What to do if…

crime scene tape

There have been 162 school shootings in the United States since 2013. It seems that every month there is another tragedy involving an active shooter and innocent victims. It is difficult for us to imagine the horror experienced by the victims at Sandy Hook, in Oregon, Arizona, and most recently, in San Bernardino. Many years ago, a good friend of mine was the victim of an armed robbery while he was working in a convenience store. It sounds a little cliché, but he told me all he could think about was his family while he was looking down the barrel of that gun. He couldn’t even give an accurate description of the gunman, because he was so focused on that gun. That being said, there are some precautions and actions we can take that may help save lives. These are not foolproof, by any means, but they may help mitigate the danger. Below are some useful tips from the Department of Homeland Security. Continue reading “What to do if…”

Understanding CPL Call Numbers Part 2

In the first installment of Understanding CPL Call Numbers, I gave an overview of some basic terms you’ll be seeing in the coming installments, as well as, a few examples of call numbers you will run into when seeking items on the shelf.  In this installment, I just want to talk a little bit more about print fiction for adults. Continue reading “Understanding CPL Call Numbers Part 2”

Weeding in the Library


“Why are there weeds in the library?” you might be thinking. No, there are not plants growing inside the library that need weeding or pruning. However, it is what it sounds like. Each library has to decide what to keep and what to get rid of (i.e. weed) from their collections. The collection is everything that a particular library has that is available for lending. It includes books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, video games, etc.

Before the idea of the library getting rid of items makes your heart stop there are a few things to keep in mind. There are criteria for evaluating what the library keeps and what gets weeded. Books and other items don’t just get trashed. So, what are the criteria you might be wondering? I am so glad you asked.

Continue reading “Weeding in the Library”

Understanding CPL Call Numbers Part 1

When you think of libraries, you usually think of books. Lots of books. And you wonder how there could be so many housed in one building. And how you can find where one particular book is located. And now there is so much more than books. There are fiction and nonfiction books. Hardcover and paperback books. Small “trade paperback” books. Large print books. Children’s and teenagers’ books. And books on CD. And DVDs. And blu-ray movies. And music CDs. It’s enough to be intimidating to the causal library user.

Well, fear no more. In the next few installments of “Understanding CPL Call Numbers,” I am going to give you a brief thumbnail sketch of the call number system used by CPL (Chesapeake Public Library), which will hopefully take the mystery out of navigating call numbers. In this first installment, though, I am going to spend a little time defining a few terms that will enable the rest of the installments to make more sense. In the installments to follow, I will give you more detail about the letters and numbers as they relate to fiction and nonfiction, children and young adult materials, and audio-visual materials.  With this guide in hand, then, you will be armed with all you need to be able to find any item on any shelf in any Chesapeake Public Library!

Continue reading “Understanding CPL Call Numbers Part 1”

Design without the dime at Major Hillard Library

What are three ingredients you need to create welcoming, inviting and comfortable public spaces? Light, space and color. The Major Hillard Library has all three, plus a great parking lot, vestibule, the largest children’s room of any of the area libraries, wonderful daytime light and furniture that’s still holding its own (pretty much) after 15 years of public use.

Most importantly, Major Hillard’s floor plan lends itself to creative space planning, whether we’re going for informal conversation and seating spots, browsing areas, places for shifted and new collections or bookstore model marketing features.

An ingredient you don’t need? Clutter. Continue reading “Design without the dime at Major Hillard Library”