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Maricopa Public Library

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Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Magician Kaden Kruz brought his own brand of up-close magic to Maricopa Public Library again to close out this season of the Summer Reading Season on Thursday. An incoming freshman at Maricopa High School in real life, Kaden auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” last season and received two call-backs, and may audition again. He has more than 50 performances under his belt. He told his audience of young readers he learned most of his act from books on magic.

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Photo by Michelle Chance

Arizona Rick and the Bang Bang Balloon Company entertained a room full of children at Maricopa Public Library Thursday as part of the summer programming.

Photo by Michelle Chance

Phil Rakoci, aka Wildman Phil, brought his collection of live animals to Maricopa Public Library to educate the gathering of children and their parents about the value such creatures as alligators, tortoises, spiders and hedgehogs bring to the world. His presentation was part of the summer reading series.

Click photo to enlarge

 

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Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

From antebellum work songs to modern hip hop, the structure and rhythm of music created by African Americans has influenced the culture at large, as a presentation of live music at Maricopa Public Library on Saturday demonstrated. Interspersed with narration and historic recordings, the Black History Month event included diverse guest artists of widely varying ages performing gospel, spirituals, jazz, blues, R&B and more to a spill-over crowd. Subtitled “Soul River,” the first African American History Musical Revue was presented by Copa City African American Historical and Cultural Society.

 

Photo by Michelle Chance

The popular used book sale at the Maricopa Public Library drew crowds of lit-lovers Saturday morning.

The Friends of the Maricopa Public Library hosted the event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to raise money for the library’s programs and events. Families shopped all genres of books, CDs and PC games. Children met a litter of 5-week-old bloodhound-mix puppies that will soon be available for adoption from Pet Social Worker/Home Is Where the Hound Is in the coming weeks.

For more information contact Friends of the Maricopa Public Library at MaricopaFriends@aol.com.

Harold Whiting stepped up to give blood during a drive at Maricopa Public Library. Photo by Mason Callejas

The Maricopa Public Library hosted a blood drive Friday offering contributors a unique form of compensation – library fee forgiveness.

“Running to the edge for others can be stressful, but you always give where you can.” — Harold Whiting

The unique partnership with the American Red Cross gives anyone with outstanding late fees an opportunity to have up to $25 dollars in library fines waived in exchange for a donation.

One such contributor was Harold Whiting, a 54-year-old retired Army medic who has been in Maricopa since 2012. His late fees came in at around $28 for a few movies he had forgotten to return, and though he was capable of paying the full amount in cash, he is more than happy to still be able to give back to the community.

Whiting suffers from PTSD brought on by his time serving in the Middle East, and though he struggles with certain things he never stops doing what he can to help others.

“Running to the edge for others can be stressful,” Whiting said, “but you always give where you can.”

American Red Cross employee Bradley Schubert said he’s never seen a program like this before but is pleased with the outcome.

“It’s a heck of a program. We’ve got about 10 [donations],” Schubert said. “He [Whiting] is number 11.”

After only about three hours, Schubert said, that is not a bad number.

The library will not allow customers to accumulate credit on their accounts, according to the library’s guidelines, nor will the donations cover replacement charges for lost materials.

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Children stick out their tongues at a lizard who is doing the same during a Jungle Jill presentation at Maricopa Public Library. Photo by Mason Callejas

Jill McLaughlin of Jill’s Animal Encounters brought a few of her friends to educate the children at Maricopa Public Library on Thursday. Her collection included an menagerie of birds, snakes and bugs. The presentation was part of the library’s Summer Reading Program.

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Photo by Mason Callejas

Brian Lopez of Anime Your Way conducted a one-hour workshop for Maricopa teens, helping them create their own anime characters in a session at Maricopa Public Library on Wednesday.

Photo by Michelle Chance

The puppet cast of “The Little Red Hen” entertained a roomful of children at the Maricopa Library Monday morning. Puppeteer Nancy Smith of Great Arizona Puppet Theater performed every role in a one-woman show that included interactive song and movement with the kids.

The event is part of the library’s Summer Reading Program. Future library events can be found on InMaricopa’s calendar.

Craig Davis brought his magic show to Maricopa Public Library for the Summer Reading Program. Photo by Michelle Chance

It was a spell-bound mixture of risk, trickery and magic inside the Maricopa Public Library Monday morning.

The Craig Davis Magic Show performed for families as part of the library’s Summer Reading program. Davis – who is based in the valley – entertained children with a variety of illusions including a juggling exercise, card tricks and the vanishing of a pet bird.

Future library events can be found on InMaricopa’s calendar.

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Maricopa children will have the opportunity to be dazzled by a very different storytelling experience tonight at Copper Sky.

Valley-based performer “Mrs. B’s Story Time with a twist!” will bring her interactive and educational show to the gym at 5:30 p.m.

“The twist is that a lot of the stories are done in very different ways, and we also use a lot of different music,” said Carri Blake-Brekke, also known as “Mrs. B”.

Blake-Brekke’s sister, puppeteer Jodi Melton, will also be on-hand for the night’s entertainment.

The event is free and families do not have to be members of Copper Sky to attend.

The occasion kick-starts the Maricopa Public Library’s Summer Reading Program, which promotes continual learning during the long break from school.

“We are trying to prevent the summer slide — kids not keeping up with what they’ve learned throughout the school year — but in a fun way,” said Ann Marie Creegan, senior library coordinator.

According to the National Summer Learning Association’s website, low-income children are especially at risk, with studies showing they “lose two to three months in reading” over the summer.

The reading program is free to register and is open to every child from birth to 17-years-old.

“A realistic goal is to read, or be read to, at least 20 minutes a day,” according to a city press release. Participants can register for the program at the event, at the library or online at maricopa.azsummerreading.org.

Young booklovers can choose between three reading goals:

1.       The Empire State Building Challenge: Read 400 minutes by the end of the summer

2.       The Willis Tower Challenge: Read 800 minutes by the end of the summer

3.       The Burj Khalifa Challenge: Read 1,200 minutes by the end of the summer

Participants log their minutes on the city website through July 15. Those who meet their halfway mark, as well as those who finish the program, can then visit the library for prizes.

“If they complete how many minutes they want to read, they get entered into drawings, Creegan said. “We have some really cool prizes: we have a couple of bikes (and scooters) to raffle off.”

Additionally, all children who meet their reading goal by the end of the program will be invited to a pool party at Copper Sky to celebrate.

Creegan said children are encouraged to read any medium that suits them, whether that be a magazine, e-book or website-reading.

“This is the time for them to do their recreational, fun reading,” she said.

Photo by Mason Callejas

For the second year, members of the Arizona Rattlers arena football team came to Maricopa Public Library to read to children there through the program called “Read with a Rattler.” The team is in town to train at Copper Sky, session that are open to the public in the south fields. This year, Jon Wolf, Antonio Brown and Anthony Amos participated in “Read with a Rattler” and spoke about why they do it:

Photo by Mason Callejas
Photo by Mason Callejas

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Historian Marshall Shore facilitates a discussion at Maricopa Public Library for Arizona Humanities' FRANK Talks. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopans learned some Arizona tales from the 20th century but also had time to share their modern experience living in Maricopa during a special program Monday.

Arizona Humanities brought is series “FRANK Talks” to the Maricopa Public Library. Historian Marshall Shore, sporting one of his many painted suit coats, touched on the facts about infamous Winnie Ruth Judd, “lost Dutchman” Jacob Waltz and controversial artist George Quaintance.

Shore talked about the history of the Masque of the Yellow Moon, the Eisendrath House and the Arizona Biltmore. His presentation, introduced by Communications Coordinator Marilyn Murphy, facilitated an exchange among the 25 attendees about their experiences in Arizona. Some spoke about why they moved to Maricopa from New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Local historian Denny Hoeh and Maricopa Historical Society President Paul Shirk also shared some facts about Maricopa’s history.

Murphy said Arizona Humanities may have Shore return to Maricopa for a full history program. While Marshall Trimble, the official state historian, mainly focuses on the Old West aspects of Arizona, Shore said he delves in more recent history.

FRANK Talks are designed to be “free thought-provoking, expert-facilitated discussions on important issues facing communities. They are produced in partnership with Arizona Humanities and Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records division.”

The next talks are in Wickenburg, Chandler and Coolidge. The series has ranged from policing and elections to educational equity and race. The Maricopa talk was titled “Stories of Arizona: Historic Places, Spaces and People.”

Learn more at http://www.azhumanities.org/programs/frank-talks/

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By Ethan McSweeney

Accepted Items

– Instant potatoes boxes
– Peanut butter
– Canned fruit
– Canned tuna, chicken or beef
– Canned vegetables
– Packaged dinner (e.g. Hamburger/Tuna Helper)
– Dry pasta, rice or beans
– Canned beans
– Cereal
– Canned tomatoes
– Canned soup
– Packaged desserts
– Cleaning products
– Toilet paper
– Toiletries

Do you have an overdue library book lying around the house? Instead of the usual monetary fee, the Maricopa Public Library will let members pay off those fines with food donations in July.

Running July 5-31, Food for Fines is an effort to support F.O.R. Maricopa food bank by raising food and supplies, Library Manager Erik Surber said.

“It’s our way of doing a food drive for the local food bank, which needs a lot of help,” Surber said.

The library chose the month of July for the drive because it’s when the food bank has the greatest need, Surber said. This isn’t the first time the Maricopa Public Library has organized a food drive to pay off library fines.

Each donated item counts $1 toward an overdue book fine, but you don’t need to have an outstanding fine from the library to donate supplies. It’s uncertain how many overdue books are currently out from the Maricopa Public Library, Surber said, but the average fine is $5 to $7.

The donated items would only count toward overdue book fines, and not fines from lost items.


This story appeared in the July issue of InMaricopa.

Library manager Erik Surber will give a presentation on the library during an April 5 city council meeting.

By Yvonne Gonzalez

Maricopa Public Library is underfunded, understaffed and out of options to expand services without added resources.

Library manager Erik Surber said he plans to ask the city for more funding as officials lay out the next budget in the coming months. He will give a presentation on the current budget situation for city council members during an April 5 work session.

“I feel it’s really my job to advocate for the library to get us to where I think [we should be],” Surber said, “and where the community wants us.”

Surber said there are no current plans to close the library on Saturdays, despite a rumor to the contrary.

“We’re in the middle of the budget process right now,” he said. “Nothing’s finalized at this point.”

Library programs are largely based on community input, Surber said.

“If there [are] a lot of people asking for certain programs and we want to add it, we have to look at what program we’re currently offering that we would cut,” he said. “That is the reality of our economic situation.”

City spokesperson Jennifer Brown said a new spending plan for the city will be adopted in late June, with the current budget year ending in July.

“The budget is tight for everybody,” she said. “We’re still in the midst of figuring out next year’s budget.”

Though the library is understaffed, Surber noted the facility doesn’t have the capacity to hold more employees.

“In this case, being undersized trumps being understaffed,” he said.

Surber said among 16 Arizona cities with a population between 12,000 and 80,000, the median library budget is $33.88 per capita. Meanwhile, Maricopa’s library is about a third of that, at $11.20 per capita.

Median staffing for those same libraries, Surber said, is at 0.54 full-time equivalent positions for every 1,000 residents, while Maricopa sits at 0.18.

“That’s generally how libraries measure staffing level,” he said.

Several reasons play into the library’s staffing and funding, from the economic downturn to the rising costs of goods, including books.

“We are the newest of those 16 libraries,” he said. “We are the newest one and playing catch-up.”

He said the library has been put in a difficult funding position.

“We’re definitely not unique in that struggle,” he said. “Libraries all over the country are really finding themselves in similar positions.”

The library is getting creative in finding funds, pursuing sponsors for its summer reading program as well as regional and national grants.

“It’s an unfortunate situation economically that we’re in currently, but we’re trying to find solutions,” he said.

Library patrons admired a quilt display at a special event today. Photo by Adam Wolfe

The Maricopa Public Library hosted the “Between the Covers Quilt and Nostalgia Show” Saturday night as part of its Winter Reading Club theme.

“The library has never done anything like this before,” Maricopa Public Library manager Erik Surber said. “Quilts connect us to the past and keep older traditions alive, which I think is important.”

The event showcased dozens of quilts and allowed the library to host its first after-hours adult event. The quilts were provided by Maricopa Divas and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts, and the after-hours show featured Jan Sandwich in a rare appearance as herself for “The Jan Sandwich Nostalgia Show.”

“I’ve been here before as Mother Goose and Wendy Witch at Halloween, but I’m so happy to be here tonight as myself,” Sandwich said.

Jan Sandwich performed a Nostalgia Show. Photo by Adam Wolfe
Jan Sandwich performed a Nostalgia Show. Photo by Adam Wolfe

They’re not code-breakers; they’re code makers.

Maricopa Public Library and the Ak-Chin Indian Community Library were among 19 in the state to receive funds for computer coding clubs.

Arizona State Library set aside more than $45,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The funds give libraries access to a Coding Club program through Prenda, founded by Kelly Smith.

“This program allows us at the library to host a Coding Club for school-aged children,” said Ann Marie Creegan, senior library coordinator at Maricopa Public Library. “The children are able to create an account and then move through fun games that teach them coding at their own pace.”

She said some may be interested for only a few weeks, but others may want to continue beyond the program and even make a career of it. That is the intent of the program’s founder.

“Most Arizona kids today are surrounded with technology, but they do not have access to the resources and role models necessary to qualify them for high-paying software jobs,” Smith said. “With an early start at the library, many of these kids will go on to drive technological innovation and boost the state’s economy, and some may even create the next world-changing app or website.”

At Maricopa Public Library, the Coding Club started Feb. 3 within the S.M.A.R.T. Kids program. Two weeks from now at the Ak-Chin Library, the coding software will be part of an ongoing program called Game Hacker.

Librarian Jeffrey Stoffer said a parents night is planned Tuesday to introduce them to the program. Children there have been using Drag-and-Drop coding and Scratch and create interactive games.

“They love it,” Stoffer said. “They love it so much that even though we haven’t done it since November of last year, a couple of kids have been hand-drawing concepts for games they want to create. That enthusiasm is what we want to build onto.”

The Ak-Chin Library already has a video program that instills parental involvement. Stoffer said he hopes the Coding Club program will do the same.

Coding-Club3_2-10_HendricksonAt each weekly Coding Club meeting, children can log into their accounts and pick up where they left off. The program uses games that teach coding and advance to higher levels as they wish.

“The program also gives them access from home if they would like to continue what that learned at the library,” Creegan said. “Parents also receive an email on their child’s progress throughout the club.”

The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records is a division of the Secretary of State’s Office.

“Libraries were invited to apply to receive the resources to run a Code Club – staff training webinars, the Code Club software and support – for one year,” said Kim Crawford, spokesperson for the state library.

Stoffer said the Ak-Chin Library was excited to see the offer and was glad to see the state library responded to all her applied.

“These kids are 8 to 12 years old already doing this,” he said. “The future is limitless.”

Maricopa Public Library
Ak-Chin Indian Community Library

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Maricopa Library Manager Erik Surber presents information on the new Adult Winter Reading Program. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa Public Library has started a winter reading program for adults.

Called “Between the Covers,” the program encourages participants to make a “quilt” as they complete books and activities. It runs through Feb. 26.

The program packet includes paper quilt blocks listing library activities and books and magazines of the reader’s choosing. As the book or activity is completed, the reader cuts out the block and pastes it to the quilt. At the end of the program, readers will have an eight-square quilt or 16-square quilt.

Activities include a coffee presentation from Jeff Kramarczyk of The Crate Coffee, a scrapbooking class, a genealogy class, make-and-take quilt class, book club meetings and more.

In one of the programs, six books that have been shredded are placed in a jar on top of the New Books shelves. Pick up the jars, shake them around and examine them closely to try to figure out the title of each book. Fill out a form and turn it into the box provided.

“Between the Covers” ties in with the new quilt display at the library by the Quilting Divas and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts. There will be an open house for the display on Feb. 20.

The library is at 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road. Call 520-568-2926.

Library Manager Erik Surber and his staff accept funds for an Oculus from Secretary of State Michelle Reagan (right). Photo by Adam Wolfe

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan stopped in for a visit to the Maricopa Public Library to see a demonstration of the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset Wednesday afternoon.

The library was awarded $9,425 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to purchase the virtual reality equipment. Reagan brought an oversized check with her to present to the library’s staff, and she stuck around to see members of the library’s S.M.A.R.T. Kids program test the Oculus system.

“This is a grant we are sure is going to engage and inspire and prepare the next generation of youth,” Reagan said. “We want to better prepare the youth for advanced classes and allow them to gain the technology we know they’ll need in later employment.”

According to a statement released by Maricopa Assistant City Manager Jennifer Brown, the Oculus Rift is the latest advancement in virtual reality technology. Though it is still in development, and gaming is its primary, educational and business applications are currently being explored.

“We live in a digital world and there is no going back,” Reagan said. “Libraries like yours understand this better than most and are expanding their traditional collections to include this new and exciting technology.”

Reagan chose not to test the equipment for herself, but the line of children waiting to have a turn on the system shows the money will be immediately put to use.

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