Library: Bed-bug sniffing dog finds residue
CARLISLE — A bed bug-sniffing dog found a limited number of areas at Bosler Memorial Library had some level of bed bug residue or activity during an inspection Tuesday.
The areas were spread throughout the library, according to a notice posted on the library website. The areas were specific and able to be isolated and removed for treatment, the library said. Items included chairs and books.
There were no hits by the dog on puppets or stuffed items.
The Friends of Bosler Bookery had no hits at all.
The library recently had a few items returned with evidence of contact with bed bugs.
It is working with a local pest control company, and the staff is being trained to identify and treat instances of bed bugs if materials are returned to the library with the unwanted pests.
Posted earlier on Cumberlink:
CARLISLE – Bosler Memorial Library is advising patrons of possible service disruptions today.
The library opened as scheduled at 10 a.m., but a bed bug sniffing dog has been contracted to inspect the library this morning.
Sections of the library may be temporarily closed to eliminate distractions and allow the dog to do its job effectively.
Library officials announced last week it had received a few returned materials that showed signs of contact with bed bugs.
No bed bugs have been found on the materials.
Bosler Memorial Library warns of potential bed bug issues in Carlisle
CARLISLE — Though bed bugs are more often found in hotels and movie theaters, Bosler Memorial Library is ensuring it does not contribute to the spread of bed bugs in the Carlisle area.
Library officials Wednesday said Bosler received a few returned materials that showed signs of contact with bed bugs. Though it has not found any bed bugs on the materials, the library is already working on making sure it does not distribute any pests with its materials.
“We have no reason to believe that there is a serious issue at the library,” said Jeffrey Swope, executive director of Bosler. “But we want the public to feel assured that we are doing everything we can.”
Administrators say they are in close communication with the library’s pest control company and have implemented procedures to identify and mitigate any potential issues. The library has also contracted for a specially trained bed-bug sniffing dog to inspect the facility.
Swope said the library will be vigilant in its inspections. He is also working with Ehrlich’s to make certain his staff are trained to identify and “treat” instances of bed bugs if materials are returned to the library with the unwanted pests.
However, Swope said the public should keep a watchful eye at home and when they take out library materials. If they have a concern, it should be brought to the library’s attention immediately.
“We want to err on the side of caution,” said Melissa Killinger, assistant director for Bosler.
Killinger said library customers who return materials with bed bugs will need to provide the library with proof that their home has been professionally treated before more items can be borrowed.
The library said it is a growing concern since bed bug infestations have been steadily increasing in recent years.
The library will make information about bed bugs available in the library and online at www.cumberlandcountylibraries.org.
Cumberland County Library System launches new e-book program
A new online e-book program targeting young elementary school-aged children is another entry in a growing list of online resources provided by the Cumberland County Library System.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently made public the BookFlix program through the statewide POWER Library, to which Cumberland County Library Systems is a subscriber. The program became available June 24 and was widely launched July 8.
BookFlix is an online e-reading program from Scholastic that pairs classical fiction storybooks with similarly themed nonfiction e-books to make fiction reading more engaging and educational for children aged 3 to 8.
BookFlix offers 105 multimedia fiction-nonfiction pairings, with more set for release in the future. Some of those include pairing “Happy Birthday Moon” with “The Moon” and “The Snowy Day” with “Snowy Weather Days.”
“It’s a nice way to promote early literacy and education, and providing it in an electronic environment,” said Carolyn Blatchley, the library system’s training services coordinator.
“BookFlix connects the library to the home,” said Hugh Roome, president of Scholastic Library Publishing. “In adopting Bookflix, Pennsylvania is making cutting-edge e-reading technology available to families with a library card anywhere they have an Internet connection. BookFlix offers a unique early literacy platform that introduces young readers to classic books and stories in new, digital formats.”
The program gives readers an interactive experience, providing children with a “read-along” option and narration of the nonfiction e-book, narrated texts and definitions of vocabulary words, educational games, biographies, interviews and safe web links to encourage children to further explore the topic.
Blatchley said the library system offers a number of resources online for people of all ages and of many interests. The “Find a Good Book” resource helps give readers advice on what next to read — narrowing down searches by authors and sending out newsletters on various genres of books, covering anything from picture books to mysteries to travel.
In addition to the databases made available through POWER Library, the system also subscribes to other services, including the HeritageQuest Database, which provides readers local genealogy information.
The LearningExpress Library gives students and adults skills-building exercises and tests while also providing access to courses on software, such as Microsoft Word and Excel. The Morningstar Investment Research Center gives residents stock and company information, as well as the basics on starting to invest.
The library system also provides access to Associated Press images and stories, and the library has an Auto Repair Reference Center. “It’s amazing what we have access to online,” Blatchley said.
For more information about BookFlix or the library system’s other databases and resources, visit www.cumberlandcountylibraries.org.
Midstate school districts challenged with new technology policies
As local school districts prepare to roll out new technology policies, they are also preparing for the challenges and issues that will come with it.
Internet access is something that Carlisle Area and Cumberland Valley school districts will face. Amy Lena, a curriculum, instruction and technology coordinator for Cumberland Valley, said pamphlets were sent to homes with information on inexpensive Internet services available in the area.
Stephanie Douglas, director of technology at Carlisle Area School District, said the district is encouraging students to visit kiosks throughout the borough for Internet use. Those include Internet cafes, establishments with Wi-Fi and the Bosler Memorial Library. She also said the library will be open before and after school on select days for students to access the Internet with their devices.
“We’re trying to create that level playing field with our students,” Douglas said.
Douglas said she doesn’t know if it will be a huge issue, but she said there are probably students out there that don’t have Internet access for any number of reasons. That could include parents not wanting Internet in the household, or cost restraints. She said homework could be assigned to be completed on devices provided to students. In the event that students can’t find Internet access, she said alternative assignments would be assigned.
“Because we’re relying on online content, that could be a challenge that we have,” she said in regard to ensuring students have Internet access. “Hopefully, the number of those kids is minimal.”
Providing enough staff time for teachers to get acquainted with the devices is another challenge Douglas said her district has faced.
Kent Smith, superintendent at Susquenita School District, said his district has been successful in preparing teachers. He said representatives from Apple have come to the district to provide professional development. The district has also provided professional development days in the summer so teachers can get acquainted with the MacBook.
Smith said the district has a technology coach, along with the IT team, to help teachers and students with issues as they come up.
Distractions or tools?
When it comes to working with students, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine how the devices could become a distraction in the classroom. Applications can lead students away from education and into Facebook or other social media.
Lena, however, is not concerned about devices distracting students.
Lena said a policy in place at Cumberland Valley High School regarding cellphones has her convinced that students will be responsible with the devices. Students are able to use their cellphones while in the hallways and at lunch with teacher approval. Lena said discipline has gone down as a result of the policy.
“I think that has helped, but it is still concerning, because we’ve never allowed that in the middle school,” she said.
Lena said strategies are being given to the teachers, such as instruction for students to place their devices with the screen down on the corner of their desk. While she said some teachers are concerned that students will be distracted, Lena said most feel that the good outweighs the bad.
Smith said Susquenita School District is taking an open approach with their devices, but students will know what they can and cannot do with their devices in the classroom.
“We are leaving the devices pretty open to our students,” he said. “We’re doing so because we don’t want to restrict the use of these tools when we give them to the students. We have established consequences for those that violate policy.”
Handling the issues
Smith formerly worked at Conneaut School District, where he said a similar 1-to-1 policy was being formed at the time of his departure. From that experience, Smith said he was able to learn from his former district’s mistakes when helping to create the policy at Susquenita.
“We, from the planning stages, tried to identify all the things that could potentially be roadblocks,” he said. That includes keeping students from prohibited sites, securing devices and ensuring guidelines were in place. He said the Acceptable Use Policy at Susquenita is “one of the strongest that I’ve ever seen.”
Bruce Gordon, technology director at Mechanicsburg Area School District, said the district will attempt to find the balance between instructional and personal use. He said he does not have an idea of how staff members feel in terms of devices being a distraction in the classroom, but said the district’s Acceptable Use and Electronic Devices policies lay out guidelines for any possible issues. Both Gordon and Douglas said schools in their districts will provide devices for students that cannot bring one.
As far as handling any issues, Douglas said the solution lies with communication among teachers.
“We’re going to learn from each other,” she said. “Our teachers are our best assets in a school district ... We need these teachers to talk and work together to make this a success.”
Public library wishes happy birthday to namesake
On Sunday, John Graham would have been 170 years old, so the public library celebrated the milestone a day early with cake and tours of the former Graham home.
“It was a good opportunity for people to familiarize themselves with the John Graham Library,” said director Mary Schoedel. She became director last August and led the team during the past month to gather materials for Graham’s birthday party. She thinks it’s the first time the library has celebrated his date of birth with an event.
Born Aug. 4, 1843, on a farm two miles east of Newville, Graham was the son of George and Eliza Graham. His biography indicates he attended local schools and received a commercial education at Eastman's College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He returned to Newville after his schooling in 1866 to work at a bank and then a successful tannery. Graham was elected to the Pennsylvania legislature in 1882 to represent Cumberland County and served until 1885.
Next, he became a leader in the electric railway business in Wilkes-Barre and helped to organize the Cumberland Railway in Carlisle about 1908. He was the railway’s first president and was a director at the time of his death. Passing away Dec. 15, 1915, at the age of 72, Graham directed in his will that his home on Parsonage Street become a public library. He also donated $20,000 to help with renovations and other expenses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, that is about $460,000 in today’s dollars.
One caveat, Schoedel explained, was that Graham’s third wife, Katherine, was still occupying the home, so the building couldn’t become a library yet. Katherine lived many years until 1962. The library started to rent some rooms of the home in 1961 and it underwent a major renovation in 1965 to make it more suitable for a library. More recently, an addition was put on in 1991 to house offices and a children’s room.
Visitors Saturday could eat white cake on Graham’s original dining table and also take a tour of the library, guided by Schoedel.
“I knew it had been the Graham’s [home] but it was very interesting to learn about the structure,” said Dorene Benjamin after the tour. The Green Ridge Village resident didn’t know about the rooms’ original uses – like that the dining room now holds juvenile/teen works. And she thought it was interesting that the library didn’t open until long after John Graham’s death.
Stephanie Bear, Newville resident, didn’t know that the library used to be Graham’s home. She “really enjoyed” reading about the house and liked the fact that the library was located in the borough.
Built about 1883, the original house was constructed in an Italianate style. Records indicate that sometime between 1894-1904, Graham added a modified L-shape to the house and then sometime between 1910-1923, a second addition was built that included the Beaux Arts porch.
Many bookshelves surround the walls today, making it difficult to envision the home’s former grandeur. But original photographs and old newspaper clippings displayed at the birthday party offered a glimpse into the mogul’s life and generosity.
(Photo by Curtis Garland)