Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Triceratops' Journey at Little Falls

A little while ago, we made a sad discovery at the Little Falls Branch. One of our younger customers, Lucian, lost his treasured golden triceratops toy into the abyss of the elevator shaft. It's not uncommon to see pen caps and loose change take a bad bounce into the impenetrable dark, but it's always heartbreaking to watch something special sail bravely into the dark. Unfortunately, we had to tell Lucian that we weren't able to retrieve his toy.

gap where the elevator meets the floor
The Dark Chasm
Luckily, when routine maintenance was being performed on the elevator, our generous elevator technician hopped down into the pit and retrieved the golden triceratops for us. We were so delighted that he could be rescued that we immediately got in touch with Lucian's family to let them know the good news. It was close to closing time so our triceratops friend got to spend the night in the library.

And he was active.

First, he was very thirsty from having spent so many days in the elevator pit, so he journeyed to the staff workroom where he drank his fill from the sink. With his thirst slaked, he realized that his tummy was grumbling, so he set off in search of food.

toy triceratops in the sink

His first stop was the 500s section of non-fiction to pick out his choice of meal. Though the flora of his time period was a bit different than what we offer today in North America, he did start drooling thinking about all the tasty leaves on the trees. He was psyched to see that the Little Falls non-fiction section covered all sorts of topics like gardening and even how to draw comics. He'd have to be sure to attend MoComCon.

toy triceratops with book titled Trees

With his menu decided, he took a peek out the window to see what tasty shrubs the Little Falls campus offered. What a view!

toy triceratops near window

On his way out of the building, he was distracted by the gorgeous Little Falls mural downstairs and all of its glorious greenery. He paused for a second to imagine himself in the woods munching away.

toy triceratops near leaf painting
Finally, he made it outside the branch and ate. And boy, was he hungry. He stopped at the Little Falls entry for a little nap.

toy triceratops near sign saying Little Falls Library

Now that he was full of good food and water, he decided to play in the downstairs meeting room! Since there were no programs or meetings going on, the Little Falls collaborative play space was in full effect. He tried out the early literacy activity wall, and he particularly enjoyed rearranging the magnetic gears and riding them around.

toy triceratops on plastic, magnetic gears

On the floor, he pretended he was Godzilla stomping around a little town on the city rug. But, he was a good triceratops, and he obeyed traffic signals and yielded right of way. He loved being able to hang out in this room, and he made a mental note to come back for storytimes and other programs. 

toy triceratops on road themed rug

Once he was upstairs again, he decided to take a look at the Friends of the Library, Little Falls Chapter book sale. He loved the selection, but he did not have a wallet, so he just browsed.

toy triceratops on shelf near sign saying Rita's Corner Book Sale

On his way back to the Lost and Found bin, he stopped behind the upstairs desk to gaze at the beautiful mural. He really enjoyed taking it all in.

toy triceratops near mural

He also stopped by the magnifier to see what he looked like on the big screen...a good looking dino if he did say so himself. He was impressed at the adjustable table, magnifier, and ADA workstation. He thought it was so cool that MCPL offered so many assistive technology options.

toy triceratops on electronic magnifier

Something in the fiction section caught his eye. It was a book that had a dinosaur's shadow that reminded him of his sister, T-Rex, on it! Hanging out near the book made him homesick, so he decided to retire to the Lost and Found bin for the rest of the night.

toy triceratops near book Lost World by Michael Crichton

Before he knew it, it was morning, and he was being lifted out of the bin. Suddenly, he heard a familiar voice, and it spread the biggest smile across his face. It was Lucian! And he was here to take him back home.

boy hold triceratops

Lucian and his triceratops were super happy to be reunited, and triceratops couldn't wait to share all of his adventures and the cool things he discovered were offered at Little Falls and Montgomery County Public Libraries.

Patrick Fromm,
Little Falls

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Little Falls Welcomes Back its Teens

Now that the school year is in full swing, it's nice to have a place where you can work on homework, chill with your friends, or take time to relax in peace and quiet. We are working to make the Little Falls branch of Montgomery County Public Libraries that place for you!

Our refreshed branch has a new teen section featuring an orange glassboard to unleash your creativity, comfortable seating for hanging out or working, and new shelving to ensure the maximum amount of in-demand books, graphic novels, audiobooks, and more. Be sure to thank Darth Vader for watching over the area the next time you are in.

welcoming teen space with furniture orangeboard and teen sign

Meet our teen librarian, Tara!

Tara standing next to Darth Vader statue

She is constantly working to come up with new ideas to help make Little Falls a great place for teens. You can stop in and see what Tara is recommending. If you check one out, be sure to let her know what you thought. She'll be more than happy to discuss it with you and recommend more books you'll love. In October, Tara will be recommending the absolute spoopiest books, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for those.

tara recommendations sign surrounded by books

If you are feeling a little bored after school, be sure to stop by the desk to try out one of our teen activity boxes. We currently have a Teen Puzzle Box, a Teen Beading Box, and a Teen Coloring Box available. All we need is a school ID or your library card, and you can get lost in a craft or activity. If you have ideas for other fun options we could provide, be sure to let us know!

box filled with coloring instruments on a table

As if the activity boxes aren't enough, Little Falls is also providing regular game nights every month. Be sure to check out our schedule of events on our website for details on the the next one, so you can stop on in to our meeting room and play all the hottest board games like Exploding Kittens, Settlers of Catan, Fluxx, and more.

board games on a cart

We also have an outstanding slate of teen programs at Little Falls. Hopefully you were able to make it out to help celebrate the grand opening of our teen section with our prize wheel, by making hats for Darth Vader, and making custom buttons. More recently, we celebrated back-to-school Harry Potter style by making potions, wands, and other fun stuff. Be sure to make it out to our Spoopy Halloween Party for Teens on Tuesday, October 31 from 4-5:30 pm.

table with multiple vials

Keep an eye on our calendar of events for more outstanding events, and don't hesitate to ask our team about what's on the horizon for teens at Little Falls. And while you are on our site, be sure to checkout the MCPL Teensite for inspiration on what to read next, all the news on MCPL teen events, and other awesome content.

Patrick Fromm,
Little Falls

Monday, August 21, 2017

Final Refresh Blog Post

Well, here we are everyone! The big day finally arrived, and the Little Falls Library had its soft reopening on Saturday, July 29. All of the anticipation, the hard work of so many different hands, and the support of the community paid off in droves when we opened the doors and let that flood of customers back in.

It was so exciting to see people taking in the all the changes, gobbling up new releases, and greeting our team, old and new. Thank you so much to everyone who came out and celebrated with us! In addition to welcoming back regular customers, we also met several new faces who had moved into the area while the branch was closed. They all expressed excitement at having such a lovely local library.

We have one more piece of excitement coming up this weekend. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place this coming Saturday, August 26, at 10 am. This will be another chance for everyone to celebrate the hard work that went into reopening this branch.

Now, our journey through these weekly blog posts is over. It was a pleasure sharing all the progress with you all, and I thank everyone who followed the blog during the refresh. Now, this blog will become a monthly publication concerning collections, programs, or services we want to highlight. Please continue to follow it; it's a fun way for us to provide Little Falls information to a wide audience.

Before I sign off on this Refresh project, I wanted to share a neat moment before we finally flipped that "Closed" sign to "Open". Almost our entire team worked on Saturday, and just minutes before the doors cracked open, we were standing around admiring the clean, new space packed with books awaiting an eager reader, and we could see the crowd gathering outside. It was eerily quiet at 9:56 am on a Saturday morning.

Cookies from our Friends of the Library were plated and ready to be devoured.
table set with cookies

The children's room was freshly merchandised and neatly ordered.
computers and bookshelves for children

The meeting room was set up for play.
Children's carpet on the floor
wall-mounted early literacy activities

The upstairs reading room was arranged.
rows of comfortable chairs and tables

Our teen area invited its visitors to answer the question: "What programs for teens do you want?"
desks and chairs with sign "Teen" on the wall

All of these facets of your library combined to finally welcome its customers home. The doors opened. You all flooded in. Books were checked out. Holds were placed. Toys were played with. Balloon animals were made. The rest of the day was a rush of excitement, positivity, and greetings. I wish I could have slowed it down to savor it, but I will always cherish that moment right as the doors opened, the exact moment we became a library again.

Thank you all for your support and patience! Welcome home.

We [heart] the Little Falls Library

Patrick Fromm,
Little Falls

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Penultimate Weekly Blog Post

Well, we are really getting down to the wire here at Little Falls! In case you missed the announcement last week, we'll be reopening on Saturday, July 29th at 10 AM. Our ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Saturday, August 26th at 10 AM.

This week was full of fun updates as the finishing touches are put on the building. Our signage that we picked out weeks ago came in, and it looks outstanding.

New Books sign at Little Falls Library

Additionally, the last bits of our lighting upgrade are underway in our hallways and meeting room.

Wires hanging from ceiling awaiting new lighting

On the staff side, we have been hard at work inventorying the whole collection. This process allows us to create an accurate database of all of our items so that you can find what you are looking for when you visit us. It takes a serious amount of work because we have to physically scan every item in the library. Our team has been having a blast with it, though. The air has been filled with the delightful chirp of scanners.

Little Falls worker conducting book inventory with a scanner and iPad

Thank you for continuing to follow our blog. I'm really looking forward to meeting you all in person. Just a few more days until I get to flip this baby over.

The Closed sign at the entrance of Little Falls Library

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go help out with the rest of the scanning.

Patrick Fromm,
Little Falls

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Post You Have Been Waiting For

Welcome back to another week's update of the Little Falls Library! Were it possible to insert a drum roll into a blog post, I would absolutely be doing that now. It is my incredible pleasure to announce that the Little Falls Library will have a soft reopening on Saturday, July 29th at 10 AM. At that point, we will resume normal service and welcome all our customers back into the newly refreshed space. Everyone here is anxiously waiting to start serving you again.

But the fun does not stop there! On Saturday, August 26, Little Falls will have a grand reopening ceremony. This will be a celebration of all the hard work that went into updating and renovating the branch. It will also be a celebration of the dedication and patience of our community as you waited for the library to reopen. Please mark it on your calendars.

Now, onto our progress from this week. The major headline from our work at the branch this week was the incredible efforts of our team to shift several collections in order to make room for new materials that had come in while the refresh project has been going on. Our work on the adult collection is almost done.

In addition to the adult collection, our children's collection team has also been working full force to get the incredible wealth of materials sorted, shelved, and ready for the reopening. The room is still a work in progress, but every day brings major steps towards a collection that is ready for our young customers to explore and be delighted. 

In building news, the last few lighting fixtures' installation has begun in the quiet room and the meeting room. We're extremely excited to see how appealing these areas are with the new lights turned on. 

New light fixtures at Little Falls Library

We also got wonderful sheeting on our walls to protect against the frequent flow of heavy metal carts and boxes. This will keep your library looking attractive and new despite the wear and tear of heavy use. 

Protective sheeting along walls of Little Falls Library

And, last but not least, we prepared for the delivery of our furniture in the children's librarians' and manager's offices by removing the old furniture. So, since there is a little bit of lag time before the new furniture is delivered, I'm writing this entry from the floor (sure, I could use one of our other computers, but would that be as fun of a photo?). Even though I am sitting low, my spirits are high because I know that every day brings us closer to reopening our doors. I'm looking forward to meeting all of you and sharing the honor of welcoming you back to your refreshed Little Falls Library. 

Chairless Little Falls Library manager Patrick Fromm

Please continue to follow this blog for more updates. And, as always, thanks for supporting Montgomery County Public Libraries--Where the County Reads, Where the County Meets, Where the County Learns! 

Patrick Fromm, 
Little Falls

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lots of Progress at Little Falls

This has been another intense week at Little Falls! Workers of all sorts were in and out preparing the branch for its reopening, and all sorts of satisfying and aesthetically pleasing signs of progress were visible.

Painters gave a bright new coat of paint to the entrance, the molding around the windows, and other exterior areas of the building.

Newly painted doors at Little Falls Library

In addition, our elevators were painted to cover over lots of wear and tear. They look super spiffy and ready for action.

Little Falls Library's repainted elevator

All of our wooden doors were sanded down and stained. Eons of fingerprints, scrapes, and rogue marker streaks were erased in the blink of an eye. All the doors now radiate a warm, clean glow.

Restored wooden doors

Next, our quiet room shelving was removed in order to make way for fresh new shelving. We're extremely excited for that shelving to arrive, and we know the room is going to look totally transformed when we are finished. 

Finally, our new water line for the coffee vending machine was installed. Personally, this is one of my favorite additions. Nothing aids relaxing with a book like a hot cup of coffee, and this will allow all of our Little Falls customers to take advantage of that experience. 

On the staff side, our new desk was constructed in our workroom, and it looks perfect! Just in time too, because we have been working in the collection heavily to prepare for the opening.

New desk with desktop computer in the Little Falls staff area

We've gotten rid of the ancient foam hiding in our old shelving, and we are continuing to sort through materials to remove dirty, broken, or outdated materials and replace them with new books, audiobooks, and DVDs. 

Debris from the construction work within Little Falls

Whew. It certainly took a lot of work, but it seems like things are clicking into place as we head towards our reopening. Please continue to follow this blog to be notified of the opening date and to keep up to date on more progress at Little Falls. 

Thank you for supporting Montgomery County Public Libraries--where the County reads, where the County meets, where the County learns! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Things are Bright at Little Falls

Another two weeks at the Little Falls Library brings more updates to our journey to reopen the library! The first update I would like to share is that we have a general timeline for the Little Falls Library to reopen. We hope to reopen in late July or early August. Our staff was able to return to the branch this week, and we'll be assessing the work needed to reopen the library. Once this is done, there will be a concrete date announced. Thank you for continuing to bear with us and support us as we make the library an even better part of Montgomery County Public Libraries.

This week was filled with construction as the lighting installers worked hard to install all of our new fixtures. Our areas with lower ceilings: childrens, teen, and audiobooks / DVDs, all got gorgeous embedded lights in the ceiling. It really brightens up the whole area, and it will make it much more welcoming, attractive, and easy to find what you are looking for! 

Light fixtures above the audiobooks section of Little Falls Library

Our higher ceilings are getting  more efficient and attractive lights compared to the previous wide, older rectangular florescent lights. These new lights have a much lower profile, which means that the lovely view from our windows is more visible and entrancing than ever. 

New light fixtures on the high ceiling of Little Falls Library

In other news, painters were on site painting the exterior of the building, and it is looking fabulous. The new coat of paint does wonders to restore the wear and tear of time, and it has been exciting to see how different the library looks from the beginning of each day to its end.

Some of our older shelving in the quiet study room has been removed to make room for new, attractive shelves, and we could not be happier! 

I hope you'll continue to follow this blog as we draw closer to the opening, and thank you for all of your support for Montgomery County Public Libraries--where the County reads, where the County meets, where the County learns! 

Patrick Fromm, 
Little Falls