Reading Into the New Year

2017-02-18 01.01.11
Faye VanRavenswaay, Schoolcraft library director poses with Jenny Taylor, Vicksburg third grade teacher who oversees selection of books to be read by teams in the upcoming Battle of the Books.

By Hayden Long

Special speakers, language learning courses, and new insights to local and personal history are just a few examples of what the Schoolcraft Community Library holds in store for patrons entering into a new year of literary and intellectual discovery.

Annual Events

The first meeting of the year for the adult book club will be on Jan. 9, led by librarians Pam Ballet and Cindy Chapin. Later into winter, the Battle of the Books will be waged in the Schoolcraft High School Performing Arts Center on February 16 and 21. Along with the indecisive weather of early spring, will come the annual book and bake sale fundraiser for, and in, the library. Another constant that will be returning with the new year is the popular preschool Story Hour and Tot Time directed by Ballet and Roxanne Wilkins. Later in the year, various summer reading programs will be led by Ballet, Wilkins, and Library Director Faye VanRavenswaay.

New Courses and Resources

On this year’s calendar come new opportunities for personal growth and development for any library patron who wishes to learn just a little more about the outside world, and maybe something about past ones as well. Digitally, a language program, Mango, will enable users to become comfortable with a plethora of languages, including but not limited to French, German, and Spanish. A real-time human-led course in Japanese language and culture, while not yet a certainty, is under consideration by the library.

Aside from learning languages and discovering other cultures, library patrons will also have the chance to discover their own links to the past and long-deceased relatives through the Ancestry Library Edition. In fact, through this program, the director herself, VanRavenswaay, found an intriguing story about her childhood home’s former occupant. A Captain Donahue, a hardy civil war amputee famed for his legendary service to the town of South Haven and those braving the waters of Lake Michigan, originally lived in her home. The information even includes the date of the head librarian’s own birthday. For those interested in finding other such potentially interesting stories about their own pasts, or about the pasts of their community and homes, a class introducing users to the new program, taught by Allison Ring, will be held on January 29, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Policy Goals for the New Year

Concerning the policies and rules in direct correlation to the running of the library, the majority of these decisions will be approved and cemented in the Library board’s strategic planning meeting this January. VanRavenswaay said that three prominent goals for this year’s administration are the updating of the library’s vision statement, its mission statement, and the updating of the library’s policy manual. The library wants to continue to work with local organizations, such as the Schoolcraft Ladies Library and the Schoolcraft Middle School. She also hopes to welcome future additional speakers into the library for interesting and educational talks.

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