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Libraries Could Preserve Ebooks Forever, But Greedy Publishers Wont Let Them – Gizmodo

Posted: March 7, 2020 at 3:41 pm


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There are currently 342 potential borrowers waiting for 197 digital copies of Ronan Farrows investigative thriller Catch and Kill at the Los Angeles Public Library.

Itll take months for that ebook to become available, I mutter to myself as I do my usual dance: searching the LAPLs ebook shelves for titles on my reading list. I place a hold anyway. Then I search for a book thats no longer the topic of watercooler conversations: Sally Rooneys Conversations with Friends. Only four borrowers in line for 93 copies. This book was major back in 2017, with dozens of digital copies to prove it, but Im reaping the benefits of being three years late. Ill be able to download this book to my Kindle in less than a week, I bet.

But why can only one person borrow one copy of an ebook at a time? Why are the waits so damn interminable? Well, it might not surprise you at all to learn that ebook lending is controversial in certain circles: circles of people who like to make money selling ebooks. Publishers impose rules on libraries that limit how many people can check out an ebook, and for how long a library can even offer that ebook on its shelves, because free, easily available ebooks could potentially damage their bottom lines. Libraries are handcuffed by two-year ebook licenses that cost way more than you and I pay to own an ebook outright forever.

Ebooks could theoretically circulate throughout public library systems forever, preserving books that could otherwise disappear when they go out of printafter all, ebooks cant get damaged or lost. And multiple library-goers could technically check out one ebook simultaneously if publishers allowed. But the Big Five have contracts in place that limit ebook availability with high pricesmuch higher than regular folks pay per ebookand short-term licenses. The publishers dont walk in and demand librarians hand over the ebooks or pay up, but they do just...disappear.

You think about Harvard Library or New York Public Librarythese big systems that, in addition to lending out stuff for people to use, are also the places where we look to preserve our heritage forever, said Alan Inouye, the American Library Associations senior director of public policy and government relations. You cant do that if its a two-year license.

My annoyance at having to wait months for the Catch and Kill ebook to appear on my virtual bookshelf suddenly seems like small potatoes compared to the loss of knowledge that could occur with limited ebook licenses.

Last summer, one of the book worlds Big Five publishers announced a change that will make ebook lines even longer. Macmillan, publisher of recent bestsellers like James Comeys A Higher Loyalty, decided to embargo new ebooks for eight weeks, preventing libraries from buying more than one copy until two months after a books release. The reason behind the embargo, CEO John Sargent said at the time, was that library lending has become so popular that ebook sales are taking a nosedive.

The embargo officially took effect Nov. 1, and now libraries are waiting to see if Macmillan will reverse its decision or if the companys data will support the move and prompt other publishers to follow suit.

The other top four U.S. publishersPenguin Random House, Hachette Livre, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schusterhavent instituted their own embargoes in the wake of Macmillans move. But Amazons growing in-house publishing imprint doesnt allow libraries to lend its ebooks at all, in what Inouye calls a permanent embargo, setting the stage for what could become an increasingly tense relationship between publishers and libraries.

As the year continues, it will become more contentious, regardless of what Macmillan does, Inouye said. Its a smaller part of a larger problem. Amazon has a rapidly growing marketshare in everything it does. Looking toward the future, thats the real concern.

To understand why the embargo is such a big deal, you have to understand that checking out an ebook from a library is dramatically different from borrowing a physical book in basically every way. Libraries work with intermediary companies, such as OverDrive (the biggest player), Hoopla, and others, to negotiate ebook licensing contracts with publishers. Instead of buying copies of a book to put into circulation, as libraries do with physical books, they procure licenses through a company like OverDrive. Those licenses last about two years, on average, and cost $50-$60 per ebook, according to the ALA. Thats approximately five times the cost of the average ebook on Amazon. Physical books dont require licenses; libraries buy them outright at volume, so the cost is much lower than $50 per book.

We think the library pricing is egregious, Inouye said. Its unjustified and awful. You as a consumer would pay $12 or $14 for a bestseller ebook that you would have for the rest of your life. The library buys the same ebook, one user at a timeits not like you can copy it indefinitely and hundreds of people can use it. Publishers say because of friction its a lot easier to borrow an ebook than a print book because you dont have the turnover of checking it out and returning it for the next person. We dont see it that way. Ebooks might be worth a little bit more, but not five times more. Thats crazynot to mention the two-year limitation.

Ebook pricing has a fraught history. Amazon once sold most ebooks for $9.99, usually taking a loss in order to sell more Kindle ereaders. In 2010, Apple introduced a rival ereader of sorts in the iPad, with a corresponding bookstore, iBooks. Apple convinced publishers to start setting ebook prices at $14.99, and asked them to withhold ebooks from Amazon unless the company also raised its prices. The U.S. Department of Justice sued both Apple and the Big Fivethen six, until Penguin and Random House mergedfor antitrust violations. The tech company and publishers lost in court, but the $14.99 list price has remained de rigueur today.

Because only one reader can check out an ebook at a time, and because the cost of licensing an ebook is prohibitively high for libraries to invest in hundreds of copies for every new title, library-goers have become accustomed to long waits to check out ebooks, particularly bestsellers. For publishers, thats the point. If you have to wait weeks to check out a new ebook, you might just cruise on over to Amazon and pay $14.99 to have it delivered immediately to your Kindle or the Kindle app on your phone.

It is true that in its digital form a book can circulate endlessly, but the friction around this has to do with the fact that in a world where an ebook circulates endlessly, the economics of that dont return to the publisher or the author, said NPD BookScan analyst Kristen McLean. I think theres a misperception generally that it takes no overhead to make an ebook, but of course there is. You dont have to print that edition, you dont have to print the physical book, but all of the overhead that goes into that book is still there. It costs the publisher to acquire it, it costs the author time to write it, all the editorial and all the processing to make that book, all of it is still there. The only thing that isnt there is the dollars that it takes to actually print the book. That to me is the fundamental friction in this model.

Ebook sales peaked in 2013 and have since declined, according to NPD data. At the same time, ebook lending through libraries has jumped. OverDrive reported a 15 percent increase in ebook lending last year, up to 211 million copies checked out across 43,000 schools and libraries worldwide. Los Angeles Public Library is the top library system in the U.S. for ebook lending, with 5.9 million ebooks borrowed in 2019.

But sales of print books have increased even as ebook sales have tapered off in recent years. McLean said the overall effect is a net zero.

I personally dont believe that circulating a book through the library, whether or digital or print, erodes sales for that book, McLean said. Even before ebooks, that was not the case. There are some people who choose to borrow and theres some people who choose to buy, but over time, when we look at all the numbers, it all always works out to be an almost zero-sum game. I think that there are benefits to people discovering books in the library and then choosing to buy those books or buy the next book by that author.

Checking out ebooks from your local library has only become easier in recent years, which has contributed to the rise in ebook lending. OverDrives Libby app for iOS and Android lets library-goers scour their library systems inventory for books, check them out, and download them directly to a smartphone or tablet when the books are available. You can also use Libby to sign up for a digital-only library card, or check to see if youre eligible to sign up for another library system, which makes ebooks more accessible. Basically, you never have to leave your house and still read books for free.

OverDrive CEO Steve Potash is an ebook evangelist, the kind of person who answers the phone by saying, Theres never a bad day in ebooks. He gave me a crash course in how to get the most out of Libby and instructions for navigating the ins and outs of my home library system, the Los Angeles Public Library. He even had kind words for publishers, who sometimes make new titles and bestsellers available for people to check out immediately through book club programs and on virtual library shelves labeled, Its Your Lucky Day. (The lucky-day loans last just seven days, but quick readers dont have to wait in line.)

Of the thousands of publishers and content creators and aggregators and distributors we work with, the significant majority value, appreciate, and embrace opportunities to promote the availability of their product under more fair and reasonable terms, Potash told me. Macmillan got a lot of ink, and its unfortunate that they made decisions based on what I think is bad data and legacy thinking.

Macmillan CEO Sargent told the Wall Street Journal last year that library reads comprised 45 percent of Macmillans overall digital reads in the U.S., effectively cannibalizing the publishers ebook sales. Libraries only make up about 15 percent of Macmillans annual ebook sales, according to the WSJ. Potash rejects that argument, citing OverDrive data from public libraries that shows that 79 percent of Macmillan ebook titles are removed from library shelves because the 2-year license expired before the ebook copy was checked out 52 times, as per Macmillans licensing agreement with OverDrive. (Its also difficult to determine whether someone who has checked out a book has actually read it.)

There are no third-party studies that support or reject Macmillans assertions that library ebook lending depresses ebook sales, though OverDrive is one of the funders of a group called the Panorama Project, which is in the process of studying library lendings effects on ebook sales. The American Library Association doesnt collect any data around ebook sales, and analysts like NPDs McLean only examine ebook sales trends, not ebook lending.

But if data doesnt inspire publishers to be more amenable to libraries, the law might.

Congress is currently investigating tech monopolies, and while the attention has largely been focused on companies like Facebook and Google, the inquiry extends to digital markets like ebook sales, too. Last fall, the ALA submitted comments to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciarys Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law about two separate issues: the Macmillan embargo and the high prices publishers charge libraries for restrictive ebook licenses. Inouye said the ALA expects the subcommittee to release a report toward the end of March or early April. He hopes the ebook library lending issue will be included in the report, and that legislative action will follow.

Our hope is that the library and ebook lending issue would be included as an example of abuse of market powerthat very large players in the marketplace go beyond what is really appropriate for our economy and society, Inouye said. Some kind of adjustment to the law needs to be made to prevent this kind of behavior. A company cant arbitrarily decide that theyll sell to you, the consumer, but they wont sell to a library at any price during the embargo price.

It might all come down to money, but libraries also have a responsibility to serve the public in what is perhaps one of the only widely acceptable bastions of socialism in the U.S. Libraries are cornerstones of their cities. They offer resources to underserved communities, provide programming for curious children and frazzled parents, and, perhaps most importantly, preserve knowledge for future generations. That will remain the case even without ebooks, but print is fragile and not as accessible as digital, freely available information.

Ebooks were supposed to change the world, and make information more affordable and accessible to people everywhere. Instead, people are buying hardcover books from Amazon, which are somehow cheaper than paying $15 for an ebook, or have to wait weeks on end for an ebook to become available for free through their local library. This is not the utopia we imagined. Perhaps legislation could change that.

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Libraries Could Preserve Ebooks Forever, But Greedy Publishers Wont Let Them - Gizmodo

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March 7th, 2020 at 3:41 pm

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Most Americans rely on their own research to make big decisions, and that often means online searches – Pew Research Center

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(Watchara Piriyaputtanapun via Getty Images)

When it comes to where Americans place their trust as they gather information before making an important decision, a big majority (81%) say they rely a lot on their own research many more than say they rely a lot on friends and family (43%) or professional experts (31%), according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey. Some 15% also say they rely on their own research a little as they make major decisions.

The 96% of those in the survey who said they rely on their own research a lot or a little were asked to explain in their own words what they mean by doing their own research. In answering this open-ended question, they cited a host of sources that often start but do not end with searching on the internet. Overall, 46% explained they turned to digital tools, while 25% said they turned to other people for advice. Less commonly cited strategies for self-conducted research included people relying on their prior education or life experiences (11%), reading print media (8%), and consulting religious wisdom (4%). For some, it meant letting their instincts and gut inform their decision. Many reported using multiple strategies when seeking advice, often depending on the type of decision they are trying to make.

Several themes stood out as Americans explained in writing the way they do their own research when they make big decisions (responses edited for punctuation, spelling and clarity).

This post draws on a survey of 10,618 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 27-Dec. 10, 2018, for a report on Trust and Distrust in America. Everyone who took part is a member of Pew Research Centers American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATPs methodology.

Here are the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology.

I rely on information on the internet, e.g., a move to another city made me look up geographical information, cost of living, and also info from residents of the new area and also input from friends of long standing, using their experiences. Woman, 77

If I were to change jobs, enter college, etc., I would conduct research on the internet. I would search for news articles, seek out publications that evaluate the choices, and try to talk directly to experts or people with relevant experiences. Man, 54

First, I will do a fairly rigorous web search, comparing multiple sources of information for both content and reliability. Afterward, I will follow up with books and other resources from the library. Man, 45

All available: Web, reviews, leg work, asking questions, reviewing with my family, finding people who had the same decision to make and get their take on it. Man, 54

Internet, books, articles and others experiences. Whatever medium contains information that is relevant and deemed reliable by me. Male, age 45

My instincts. My wisdom. Google . My gut feelings. Woman, 60

I research and read up on everything and everyone involved. I use the internet and research what is available, but I trust my instincts when making decisions. Woman, 54

Authoritative sources on the internet written by experts on the subject, primarily. Man, 48

Talk to my parents and grandparents. I then talk to a friend whos a subject matter expert if available. I finally move to internet research and research heavily on the internet. If any questions remain I circle back to the beginning and loop through again. Man, 26

Discussions with people who have been in the same situation. Professional advice from doctors, pastors, counselors. Do research on my own via the internet. Woman, 72

[I do] online research; asking friends (or persons I respect) their advice. Prayer is a key factor in any decision I make. Also, what the Bible has to say that might apply to my situation. Woman, 53

Major decisions are always led with a conversation with husband. Talking with professional and going online to look at options mentioned by professional plus other alternatives. Is it in line with my faith or scripturally sound? Talking with a trusted friend. Woman, 65

Look for resources at the library and I love YouTube because it provides more a personal resource. Woman, 39

Google and library. Woman, 20

In a wrap-up comment, a 93-year-old woman respondent to the survey wrote, I have a few [major decisions] ahead of me. Internet and children assist.

The rise of digital resources on the web and apps has occurred at a time of decreasing trust in institutions like the government, news media and higher education. The move by people to do their own research online is also taking place as the internet is allowing crowds of people to post reviews, ratings and comments of the things they purchase and experience. This internet-enabled, crowd-based activity has been described as distributed trust.

The 2018 survey also asked questions about peoples use of online reviews and ratings. An overwhelming majority (93%) of Americans report reading customer reviews and ratings at least sometimes when buying a product or service for the first time.

By and large, Americans have confidence that reviews and ratings can be beneficial: Majorities say reviews have at least a somewhat positive effect on consumer confidence (88% think they help a lot or some), product safety (80%) and company accountability (78%).

Note: Here are the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology.

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Most Americans rely on their own research to make big decisions, and that often means online searches - Pew Research Center

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March 7th, 2020 at 3:41 pm

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Inverurie librarian’s visit gets the stamp of approval – Grampian Online

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Inverurie Academy Library staff welcomed former school librarian, Margaret Hird, to the school library ahead of next months move to the new Community Campus.

A resident of Inverurie, Mrs Hird who will be 90 in June, worked at Inverurie Academy from the mid 1960s until her retiral in 1991 and was the school librarian for 20 years.

She enjoyed reminiscing with Aberdeenshire Libraries Network Librarian, Julia McCue and Lorna Reid who is one of the Library Assistants. Margaret remarked that the smell of the books was just the same!

She remembered moving all the stock from the former library in the main building to its current location in an extension completed in 1985 and that the new shelves had not arrived in time so the books had to be piled up on the floor.

Margaret enjoyed seeing photographs of the academys history which were displayed during recent school for former pupils and identified herself in a staff photo from the 1980s.

During the current work to pack everything up, an old wooden handled Inverurie Academy rubber stamp Mrs Hird used to mark school stock was unearthed and it was with pleasure that Ms McCue presented this to Mrs Hird, along with a bouquet of flowers, as a memento of her visit.

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Inverurie librarian's visit gets the stamp of approval - Grampian Online

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March 7th, 2020 at 3:41 pm

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Berlin and Bolton calendars – The Item – The Gardner News

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BERLIN

Pizza Nights at First Parish Church: 24 Central St., Route 62. Second Friday, September to June, 5-7 p.m.; next one is Friday, March 13. Cost for eat-in buffet is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (over 65), $5 for children 5 to 12. Take out boxes are $5. Whole, 14-inch baked or unbaked pizzas can be ordered by calling (978) 838-2964, between 3 and 6 p.m. or in person between 5 and 6:30 p.m.: $15 monthly special; $14 pepperoni or veggie; $13 cheese.

Library Programs: Berlin Public Library, 23 Carter St. For information or to register, email sfoster@cwmars.org or call (978) 838-2812. The Berlin Public Library has teamed up with the Boston Bruins to participate in their annual pajama drive to benefit DCF Kids and Cradles to Crayons. Drive runs through March 15. The library will be collecting new pairs of pajamas for babies, children and teens. Participating libraries will compete with other organizations for special Bruins prizes including a street hockey clinic with Bruins Mascot Blades and autographed Bruins items.

Rabies immunizations: Saturday, March 28, 8:30-10 a.m.; Highway Barn, 112 West St. The Nashoba Associated Boards of Health, in cooperation with local veterinarians, will provide rabies immunizations for dogs and cats. Cash only. Rabies immunization for dogs and cats over 6 months old, not previously immunized, and those with a (2017) rabies tag must be immunized. The vaccine provided at Nashoba Clinics is effective for three years for dogs and cats over one (1) year of age and currently immunized. Dogs and cats between the ages of 6 and 12 months and those who have let their immunization lapse must receive a booster within one year of the initial inoculation. They are then protected for three years. The charge per immunization is $15. All pet owners must present, to participating veterinarian, proof of current vaccination to receive a three-year rabies vaccination. Cats must be brought in cages or closed boxes during the last half of any clinic.

Emergency Preparedness Care Packages: for Berlin seniors. The Berlin Council on Aging is putting together care packages, including nonperishable food, water bottles, batteries and flashlights, hygienic supplies, blankets, first aid kits and non-skid socks. For information, contact Emily Thompson at Emac4787@hotmail.com, or call the council at (978) 838-2750.

Cardio Fusion: 8:30-9:30 a.m. Mondays; 1870 Town Hall, 12 Woodward Ave. Drop-in fee, $15. This high-energy class blends plyometric cardio circuits, free weights and core-sculpting moves. Bring a mat, a pair of 5 pound dumbbells and water. For information, contact Sabrina Tavalone at (978) 337-8580 or stavalone@comcast.net.

Mat Pilates: 7-8 p.m. Tuesdays, 1870 Town Hall, 12 Woodward Ave. Drop-in fee, $15. For information, call Sabrina Tavalone at (978) 337-8580 or email stavalone@comcast.net. This class requires a thick yoga or Pilates mat, water, and a yoga strap if you have one. Work the body through a series of core exercises executed both standing and on the mat. No experience necessary.

Structural Yoga: Tuesdays, 10-11:15 a.m.; 1870 Town Hall, 12 Woodward Ave. Free, donations requested. Stretch the front body and strengthen the back. For information, contact Pat Lebau at (508) 393-5581 or patricialebau@gmail.com.

Barre Body Shaping: 8:30-9:30 a.m. Fridays, 1870 Town Hall, 12 Woodward Ave. Drop-in fee, $15. This body-shaping class is designed to strengthen the entire body with compound movements using free weights, bands, balls and Pilates. Circuits using chairs as a personal ballet barre make the workout fun while improving balance. Bring a mat and water. For information, contact Sabrina Tavalone at (978) 337-8580 or stavalone@comcast.net.

Many Hands Thrift Shoppe: First Parish Church of Berlin, 24 Central St., Route 62. Cash only. Donation drop-off and hours, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays, noon-8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. the first and third Saturday of the month.

Special Education Services Child Find: is an effort to identify and provide services to Berlin and Boylston children with special education needs. Direct written inquires to Karen Molnar, director of Pupil Personnel Services, Berlin and Boylston Public Schools, 215 Main St., Boylston, MA 01505, or call (508) 869-2837, ext. 1106. The Berlin and Boylston Public School Systems invite parents of public and private school-age children, ages 3-21, to contact the schools' special education office for information regarding the special education screening referral process, eligibility criteria for special education and special education services.

BOLTON

Bolton Access TV: March 8 to 14: At 8 p.m. nightly, watch the Agricultural Lands Workshop. The workshop, held in Bolton by the Conservation Commission, discussed soil health and planning for the future. At 10 p.m., watch the Concord Band Winter Concert, led by composer and conductor Andrew Boysen. You can watch Bolton Access TV anytime only at boltonaccess.tv, click the "watch" tab.

Dollars for Scholars: meetings, Monday, March 9 and April 13, 7 p.m.; media center at Nashoba Regional High School. The organization that provides scholarships to Nashoba seniors needs volunteers to continue. Currently seeking treasurer, awards chairperson and committee members, members-at-large and scholarship readers. For information, see the Facebook page or http://www.nashobaregional.dollarsforscholars.org. Without more volunteers, the committee may not be able to award scholarships in the future.

Nashoba Baseball Clinic: Saturday, March 14 (snow date, March 15), Nashoba Regional High School, Route 117. Two sessions available, sign up for one or both: 9 a.m.-noon or 1-4 p.m. Registration a half hour early if not preregistered. Age groups: 5-7; 8-10; 11-13. Goal is to help development of young players. Staff includes Chuck Schoolcraft, Jim Rivella, Don Martin and Charlie Tinschert, from the Nashoba baseball squad, and a certified athletic trainer. Cost is $40 for one session and $65 for both if pre-registered (includes T-shirt; or $45 and $70 day of clinic (cannot guarantee a spot if not pre-registered). Drinks will be available for purchase or bring your own. Bring your own lunch if attending both sessions. For information, contact Schoolcraft at (508) 561-4268 or cschoolcraft@nrsd.net.

Tuesday Connections: March 17, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bolton Senior Center, 600 Main St., hosted by the Friends of Bolton Seniors. Irish Step Dancing with the Beirne Family celebrating St. Patricks Day. An Irish themed lunch of shepherds pie will be served after the program. For information, contact Mary at (978) 779-5145.

'Hello Dolly!': Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21, 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 22, 2 p.m.; Nashoba Regional High School auditorium, 12 Green Road. Tickets will be available for pre-sale through the Nashoba Drama website, http://www.nashobadrama.com; $14 general admission; $10 students and seniors.

Mental Health First Aid Training: Saturday, March 21, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Nashoba Regional High School Media Center. Snow date, Saturday, April 4. Cost is $20 per person. After the training, person will be able to identify when a young person might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem, and connect with appropriate support and resources. For information or to register, check under Important Updates on the district website (www.nrsd.net) or contact instructors Katie Abruzzese and Diana Durr at MentalHealthFirstAid@nrsd.net.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference: The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley seeks qualified candidates to apply for this years conference, June 26 28 at Fitchburg State University. The program is designed to challenge participants to use and improve their leadership skills. There is no charge to students who participate. The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley will sponsor four students at this years conference. Applications are due March 31 and are available from http://www.nashobarotary.org. For information, contact Robert Johnson at johnson@itesafety.com or (978) 875-3143.

Financial Reality Fair: Wednesday, April 8, 7-11:30 a.m.; Nashoba Regional High School. The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley will host the fair for sophomores to learn financial literacy. Volunteers needed; contact info@nashobarotary.org or (978) 627-4135 to sign up.

Library Programs: Bolton Public Library, 738 Main St. For information or to register, visit http://www.boltonpubliclibrary.org/calendar or call (978) 779-2839. Tail Waggin' Tutors, first and third Thursdays of the month, 4-5 p.m. Practice your reading by reading to Pippin, a basset hound certified by Therapy Dogs International. Register for your 15-minute reading session.

Bolton Community Garden: registration open for the 2020 growing season. Full or half plots available. All skill levels; organic. All who work or live in Bolton invited. Grow your own food, flowers or herbs. Groups, troops or clubs welcome. Go to http://www.BoltonLocal.org for more information and application, or all Lynn at (978) 779-6225 or email ldischler@comcast.net.

Nashoba Symphonic Band Concerts: Nashoba Regional High School Auditorium, 12 Green Road. Under the direction of David W. Bailey. Free. Public is welcome. Italian Classics, Sunday, May 3. Spanish Flair Concert, Thursday, June 11. The final concert will feature castanets, student soloists and highlights from "Man of la Mancha. For information, visit http://www.nashobamusic.com.

Tom Denney Nature Camp: Registration open at tdnc.boltonconservationtrust.org. The nonprofit camp is for students entering kindergarten through high school. There are five weekly sessions at Bolton's Bowers Springs conservation area. There are no residency requirements. See the website for details: tdnc.boltonconservationtrust.org.

Bolton Council on Aging Activities: at the senior center unless noted. To register or for information, call or email Heather at (978) 779-3314 or hgoodsell@townofbolton.com: Senior Art Class, Thursdays, 1-3 p.m.; Houghton Building. Instructor is Ellen Caless; cost for two-hour session is $6. Call to sign up. Gentle Yoga, Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m., for all levels, in a chair or standing; $3 per class. TaijiFit Class, Thursdays, 10-10:45 a.m.; Bolton Public Library. TaijiFit incorporates Tai Chi, strength, balance and stretching; $3 per class.

Discover and Learn Playgroups: forming Mondays, 9-10:30 a.m., in the Emerson wing of the Florence Sawyer School, hosted by the Nashoba Regional School District's Community Partnership for Children. Register by Jan. 17. Email edumas@nrsd.net for registration links.

Donations Needed: for the senior fuel assistance program. Seniors 60 and older who meet financial criteria can be approved to receive 100 free gallons of heating oil. The town needs donations to keep this program operating. Send donations to Ninotchka Rogers, accountant, Town Hall, 663 Main St., Bolton, MA 01740. Make checks payable to The Town of Bolton. For information, contact Heather Goodsell, outreach coordinator at the Bolton Council On Aging, at (978) 779-3314 or hgoodsell@townofbolton.com.

Registration: is open for free weekly parent-child playgroups for residents. Only 15 children per location, priority to new applicants. Ages 2 to 5. Registration required. Email edumas@nrsd.net to request a link to register online. Offered by the Nashoba Community Partnership for Children.

Ongoing Library Programs: Bolton Public Library, 738 Main St. For information or to register, visit http://www.boltonpubliclibrary.org/calendar or call (978) 779-2839. Rhythm Reads music and movement program for ages 2 and older every Tuesday; session 1 is 10:30-11 a.m., session 2 is 11:15-11:45 a.m. This is a drop-in program, but space is limited. Collect an entry ticket from the front desk before the start of the program. Storytime and Craft, 10:30-11 a.m. Thursdays. Themed stories and crafts. Age 2 and older. Babies, Books and Buddies, Session 1: 10:30-11 a.m. Session 2: 11:15-11:45 a.m. first and third Friday of every month. Come enjoy stories, action rhymes, songs and social play. Infant to age 2. LEGO Club, third Wednesday of every month, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Structures will be displayed in the Children's Department all month. For ages 5-12 (caregivers must remain in library).

Disposal of Bulk Waste: Bolton Transfer Station and Recycling Center, 95 Forbush Mill Road. Regulations set two fees for disposal of bulk waste: $30 for a full trunk load, $100 for a full pickup truck load. For information, visit https://www.townofbolton.com/transfer-station-recycling-center or call (978)779-6402.

Health and Wellness Classes: Bolton Senior Center, 600 Main St. For information, call (978) 779-3314. Gentle Yoga, 9:30-10:15 a.m. Wednesdays. Mats provided if you dont have one. This class can be adapted to all skill levels. Bamboo Fusion, with Kristin Higgins, 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Bolton Public Library. This intergenerational class is open to all adults. Under 60 is $30 for the whole session, $7 drop in; 60-plus is $20, drop in $5. Bamboo Fusion incorporates strength and balance, tai chi and yoga.

Preschool Screenings: The Nashoba Regional School district is scheduling developmental screenings for all children 3 and 4 years old. This screening is a brief assessment of developmental milestones. Call Judy Lipka at (978) 779-2821, ext. 5334, to schedule an appointment at the Emerson Site, 50 Mechanic St.

The Nashoba Regional School District: needs help to identify all children in the community, ages 3 to 21, who may require special education or 504 services. If you are aware of a child who has or may have an educational disability and who may not be known to the district, call the Special Education Department at (978) 779-0539, ext. 3013.

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Super Tuesday live updates: Some report issues with new electronic tablets at the polls – VC Star

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A previous version of this video displayed an incorrect date in a graphic. It was 1988 when 14 Southern and border states held their primaries. USA TODAY

Close to 400 polling placesopened at 7 a.m. March 3 in Ventura County for voters pick their choices in Tuesday's primary election. Polls close at 8 p.m.

While presidential primaries may garner much of the attention nationally this Super Tuesday, county, state and congressional races have some crowded fields and some contentious races.

Want to read up on the candidates? Go to vcstar.com/elections.

12:20 p.m.

At a Ventura museum, 122 people had voted in person by mid-day. None had used the two new voting machines at the Dudley House.

They should just have one voting machine because no one uses it, then they could sell them for the money, said poll worker John Bennett.

According to Bennett, poll workers dont ask voters whether they want to use an electronic machine or paper ballot. Instead, voters just walk up to whichever they want to use.

We dont even know if the voters know that theyre here, he said.

Alan Westheimer voted at Dudley House using a paper ballot.It was very easy, they didnt offer the machines and it looks complicated, he said.

Westheimer says the Democratic presidential primary was the main draw for voting, and he supported Joe Biden.

Im just thinking about who the best candidate is who could replace our current president, he said.

11:45 a.m.

The count had reached 97 voters who had filled out ballots at the Power House Church of the Nazarene on Venturas Seaward Avenue.

That may not seem like a big number but poll workers pointed at three lettersthat dominated the polling places registry of voters: VBM.Vote by mail.

They said those votes will pump up the turnout.

A polling place at Church of the Nazarene on Seaward Avenue in Ventura.(Photo: Arlene Martinez/The Star)

11:35 a.m.

About40 people had voted in person and an additional 30 had dropped off mail-in ballots at Ventura Trinity Lutheran Church.

With aquickly-changing field of presidential candidates, some came into surrender their mail-in ballots and vote provisionally. A half-dozen or so said they had filled in the mail-in ballots to drop off, but then the candidate they chose dropped out,according to pollworker Jean McPherson.

Voting at the polls, Jim Gardener, a 72-year-old retiree, saidhe always votes regardless of whats on the ballot, but is particularly interested in the presidential primary and county supervisor race this year.

He initially liked Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg for president, and after they dropped out he was torn between Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden.

Its not a question of who I prefer the most, its who could beat Trump, he said. Im a capitalist and a Democrat, not a socialist, so its been a toss-up between Bloomberg and Biden."

However, he says Klobuchar and Buttigiegs recent endorsement of Biden was a tipping point, so hes voting for Biden.

11:30 a.m.

In Ventura, Kathy Kircher and Lisa Fox said they donated their time as poll workers Tuesday to raise money for Assistance League of Ventura County. As if 11:30 a.m., Grace Lutheran Church saw a total of 45 voters, according to site supervisor Judy Owen.

Maru Schweizer (left), 43, signs in to her polling place at Grace Lutheran Church in Ventura on Tuesday with the help of Kathy Kircher and Lisa Fox.(Photo: Anthony Plascencia/The Star)

10:30 a.m.

Trevor Quirk, running as a write-in candidate in the county Supervisors District 1,was joined by a group of supporters on a Ventura street corner near the Ventura County Government Center. They held signs urging passers-by to vote for him in the race against Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere and hardwareclerk Jeff Ketelsen.

We chose this spot because its the highest volume place that we could think of," Quirk said. "We just want to get the word out, talk to people, spread the love.

9:45 a.m.

A polling place at the Sleep Shoppe in Newbury Park reported a few issues Tuesday morning as people cast votes and dropped off absentee ballots.

One woman had brought her two children, 12 and 14, with her to vote, because they were getting curious about the process. She had gotten a vote-by-mail ballot and was surprised by it because she hadn't registered as an absentee voter, she said. Shedecided to just show up at her normal polling place on Tuesday.

When she got there around 8 a.m., however, there was some confusion about whether she could vote there. She called the Elections Division and was told because there were too few voters in her area,it had been converted into a vote-by-mail precinct, she said.

She was able to vote provisionally at the polling place, but ultimately she decided to fill out her mail-in ballot instead and drop it off.

The poll workers also had issues initially starting the electronic tablets and said they had one voter come in who believed he was registered as Republican but was on the roster as "no party preference." In the presidential primary, no party preference voters had to re-register as Republican to get the right ballot.

The voter was told he could vote provisionally and receive a Republican ballot, but he didn't believe he should have been registered as "no party preference."

9:15 a.m.

Elections Division operations manager Martin Cobos said the electronic tablets are now up and working in Simi Valley. It's a new system and there was some confusion about the code that was needed, he said.

With a quick call, the office was able to relay the correct code and the tablets were operational, according to Cobos. It happened at other locations early Tuesday.

Kendall Mattina, 70, signs in to vote with help from Brenda Sanchez at Fire Station 6 in Oxnard on Tuesday.(Photo: Anthony Plascencia/The Star)

8:15 a.m.

Brandon Jove, 33, was more interested in down-ballot races than the presidential primary, because he assumes Bernie Sanders will win the California Democratic Primary.

I feel like I can be the most influential through the lower-level elections and judges, since I have a feeling for how the presidential primary is going to go, he said, when he came in to drop off his mail-in ballot in Simi Valley.

Mary Racine also dropped off her ballot at the Reagan Library. The 58-year-old Simi Valley resident changed her registration to Democratic this year after 40 years as a Republican.

She was most interested in the presidential primary,even though her top candidate, Pete Buttigieg, dropped out this week.

I was initially for Pete, but my goal is to vote for whoever can beat Trump. Im most interested in the presidential primary, theres not much else on there this year, she said.

Racine says dropping off her mail-in ballot, instead of mailing it, gave her peace of mind.

I mostly vote absentee so I can sit at home and do my research, but I usually finish it too close to Election Day to mail it, she said. I like to make sure it is counted on time and like to see it go into the box.

Mother-daughter duo Lynn and Madison Robnett were surprised to vote on paper ballots, as theyd heard about new electronic machines.

They didnt offer us the machine, they just handed us a paper ballot, said mom Lynn. There was no machine to read our paper ballot they just put it into the bin. I hope that they know what theyre doing and whoever counts them by hand knows what theyre doing... to be honest I dont have the utmost confidence in the situation.

8 a.m.

Anhour after the polls opened at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, about 35 people had voted across the three precincts that use the polling place. A few additional people came to drop off their mail in ballots, according to pollworker Peggy Sadler.

Its slow right now because so many people vote by mail now that its not as busy as past years, we used to have a line out the door in the morning with people lined up to vote early before work," saidSadler, a library docent at the library who has worked at the polling place for over a decade.

Each precinct had around seventraditional ballot stations and two with electronic equipment a big tablet but pollworker John Biggs said they hadn't been able to log into the electronic stations.

Pollworkers have a PIN number to access the electronic ballots, but Biggs says his number hadnt been working so he was trying to reach county election officials.

Right now if someone came in and was adamant that they wanted to use the touchscreen, I wouldnt be able to get the touchscreen to turn on," he said.

So far, however,no voters had requested to use the new electronic ballots.

More than 70 percent of the countys registered voters are registered to vote by mail. Tens of thousands already had returned ballots by late last week.

At the polls, expect to see some changes, including some new equipment inside the voting booth.

Polling places also can change. Election officials recommended voters confirm the location either by checking their sample ballot, visiting the website or calling 805-654-2664.

One other big change this year: Voters can register to vote at polling places.

Locally, officials recommend that only as a last resort to prevent delays. They urged anyone wanting to do so to head over to the Elections Division at the Ventura County Government Center, 800 S. Victoria Ave. in Ventura. The office will have more staff on hand than at individual polling places.

2020 election: Special interests out-spending candidates in county supervisors' campaign

California is one of 14 states holding a presidential primary on Super Tuesday 2020(Photo: JUAN CARLO/THE STAR)

A tablet and a printer will be available for those who want to select their candidates using the touch screen. They then will print their ballot and drop it in the box.

Want to skip the tablet? People also can choose to vote using just the traditional paper ballots.

In some cases,all the candidates in a race will not show up on the same screen, election officials have said. That happens in races witha large number of candidates or depending on the font size selected by the voter.

In those cases, the word "scroll" will follow the last candidate name on the screen. People can scroll down to see additional names. The voter also can click next to move to the next race at any time.

Election 2020: Housing, transportation are key issues in 37th Assembly District race

If problems arise that poll workers cannot resolve, officials said to contact the Elections Division call center at 805-654-2664.

The Democratic, American Independentand Libertarian parties are allowing people registered as no party preferenceto vote for a presidential candidate. But they will need to request a ballot from one of those parties to do so.

Those no party preference voters who want to cast a ballot in the Republican, Green or Peace and Freedom parties presidential primary had to re-register for that party to do so.

More than two dozen voters cast the ballots on Feb. 22, 2020, at the election office in the Ventura County Government Center in Ventura. The office was open on a Saturday for early voting in the primary.(Photo: JUAN CARLO/THE STAR)

Polling place results may take longer to be released Tuesday nightbecause the county has moved to an all-paper voting system, local officials said.

Votes previously were tallied at polling places, but ballots now will be processed and counted at the Elections Division in Ventura.

The first round of votes are expected to released shortly after 8 p.m. on election night. Those will be vote-by-mail ballots returned before March 3.

Cheri Carlson covers the environment for the Ventura County Star. Reach her at cheri.carlson@vcstar.com or 805-437-0260.

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Super Tuesday live updates: Some report issues with new electronic tablets at the polls - VC Star

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Library: Enjoy the art of Cora Pirvu at the library – SW News Media

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Enjoy the artwork of Cora Pirvu on display at the Chanhassen Library in March and April.

Pirvu studied art starting in fifth grade and is a dedicated artist defined by pure passion. She has a passion for art, new product, industrial design, art history, oil and acrylic painting.

Her techniques include oil on wood board and acrylic on wood board. She also works on acrylic on canvas and oil on canvas, all in the genre of abstract art and landscape.

If you like harrowing and gut-wrenching memoir Educated by Tara Westover, then try:

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. A remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannettes brilliant and charismatic father captured his childrens imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didnt want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner. The 39th of her fathers 42 children, Ruth Wariner grew up in polygamist family on a farm in rural Mexico. In this memoir, Wariner offers an unforgettable portrait of the violence that threatened her community, her familys fierce sense of loyalty, and her own unshakeable belief in the possibility of a better life. An intimate, gripping tale of triumph and courage, The Sound of Gravel is a heart-stopping true story.

You Dont Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie. Family relationships are never simple. But Sherman Alexies bond with his mother Lillian was more complex than most. She plunged her family into chaos with a drinking habit but shed her addiction when it was on the brink of costing her everything. She survived a violent past but created an elaborate facade to hide the truth. She selflessly cared for strangers, but was often incapable of showering her children with the affection that they so desperately craved. She wanted a better life for her son, but it was only by leaving her behind that he could hope to achieve it. Its these contradictions that made Lillian Alexie a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated and very human woman. When she passed away, the incongruities that defined his mother shook Sherman and his remembrance of her. Grappling with the haunting ghosts of the past in the wake of loss, he responded the only way he knew how: he wrote.

Tails for Reading: 10:30 to noon, Saturday, March 7. Preschool and elementary school-age children are welcome to read books aloud to specially trained therapy dogs to encourage confidence in reading. Presented by North Star Therapy Animals. Children read for a 15-minute session on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration required.

Great Decisions: The Philippines and the U.S.: 1 to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, March 7. The Philippines has had a special relationship with the United States since the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States after the Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th century. However, since the election of Rodrigo Duterte, the country has pivoted more toward China, and away from the U.S. Duterte has also launched a large-scale war on drugs that many criticize for its brutality. What does the future hold for U.S, relations with the Philippines? Speaker: Kannan Solayappan.

Music in March: Vicky Emerson: 2 to 3 p.m., Sunday, March 8. Singer/songwriter, Vicky Emerson, has been heralded by the Star Tribune for her gorgeous, dusky voice and songwriting chops on previous releases, but her new album, Steady Heart, which she self-produced, firmly established her as an essential, strong female voice in Americana music. She is based in Minneapolis and continues to tour on a national basis. This project is funded with money from Minnesotas Art and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Photo Storage: 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 10. Have photos taking up your phones memory? Looking for an alternative option for storing your pictures? Come learn about several digital storage options for your photos and find what is the best for you zip drive, CD, hard drive, social media, cloud?

Teen Advisory Board: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 10. For ages 13-18, no registration required. Join other teens that have an interest in library programs and more. We meet monthly to help plan programs, activities and volunteer as Teen Advisors. We also enjoy some snacks and discussion about books and more.

Carver Scott Master Gardeners presents Lawn Care: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 12. Are you looking for that lush green lawn? Are you interested in a lawn with less work? Are you new to lawn care and want some basics? Come join us for a class devoted to lawn care. Bring your questions and get help to answer them. Let your lawn be the green of dreams.

Music in March: Clark Machtemes and Traveled Ground: 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 7. Join us for an afternoon of a unique combination of folk, blues, roots rock and Americana style music with this Waconia-based acoustic trio. This project was funded (in part or in whole) with money from Minnesotas Art and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Stories Sing! with the Minnesota Opera: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 10. For ages toddler and up. A professional opera singer gives a new perspective on reading by using tools from the stage to inspire and help children engage with books. Children will make a craft and use them to perform pieces taught in the story. This project was funded (in part or in whole) with money from Minnesotas Art and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Sing, Play, Learn with MacPhail: 10:30 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 11. For ages birth to Pre-K. Join MacPhail Center for Musics early childhood music specialists as we explore the magic of music and play. Through hands-on musical play activities, families will experience musics impact on learning and reading readiness skills. Together we will sing, rhyme, read move and create! Registration required. This project was funded (in part or in whole) with money from Minnesotas Art and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Lapsit Storytime: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Chanhassen. For ages birth to 18 months. Babies and their caregivers share quality time in a 20-minute session designed to encourage language development through board books and movement activities, followed by time for visiting and play.

Family Storytimes: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Chanhassen; 6:30 p.m. Monday and 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Chaska; 10:30 a.m. Monday, Victoria. For all ages, with a focus on children age 2 and up. Children, parents and their caregivers are invited to share 30 minutes of singing, playing, reading, writing, and talking that encourages the development of early literacy skills.

Toddler Storytimes: 10:30 a.m., Monday, Chanhassen; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Chaska; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Victoria. Toddlers and their caregivers are welcome to join us for 20 minutes of action-packed fun with stories, rhymes, fingerplays, and musical movement for this age group. Come shake your sillies out with us. For ages 18-36 months.

Patrick Jones is branch manager for the Chanhassen and Victoria libraries. He can be reached at pjones@co.carver.mn.us.

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Library: Enjoy the art of Cora Pirvu at the library - SW News Media

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RED BANK: CENSUS HELP AT THE LIBRARY – redbankgreen

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Ready for the 2020 Census? The Red Bank Public Library can help you respond.

Starting on March 12 through March 20, U.S. households will be asked to respond online or by phone to an invitation issued by the U.S. Census Bureau. This count fulfills a constitution mandate that requires a census of the population be completed every 10 years the results of which establish congressional districts for representation in Congress.

In addition, Response is important because statistics from the census are used in distributing where hundreds of billions in funding for school lunches, hospitals, roads and much more. The invitations will remind respondents to include everyone living in the household, whether they are related or not. This includes young children. Your response will impact communities for the next decade, said Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham.

The Red Bank Public Library is ready to assist by providing Internet access for community members to respond online. In fact, the Library was one of only two in the state to receive a $2,000 mini grant from ALA to support its efforts to gather a complete count of the community.

Watch your mailbox and come to the Red Bank Public Library with your Census invitation which will include instructions on how to respond to the 2020 Census online or by phone.

The library is located at 84 West Front Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701. Hours are: Monday: 10am 5pm Tuesday: 10am 9pm Wednesday: 1pm 9pm Thursday: 1pm 9pm Friday: 10am 5pm Saturday: 10am 5pm Sunday: Closed

The mission of The Red Bank Public Library is to provide materials, information, technology and cultural opportunities to enrich, empower, educate and entertain people of all ages and backgrounds.

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RED BANK: CENSUS HELP AT THE LIBRARY - redbankgreen

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February 27th, 2020 at 12:47 am

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At the Library: Clifford and more: Library is more than books – Yakima Herald-Republic

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Public libraries have long since ceased to be just a collection of books. If you have visited us recently, you will have noticed that we also offer videos (DVDs), music (CDs), audiobooks, electronic books, magazines, and digital tablets for the little ones. All of these are within your reach, and all for free.

But today I have not come to tell you about the excellent collection of materials at your disposal. I would like to tell you about all the activities that Yakima Valley Libraries has to offer. Did you know that Yakima Valley Libraries offered more than 1,700 programs to thousands of children, teenagers and adults last year? Surprising, right?

Among the wide variety of free events available right now, we can highlight storytime, visits by writers and relevant people from the community, debates about social and economic news, talks about grants or scholarships, activities with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), 3D printing workshops (three dimensions), reading contests, reading clubs in Spanish (Tertulia) and English (Book Clubs), quilt exhibits, and genealogy programs to assist in the search for historical or family information.

Yakima Valley Libraries also maintains a special collection of original historical documents about the Yakima Valley. We have early maps, journals from the Oregon Trail, a collection of historical newspapers, and an extensive collection of area school yearbooks.

Our librarians already have prepared a series of events that we are sure will be to your liking. We will begin with Storytime Tour, a fun program where Clifford, the big red dog, will read stories about his adventures with Emily Elizabeth and his canine friends Cleo, T-Bone and Mac. Each stop of the Storytime Tour will include stories, songs, games, crafts and, as a final surprise, a Clifford stage appearance. In addition to stories and crafts, children and their families will receive a free photo with Clifford. This is definitely one of our favorite events, and we are sure it will be for you, too.

Of course, we also have events and activities for adults. Everything is ready for you to enjoy a virtual reality (VR) experience. The virtual reality experience programs are designed for adults and teens 13 and older. If you are interested in participating in any of these programs, you can do so in these libraries: Toppenish (March 5-6), Moxee (March 10) and Buena (March 12).

Program participants will have the opportunity to experience a 360-degree 3D simulation. Each Oculus device offers a variety of virtual reality options. You can take a tour of the White House, travel through the human circulatory system, or visit the International Space Station. Sessions last 15 minutes, and participants must register in advance. Teenagers (13-17) must present a permission form signed by their parent or legal guardian. Call us at 509-452-8541 to get more information about this program.

Finally, I would like to remind you that the fun at the Yakima Valley Libraries does not end when our doors close. We are always open, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, at our web address (www.yvl.org). Here you can access thousands of e-books, watch movies online on your smart TV or cellphone, read digital magazines, learn English on your computer or phone, and much more. Welcome to your Yakima Valley Libraries! We hope to see you soon.

Francisco Garcia-Ortiz is public library services director for Yakima Valley Libraries. Learn more at http://www.yvl.org.

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At the Library: Clifford and more: Library is more than books - Yakima Herald-Republic

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February 27th, 2020 at 12:47 am

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E-ZPass outreach teams coming to the library – MyEasternShoreMD

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SANDY POINT With all-electronic (cashless) tolling coming to the Bay Bridge this summer, the Maryland Transportation Authoritys E-ZPass Maryland Outreach Team is hosting events to provide free E-ZPass transponders and sign up new customers.

Customers can learn more about all-electronic tolling, what it means for motorists and its benefits and outreach four outreach events at the Queen Annes County Library in March. The first will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. March 3 at the Centreville library. Other sessions are set for 1 to 3 p.m. March 9 and 2 to 4 p.m. at the Kent Island branch, with the final session set for 10 a.m. to noon March 26 back at the Centreville branch.

With all-electronic tolling, cash is not accepted as payment. Drivers do not have to stop to pay tolls, as overhead gantries collect tolls electronically by E-ZPass or video tolling.

Commuters with an E-ZPass discount plan pay as little as $1.40 daily to cross the bridge, compared to $6 for video tolling. Transponders are free, and there is no monthly fee for Maryland residents.

Pre-loaded E-ZPass On the Go transponders are available at these events with a credit or debit card. Customers can use cash to open an account by visiting E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Centers at MDTA toll facilities.

The benefits of all-electronic tolling include less idling time for better fuel efficiency and reduced vehicle emissions, decreased congestion, increased driver safety and a safer work environment for employees, according to MDTA.

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E-ZPass outreach teams coming to the library - MyEasternShoreMD

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Letter: North Hampton Library- Vote yes on Article 9 – Seacoastonline.com

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To the Editor:

In the 19th century, the nations libraries were more about warehousing and protecting materials than on circulation, making knowledge and information accessible to the elite few. At the end of the century, that model changed based on a vision by Andrew Carnegie to make information such as books, magazines, newspapers easily available to all. He dedicated over 65 million dollars of his money to communities to build public libraries. This vision significantly contributed to the increased general knowledge of all our citizens.

Through the 20th century, the libraries' mission continued to grow to include children's areas, book sharing with other libraries, the Dewey Decimal System to name a few.

Today, due to a digitized world, the library is no longer just about reading materials. It has evolved into a cultural and community center where many services are provided. Our library in North Hampton offers lecture presentations, videos, WIFI computer access, storytimes, book clubs, knitting and crafting groups, movie of the week, tween time, teen time for all to enjoy.

Some would say, with the advent of home computers, IPads, and other electronic devices, a library is not necessary. After all, information is available on Wikipedia and many other sources. The short answer is we dont need libraries under the 20th century model.

I submit that libraries are more important today than ever. It is a place where the community meets for social and learned interactions. Access to high-speed internet services, exposure to a world of knowledge, downloadable eBooks, audio eBooks, videos and music, a mobile app to take it with you, 3D printing (so you can hold what you have imagined), virtual reality, technology applied to a learning environment, innovative learning, creative learning (where you can unleash your imaginings), continued summer reading programs, coordinated learning with the local school system, and a librarian to help you use all these services are and can be available for all. These programs, offerings, and environment are what my family enjoy at our library and cultural center in North Hampton.

On March 10, the citizens of North Hampton have an opportunity to vote for a brand new 21st-century library on the Homestead property. Remember, the library is 6 percent of the town budget. But it is used by more than 1,600 people monthly. Please vote yes on Article 9.

Paul Marquis

North Hampton

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