Thursday, June 28, 2007

Unsung heroes helped lay foundation for a new library

Longtime Library Board members Ed Schiller and Laurene Stanford were honored Thursday night at Nampa’s premier downtown block party. They helped envision the new library and worked hard toward its creation. On behalf of the existing Library Board of Trustees, Mayor Tom Dale presented engraved bookends that express appreciation for their service.
“Their contributions have helped make the Nampa Public Library a vibrant cultural hub of the city,” Dale said before the event.
The Downtown Nampa Nights features live music, hot food and beverages every Thursday night, a festive venue for briefly recognizing community accomplishments.
Schiller, who served on the Library Board from 1988 to 2006, is secretary for the Downtown Nampa Association and can be seen serving up beer or hot dogs at the back of the crowd and in front of his law office. The presentation was a surprise.
Schiller served 18 years on the board that oversaw dramatic improvements at the Library including establishing the online catalogue, public computers, courier service to other libraries, the strategic plan, committee for a new library and the electronic system for self-checkout.
Stanford served on the board from 1997 to 2007 and was a leader in the early stages of preparing for a new building. She was instrumental in improving communication between the library and local schools, developing evaluations for the library director and strategic planning. She is still an active volunteer.
The Library Board decided recently to honor both former members for their outstanding contributions.
Library Director Karen Ganske said both “served with great distinction, offering countless hours to the library and never failing to support its mission.”
“Ed served a partial term plus three five-year terms,” said Ganske, which is “unprecedented in modern times.”

Friday, June 22, 2007

Teens contribute to library plans & services!

Our community teens are fabulous! They help run the summer reading program by volunteering their time and labor to various programs. Our teens take the time to tell us what is on their minds by submitting purchase requests and asking questions.

While at a preconference for the American library Association Conference in Washington DC today I found that again and again our teens are valuable resources who help move our services forward and keep us up-to-date. Our teens can help lead the way to the new world of technology.

So what are we doing for our teens? We want to provide more opportunities for teens to make a difference in the library. Our first Teen group started a few weeks ago and will have its second meeting next week on June 26th at 4PM. Our teens will help determine (and provide) programs for teens. Our teens will help create/conceptualize the new Teen Space at the new library. Our teens rock and it will be great to help create a space and programming for them in our new building!

Space for Friends

The building program for the new library includes a Friends of the Library sales area of 230 square feet right off the beautiful spacious entrance lobby, including display shelving, a display case, and donation station. It also calls for a Friends Workroom of 650 square feet. Imagine being an active member of this group and having work space that includes a computer, work table with 4 chairs, 10 double faced sections of shelving to organize donations, a counter with a sink and microwave. This vision is a far cry from the leftover bits of unfinished basement vault area that they must work in now! These spaces are planned for because Friends members were involved in brainstorming sessions for the new library. Join the Friends of Nampa Public Library now and help enliven this future space. Friends are busy planning for their August book sale, writing their Summer Newsletter, and redesigning their membership structure and form. Last year they donated $10,000 for children’s furnishings in the new library, and they are building towards another large donation. Find membership information and book sale dates on the library website.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Performance and Program Space Desperately Needed

Just yesterday during the reptile Thursday Family Program several people expressed enthusiasm for the new library and all of its anticipated available spaces. We had over 487 attendees and were mostly wall-to-wall (to-aquarium). We had 7 presenters and many reptiles which would have loved to be spread out for more viewing access.

The anticipated adjacent plaza will extend our potential service area year round and will create more program options such as a storytime in the park, more Summer Reading Kickoff Party space as well as performance and display areas for the Thursday Family Programs.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Window Seats, nooks and special views

Several of our wonderful contest entries brought me a vivid memory from my childhood. Essays mentioned “Cozy window seats,” “Soft window seats,” “Beanbag chairs and window seats,” and “in a window seat reading National Geographic KIDS.” Other entries described views from a new library. Many young people and adults wrote about having variety of spaces within a library that are perfect for encounters with books that enrich our lives.

When I was young Mom took me to the downtown Pasadena Public Library once a week, before our neighborhood branch was built and I could walk to the library. My own special spot downtown was a window seat in the children’s stacks near the folklore section. The ‘view’ was a green cave formed by overgrown shrubbery outside. The smell was warm and dusty. With the big books by Howard Pyle about Robin Hood or the Knights of the Round Table, I would read in the window seat for hours, enjoying my own special place and strengthening my sense of adventure and my imagination.

Karen Ganske

Friday, June 1, 2007


We have heard positive comments about the possibilities for a new Nampa library on a daily basis for years, but there was a definite increase in the ‘buzz’ when renderings were published showing the full-block plaza, city hall and retail stores right next to the library. For some people, it was the plaza across the street that finally got them excited and eager to see the entire project move forward, asking where, when, and ‘how can we help?”
“The best type of public spaces are ones where various activities are combined or triangulated. My favorite hypothetical example is a square that has a library and a coffee shop. The library has a children's reading room that's next to a playground, at the edge of which is a coffee shop for parents. In front of the library you'd have a square, for weekly markets, seasonal events, art shows, performances.” - Fred Kent
Read more about how synergy works with downtown libraries at: or here.
- Karen Ganske