Calling all Makers & Crafters!

The Chester County Library is accepting vendor applications for our 10th Annual Holiday Craft Show being held on Saturday, December 11, 2021 from 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

The show provides artists and craftspeople with the unique opportunity of exposing their work to hundreds of people while taking part in an exciting, community-driven atmosphere. Our shows highlights the creative spirit of the fine artist and craftsperson, with an exceptional selection of maker-designed goods. Every participant comes away with a new base of loyal customers. Eager patrons are waiting to embrace your work.

The Chester County Library Annual Holiday Craft Show is a great opportunity to showcase and sell your work. Apply now to be considered for this festive shopping experience at: https://chestercountylibrary.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2021-application.pdf

EMPOWER YOURSELF TO ACCESS MORE! SIGN UP FOR A LIBRARY CARD TODAY.

Library Card Sign-Up Month reminds students, families a library card is one of the most cost-effective back-to-school supplies available! IT’S FREE!

This September, Chester County Library and Henrietta Hankin Branch are joining the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide for Library Card Sign-Up Month. Whether you use a library card online or in person, it gives students the free tools to succeed in school and provides people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunities to pursue their dreams and be their best selves. From family Story Times and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programs to makerspaces and virtual homework help, libraries play an essential role in supporting the value of lifelong learning through education. Libraries offer free and fun educational resources and activities that bring families and communities together. Libraries have moved far beyond just being book repositories. They’re agile institutions serving real-life needs.

Did you know you can borrow family museum passes from the library for free? Visit an area zoo, museum, or garden – you just need a Chester County Library System card!

Taking a vacation, doing virtual school at home, or doing business on the road? The Chester County Library and Henrietta Hankin Branch Library also rent mobile hotspots which allow library cardholders to access unlimited, high-speed Internet service anywhere a T-Mobile signal can be received. Connect up to ten devices at a time, including desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.

With a library card, the possibilities are endless. Borrow free books, CDS, DVDs, and download eBooks, and e-Audiobooks right from the comfort of your own home! We even have a large selection of videogames available to rent.

Throughout the school year, public librarians and library staff will assist parents and caregivers with saving hundreds of dollars on educational resources and services for students of all ages. A library card is one of the most cost-effective back-to-school supplies available!

For younger children, we offer early literacy resources to help them learn to read and encourage school readiness, and for teens and older students, we provide access to technology and digital tools (such as 3D printers, button makers, scanners, and audio-visual recording and editing equipment) as well as GED resources.

This year, Marley Dias, author, executive producer, and founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks is taking on a new role as honorary chair of Library Card Sign-Up Month. As honorary chair, Dias will remind the public that signing up for a library card provides access to technology, multimedia content, and educational programming that transforms lives and strengthens communities. “A library card is the ticket you need to travel across the globe. It allows you to experience stories that can connect you to diverse and empowering experiences,” said Dias.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for a library card. For more information about how to sign up for a library card, please visit Chester County Library or Henrietta Hankin Branch Library in person or online at chescolibraries.org.

Volunteer Tutors Needed to Teach Adult Learners

The Chester County OIC Adult Tutoring Program has a need for volunteers who are willing to work with adult students seeking to learn English as a second language, improve math skills, study for the GED exam, work on basic literacy, or study for the citizenship exam. A 4-year college degree is required to tutor, but a teaching background is not needed. Tutor training is offered online by the PA Department of Education. Tutors are asked to meet with their student 3 hours per week, usually done in two, 90 minute sessions. Tutor pairs are working virtually right now via Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp or other platforms. Our program is based in the Chester County Library, in Exton, with whom we have a long partnership.

The Adult Tutoring office encourages anyone who is interested in volunteering to contact our office at 610-344-4013 or 610-344-4014 or send an email to drikess@cc-oic.org. The Chester County OIC website is ccoic.org. 

First Day of School Book Suggestions

‘Back to School’ time can be a very exciting time for young children with school supply shopping, new clothes and the anticipation of making new friends and moving up a grade level. But it can also leave kids overwhelmed, anxious and uncertain. Our Youth Services Librarians are here to help with easing into the transition for kids and their families by curating a book list of “First Day at School” titles. This list includes books that can be found in our collection that staff have determined to be particularly appropriate for a specific age level, grade, or topic.

Happy Reading and have a great school year!

Free DVD and Audiobook Checkouts Starting Sunday, August 1st!

Beginning in the month of August, the Chester County Library and Henrietta Hankin Branch will no longer be charging rental fees for certain items in our Multimedia collection.

All of the DVDs in our collection can be checked out for free starting Sunday, August 1st, which means you can watch as many of your favorite movies and shows as you want without spending a cent! As before, movies are available for one-week loans, TV series for two-week loans. And even our most popular new releases, a three-day loan, are totally free! But it’s not just movies — this change applies to many other items in the collection as well.

Our Binge Boxes are mini movie collections, usually between 4 to 6 DVDs, set around a theme (see our list of Binge Boxes here!). These are great for vacations, parties, or cozy nights in, and will be available for free one-week loans.

Audiobooks will also be free to check out! These include all of our books on CD as well as our collection of Playaways — small, portable players that you can listen to with headphones or an AUX cord in your car. These are great for long car trips or workouts and, like all of our audiobooks, are available for three-week loans.

Our collection of Great Courses — full-length, in-depth courses taught by award-winning professors; will be free as well to checkout with your library card! They come in both audio and video formats, and can be taken out for a three-week loan. Browse our Great Courses here!

This huge selection of exciting materials will be available at no cost to you — so if there is any part of the collection you’d like to explore, August is the time to start! For any questions concerning this change, please call the Multimedia department at Chester County Library at 610-344-5667 or the Henrietta Hankin Branch at 610-334-4191.

Start Your Market Investigation at the Library!

The Chester County Library has long supported small business owners and entrepreneurs by providing access to top-notch, authoritative information needed to help them succeed. Most of the Chester County Library’s business resources can be accessed from home with a free Library card through the online Business and Career Center.

Sam Bardarik, Business and Career Librarian and SCORE Volunteer, helps her clients find targeted resources for their specific needs. She meets with clients one-on-one to explain the databases, review catalogs and other resources that are important to the clients’ research objectives. “Owners and entrepreneurs are often surprised by the breadth and usefulness of the resources we offer,” says Bardarik.

The Library offers business and technical skill-building opportunities, often in conjunction with community partners like SCORE, to support business planning, social media, marketing, financial stability and more.

The Role of Market Research
Business owners want to deeply understand the competitive environment and target customers prior to making costly, significant product or service decisions. Data-based choices are key to the development of business, marketing and operational strategies before the official launch.

Reference Solutions (formerly ReferenceUSA) is the No. 1 resource used to identify demographics and spending habits of key customers, build competitive profiles, inform marketing strategies, and determine ideal neighborhoods and locations to open a new business. “It’s a massive database that can focus down to the street level,” Bardarik explains. Reference Solutions compiles all that information into easy-to-interpret charts, tables, and graphs which can be incorporated into an entrepreneur’s business plan.

Other databases, like Statista and Gale Business Insights: Essentials, provide powerful search capabilities and are easy to use. Users can spend less time hunting for answers to their questions and more time on their market analysis and action plans.

References and Training
Other courses cover cybersecurity skills and related programming languages such as Python and Linux.

For nonprofit leaders, the Chester County Library provides visitors with free public access to grant maker directories and grant funders with the Funding Information Network, an international network of libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit agencies.

The Library orders books, e-books, and audiobooks on all critical small business topics. Print books and audiobooks can be placed on hold for pickup at any Chester County Library location.Print and digital magazines can be borrowed or accessed with The Flipster app. All the best titles are available: Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Inc., and Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Kiplinger’s and Money.

Most of the Chester County Library’s business resources can be accessed from home with a free Library card through the online Business and Career Center. Stay in touch with Business Center updates on LinkedIn or by signing up for the Business Bulletin newsletter.

SCORE Chester and Delaware Counties is proud to partner with the Chester County Library system, where many local SCORE business workshops were held in-person prior to COVID and are now hosted virtually. Popular topics such as How to Start and Operate a Small Business, Customers and Competitors: Getting the Inside Data and business planning have been featured year after year.

About SCORE
SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer business experts, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. Since 1954, SCORE has provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs nationwide. SCORE Chester and Delaware Counties has been operating since 1985, with 100 dedicated volunteers today who provide confidential mentoring at no charge and offer business seminars, workshops and webinars to benefit the community. SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Olympic Book Suggestions for Kids

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Games are officially here, starting tonight with the Opening Ceremonies and Parade of Nations – taking place just one day shy of the originally scheduled date in 2020. A few sports such as soccer, rowing, archery, and softball have already started competing, and we wish Team USA all of the best!

Children’s books about the Olympics are really helpful when teaching your kids what the games are all about and how important they are when promoting unity and sportsmanship. Here are a few suggestions:
G is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet by Brad Herzog
How to Train with a T.Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals by Michael Phelps
What Are The Summer Olympics? by Gail Herman
Flying High: The Story Of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles by Michelle Meadows
A Picture Book of Jesse Owens by David A. Adler
Long-Armed Ludy and the First Women’s Olympics by Jean L. S. Patrick

Take a Stroll and Read at Exton Park

Since 1985, people in the United States have celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote building strong, vibrant, and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation, and to recognize the more than 160,000 full-time park and recreation professionals — along with hundreds of thousands of part-time and seasonal workers and volunteers — that maintain our country’s local, state and community parks.

Join us in the great outdoors to celebrate Park and Recreation Month at our StoryWalk® in Exton Park, a ½ mile paved walkway surrounding two playgrounds and a picnic area. The StoryWalk® project consists of 20 reading stations, each featuring a page in a children’s storybook, which promotes health and literacy in young children by encouraging exercise and reading. Their are even some fun interactive activities along the way that you can access with your cellphone along the way. The book currently featured is Ruby’s Birds by Mya Thompson and the StoryWalk® is changed twice a year in the spring and fall.

Follow us on our NEW LinkedIn Page

The Chester County Library Business and Career Center helps small business owners and job applicants succeed with top-notch, authoritative information. Our LinkedIn page places free tools, news, and assistance at your fingertips. Follow us for:

  • upcoming library programs (Resume Writing, LinkedIn, Entrepreneurship Panels, and more)
  • new and highlighted library resources (personalized research and resume consultations, Business Plans Handbook, consumer and industry data, current books and magazines, and more)
  • events and offers from local organizations (SCORE, PA CareerLink/United Way Financial Stability Center, chambers, Small Business Development Centers, and more)
  • timely news and articles from big names in business and careers (Harvard Business Review, Philadelphia Business Journal, The Muse, Inc, and more)

For more information, email Sam Bardarik, Business and Career Librarian, at sbardarik@ccls.org or schedule a virtual appointment at https://ccls.libcal.com/appointments/sam.

Share With Pride

Happy Pride Month!‍🏳‍🌈 Here are some book suggestions to celebrate.

1) Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color by Gilbert Baker, memoir of the late activist who designed the original rainbow Pride flag. Baker chronicles his beginnings as a repressed child of the 1950s and closeted war veteran, and his foray into gay liberation activism, which led to the now iconic flag’s creation.

2) We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation provides a rich visual history of LGBTQ pride, from the underground communities and post-Stonewall Pride protests, to AIDS activism and the present generation of activists continuing to fight for their rights and liberties.

3) Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States by Samantha Allen takes readers across numerous, tight-knit LGBTQ communities in the American South. Allen interviews many queer Southerners about their identities and experiences, providing intersections of race, class and religious spirituality often unseen in mainstream perceptions of the community.

4) Everything You Want to Know About Trans (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Brynne Tannehill serves as a primer for anyone curious about the increasingly visible, often misunderstood transgender community. A trans woman herself, Tannehill dispels misconceptions and myths surrounding trans, non-binary and gender-nonconforming people, while also answering questions often considered uncomfortable or difficult.

5) Queer Love in Color by Jamal Jordan is a photo book that provides a rich tapestry of American LGBTQ couples and families across cultures, races, ethnicities and age groups. Jordan includes interviews with each of his subjects, showing the many forms love in the LGBTQ community can take.

6) The Shared Heart: Portraits and Stories Celebrating Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Young People by Adam Mastoon is a candid photo collection illustrating the various experiences of homosexual and bisexual people in their late teens and early twenties. Each of the youth featured in Mastoon’s collection relay their own stories of coming out and self-acceptance of their sexual identities.