Rocket launch set for Monday in Alva
July 24, 2022
You might not associate a library with a rocket launch, but students in the Summer Reading Program at the Alva Public Library are learning through hands-on activity. Dr. Steven Maier, NWOSU professor and newly named Dean of Students, has been helping students get ready for the launch.
On Monday, July 25, at 11:45 a.m. those involved will walk across the street to Washington School playground for the rocket launch. Families are invited to attend as students complete their project.
The Alva Public Library staff is feeling a bit overworked this summer with all the many activities scheduled. In the first three weeks of the Summer Reading Program, the library had from 28 to 35 students attending. The program has also included some outdoor activities on the courthouse lawn. The three staff members are helped by the Ambassadors, students from middle school to high school who volunteer their time. While some of them work directly with students, others prepare program materials and decorate the library.
The Little Explorers program is also going strong with 28 to 30 preschool youngsters attending. One staff member conducts this program since kids must be accompanied by a parent or other grownup.
Lego Day has attracted from 23 to 42 participants with one or two staff members helping. A couple of the Ambassadors also assist.
Another popular summer activity is movie day with 19-21 students attending along with some helpful Ambassadors.
Alva Public Library Director Sandra Ott told the library board Monday that names are already being taken of students interested in volunteering as Ambassadors next summer.
The library has also hosted the OHAI exercise program for seniors age 55 and older. The eight sessions have been attended by an average of ten people who do chair exercises, used either for sitting or for props. The exercises are intended to improve flexibility and balance. This program has proved so popular that classes are being extended into August and September with the instructor appearing via Zoom while participants are at the library.
Ott told library board members about the new Brainfuse program being paid for by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. She said the student tutoring program is being set up on the eight Chromebooks the library has for use by kids so they’ll be able to access the program while at the library. See the separate story on the online program that is also available free on the library’s website.
Throughout the year, the library accumulates books for their book sale. These are generally books donated to the library. They may be duplicates of titles already in stock or books they can’t accommodate on their shelves.
Ott said they’ve decided instead of running a long book sale, they are going to keep the sale to a couple of weeks but hold a second one during the fiscal year. The downstairs auditorium is too tied up most of the year to allow space for the sale.
This book sale is planned for August 8-20 during regular library hours. People can come in and browse, choose what they want and pay with a donation.
Present for the Monday afternoon meeting were board members Lynn Wilt, April Ridgway, Chris Eckhardt, Len Reed and Patty Harkin. Marilyn Clyne was absent. City Council representative Taylor Dowling arrived about halfway through the meeting.
Ott went over financial reports. She gave board members a printout of the budget for this year, listing a few changes. One is a travel budget of $1,000. For the past two years, travel has not been included. She said her staff uses that when they need to travel for training. Staff members also received salary increases.
Looking at library statistics for the past fiscal year ending in June, Ott noted that adult checkouts were 6,750 compared to 5,669 last year. She said more people are returning to the library after the Covid-19 lockdowns. Juvenile checkouts increased even more with 8,837 for this year compared to 5,484 in FY20-21. Young adult checkouts were also up with 3,136 this year compared to 1,499 the previous year.
Even though it’s evident the library is experiencing more traffic, the e-book checkouts continue to hold steady with 4865 this year and 4853 last year. Wi-fi usage is holding steady. Meeting rooms are being used a lot more.