Alva Review-Courier -

After-school activity popular at library


February 25, 2018

The new after-school activity program at the Alva Public Library has become so popular the library sometimes finds itself short on staff. Library Director Sandra Ott-Hamilton said 44 students are attending the Tuesday afternoon sessions. The programs are varied. One week the students might do a craft project, and the next session might focus on building.

She said they’re considering the possibility of splitting the group into two but don’t want to discourage siblings of different ages from attending together. Ott-Hamilton praised the Teen Ambassadors, older student volunteers who help with this and other programs at the library. Usually four or five teens help with the after-school sessions.

Ott-Hamilton presented her report to the library board Tuesday, Feb. 20. Asked how teens were selected as ambassadors, she said so far they have been invited from among those who frequent the library. However, next year they hope to open the program for students to apply. She said the students must commit to about three hours a month. The program may be expanded so those who don’t want to help with children’s programs could spend time shelving books or helping with other library chores.

The library board discussed changing the date of meetings from the third Tuesday of each month. Currently that coincides with the after school program and adds to the staffing problem. They’d also like to time the meetings to follow the monthly city council meetings. Tuesday, the meeting actually occurred a few hours before the council meeting due to the Monday holiday.

Several dates were suggested with the first Monday of each month eventually gaining approval. The board plans to skip the March meeting because it would only be two weeks away with the change.

The library has received several bids on rates for internet service. The director said the bids are being examined to determine the best service for the best cost. The bidders were asked to give price comparisons for current internet speeds and increased speeds.

Staff members will be going to Enid in March for a meeting on the statewide summer reading program. This year’s theme will be more music-based.

Ott-Hamilton went over the library financial statement, saying budget figures were “on target.”

She covered highlights of the statistical report. The library continues to attract new patron with 26 in January. After the usual holiday lull, checkout numbers have started to rise. Use of the library’s internet service is also increasing.

The Alva library is part of a consortium of smaller libraries in Oklahoma that have pooled their resources to offer e-books or digital audio books to patrons. In 2016 the use of the service was up 31 percent statewide, and last year it showed a 16 percent increase. The number of libraries participating has also grown with 42 involved last year. Ott-Hamilton said the program started with only seven libraries. The libraries pool their funds to purchase the books offered through the service.

During January, the library hosted 21 meetings. Although some are for library programs like Mommy & Me and the after school activity day, most are for outside clubs and organizations.

Four of the seven library board members were present for the meeting: Chairman Lynn Wilt, Linda Joseph, Len Reed and Chris Eckhardt. Absent were Dr. David Kovarovic, Marilyn Clyne and Bryant Gingrich.

The next meeting is planned for Monday, April 2, at 3:30 p.m.


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