DPL Blog

5 Things I’ve Learned in 5 Years   Recently updated !

Snakes in the Library Poster

One of my favorite posters for one of my favorite events: Snakes in the Library!

This July, I’m celebrating 5 wonderful years working at the Dover Public Library. I feel like it was only yesterday that I did my first official teen program (Silent Library) and had fifteen people show up (five were registered). I’ve learned a lot during my time here, much more than what I learned in Library School. Since I’m celebrating 5 years, here are my top 5 things I’ve learned while working here.

  1. Microsoft Publisher is the Bomb

A few years back, Jim asked me to take over designing the library’s newsletter, Footnotes. I was excited for the challenge. I got to learn fabulous new tricks on Publisher like Master Pages and Color Schemes, tools I hadn’t needed in the past. Before I started at the library, I was all about Photoshop. Now I barely use it. Publisher is where it’s at for posters and other random library projects.

  1. Minecraft May Be the Best Game Ever Invented

    Minecraft Screenshot

    A screenshot preview of my Platform 9 3/4 for this summer’s Minecraft Lock-In

I see a lot of Minecraft in the Library. I was sceptical at first about this game that looks a lot like LEGOs and has no rules, no plot, and no guide. Then I tried it. Because there are no rules, no plot, no guide, you can make the game whatever you want it to be. It makes you think: What do I need to survive? It lets you get creative: What can I build now? It lets you fight a dragon. Beat that, LEGOs.

  1. Teaching a Tech Class is Not as Hard as Teaching Mom to Play a Video Game

I was very nervous the first time I had to teach a tech class. I obsessed about getting everything exactly perfect. Since that first class (on eBooks, by the way), I’ve chilled out a bit. I finally figured out that if I have the patience to walk my mom through playing Skylanders, I have the patience to help people learn how to make a poster in Publisher. (Love you, Mom.)

  1. When in Doubt: Google

I feel many a researcher cringing at this one. BUT: how do I start numbering pages at 1 in the middle of a Publisher document? Why is this error coming up on a patron’s Kindle? How can I unlock my iPad when it’s asking me for a passcode that I never even set up? Google knows! For tech support especially, Google is my best friend. That’s something they neglected to mention in school.

  1. Teen Volunteers at Haunted Library Program

    Awesome Teen Volunteers hanging out at the Haunted Library event last year.

    Teens are Awesome

In Library School, one of my professors said that to work with teens you have to have a thick skin. This worried me because
no one in my life would describe me as “thick-skinned.” But I’ve learned something in five years of actually working with teens: they’re not half as bad as you think they are. Yes, they like their food. Yes, they can be loud. Yes, they sometimes make incredibly awful jokes about Hitler. (Why Hitler? I… don’t know.) BUT they will also play with balloons and play dough, give you ideas for programs they want to do, and help you vacuum the Community Room. Throw in Phantom of the Opera themed Gingerbread Houses, Pac-Man themed volcanoes, and a new cosplay outfit every week, and you’ve got some idea of how awesome teens are.


So, that’s it, folks. The things only Dover Public Library could teach me. Thank you for a great five years. Here’s to many, many more!


-Liz Strauss

Teen Librarian


Confessions of a Bibliomaniac

Reading book

I admit it.  I am a borderline bibliomaniac. I not only love to read, but I love to be around books and around people who love books. I love the culture surrounding books, and bookshops, and libraries.  When I go into someone’s house I scan the shelves to see what books they have. When I walk downtown to get something for lunch I walk with one eye on the cracks on the sidewalk and one eye on the book I am reading.  I am sure people drive by and see me with my nose in a book and think, “There goes that crackpot library guy.”  But that’s OK because I know that my life is much, much richer because of reading.  I can honestly say that I have never been bored a day in my life. If I have some free time with nothing to do I am usually reading, going to a library, or to a bookshop.  To be honest, I don’t understand people that don’t read.  When I think of the time people spend watching television or playing video games I can’t help but think that each and every one us has a limited amount of time on this earth and the last thing I would be doing when the clock is ticking is spending that time staring at the one-eyed monster in the living room.  Books inspire me. The Bible, for example, challenges me to live a life of value, loving and serving others.  Books can help you get out of a rut in your life. They can help create opportunity and sometimes they serve as pure entertainment. Is there anything better than a good page-turner on a rainy night, coffee or tea on hand?  I can’t think of much.  As the saying goes…never trust anyone who’s TV is bigger than their bookshelf.”  Read on, my friends!

-Jim Gill, Director

New resource for genealogists

I would like to draw your attention to a new donation that I recently processed that has some great information for people searching for their ancestors. The collection is titled “Archinal Papers,” and it is available for viewing in The Roots Cellar, currently open Thursdays from 9-5.

People who are members of St. John’s German Evangelical Church will possibly find photos of their parents and grandparents in the church registers that were donated with the collection. Anyone researching the names Archinal, Scarr, Thomas, Kirschner, Olinger, and Umberger will find a wealth of research notes and family trees, some which have been published in family histories, also located with the collection materials.

You can view the finding aid for this collection (including a folder list) here: ArchinalPapersFindingAid

Or visit the Local History & Genealogy collections page of our website: http://www.doverlibrary.org/local-history-genealogy/local-history-collections/

Stop in on Thursdays to view this most recent addition to our growing collection!


Happy Hunting,

-Claire Kandle, Local History & Genealogy Librarian

Volunteer of the Month: Erica

EricaCongrats to our Volunteer of the Month for June, Erica! Thank you for your dedication and support of the library!


How long have you been volunteering at the library?

A little over a year


Why did you want to become a volunteer at the library?

I was a nurse for many years and the past few years I was a home health nurse. I quit working and really missed seeing patients. This volunteer position lets me visit people in their homes, and I get to share my love of reading!


Who are some of your favorite authors?

Jodi Picoult, Mauve Binchy, Lisa Genova, Dorothy Koomson, Jame Patterson, Jojo Moyes, Mary Lawson, Brett Lott, Nora Roberts, John Grisham, Gillian Flynn, etc. ^^ I also like many biographies and autobiographies and nonfiction including authors Lysa Terkewist, Beth Moore, and Joyce Meyers. And, of course, the Bible.


What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?

It is so fun to bring books to people who are unable to get to the library. They can’t wait to see what’s packed in the bag. Patrons and their families are so appreciative. I am so thankful to be a part of this program.


Thank you for all your hard work, Erica! We’re so very grateful to you and all our other wonderful volunteers who make our Books on Wheels program and our library run more smoothly.


Would you like to volunteer? Contact Wendy Contini for more information on how to help your library.

Mortimer the Summer Reading Moose!

Penguin ready to swim

We couldn’t find any pictures of ME in at the pool… so here’s my friend Penny. She’s not a moose, but she’s a pretty good swimmer.

Hello!  It’s me, Mortimer Moose!  I want to talk about summer today!  Are you all on summer vacation now?  I am!  Well, I don’t go to school, because I’m a moose, so I’m not sure what I’m on vacation from, exactly…but I’m definitely on summer something or other!  Yay me!

What are your fun summer plans?  I am going swimming a LOT.  Moose LOVE to swim.  I try not to get the pool all hairy for the other moose, but you know, I shed.  Do you shed?  You don’t have as much hair as me, so maybe you don’t notice.

I want to finish the summer reading program at the library so I can come to the FREE swimming party at the Dover Pool!  SOOOO FUN!  Even though the Librarians said I couldn’t do any of my reading while swimming. Well.  We’ll just see about that!


PS: Date of the swimming party is tentatively August 12. That means… well… we’re not completely, positively, one-hundred-percent sure that it will be on August 12. So, please contact my friends Miss Dani, Miss Jen, Miss Syrena, or Miss Bonnie to double check closer to the event date.

Summer Reading is Coming…

Summer Reading is Coming

Park it AND Read LogoIt’s that time of year… It’s getting hotter, school is winding down, and the library is preparing for the crazy awesome time that is Summer Reading. I’m really excited for this year’s Summer Reading Program. Oh, did I say program? I meant to say Programs. Plural. Because this year, we’re have three.

First of all, of course, is the Children’s Summer Reading Program: Park it AND Read. This summer, read to earn your chances for prizes and check out sports equipment in the Children’s room to have some fun outdoors. Come visit us at the park for fun activities, including the Summer Reading Kick-Off on Monday, June 6 from 2-4. The reading program runs through July 30. Contact the Children’s Department for more details.

Dover Public Library Teens Summer of Awesome reading program June 6 through August 21, 2016Teens get to have a Summer of Awesome this year with great weekly teen events, a Teen Lock-In, and their own Teen Reading Program. Starting June 6, Teens can start earning tickets for each hour that they read, up to four a week. Teens can earn extra tickets by participating in special activities in the teen area. This program runs through August 21. Contact Teen Librarian Liz Strauss for more information.

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer Reading LogoFinally, for the first time ever, the Dover Public Library is hosting an Adult Summer Reading Program: Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer Reading. Starting June 6 and going through July 30, each time you check out a book you will earn a ticket for the Summer Fun Package. So come to the library and check out all your favorite books and audio books. Magazines, DVDs and CDs do not count. Just books. It is a summer reading program, after all. Contact Paula Fawcett at the Circ Desk with any questions.

It’s going to be a very busy summer at the library! I hope you all join us! This year, there’s no excuses: there’s a reading program for everyone here.


-Liz Strauss

Teen Librarian

Volunteer of the Month: Aimee

AimeeCongrats to our Volunteer of the Month for May: Aimee! Aimee helps our Outreach Librarian Linda with her Books on Wheels Program. Thanks for being such a terrific Book Buddy, Aimee!


How long have you been volunteering at the library?

Since April 2015


Why did you want to become a volunteer at the library?

  1. Because I love to read!
  2. My grandfather spent some time in a nursing home, and during that time, I saw how great the volunteers were for various things there, and I wanted to give back. When I heard about Books on Wheels, I knew I had to be part of it!


Who are some of your favorite authors?

Judy Blume, James Patterson, Tammy Hoag, Mary Higgins Clark, Gillian Flynn, Lois Lowry, David Baldacci…. Too many to list!


What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?

  1. Seeing the patrons’ eyes light up when you walk in the room carrying new books
  2. Seeing their faces smile when they realize you’re there to see them. Some of these people don’t have anyone visit them, and we are it.
  3. Talking and having conversations about books!
  4. That I get to get books to people that can’t get to the library
  5. Being able to give back


Thank you for all your hard work, Aimee! Books on Wheels wouldn’t be the same without volunteers like you!

Would you like to volunteer? Contact Wendy Contini for more information on how to help your library.