Read On! Track Your Reading

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal for myself to read at least one book each month. My memory for that kind of tracking is pretty terrible, so I also had to decide how I’d keep track of what I read. 

Despite having three million beautiful and useful journals, my consistency for writing things in them leaves a lot to be desired, so I decided to use digital tracking for my reading. There are a whole host of apps and methods to choose from including some tools from the Library. 

When you log into your account on our catalog (pryor.biblionix.com/catalog) using your library card number and last name, you can “opt in” to keeping a history of your checkouts. This is handy if, like me, you forget everything you’ve ever read when you decide to look for something new. Our system default is not to keep your history (this protects your privacy), so if you want your history, select “opt in” or give us a call and we can select it for you on our end. 

The Libby app will keep your digital reading history under the “Timeline” menu (look for the clock icon). The default here is to keep the history, but you can choose not to by selecting “Actions” at the top of the Timeline page. 

Neither of these tracking methods will tell you whether you finished the book or if you liked it. You can leave reviews in our catalog of the materials you read from the Library, but as of now, there’s not a way to look back at all of the books you’ve reviewed. For that level of tracking, you’ll need a third party app or a journal. The most popular reading app is Goodreads, but I prefer Storygraph for my own tracking. 

As always if you need help with any of this (or anything else), give us a call or come in. We’ll walk you through it step-by-step until you’re comfortable with it and confident to use it solo. 

Read On! What Libraries Can’t Do

If you caught the CBS Sunday Morning story last week about the 21st Century Library, you saw large-scale examples of many of the things libraries can do. Put very simply, libraries provide connections and access to information, opportunities to learn and create, materials for enjoyment, and more. 

We’re actively looking for ways to make those connections easier to obtain with no unnecessary barriers to access. Part of our new strategic plan (that should go through City Council soon) is dedicated to just that – looking at the requirements we have for access to our resources and making sure they’re necessary and equitable. 

Truly, if you have a problem but you can’t find the resources you need to solve it, try your local library to see what they can connect you to. If your local library can’t connect you to the resources you need, they may be able to find another library or service that can. 

As helpful as we are, there are some things libraries cannot do. We cannot tell you what to do with the resources we connect you to and we can’t tell you which path to take when you’re making an important decision. 

We can show you the laws of Pryor, Mayes County, Oklahoma, and beyond, but we can’t give you any legal advice about those laws. We can help you understand what a particular medical diagnosis means through our health resources, but we can’t give you advice about what you should do with that diagnosis. When you want to do a deep dive into American history, we’ll help you navigate, but we can’t tell you what to think about the things you learn. 

Mostly, we can’t do those things because they’re beyond our training – we’re not lawyers, doctors, etc., – but also you know yourself and your needs much better than we do. That makes you the most qualified advice-giver for your situation. 

Read On! End of Summer Reading

Understandably, the tumult of COVID, construction, and relocating to the Graham Building has meant we’re seeing fewer of our community members than we did in 2019. (We have missed you!) We’re not back to normal, of course, but we’ve been able to bring back storytime and summer reading activities. 

One of the joys of being a one room library while our building is under construction has been sharing space with our community while you use the Library and attend storytimes and activities. The library has been far too quiet since we had to close for the pandemic in early 2020! It’s heartwarming to hear and see children and adults enjoying our library again! 

Hearing caregivers read to their kids, helping adults and teens learn how to use our printer/copier, and watching families interact during storytimes and events has been so wonderful this summer! While the Youth Services staff and Administrative Librarian are ready for a break, I think we’re all a little sad to see Summer coming to an end.  

This is our last week of our Summer Reading Program before we take a break from programming in August. If you haven’t turned in your completed bingo sheet, you have until Thursday July 28th to do so. For kids, every “bingo” earns a free book; for adults, every “bingo” earns an entry into our smaller prize drawings. For kids AND adults, a “blackout” earns an entry into our grand prize drawing of a private movie showing for up to 20 people at the Allred. 

This week, we’ll have our normal storytime Wednesday at 10:30 am. We’ll also host our annual Summer Reading Ending Celebration (inside) on Thursday from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Because we’re in a small space and everything will be inside, our Ending Celebration will be smaller than in previous years. That won’t make it any less fun though! 

Read On! Series Reading

My series reading is less focused than it was when I discovered R.L. Stine’s “Fear Street” books. Then, I was riveted by their lightning-fast pace and thriller plots. Now, I tend to read the first book or two in a series and then move on to something else. Even so, I get irritated when I start a series by accident and even more so if the series I accidentally started reading isn’t complete yet! 

My most recent accidental series is “Whispering Pines,” a middle grade paranormal horror by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartowski. At about the ⅔ mark in the book, I realized the authors had way too many loose ends to tie them all up in the last part of the book. Turns out it’s the first of three books with the third not due out until the fall. 

I fell victim to a classic reading blunder: I chose a book for its interesting jacket summary and creepy cover without thinking about what I might be getting into – a compelling, but unfinished series. For you more careful readers, the Library has some good tools for series readers. Especially when you know you’re reading a series. 

First, the staff will always look up titles for you to determine the series and the book order. If you’d rather not ask staff, Google is pretty good at compiling online information for popular series to give you the right order. Also we use Goodreads and the authors’ websites. Second, we’re in the midst of a project to redo spine labels in the adult fiction area to reflect the series and order on the spine. Lastly, if you’re reading young adult books, open the book to find the series listed on a paper taped inside the front cover. 

If you or your pre-teen happen to like paranormal horror and don’t mind waiting, “Whispering Pines” did not disappoint! I’m about to track down book two and will likely wait for book three.