Mel Camp is at the Buffalo and Erie County Library Central Library for Read Across America Day. She spoke with Kristi Dougherty, children’s librarian at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Kristi says Read Across America Day was originally established in 1998 by the National Education Society in honor of Dr. Suess whose birthday is today, March 2nd but over the years as literature has become more diverse and inclusive, Read Across America has focused on rather than just celebrating a day of literacy to celebrate it all year round and really promote titles where children can see themselves in the books.
Kristi says she always encourages families to read together. Show your children you love to read as well. She says don’t just read to your children, read with your children, ask them questions, really develop those critical reading skills because even if they are not the best reader yet, you can help improve those skills just with critical thinking and asking them shoes questions.
Samantha Purpora, assistant deputy director, outreach and extension services talks about how the library can come to you. The bookmobile and the new van travels all of Erie County and we can come to you. Samantha says we go to schools, we go to senior centers, we go to senior living facilities, and we do big events. Samantha says the Library to Go van is our new van which will be going to the seniors exclusively and we bring the material inside so seniors don’t have to come out, we go in and see them and we go once per month.
Maria Lowe, librarian for teen services at the Erie County Public Library, Central Library says we have a lot of resources and programs here at the Central Library but we also have amazing things all across our library system throughout the whole county. She says we have books and media for teens but we also have a huge array of programs all across the county which I don’t think people always realize. Some of the things they have include guitar lessons, book groups, coding groups, take and leave groups and leadership groups like the teen advisory group. Maria says the teen advisory group is a group of teens from 8th grade through 12th grade and we have monthly meetings, right now they are online, virtually and they do a lot of interesting things for the library. She says they talk to us about how we can better include teenagers; they have done programming for us, they have done outreach for us and they are a wonderful resource for the library and it gives them great leadership experience. Samantha says all of our programs are always free, always open to everybody and you don’t even have to have a library card to just participate in our programs.
Dan Caufield, outreach manager, Buffalo and Erie County Library says the library is far beyond books. The Launch Pad is their creative space; it’s a place for people to learn by hands-on experience. He says you can come in here and learn to do 3-D printing; you can do laser cutting with our laser cutter, you can learn music, you can learn to knit, anything that is hands on experiential and it is all free.
Shane is their tech trainer and he says their recording studio has professional recording hardware where patrons can come in and they can record podcasts, they can record voiceovers, they can record commercials. He says they have the software that allows them to produce, edit and upload their recordings. It is all free; you just have to be a resident of Erie County.
For more information go to Buffalolib.org