Media Drive Extended Through April – Win an iPad Mini!

| April 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

by Jenny Chissus

Minecraft Castle

Minecraft Castle

It all started during one conversation with Tracie about library funding.  What funds our Seldovia Public Library has, through grants and fundraising, and how that money is spent.  An important thing I learned in the conversation, was that there are many folks who check out the DVDs and audiobooks, but that the inventory was very limited.  According to Tracie, the funds available for buying new materials often do not allow for media materials.  So, I wanted to help, and offered to donate a brand new iPad Mini for a media drive!

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 12.05.02 AMMany of us have movies we have only watched once or twice, music CDs or audio books that we no longer listen to, and they are collecting dust and using up space in our shelves, and we’d like to share with others!  This is your chance!  The library has also opened up the media drive to video games!  This, I believe is a real bonus!  First of all, video games aren’t cheap, and secondly, you never know if you are going to enjoy a game until it is played! And secondly – it brings young people into the library!   In Seldovia we don’t have a video/game rental store, so this makes perfect sense that we can offer these items to the community through our public library!

Video Sports GamesPlease take a few moments to dig into your collection, and see what you would like to offer the library in exchange for a ticket for a chance to win the iPad Mini, and a guarantee of supporting the library and adding value to the community options for entertainment and learning!

Also – as you read Tracie’s great commentary on the status of the library, please note that your participation in this media drive is a huge help to our inventory and the appeal of the library so THANK YOU!  Also, there are many things going on at our small library that benefit our whole community, and should you be interested in offering cash donations to our library – that is always welcome!

I also shot a few questions to Tracie, to give you a little more background!  So here we go!

Gazette:  Do you see a lot of interest in media at the library?  If so, what are folks looking for?  What gets checked out?  Audio books, DVDs, video games?  Are you still accepting VHS?
Tracie:  Yes-movies are the #1 item circulated.  Actually, they account for over half the library’s circulation numbers in a year! We aren’t accepting VHS tapes anymore (in general) because that media format has become vastly outdated and we don’t see a high demand for them – it’s why we weeded many of them from the library’s collection years ago to make room for DVDs.   However, on a very limited basis, we will still sometimes accept science, nature, or health oriented VHS tapes (yoga, national geographic, etc.) and we still have some children/family friendly  tapes in our collection.
Item circulation in FY 2013 (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013):
Items in the library collection were checked out a total of 6,064 times (up from 5,542 last year), averaging 19 check-outs per patron. Circulation of library materials were as follows:


Total times checked out



Adult Fiction


Adult Non-Fiction


Alaska Fiction


Alaska Non-Fiction


Large Print


Everybody (picture books)


Junior Fiction


Junior Non-Fiction










Gazette:  You mentioned that your funds often don’t allow for media purchases, why?
Tracie:  Folks are often surprised what a shoe-string budget we operate on. The library relies annually on a Public Library Assistance (PLA) Grant from the Alaska State Library (provided through state funding) to pay for materials, supplies, equipment, software and database licenses, and travel to attend trainings necessary to maintain our library.   This actual amount we are awarded varies year to year, but lies somewhere between $6,000 to $7,000, and we are never awarded the full $7,000.  At least half of this budget ($3,500) is dedicated towards materials, but when you divide that up between books, magazines, and DVDs/audiobooks, that amount is “eaten up” rapidly.   In terms of materials, every year, the library spends a lot over our grant budget categories and that extra money comes from donations or lost/damaged item replacement costs patrons pay as well as through fund-raising.  Simply put – there is no way we would have the size of the media collection we currently have if it wasn’t for the generosity of patrons who donate movies, games, and audiobooks in addition to making dollar donations.
Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 12.06.27 AMGazette:  What do you see the media section offering to our community?
Tracie:  The media section of the library provides entertainment and having newly released (i.e. recent) media items helps increase the quality of life for community members and visitors alike. Many of us don’t often have the opportunity to see movies while they are playing in the movie theatre or go to a store and pick up a new video game. Not everyone subscribes to Netflix (or if they do, it’s through streaming and so they don’t get the latest movies) and some community members don’t have cable or dish.  Audiobooks allow folks who are visually impaired to connect with their favorite books, or people who are otherwise occupied (such as driving, working, etc.) can listen to their books on the go.  Video games (like Minecraft) can encourage creativity and teamwork, and many of the VHS tapes still remaining within the library’s collection are educational and so promote learning and curiosity.
Gazette:   We talked a bit about creating a “gaming” section at the library, since so many kids are gamers, and we can learn from games, interact with friends, etc.  What are your hopes in that arena?
Tracie:  It would be great to build this section up. A lot of the video games in that section are several years old and came from the boys and girls club when that closed. Physically interactive video games (like Dance, Wii Fit, etc.) would especially be nice additions, as they promote healthy lifestyles and fitness. In collaboration with SVT, we continue to offer Minecraft afternoons on Thursdays and we hope this continues.  A lot of libraries are moving towards having “Teen Spaces” that incorporate gaming. Potentially, this is one way that the downstairs room the library expanded into last year could be utilized in the future.
Beauty and the Beast Puppet ShowGazette:   Can you give us an update on what’s new at the library?  I know that the OWL program has been great, with lots of new programming streaming to Seldovia, what else is happening?
Tracie:  In collaboration with several partners, we will be hosting a Beauty and the Beast marionette puppet show in June as well as a reception for the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council. We recently acquired twenty new contemporary art books through the Distribution to Underserved Communities (D.U.C.) Library Program (free of charge from New York).  On April 8th at 7:30 pm, a guest presenter from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) will be giving a talk on air pollution sources (local, regional, and global).  The library board has been working very hard to fund a director position although at this time, viable funding options will have to be project based and grant funded. We have applied for one grant just two weeks ago, working on one right now due at the end of this month, and have plans for applying for another one right after that (see the answer for question #6 to find out what the grants are for).
Gazette:   What is the progress of expanding the library to the downstairs?
Tracie:  A committee was formed last year to work on this. One of the grants the Library Board applied for recently was to hire a staff member to catalog, archive, and digitize historical materials the library has in our collection, including around 300 documents pertaining to the Seldovia Women’s Club which formed in 1933 and founded the library in 1935.   If awarded the grant, a new archives computer station will be set up in that room, containing electronic versions of these materials. Albums will be  created containing copies of these documents which patrons can browse. A display will also be made out of the safe that is down in that room which will depict the history of the Seldovia Women’s Club, the library, Susan B. English, as well as display historical memorabilia (like the gables once used in that room when it was functioning as a courtroom). The other two grants we are currently working on submitting will hopefully provide salary for a staff member to oversee the renovations and improvements in that downstairs room and actually fund the actual improvements and renovations, which may include (but aren’t limited to): new floor tiling in addition to carpeting or a rug, new furniture (chairs, bookshelves, etc.), painting the walls and possibly the bookshelves currently in that room (if they are not replaced), decorating the walls with paintings, purchasing and setting up a mounted monitor so that OWL VTCs can be shown in that room as well as upstairs, securing the bookshelves so they are less likely to fall down during an earthquake, as well as making several needed repairs. Provided funding comes through, establishing the display and the archives computer station might begin as early as this summer, while work on the renovations and other improvements in the room will likely not come into effect until January just because of some of the grant award notification/funding timelines.
Gazette:   Anything else you want to add?
Tracie:  We can always use volunteers at the library and the director position is still open as well! IT help is a real need as well, as our OWL IT Aide position will no longer be funded after this month. Any takers?

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 1.43.29 PMHere’s the information on the details of the Library Media Drive, and how to enter!

Want to be entered into a raffle to win a new iPad Mini as part of the library’s multi-media drive?

Been meaning to drop off some DVDs, video games, and/or audiobooks to the library and just haven’t gotten around to it?

Well, no worries. The library’s multi-media drive will be extended a little longer until the end of April. The drawing will be held May 1st at the Sea Otter Community Center during the craft fair (you don’t need to be present to win).

For every media item donated, your name will be entered on a raffle ticket. You can also choose to donate new DVDs, video games, or audiobooks off our Amazon wishlist  and be entered into the drawing as well. Please note that if you decide to donate items off our wishlist please do it with a gift receipt and please email your receipt to so that you can be entered into the drawing.

Items must be:

  • In good condition  
  • Come in original packaging
  • Recent (released in or after 2011)
  • DVDs must be rated “R” or under
  • Video games must be rated “M” or under

Items can be dropped off to the library during regular hours or mailed to the library (Drawer H, Seldovia, AK 99663). However, if you do mail them, please be sure to include your contact information so you can be entered into the drawing and contacted should you win. Good luck and thank you for your donations and support! Special thanks to Jenny Chissus for the generous donation of the iPad Mini.

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Category: Community

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