Stuffed animals have a library sleepover
February 17, 2023
What happens when children’s stuffed animals have a sleepover at the library? Apparently a lot! The Alva Public Library recently hosted this new event. Children dropped off a stuffed animal to be retrieved the next day. Library Director Sandra Hamilton said a couple of the youngsters backed out, unable to leave a favorite stuffed friend in unfamiliar surroundings.
The event was targeted toward preschoolers, but the date happened to coincide with pajama day at school. Some fourth and fifth graders participated since they brought stuffed animals to go with their nightwear. The library Ambassadors, student volunteers, set up the animals in different scenes and took photos. When youngsters retrieved their stuffed pets, they were given a book showing their pets interacting with other animals, playing a board game, building with Legos and enjoying snacks. About 30 stuffed visitors participated in the sleepover.
Hamilton said it was difficult getting all the books ready in time for the next day. When they do this in the future, they’ll probably allow a week to get the books finished.
The number of activities and meetings is increasing at the library. Eight OHAI Tai Chi classes were held with 10 to 16 participants. Little Explorers, a weekly program for preschoolers, had from 4 to 22 children attending. Weekly activity days hosted from 13 to 18 kids. There were seven participants for game night.
Hamilton said checkouts have increased in both physical and digital materials. Eighteen new library cards were issued in January.
Chairman Patty Harkin opened the meeting Monday afternoon with library board members Lynn Wilt, Marilyn Clyne, Lenny Reed, April Ridgway and Taylor Dowling present. Chris Eckhardt was absent.
All city departments were working on budgets for the next fiscal year. Hamilton provided the board with the proposed budget she submitted. It is similar to this year except for $200 less on periodicals and binding since the library found a less expensive binding option. An additional $1,000 was added for training for library staff.
The largest amounts are under property maintenance. Since the library did not have to replace an air conditioner this year as expected, there is money left in the current budget. Hamilton said one of the projects they hope to address is replacement of windows in the Share Conference Room with double-paned glass. She hopes the existing frames can be used.
The office area has carpet squares that need replaced. Library staff would also like to paint the second office in a lighter color, matching what was used in the genealogy room. The office walls are wood paneled so will need priming. Hamilton will be collecting pricing on these projects.
The Alva Public Library will be hosting an Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) meeting on Feb. 28. Staff from libraries in northwestern Oklahoma will attend along with a consultant to finalize their paperwork on e-rates. Hamilton said that paperwork changes every year and is difficult to fill out.
On April 12, the first certification class for ODL membership will be held, and two Alva staff members plan to participate in the online class.
Creativebug is now live on the library website. Anyone can register for the programs, offered free through the library. There are several new features each month. Currently there are live events being offered with crochet and embroidery lessons. The library is displaying a poster showing the new Creativebug offerings this month.
The library has a schedule for computer replacements, but the last couple of years they have saved money by not updating. There are now five on the schedule for replacement.
Hamilton said the library has funding to purchase two new computers. When they retire the older computers, the library plans to continue using them. A staff member has found a source for some of the early computer games, and stations will be set up downstairs where people may play them. They may add some controllers for the games also. Hamilton said those game stations will probably be ready by summer.
The library is also getting some new thermostats. Currently, staff must go to each thermostat to lower the temperature overnight during the winter. They’ve also noticed that output of heat isn’t consistent with the temperatures set. The new digital thermostats can be set for automatic night time temperature changes, and it’s hoped they will be more consistent on temperatures.
Angela Courson applied for and received a grant to attend the Oklahoma Libraries Association meeting in Norman during March.
Reed said he’s been asked if there will be a Chocolate Fantasy in the spring. Hamilton said the Friends of the Library plan to evaluate the interest in spring versus fall. If more want the event in the spring, it wouldn’t be held until 2024. If more want to continue in the fall, the event will be scheduled this year.