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June 2019

“It takes a village to raise a child” — African proverb 

Every year, Jeff Davis Parish Library offers a Summer Reading Program that is top-notch and only possible through the support of others.  This summer, our village of supporters has expanded and we are able to offer more programs and more incentives for reading.  For this month’s Library Lines, I’d like to acknowledge the individuals and organizations who make up this village. 

Thank you to the JDPL staff who all pitched in to make this summer a success.  Selecting space themed books, stamping coupons, dropping off promotional flyers, creating elaborate decorations, designing creative programs, writing grants – our staff did all of this and more! 

Thank you to the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, for awarding us Decentralized Arts Funding which paid for all of our professional performers.  This funding allows us to bring highly talented performers to our parish for enriching experiences that we would otherwise be unable to provide.

Thank you to the Jennings Kiwanis and Jennings Carnegie Library, for partnering with us to provide a fun way for families to learn about summer activities.  The Super Summer Sign-Up event was a success and we registered 51 children for the Summer Reading Program at that event!  A special shout-out to Charlie Williams, Melody Bertrand, Will Hetzel and Tony Hulsey – the hard-working Kiwanians who made this event possible – and to Tanya Gaudet for giving us shelter from the rain.

Thank you to the City of Jennings and the following local merchants who donated coupons, which are being given to children who complete the Summer Reading Program: 

  • Main Street Deli 
  • Mr. Clint’s 
  • Pappy’s 
  • Peto’s 
  • Snow B’s Express 
  • Sonic 
  • Tiger Mart 

Thank you to the following locations for providing the space we need for large gatherings: 

  • Beulah Davis Center, City of Elton 
  • James O. Hall, American Legion Post 19 
  • Lake Arthur Community Center 
  • Presbyterian Church of Welsh 
  • Roanoke United  Methodist Church 
  • St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church 
  • St. Lawrence Catholic Church 
  • Topsy Baptist Church 

Thank you to the families who are attending our events and registering your children for the reading program.  All of our hard work means nothing without your participation, and we are so grateful for your support.  We know how busy you are, and it means the world to us that you are taking this time to encourage a love of learning and reading in your families.

As they say, “it takes a village,” and during this summer it is obvious that the Jeff Davis Parish village is raising a community of future readers and leaders!

May 2019

Summer Reading Program

There are typically two camps of librarians when May comes around:  those who are ecstatic about the upcoming Summer Reading Program and those who are inwardly repeating their mantra of “it’s only for two months, it’s only for two months.”  I fall somewhere in the middle, eager to see the kids while mentally preparing myself for the onslaught that is about to arrive.  I believe all librarians, however, would agree that there is something magical about summer in a public library. 

The library was integral to my summer vacations.  It was where I went to escape the heat, where I went to get craft books so I’d have something fun to make at home, and how I explored the world without ever leaving Jennings.  A ride on my bike to the library, paired with a snow cone from the More Mileage station, was almost a daily routine for me in the summer. 

Some say those magical summer days are gone, that children can no longer ride their bikes to snow cone huts and that internet has rendered libraries obsolete.  But anyone who visits a public library during a summer program will see that the magic still exists.  Children who were surrounded by YouTube and Facebook while still in the womb are just as enraptured by a great picture book as their grandparents were.  Kids still want drawing books and comic books and “books to gross out my sister” books.  Teens still want novels about being misunderstood and end-of-the-world dystopian books. 

The public library has all of that, PLUS access to those books in digital format.  For kids who prefer digital, we have TumbleBooks which offers online interactive picture books – perfect for reluctant readers!  We also have OverDrive and Hoopla, which offer a HUGE selection of eBooks & eAudiobooks.  For magazine readers, we have RBdigital which gives you instant access to popular magazines on your device of choice.  And of course we have computers and WiFi, so if they need their YouTube fix & don’t have fast internet at home, we have them covered.  Lest I forget, we also offer free programs every week, including toddler story times, professional performers, gaming and craft programs for teens, and more.  For a calendar of events, click HERE.

When your kids say “I’m bored,” send them our way – we’ll make sure their brains stay active this summer!

April 2019

LIBRARIES = STRONG COMMUNITIES 

This is the theme for National Library Week 2019, and what a true statement it is!  The libraries in this community (city/parish/school) are fighting daily battles for their patrons and students, waging war against poverty, addiction, abuse and neglect, loneliness, misinformation, illiteracy in all its forms, and so much more.  These are often done so on a one-to-one basis, so the services we provide usually go unnoticed.  National Library Week occurs every year in April and it is a time when libraries across America promote the value that we provide.  The theme this year, Libraries = Strong Communities, is part of a larger Libraries Transform initiative which developed the following statements: 

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March 2019

This post is either going to land me on the hate list of all book lovers, or it will totally resonate with them. Either way, I must unburden my feelings. I have kept my silence far too long.
WHAT IF BOOKS ARE BAD FOR US?
There. I said it. Now let me explain myself…

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February 2019

“I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal.  Tryin’ to reach my goal, my power of speech.” 
Someone recently asked me why I love the musical Hamilton so much, and my answer was simple: because it captures the heart of America. While thinking more about that, I realize there’s a lot more to it than that.  It represents our belief that anything is possible, that everyone has the potential to rise above their situation.  This is also a core belief of librarians, so it makes sense that I would be drawn to this musical. 

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January 2019

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world … as in being able to remake ourselves. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Happy 2019 everyone!  This new year has brought much change to our library, including a new Director.  While 2018 was a time of reflection for us, 2019 is going to be full of new ideas, new or improved services, more community outreach and so much more.  What will never change, however, is our genuine love for this community and our commitment to providing high quality service to everyone.  Continue reading

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