Wallowa Library

Halcyon Mains, 7, settles in to read some of the Wallowa Public Library’s new children’s books, purchased with a $3,000 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant allowed the library to update its collection of fiction and non-fiction for both children’s and young adult books.

Recently both the Enterprise and Wallowa Public Libraries received grants from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Both grants focused on updating children’s and young adult book collections.

“It’s very important to keep adding new material to children’s and young adult books to keep them current and hold patron interest,” said Ross Fuqua, a consultant at the State Library of Oregon who administered the grants.

Enterprise’s $2,600 grant supported purchase of young adult fiction and also non-fiction for younger readers. “We see a lot of use of these kinds of books,” said Enterprise librarian Denine Rautenstrauch. Books added to the Enterprise shelves include “The Book of Chocolate,” “Wild Horse Science” and “Fault Lines of the Constitution.”

The Wallowa Public Library garnered a $3,000 grant, more than its usual annual budget for all books, to update their collection of children’s and young adult books. The new books are now on the shelves, and librarian Debbie Lind is inviting everyone to come see, and use, the new acquisitions.

“They are all current books that have literary merit,” said Lind. “They’re ready for readers to use.”

The books include choices from the 2018 American Library Association Youth Media Awards and Honor books, recommendations of the 2018 American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Awards and Honors books, and the Bank Street Best Books of the Year, 2018.

In children’s books, Lind’s favorite is “Blue Ethel,” a story about a cat who turns blue when she rolls on a sidewalk that children decorated using colored chalk, and then is teased by other cats. “By the end of the book, everyone is rolling in blue chalk, Lind said. It’s a wonderful story with a happy ending.” “Mars One,” a science fiction book, and “Backfield Boys,” a football mystery, top her list of Young Adult reads.

“Mary Swanson at the Bookloft helped me choose the best books from the book award lists,” Lind said. “Then she ordered them for us, and gave us a discount. So we really got about $3,700 dollars worth of books for our $3,000 grant, thanks to The Bookloft.”

Swanson said she was happy to help both libraries because “…these days there are a lot of other places to buy books. So I was glad to research, find, and order the books.”

The Wallowa Public Library offers several programs for young readers. They include Story Time, led by retired Wallowa kindergarten teacher Carol Mock on Thursdays from 2:30-3:30 p.m. “We have youngsters from toddlers to 8 or 9 year-olds attending,” Lind said. This summer the library will offer a “Universe of Stories” summer reading program for children and youth, funded by a Ready to Read grant from the Oregon State Library. The program will emphasize space and science fiction. It should start the week after school is out and continues for 7 weeks. The program offers prizes for reading achievements.

The Wallowa Library’s website, www.galepages.com/wallowa offered many online services, Lind noted. “We have ‘Library2Go,’ through the galepages/wallowa website” she said. “On this website you can download e-books, reserve books and even renew books. More than 70 libraries participate. Technology keeps us all connected.”

Finding the right website for the Wallowa Public Library can be confusing. What seems logical, www.wallowapubliclibrary.org, is not related to the library, according to Lind. It’s an old site that does not provide any of the services offered by the correct, tech-savvy, whiz-bang Wallowa Public Library website which is www.galepages.com/wallowa

On a Google search for Wallowa Public Library, the galepages.com/wallowa site appears about fourth on the list, several entries below the unrelated wallowapubliclibrary.org site.

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