Thursday, December 29, 2005

Remember - Ebooks

To touch on one of our newest in technology that reaches outside of our building in Collinsville is our Ebook (Electronic book) collection, online at
Last month the most used book of that collection was "The Concise History of the Middle East" by Goldschmidt.
The collection has over 9,000 books for you to use from your home computer. Your first use must be in the library where you will choose a username and a password. From that point on you can use the Ebook collection from any location and from any computer that is hooked to the Internet.
Ask one of the librarians today about this great service!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas

May you all find wonderful surprises in this season of miracles.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Winning schools for most Library card applications announced

On Friday a small reception was held for the public and parochial schools that participated in the accumulation of library card applications from anyone in the Unit 10 School District for 'free' library cards.
Funding for this Campaign came from a demonstration grant which was awarded by the IL State Library (ISL), a Division of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), under the federal Library Services & Technology (LSTA) to the Mississippi Valley Public Library District.
4,115 usable applications were collected by 14 participating schools. 68% of those applications resulted in new library cards being issued by either the Mississippi Valley Public Library District or the Maryville Community Library.
5 of the 14 Schools were able to accumulate over 100% of their school population for awards to be presented through the Demonstration Grant.
1st place Maryville Public School 223% $1,000 in Books
2nd place Renfro Public School 184% $500 in Books
3rd place Kreitner Public School 146% $250 in Books
Honorable Mentions Twin Echo 132% $125 in Books
Holy Rosary Parochial School 110% $125 in Books

Anyone in the Unit 10 School District is still entitled to a 'free' library card to experience the advantages of library service now through the end of March 2006. At that time a referendum question will be on the ballot to see if they will continue receiving library service in their voting areas.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Reciprocal Borrowing - Going to other libraries

As I talk to people that are using our library, I realize that they don't know one of the important uses of their library card - the use of other public libraries.
How fun! You are not restricted to any one public library when you carry a public library card. You can take your library card and walk into any public library in Illinois and check out an item from their collection.
This is a privilege that each public library agrees to when they join the Illinois State Library group of libraries.
Take your library card and if you find yourself in another Illlinois community with a public library, walk in and test the power of your library card by checking out something from the other library and bringing it home.
One more part of this whole new experience is that you can then bring us the item that you picked up at that other library and we will return it for you!
Find out what a wonderful system (library system) this is.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Season for Thanks - Pay your Fines with Food

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and now we are looking forward to Christmas.
Here at the library we are wanting to give you a gift this season while helping the community. For every $1.00 in fines you can bring in 1 non-perishable food or hygiene item and we will take away the fines on your library account. If you bring in a new toy for a child, we will erase your fines.
These fines do not include money owed for lost or not returned library items or the processing or billing fees on those items.
This offer will be in effect until December 20th.
Remember that the library will be closed on Christmas Eve Day and on Christmas Day.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Library Van providing transportation

A new addition to the service that the MVPLD is going to offer to the area during this grant which has been provided by the Illinois State Library is to provide transportation of library materials and people throughout the area on library-related errands.
If someone needs to come to the library, the staff is available to take your call at 344-1112 during normal business hours and someone will be made available to pick you up and take you back home (Children must be accompanied by an adult). The same is true of library materials. If you would like your library materials delivered, you will need to call the Main Desk and they will be delivered to you at a designated time.
This is a test period for this service to determine if you are interested and if it actually is needed in our community. Honk at the Van if you see it on the road and say 'hi'. We are excited to be able to add this dimension to the Library and to help you out.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Definition of "Community"

As I talk to people about our library, I talk about the "community" we serve. For the sake of clarification when I talk about "community", I am referring to our "library community" at large. I am not talking about Collinsville, Fairmont City, Maryville, Caseyville or any other individual corporate entity.
At this moment the MVPLD's community is within the city limits of Collinsville and due to the grant received from the Illinois State Library (read the article in this Blog called "Demonstration Grants from the Il State Library Awarded to Local Libraries"), we, along with other libraries in the area, are able to give 'FREE' library cards to everyone who lives in the Unit 10 School District and Fairmont City.
Our goal as a Library Community is to offer this service to all who find a need for it and to listen to what those needs might be.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What are the advantages of the Smartest Card Campaign for a Collinsville Resident?

This question was asked of me at the Main Desk and I guess until that point I hadn't really thought of it from that perspective.
I know that my motivation to write the grant and to encourage the Board to approve this attempt to give 'free' library cards to reach as many people as possible in our school district and in the Fairmont City area to share a wonderful experience if only for a little while. I wanted this to be an invitation to use library service and then in an educated manner vote to continue or turn down future service.
But what about those of you who already have this service? You have a vested interest on this creation of a library that has been here for 90 years and a tremendous building that started in 1937 and has only gotten better. What does this all mean to you?
As I thought about it I guess I would hope that you would feel really good about what you have and would want others to be able to share in that good fortune. Adding more people to this library service will not take away from what it is. Hopefully, it will create more interest and more determination to create their own library buildings and collections that can attribute their success to the Collinsville Library Center. This would be an opportunity to foster a new area of individuals in the successes of the use of libraries and let them experience a service that will offer something to them throughout their lives.
There is one possibility that can also come out of adding more area to the Library District and that is that there will be more households to share in the monetary support of the district. It is impossible to say at this point what that could mean on your tax statement. Depending upon the amount of new value of property and the number of new households, the amount of property tax that an individual taxpayer pays at the present time could possibly go down. This is only a possibility and not one that we can calculate or surmise since that will depend on if or what areas join the Library District.
I welcome any comments on this idea since it is also important to maintain a strong and pertinent library within our current borders while expanding service to others.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Donations from friends

Dizzy Dugout has again supported our children's programs a the Mississippi Valley Public Library District. On the first Saturday of every month, the children play Pokemon. Michael from Dizzy Dugout has provided us with the playing mats and assisted this summer teaching how to play as well as providing attendance prizes. This month he also is providing prizes such as posters, playing cards, card box, etc. He also gave us attendance books and cards for each player. What a great person and community helper.
Throughout a year we have businesses and individuals that give us donations of money, merchandise and time to make our service special. I will continue to let you know as they share their resources and talents with us.
Thanks Michael from Dizzy Dugout for your support and participation.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Halloween Walk

Between 11am and 3pm during the Halloween Walk on October 29th, 2,454 people followed our Halloween Trial through the Library. It was a record day at the library and the staff was definitely tired.

1088 children received 5 different things for treats and then ended their walk through the library by signing up for grand prizes that were provided by WalMart and Kmart. Children came from as far away as Missouri, Kansas and Florida.

Prize winners were
Remote Control Truck: Ashlyn Petri
Bike: Anya Skaggs
CD player: Hunter Bridges
Congratulations to the Winners!

Pictures of the winners are on the Kidz Page.
Thanks for dropping in!

Monday, October 31, 2005

FREE Library Cards being handed out

I wanted to be sure that you understood from that long post that everyone living in the Unit 10 School District is entitled to a 'free' library card and can use it from now through March 2006. I am going today to the public and parochial schools to give them applications to pass the word of how important it is to take advantage of this opportunity. The school that is the most successful will be receiving free books for their library!

So if you know any children in any of our schools throughout the area, fill out an application whether you do or do not have a current library card and they will get credit for their school for your participation. The only requirement is that you live in the Unit 10 School District boundaries.

Please spread the word... This won't last forever.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Demonstration Grants from the Il State Library Awarded to Local Libraries

The Illinois State Library has awarded two demonstration grants in our area that will make sure that everyone living in the Unit 10 School District will be able to receive a library card for the next six months. Mississippi Valley Public Library District (formerly the Collinsville Memorial Public Library) and the Maryville Community Library will be cooperating to allow all people currently without library service to experience libraries. The "Smartest Card" Campaign (referring to our library cards) is effective immediately and will run through March 21, 2006 (general election referendum) at which time the voters will decide if they want to retain their library cards permanently or if they do not want to accept the invitation to stay in either Library District.
The Maryville Community Library located at #8 Shiber Court, Maryville by Drost Park will be ready to open its doors as a demonstration library sometime within the next month. The Library committee which was formed over two years ago has been working with Charm Ruhnke, a library consultant from the Lewis and Clark Library system in Edwardsville, Illinois to establish a library for the community of Maryville. Charm Ruhnke will facilitate a State Library System grant that will help set-up and support a demonstration library for the community of Maryville. Residents will vote in March 2006 to remove all materials and services provided through the grant and not become a library district or continue and expand library services in the establishment of a library district for the Greater Maryville Area. Until the Maryville Demonstration Library is able to open its doors to the public, Maryville residents are able to go to the Collinsville Library Center and be issued a Maryville Library Card. For more information about the Maryville Community Library you can call Carol Frerker 288-3142, Kris Votoupal 288-4411, Diane Semanisin 2887422, Roger Shoup 346-7740 or visit the website at
The Mississippi Valley Public Library District (formerly the Collinsville Memorial Public Library) also received a similar grant to serve the Unit 10 School District area that is not already covered by the Villages of Caseyville, Maryville or Pontoon Beach. The Library building located on 408 West Main Street in Collinsville is anxious to offer its services to a larger area. Collinsville Memorial Public Library was established in Collinsville and has served the area since 1915. Last October 2004 the Library converted from a municipal library (a department of the City of Collinsville) to an independent district library with an elected Board of Trustees and the ability to govern itself and to serve an increased territory.
Both libraries have made the commitment to serve the people of the area in a seamless and cooperative effort. The "Smartest Card" received by anyone currently living in the Unit 10 School District will entitle its user not only to service at the Library Building that issues them a card but to any public library in Illinois through a reciprocal borrowing agreement throughout our state. The card holder will also be allowed to order items into their library building from any where in the United States through an interlibrary loan program.
Plans are being made to have public forums at participating school buildings to talk about this program and what it will mean to you. Announcements for all of the meetings should be forthcoming by the end of the next week.
There are many exciting things waiting for the person that decides to come in and investigate this new opportunity. Don’t waste any time experiencing the services that the Mississippi Valley Public Library District and the Maryville Community Library can offer to you. Apply today for the "Smartest Card".

Monday, October 17, 2005

Did you know ...

There are more public libraries than McDonald's - a total of 16, 200.
Americans go to school, public and academic libraries more than twice as often as they go to the movies.


Delivering to your home

Collinsville Library Center has been delivering to individuals who have been unable to come to the library due to physical limitations whether permanent or temporary for several years now. Our volunteers visit between 15 to 20 people per week with items that they have requested through our staff members or the online catalog.

Mary Beth and Megan take care of these people by calling them on a weekly basis and preparing packages to go out on Monday afternoon. They both have said that it is pleasant to call and talk to our 'homies' because they are always so excited to hear from us and always have so much to say.

If you find that you or someone that you know needs this special service, call and we will work with you to be sure that you always have what you need from the library.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Blum House Book Club Suggestion...

The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo
Paula Huntley
The Blum House Book Club met on October 26th and talked about their most recent read "The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo". Each month the group gets together and reads a selection and then rates it on a scale of 0-5 stars.
The group really enjoyed this selection and gave it a '4' stars. Some of the comments about the book were that it was heartwarming, sad and informative - all at the same time. It leaves you admiring the couple in the book for their generosity and their positive attitude in the face of adversity. The woman had an enthusiastic and creative teaching method that spanned the difference in the cultures. The group loved the diary form of the book and felt that it helped to give the humanitarian feel that it needed.
Other suggested past reads from the BH Book Club:
The Blue Shoe by Anne Lamott - 3.5 stars
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker - 3.5 stars
Dreams from my Father by Barak Obama - 3.5 stars
Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour by Jospeh Persico - 4 stars
Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - 4.5 stars
Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - 3.5 stars
You can pick up more suggestions for reading in BookPage - a reading newspaper available for free at the library or online with BookLetters at

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ebook Collection growing!

Our library has had a subscription to NetLibrary.Com now for a couple of years, bringing you over 8,000 books in electronic form on the Web. Just recently we added an Academic Collection of books that will be of interest to students, computer enthusiasts, those writing papers and essays, and others who may be looking for more technical information.

You can check out these books as you can check out most anything in our library - simply by selecting it and using your id on your own computer. Your id can be obtained by coming into the library once and logging into Netlibrary.Com and picking a Username and Password.

This is a wonderful new way to view, scan or read the whole book even after we have closed our doors for the day. You can even print a selected number of pages for future reference.

This is just one of our Online Databases that we subscribe to for your convenience. See all of them on our website at

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Volunteers to Record History

Investigation into publishing a new Collinsville history book is forming. There will be all types of help needed whether you know history, can write about history, can help to type the history, or a multitude of other jobs - you can be of service. Call today at 344-1112 and give your name and phone number. Someone will call you back with meeting times.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Our Broken Fountain

Several of you have asked about the reasons for the fountain not working this year.

We have been repairing the fountain continuously for the last couple of years. At the beginning of the summer more problems developed with the fountain that would have again needed thousands of dollars worth of attention. We have been working with a company that has been trying to give us alternatives but at this point, it has not been possible to come to a solution.

With the coming of Autumn, the Board has decided to use the Winter season to investigate exactly what would be the best way to handle the situation.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Disaster Relief in This Area - You can Help by bringing in extra things that you have at Home!

The "Two Cities" Hurricane Relief EffortThe City of Collinsville is "adopting" two communities in Mississippi:Pascagoula and Long Beach. City Council met with folks in our communityWednesday to decide a course of action that the Collinsville Community could take to best help the victims of this tragedy. It was decided that identifying a community and attempt to assist them with their changing needs through the rebuilding process would be the best way. The decision was made to "adopt" both Pascagoula and Long Beach because local folks had already been in contact with both communities. These two coastal communities have suffered a great loss and are in need of basic necessities. Large portions of these two communities have been totally destroyed with nothing left butthe foundations of buildings, while other areas were severely damaged.The City of O'Fallon IL is now joining Collinsville in this endeavor.The local American Legion established a tax-deductible relief fund to benefit Pascagoula and Long Beach Communities. Donations can be made atCollinsville UMB Banks, checks should be made out to American Legion Post 365, include "Two Cities Relief Fund" in the memo. Arrangements are being made to collect donations of money and goods at the Italian Fest, September 16 & 17th. There will be a semi-trailer at the Festto collect items. Volunteers are needed to staff this operation. Major Scott Williams (Collinsville's Acting Chief of Police) with a team of volunteers has already delivered a caravan of SUV's worth of goods to Mississippi. The following is a list of needed items that we would like to include in theMonday shipment to Mississippi.
Please drop off donations at the Collinsville Police Department, City Hall or UMB on Main Street (please do not bring clothing items, these communities are not prepared to store or distribute clothing at this time).
C & D Batteries
First Aid Supplies
Trash cans & liners
Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer & wipes
Air Freshener
Wash cloths
MopsMop buckets
Pine cleanerDust pans
Cleaning rags
Garbage bags
Disinfectant spray
Glass cleaner
Scrub brushes
Toilet cleaner & brushes
Car washing solution
Sun Screen & Bug Spray
Water hoses
Spray nozzles for hoses
Armor All
Scrub brushes (for cars)
Car fabric cleaner
Cleaning cloths (for cars)
Paper plates
Plastic forks, spoons and knives
Plastic bins (for storage)

Katrina Disaster Relief Efforts For Evacuees Who Have Sought Refuge In Southeastern Madison CountyLocal communities have come together and pulled resources to help the evacuees who have come to Collinsville, Maryville, Troy, Edwardsville, GlenCarbon or Highland. We have established a clearinghouse at the Glen EdPantry (125 5th Ave Edwardsville Il 62025, phone 656-7506) to distribute goods and help with finding resources for these families. The pantry is accepting donations. They are also seeking volunteers to help staff the facility in order to extend their hours of operation and better assist evacuees.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Library's efforts for the tragedy in the Gulf

The Library is collecting for the Animal Rescue that is underway in the Gulf regions. Several of the area Animal Rescue Agencies and Shelters are busy working to send relief to the Gulf in the way of manpower and supplies. We, here at the Library, would be happy to collect any donations in the way of money, bedding, food, or take your name for temporary housing for these displaced animals and disseminate them to the proper people.

You can bring in any of those items at any time to the Library at 408 West Main Street.

If you would like to send me your name as a volunteer for temporary housing and what type of animal, you can just respond to this blog in the comment area.

If you would like to donate money, you can bring in your donation with cash, check or charge or you may use our online pay system at

and specify that the donation is for Animal Rescue.

Information about Hurricane Katrina

The following link will take you information about Katrina and ways that you can help. There are national and local links that will cover the stories and the volunteer and donation efforts.

What is the Mississippi Valley Public Library District?

In the past year this Library has gone through a number of changes.

On October 1, 2004 the Library changed from a municipal library to a district library. This means that before October 1st the Library was a department of the City of Collinsville and its members were those who lived inside the City limits of Collinsville. After October 1st the Library is a stand alone district with an elected Board and its boundaries can move beyond the City limits.

When the Library became a District the official name Collinsville Memorial Public Library District was taken.

Just recently the Board of Trustees renamed the District - the Mississippi Valley Public Library District to welcome growth beyond the limits of Collinsville.

To keep the tradition of the wonderful facility on the Main Street of Collinsville alive and to honor all of the people who have made this Library what it is today, the building at 408 West Main Street will continue to hold the name of the Collinsville Memorial Public Library Center.

A new sign with these changes are being planned for the front lawn and other plans are being made to invite surrounding areas to join in Library Service.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My First Post

This is my very first post on my very first blog!

I hope that this will be a helpful addition to our Collinsville website that will help everyone understand, stay informed and comment more freely about things that are important to you and to the community. Feel free to view my profile and email me whenever you need to or comment on any of my posts. This will contain the most up-to-date information so please check it often. Thank you in advance for all of your input as that is the only way that we can improve and serve our community better.

Tomorrow I will post a couple of items - 'The community's efforts for the Hurricane survivors' and 'What is the Mississippi Valley Public Library District?'

Stay tuned...