About Kyra Cardella

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So far Kyra Cardella has created 34 blog entries.

A Letter From Your Library Director: August 2022

Dear Community, Welcome to our 31st season of Random Review! This month’s newsletter shines a spotlight on this long-standing and popular event series. I recall, with great clarity, one of the first events I took part in as the new CBCPL Library Director. It was the 25th Anniversary Random Review Celebration event, a Reader’s Theater, where I had the honor of reading from Kathleen Dean Moore’s Riverwalking, an apt and inspiring choice for someone new to the Pacific Northwest like myself. After that, I was hooked. I attended Random Review whenever I could, often standing in the back of a packed room with no open seats. A couple of years later, I was invited to present my own Random Review, on Susan Orlean’s The Library Book. While the book is about the 1986 catastrophic fire at the Los Angeles Public Library, it is also an homage to libraries in general. Presenting that Random Review program is one of my fondest memories so far as Library Director. I know that most of you have similarly fond memories associated with Random Review, and none of that would have been possible without our Random Review Coordinators! Before we start our newest season, I’d like to take a moment to thank our most recent long-standing Random Review Coordinators, Debra Goldenberg and Connie Georgiou. Debra became the Chair of Random Review 15 years ago, and Connie joined in as Co-chair 13 years ago. Together, they have led us through some amazing seasons, including several seasons during the pandemic. Debra and Connie are ready to hand the reins over to someone new, except for the first time in Random Review’s history, the folks taking over are library staff! Yes, that’s right. [Read more]

2022-08-03T12:47:57-07:000 Comments

A Random Interview with Random Review Coordinators

A Random Interview with Random Review Coordinators With Lois Malango, Cheryl Maze, Debra Goldenberg, and Connie Georgiou Each event within the Random Review series features an in-depth exploration of a selected book by a reviewer with expertise on the topic or theme of that book. The Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library have coordinated this popular series for the past 30 years, with five Friends members taking turns as chair/co-chair: Connie Foulke, Lois Malango, Cheryl Maze, Debra Goldenberg, and Connie Georgiou. Library staff will be the program coordinators starting with this 2022-2023 season, and while the events will remain much the same, we wanted to celebrate the history of this amazing series by asking the former Random Review coordinators a few questions. Unfortunately, we were not able to speak with Connie Foulke, who passed away in 2009. We are so grateful she created this series that has left a lasting impact on our library and community. See the upcoming schedule and find out more about Random Review here, and enjoy the interview with previous coordinators below! What can you tell us about how Random Review began? Who began the series? What was the goal of the series? LOIS MALANGO: [Here’s the timeline:] 1992: Connie Foulke started Random Review 1998: Connie Foulke recruited me 2003: I recruited Cheryl Maze 2006: Cheryl recruited Debra Goldenberg 2009: Connie Georgiou joined 2022: 30 years of Random Review! Connie Foulke started Random Reviews after she retired from teaching English at Crescent Valley. After seeing the reading patterns of her students and their families, her goal was to involve the community of Corvallis and help develop the reading habits and tastes of the non-academic community. Connie was [Read more]

2022-08-03T12:54:24-07:000 Comments

A Letter From Your Library Director: May 2022

At the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, we don’t like to make a big deal about what we do. We love providing library services to the community and that’s what makes us happy. However, since we celebrated National Library Worker’s Day a few weeks ago, I want to take a moment to shine the spotlight on the incredible work performed by our library staff members. Our library system is something to be truly proud of. Our usage statistics are leaps and bounds ahead of our comparators, both locally and nationally. They always have been, and even with our current constraints and challenges around the pandemic, our numbers continue to be some of the highest.  I’ll give you a few numbers to help paint a picture. Since January 1, 2022: we have circulated 319,796 items; 94,925 patrons have visited our locations; and we have provided over 100,000 wireless internet sessions. These numbers used to be astronomically higher, but due to the pandemic and our innovation over these past couple years, library usage has shifted. As you all know, in April 2020, we launched a home delivery service and have continued to offer this service to all residents in our service district, even after reopening our buildings. Yes, that means we are driving all over Benton County to deliver items! What you might not know is that this service is incredibly unique. We are one of very few libraries in the entire nation providing a service of this nature. During the height of the pandemic, when our doors were closed, we were making upwards of 2,000 deliveries a week. Right now, our weekly delivery average is 800-1,100. Grand total, we’ve made over 136,000 deliveries so far. Every [Read more]

2022-05-02T17:20:46-07:000 Comments

A Letter From Your Library Director: February 2022

Dear Community, February always brings a very special library memory to the forefront of my mind. It feels like yesterday to me, but unbelievably, it was four years ago that we launched our “I Love Our Library” campaign on Valentine’s Day. You probably still see the yard signs around the County that proudly proclaim this or maybe still even have one in front of your house yourself! One of the initial activities we had on launch day, involved asking patrons to write us the equivalent of a Valentine’s Day card. The card was a simple white square that had the words: “I love…” and invited patrons to fill in the blank with something they loved about the library. We received over 700 responses to that ask. Over 75% of the responses we received mentioned the collection or library staff as something that they loved, but there were a few comments that really spoke to me and have never left my mind. The past couple of years have been difficult for us all and recalling these sentiments kept me encouraged. I am sharing a few with you in the hopes that you can see the myriad of ways library service is meaningful to people throughout the community. ♥   I love feeling welcome. ♥   I love that you don't have to pay anything. It’s all free. ♥   Thank you for giving me so many resources. You've made college so much easier. ♥   It is my break from the street. I can spend the day knowing I will not get attacked. Everyone is polite. I am welcomed here. ♥   I love to see my kids being hungry for more books. ♥   My husband died yesterday and I’m [Read more]

2022-02-02T15:57:31-07:000 Comments

A Letter From Your Library Director: January 2022

Dear Community, Happy New Year! The start of a new year is always a time for reflection, both on what we have accomplished in the past year and what lies ahead in our work. Like other organizations, the Library experienced no shortage of change and challenges in 2021. I hope you feel that we exceled in being flexible and adaptable throughout the year while always keeping community needs as our top priority. It has certainly been a learning experience for all of us at the Library and we have spent the entire year grateful for your continued support. We closed out 2021 with some exciting news: we have reached our fundraising goal of $500,000 for enclosure of the Corvallis Library’s second floor patio! I have mentioned this project in previous newsletters and you have probably noticed the construction barriers during your visits to the library, but you can visit our Enclose Our Library’s Patio webpage to learn about the details of the project. Due to supply delays, the opening of the space is now slated for March 2022. We will provide details about the grand opening in the future. I am still stunned at how quickly we raised the funds needed for this project, and I would like to extend my deepest thanks to everyone who has supported this project in one way or another. We look forward to making this space a reality in 2022. It is difficult to predict what might come our way in the year ahead of us. Rest assured we will continue to provide delivery service as long as it is needed and desired by the community. You may use this service as much or as little as you [Read more]

2021-12-30T17:43:43-07:000 Comments

A Letter From Your Library Director: October 2021

Dear Community, Throughout the past few months, we have been carefully monitoring the use of our libraries.  In exciting news, our circulation numbers are growing exponentially every month, and we are very near our pre-pandemic numbers for checkouts. Thank you for your support and showing how important you find library services in your life. What does look different this autumn are the times of day people are using library buildings. This is something we track hourly at all locations, and without the large evening events of the past, we have noticed that the number of library visitors during evening hours has sharply dropped. The foot traffic during these hours is minimal at best and we take that as a sign that you might prefer something different from what you used to. In order to increase access and hopefully serve you better, we are shifting our winter hours at our Corvallis and Philomath locations to the below schedule. We hope that you find these hours more convenient. As always, we continue to offer our delivery service to everyone who resides in our library service district. We highly encourage you to use delivery service if the new hours affect your hours of access to the building. Thank you again for your continued loyalty and support. We would not make a change like this unless we thought it would best serve the community, and we will continually re-evaluate community demand and adjust as needed. Corvallis Library Hours starting Monday, October 18, 2021: Monday-Thursday: 9am-7pm Friday-Saturday: 9am-5pm Sunday: 1-5pm Philomath Library Hours starting Monday, October 18, 2021: Monday and Tuesday: 9am-7pm Wed, Thurs, Friday: 9am-5pm Saturday: 9am-1pm Best, Ashlee Return to CBCPL October Newsletter  Return to all [Read more]

2021-10-05T10:33:12-07:000 Comments

A Letter From Your Library Director: August 2021

Dear Community, This month I would like to share an update with you regarding our construction project at the Corvallis Library! We are currently in the process of enclosing an unused patio space on the second floor of the Library. We worked with Woofter Bolch Architecture to come up with a wonderful design that remodels 2,400 square feet and adds an additional 1,200 square feet to the building’s floor plan. Our new space will include a beautiful reading lounge with a bank of windows facing the courthouse, a flexible classroom space for future programs, four group study rooms available for community use (all with an amazing view and plenty of space to spread out), and a new boardroom-style room, complete with presentation equipment, all on the second floor. These changes will also allow us to revitalize the most beautiful and least utilized portion of our building, the historic Belluschi wing. We have a number of wonderful changes coming shortly and stretching into the future that will hopefully bring new life to our building and provide useful spaces to you and other community members! Due to supply delays, our project is now scheduled to conclude in mid-December. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience. It is thanks to the hard work of the Corvallis-Benton County Library Foundation and our many generous donors that we are able to make this project happen! We are in the middle of fundraising the last $90,000 for this project. If you would like to give to this project and help us meet our fundraising goal or if you are interested in one of our few remaining naming opportunities, please reach out to me! You can follow the progress [Read more]

2021-08-05T09:38:07-07:000 Comments

A Letter From Your Library Director: July 2021

Dear Community, It would be remiss of me to start this month’s letter with anything other than appreciation. It has been amazing to see your faces in our libraries again over the past month! I have enjoyed watching children walk out with piles of books and materials almost as big as they are! I have seen tears of joy, cheering and clapping and excitement. All of it fills me with gratitude that you have supported us through a global pandemic and you are still here with us. This month, I would like to share a special opportunity with you. I have written in the past about how important our nonprofit organizations are to us. The Friends of the Library and the Library Foundation both work to support the library in different ways and we would not be the same without them. Both provide annual support to us through monetary contributions and take on many important roles. For example, the Friends of the Library process all of our donations of materials from the community—that is no easy task! The Friends of the Library in particular are searching for new Board Members and I would like to invite anyone interested in learning more about this opportunity to consider applying for a position! This is an amazing way to give back to the library through your time, creativity, and interest! They are looking for people with skills in leadership, organization, finance or experience leading a non-profit. However, if you are interested, there is no replacing passion and interest—so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. There are multiple needs, so reach out to friends.thebestlibrary@gmail.com to find out more. If you’d like to support the Friends and [Read more]

2021-07-01T12:34:53-07:000 Comments

A Letter From Your Library Director: May 2021

May 11, 2021 Dear Community, Thank you for your patience and support over the past fifteen months as we have navigated the reality of providing library services with facilities closed to the public. It has not been easy for any of us, but you have truly been the best community to work with, and we are all so thankful for your flexibility, adaptability, and your concern for the safety of the entire community. I am pleased to share with you that we are introducing a new service, coming soon: “Browse and Go.” With Browse and Go, we will invite you inside library buildings, during the same hours we were previously open pre-pandemic, to browse for items to check out. You will be able to use self-checkout machines and we will have staff available to assist with you with checkout if needed. While there will not be a time limit to using the building, we will ask that you browse for your items and then take them back home to enjoy, rather than doing so in the building. I look forward to the day we fully reopen our buildings and we can all enjoy our public library the way we used to. Until then, I hope this next step in services is a joyous one. Computer services will still be available in all locations, but will vary by building. Our schedule for opening Browse and Go services at each location is: Alsea Community Library: June 1 Monroe Community Library: June 1 Philomath Community Library: end of June Corvallis Library: July (a final date will be released in June) Will we still be offering delivery services? The answer is a resounding yes! We know many of [Read more]

2021-05-11T15:53:59-07:000 Comments

A Letter From Your Library Director: April 2021

April 5, 2021 Dear Community, I am happy to share with you that April 4-10, 2021 is National Library Week. It is a great time to stop and reflect on the importance of libraries to their communities. Libraries remain a cornerstone of democracy, promoting the free exchange of information and ideas for all. Libraries are more than buildings; we can often find them as the heart of the community. I hope you feel the same way I do, that libraries are important in our world and the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library makes a positive impact in our community. If so, I encourage you to help us celebrate National Library Week! Pull out those “I Love Our Library” yard signs for the month, make use of our services and tell a friend who does not use the library about all of our awesome services. We are here to serve everyone. Speaking of serving you, we hope we can open our doors again to you in the not-too-distant future. Please be assured that we are constantly watching for a change in guidelines from OHA that means we can open our doors. Currently Benton County is still in the High Risk category, meaning curbside pickup is encouraged and buildings are limited to 50% max capacity. For the library, these kinds of restrictions mean we can serve more of you by offering our current services of delivery and contactless pickup. Trust me – we would love to have you back in the building and browsing for books. As soon as we can realistically do that and serve the entire community well, you’ll know about it. In the meantime, take care and I hope to see you soon. Best, [Read more]

2021-04-05T11:49:58-07:00Comments Off on A Letter From Your Library Director: April 2021
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