share what the public library has to offer, and we couldn’t do it without our Friends!
Youth Services – I get by with a little help from my FRIENDS
by Stacie Echanove – Youth Services Manager
The Youth Services Department at the Moscow Public Library loves the Friends of the Moscow Library! We are so fortunate to have such a supportive and vibrant Friends group that consistently funds programs and services for local youth. From weekly BabyTime and Storytime Programs to to-go Teen Programs, the dedication of our fiends makes all our events possible. For a complete list of every program sponsored by the Friends, please visit our library events calendar (available on the library website).
We celebrated Halloween in style with spooky & silly Halloween Storytime! The Library hosted over 150 children for a morning of stories, songs, crafts, snacks and library wide trick-or-treating. This program is by far our most popular program and really encapsulates the joy and love that the youth department has for the children of Moscow. Thanks to the financial support of the Friends we were able to run this program with ease.
Winter Play Date at the Library
During the month of December we reinvented our traditional BabyTime and Storytime sessions and turned them into Winter Play Dates! Babies-Preschoolers and their grownups were invited to join us for two play and learn sessions each week. Themed Play Dates consisted of Color Corner, Snowy Play, Market Math & Science and more. Friends funds were used to purchase educational activities that accompanied each Play Date.
This year’s annual Pooh Party was a huge success – thanks to the support of the Friends! We welcomed City Council Member Maureen Lauflin for a sweet storytime and birthday party fun. With over 60 kiddos in attendance, the children’s area was overflowing with activity – crafts, games, snacks and songs! We are excited to be able to once again offer large scale programming to the community.
The Youth Department also began offering a once a month after school program for elementary age youth called Make Art. Each month children are guided through a different art medium and /or introduced to different artists. With the help of Friends funding, we launched this well received program and look forward to continuing to develop more after school programming.
As we wind down our winter programming, we are looking ahead to summer. We hope that you are as excited as we are to see what we have in store for this year’s summer reading. Thankfully, with the help from our Friends, summer is already looking bright.
All Ages Programming
by Stacie Echanove & Rebecca Rivapalacio
Here at the Moscow Library we take pride in serving all members of the public! Thanks to the Friends, the Adult Services Department and the Youth Services Department have teamed up to offer several all ages programming this fall and winter. Here is a snapshot of the all ages programs we are most proud of!
We celebrated the spooky season in style with several BOO-tiful Halloween themed programs. For the second year in a row we offered Teensy Terrors: A Spooky Short Story Competition. Patrons were invited to submit scary short stories and then vote on their favorites – both in the library and online. There were winners from three different age groupings: Little Kiddos, School Age Kiddos, Teens & Adults. The winning stories were read aloud during our Witchy Watch Party. Thanks to the Friends, the Witchy Watch Party was a howling success. Patrons of all ages were invited to join us for a fun Halloween movie (Hocus Pocus) along with crafts & a light dinner.
Thanks to generous funding from the Friends, we were able to provide period products to all Moscow Library patrons! In all four restrooms (two in the adult area & two in the youth area) period products are made freely available to all in need. In addition, Friends funds were used to support our Period Pick-Me-Up Packs. These contained a variety of period products, period positivity buttons & a sweet treat. We are so honored to fill this need in our community.
The months of December thru February have had us dreamin’ of Winter – Winter Reading that is! We began our Winter Programming with a good old fashioned Book Gift event – Jolabokaflod. Gifts books (paired with a craft) were made available for free to all ages. In January we kicked off the New Year with our annual All Ages Winter Reading Challenge. This program was made possible thanks to our Friends.
Our most recent program encourages readers to take a chance on a new love! Readers are invited to book-a-date from our library book display and take a new read for a spin. Each date (book) is lovingly wrapped in themed tissue paper complete with a unique dating profile. Patrons are encouraged to select a date that speaks to their heart. We do caution, that while not every suitor is a perfect match – we hope you enjoy this new experience.
Spring Book Sale
The Friends of the Moscow Library have been busy for months collecting and sorting donations in preparation for our upcoming Spring Book Sale on Saturday March 4 from 9am to 1:30pm at the Latah County Fairgrounds located at 1021 Harold St. in Moscow.
We’ll have our traditional “Friends Only” pre-sale at the same location on the evening of Friday, March 3rd 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 and on up for patrons, angels etc.
We will open our doors to the general public at 9:00 am on Saturday March 4th. 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.
Everyone is invited to this community event to search for good books, movies, and music, all of which will be available at very reasonable prices! Proceeds go toward many Moscow Library children’s and adult programs and events, such as Summer Reading, Books for Babies, and Everybody Reads. At the sale, you will find lots and lots of books organized on tables by a wide range of categories: general fiction, science fiction, romance and western novels, home and garden, crafts, reference, history, biography, women’s studies, cook books, travel, health, hobbies, and more. Additional tables will be filled with children’s and young adult books. And still more tables will display the CDs and DVDs.
This is an event to enjoy – leisurely browsing along the aisles, exchanging pleasantries with fellow seekers, and, my favorite, watching children sort through book after book with such absolute excitement and delight. Luckily, we have a large selection of books for them to choose from.
As book lovers, we very much enjoy sharing everyone’s experiences at the book sale. As we tally books for check out, varying from one item to a basketful, we hear many comments about great finds. We also see the delight in finding just the right book, amazement at how many books could be found, and great anticipation of all the enjoyment ahead.
One comment we often hear is, “I already have too many books, but I just love books!” At this point we nod in total agreement and remind everyone that the items they are purchasing, and then enjoying, can always be given back for future sales! Books, CDs, or DVDs you’d like to donate to the next Book Sale can be dropped off at the side door of the library on 2 nd Street, Monday-Friday.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon, searching for those special items that you, or someone you know, will love to read, listen to, or watch!
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 intrepid 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!
And just for fun, I’d like to share this lovely insight from author Ursula LeGuin:
“In reading a novel, any novel, we have to know perfectly well that the whole thing is nonsense, and then, while reading, believe every word of it. Finally, when we’re done with it, we may find-if it’s a good novel-that we’re a bit different from what we were before we read it, that we have been changed a little, as if by having met a new face, crossed a street we never crossed before. But, it’s very hard to say just what we learned, how we were changed.” – The Left Hand of Darkness, Author’s Note.
The Book Room at the 1912 Center
Have you visited the Book Room at the 1912 Center? Located in the northwest corner of the second floor, the book room has seating for children and adults for reading or browsing. Used books are available to adopt for a donation, with proceeds shared equally by Friends of the Moscow Library and Heart of the Arts (operator of the 1912 Center).
Both fiction and non-fiction books fill the wall of shelves, with additional adult fiction on a large table under the windows and small paperbacks stacked by genre on the chalk trays. Stop by and choose your next “read” any time the 1912 Center is open.
by Mary Hughes
I’m pleased to report that our fall sale was an unqualified success! We grossed just under $6,000 with expenses of only $587. We had fewer books than usual due to having held our spring sale later (May) than normal. Storage ($480) was, as always, the largest expense for this sale. As of this writing we have 135 member households. If your membership is due, please renew before our upcoming spring book sale. If you’re not sure when your membership is due just send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far this year we have paid the following expenses: $500 for Adult Programming, $500 for Books for Babies, $4000 for Summer Reading, $375 for youth programming other than Summer Reading, $750 for the Aunt Flow Program, and $212 for Repair Cafe Costs. The Repair Cafe cost was 100% rental of the Great Room at the 1912 Center. The program asks for donations from the folks who come to the cafe and has been able to cover most of their expenses for materials in that way.
Despite missing a couple of book sales due to Covid in the last couple of years our finances have made a nice recovery.
Our fall book sale will needs lots of people power to help it run smoothly. We’ll need help on
• Friday morning 3/3 from 9 am
display the books on the fixtures
prepare boxes to return to storage
• Friday evening 3/3 from 6 pm
prepare tally sheets
keep books neat
• Saturday 3/4 from 10 am
prepare tally sheets
keep books neat
• Saturday 3/4 from 1 pm
help put away tables & chairs
help take leftover books to recycling
take carts back to Safeway
general clean up of room
If you can lend your time and talent please contact Lynne at email@example.com
“I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.” Isaac Asimov
Carol Ryrie Brink Club $100
Carnegie Club $500
You may bring your membership to the circulation desk at the library, to the book sale or mail it to:
Friends of the Moscow Library
110 S. Jefferson St.
Moscow, ID 83843
Make your check payable to “Friends of the Moscow Library”
Thank you for your support!