2017-09-07 / Editorial

Libby Library features new cards

Library Links
By Bob Cochran

I was walking briskly through scenic Memorial Park on my way to Libby Library earlier this week when I saw its mascot, Libby Lobster, weaving his way along the walking paths appearing highly disoriented.

He saw me and asked, “What month is it?”

“I’m glad you asked! It’s Library Card Month,” I responded enthusiastically.

“Not again,” He replied despondently.

“What’s the matter, Libby? I thought you of all people, er, crustaceans, would be all excited about Library Card Month and our new cards.”

“Not if you’ve just been through the Library Card Month I just endured,” he said sounding thoroughly exhausted.

“Do you want to tell me about it?” I asked with some hesitation.

“Do you remember that big, weird blue box with the word ‘Police’ on it I bought recently at a yard sale? Well, I made the mistake of actually going inside that thing. Suddenly, there was strange sounds and I was surrounded by bright, flashing lights. Next thing I know, I’m in the middle of the Library of Alexandria during Library Card Month. They too were in the process of swapping out their old cards for new ones. The old cards were actually 500 pound rocks, which for some reason, were not well liked by the patrons.”

“500 pound rocks?”

“They got them cheap at a secondhand pyramid outlet. Anyway, the replacement cards were actually crocodiles, which only had to eat every two weeks. They’d feed the croc when you took out that latest Stephen Pharaoh scroll, and it would follow you home with the scroll. In two weeks, when the crocodile started giving you that certain look, you knew that it was time to haul your butt back to the library.”

“Don’t worry, Libby, our new cards are actually cards, not boulders or crocodiles,” I said, trying to reassure him.

Now, for more about the new library cards Libby and I were just talking about. Libby Library’s new adult cards come with your choice of three beautiful Old Orchard Beach-themed photographs. A fun photo featuring our adventurous mascot. Libby Lobster, adorns the new children’s card. We began issuing the new library cards on this past Tuesday as part of our conversion to a new cataloging system planned for late November, when we become part of the MaineCat network.

Once we complete this system conversion, and join MaineCat network, our patrons will gain access to the massive collection of books and other materials available through that network. They will also be able to place their own holds and the receipt of those materials from other libraries will be much speedier, making the interlibrary loan process much more convenient and efficient. Patrons will also enjoy the convenience of managing their own accounts, tracking checkouts over time, as well as receiving automated notices via email reminding them that materials are coming due, are overdue or that they have a hold ready.

On hearing this information, Libby Lobster appeared both relieved and excited, especially at his picture being on a library card. Just then his mobile phone rang and he became engaged in a very animated conversation. Once he got off the phone he inquired, “Do you remember Uncle Laertes?”

“How can I forget?”

“He just reenacted Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight, unintentionally that is.”

“Not again. What happened this time?”

“A janitor at CERN, the European organization for nuclear research, accidentally plugged his vacuum cleaner to the large hadron collider. Uncle Laertes just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and got sucked right across the Atlantic.”

“Well, even if he used a plane instead of a vacuum cleaner, this month marks the 90th anniversary of Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight.”

Libby Library plans to celebrate Old Orchard Beach’s part in that historic event with with a display that features many photographs depicting Old Orchard Beach’s part in early aviation history beginning Sept. 5; Sept. 16’s STEAM Powered Saturday takes to the air with paper and balsa wood planes, a safe, fun-filled program centered around aviation. Jayne Flaherty will be on hand Saturday, Sept. 23 with an entertaining, informative program about Lindbergh’s flight for children of all ages. Be sure to check the Facebook page and website for more upcoming Lindbergh anniversary events.

We’d also like to remind our patrons that this weekend marks the end of our summer Sunday hours for this year. Summer may be ending, but it’s just the beginning of a new series of enjoyable activities, including the return of Mad Science in October. We’ll have more on that next time.

If if you would like to join Libby Library to assist the many Texas libraries recovering from Hurricane Harvey, you can make a direct donation to the Texas Library Association at squareup.com/store/txla/. You’ll also find information on other ways to assist these hurricane ravaged libraries at our website, ooblibrary.org.

Bob Cochran is a volunteer at Libby Memorial Library in Old Orchard Beach.

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