Monday, April 14, 2014

Ideas From Around Nebraska: Oxford Library Is Youth Social Hub

According to a story on the news wires, the folks in Oxford, Neb., are making the town library a social hub for the kiddos.

The AP reports, "The kids come in their PJ's. They curl up with stuffed toys and munch on popcorn. And, while their parents are watching a grown-ups' movie at the Granada Theater next door, youngsters at the Oxford Public Library are enjoying a G-rated kid-friendly movie on their own big screen, helping the library fulfill its mission to be a vital, vibrant educational, entertainment and social hub of the community."

"We've done movie night all winter. It has become very popular," says library director Danielle Burns, who has, with her teen board, board of directors and "Friends of the Library," created other new programs and activities that are keeping the public library in residents' minds and hearts. "The library has lots of support and lots of volunteer time and talent from the community," Burns said.

Help with homework after school is part of the library's new "strategic plan" developed this year, and retired teacher Jan Anderson volunteered to help by offering tutoring. "It's free to the students, and has been very successful," Danielle said.

The community's Oxford Foundation provided funds for an XBox game system and television. The library also has a variety of DVDs available for check-out. "We feel very fortunate that we have so much support from the community," Burns said.

To further involve young readers in the library, Burns has created a five-member board of teens who are freshmen through seniors in high school. The board makes suggestions and recommendations of books of particular interest to teens and kids, and helps set up and clean up on Movie Night. "They're very, very helpful," she said. "And it helps them feel useful and part of the library."

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