W. Reilly School Family Night at the Library

DSC_5074We’ve had a busy week here at the library with all things STEM, and just last Thursday we had another event that showcased many of the different STEM and inspiration space opportunities for the community. The W. Reilly School Family Night at the Library was a success that saw over [amount here] people come to through to take a peek at the different activities we had set up.

BuildIt! Club had an area set up on the first floor, letting kids run wild with their imagination and our building tools/toys. The combination of creative thinking and problem solving is a fantastic way to keep kids entertained, while improving important skills. There was also a story time session in the children’s area that had some of the younger visitors relax a little bit.

We also broke out our Makey Makey‘s, two of our 3D printers, Draw A Story, and the Job Center for Minecraft. We provided information regarding the 3D printing process, as well as how people can submit models to be printed off for them by the library. Each child who came was given one of the hundreds of space invader key-chains we’ve printed out over the last couple weeks. On the other side of the room there were four stations for the Makey Makey’s so parents and children could participate in playing the bongos, the keyboard, whack-a-mole, and the arcade classic Pac-Man. Each game was played by tapping either a banana or a block of play-dough that created a circuit and allows each to act as if it were a button for a video game controller or on a keyboard. The Makey Makey’s are pretty cool by themselves, but can also be used in tandem with Scratch, from MIT, in order to make the introduction to programming as robust and hands on as possible. Minecraft was a success as always, as one of the librarians demonstrated the usefulness of the game for educational and recreational purposes, and allowed people to participate in a brief gaming session.

Having all of the families and teachers become excited over the areas in which our library is growing was a wonderful thing to experience. Most of the adults were unaware of the vast opportunities that were available for themselves, as well as for their children’s benefit. With the world becoming more and more technology focused, it’s imperative that people take the time to understand and learn about the products that are emerging around them. We’re pleased to be that initial stepping stone in the learning process.


STEM Makers gonna Make, Make, Make…

The Dover Public Library hosted a STEM Makerfest last Saturday… Fun was had by all!

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and, math.  A study released by the U.S. Department of Commerce found employment in STEM fields grew at a faster pace than in non-STEM fields.  In 2010, one out of every 18 workers held careers in STEM-related fields.  Between 2008 and 2018 STEM jobs are expected to grow by 17 percent.  Despite this trend, the U.S. Department of Education estimates only 16% of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career.

The Library wants to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and makers.  We asked local educators, engineers, tech enthusiasts, science clubs, and hobbyists to come to the Library and showcase their designs and innovations.  We had 12 demonstrators and 6 other STEM programs/activities throughout the Library.  All of our demonstrators were fantastic and generated a lot of excitement about science and technology and the creative opportunities available in these fields.

We’d like to thank the following groups for coming to the the STEM Makerfest:
Barrel of Makers
College of Mathematics, Natural Science, and Technology – Delaware State University
Delaware Aerospace Education Foundation
Delaware Division of Libraries
Delaware State University
Delaware State University – SPIE Student Chapter
The Delaware Technology Student Association
Engineer Early
Girls Inc. of Delaware
Keith Power
Lewes Public Library and Cape Robotics

We were thrilled to have you all and can’t wait to see you next year!  We have some pictures posted below, check out our Facebook page for even more!

DLA/MLA Conference

award-winnersA couple weeks ago a portion of the library staff went to the DLA/MLA conference that was held in Ocean City, Maryland. It was a fun and productive conference, which included various programs, including “Comic Con at Your Library”, presented by our very own Katy Goff and Kerri Hollyday. The Dover Public Library was also thrilled to see two of it’s employees, Kerri Hollyday and Library Director Margie Cyr, garner recognition for their hard work and dedication to the library and the community.

Kerri Hollyday was awarded the Distinguished Librarian Citation Award, given for extraordinary library information or media services in a given year. Over the past year Kerri has proposed and executed a number of innovative and engaging programs for our patrons, including the Dover Public Library’s first Comic Con event this past summer, which brought in local authors and artists and gave patrons of all ages an opportunity to celebrate their favorite books, movies, tv shows, and more. The library’s Comic Con highlights Kerri’s commitment to our patrons in general, and her teen patrons especially. Kerri was aware that many of our teen patrons would love to attend a convention, but cost and distance often prevent them from doing so. It was her goal to bring the convention experience to Dover, and succeeded by seeing over 2500 people come to the library for the event.

Kerri is also committed to providing STEM opportunities for our patrons. She has played an integral part in launching the library’s Media Lab, which gives patrons access to devices such as our 3D printer, Photoshop, filming equipment, and more. Her participation as a coach for the library’s First Lego League team demonstrates the passion and commitment she displays in this area. She’s been a source of inspiration for the entire staff and has helped to make a positive on impact on each of us, as well as the community.

Margie was awarded with the Intellectual Freedom Award for her efforts towards promoting and ensuring the availability of choice for what people would like to read. Last summer there was controversy surrounding a book,  The Miseducation of Cameron Post, with parents not wanting the book banned from a school’s summer reading list. As chairman of the Delaware Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, Margie was on the forefront of the issue, helping to highlight the need for choice through her writing, promotion of different organizations, and contests.

The work that both Kerri Hollyday and Margie Cyr have done is an inspiration and integral part of our library. Their promotion, as well as protection, of choice and opportunity for the public work in synergy with one another, continuing to demonstrate the importance of library’s in our community.

Comics Community Study

10553629_767861356599537_3105765794886806353_nWe’ve recently been contacted by a gentleman by the name of Keith Edmunds who is conducting a research project to help better understand comics fans. Most of the information available  about who fans of comics are is extremely broad and only seems to support stereotypes.

In his attempt to better understand who supports comics, and the ways in which they do, he has created a survey to help gather more up to date and accurate information. This survey will help determine if comic cons exist as a consequence of a pre-existing comics community, or if it is the event itself that acts as the catalyst to create the sense of community.

So if you’d take a few minutes and fill out the survey, it could be beneficial to our Comic Con growth, as well as conventions elsewhere. All of the surveys are anonymous and it doesn’t require any kind of registration.


Artist Alley pt.4

LOGOcomiccondoverMore of the artists who will be attending Comic Con this year!

Underground Comixxx
Underground Comixxx is the conception ofJabaar L. Brown. Born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1972, Jabaar has been drawing since the age of 4. Jabaar was diagnosed as a young child with epilepsy. Back then there were stigmatism’s attached to the illness that caused Jabaar to spend more time in the house than most children, so he drew and drew….and drew some more. Since getting organized 5 years ago, Underground Comixxx has self published 8 comics. After feeling out the comic business, Jabaar quickly picked up on a missing component in the industry, organization and solidarity among the independent artist. He saw a need to compile artist and publish them in a Preview Book. 4 years ago the first UGC Revolution Magazine was created. Five issues later Revolution Magazine has featured many artists and writers in an effort to cross promote other independents.

Elizabeth Kolodziej
Elizabeth Kolodziej is a novelist and a lover of gadgets, writing, mysteries, and an avid reader.  Her paranormal romance, The Last With series is coming up on the fourth book, Demonic Charms, and there is still more on the way!  With the support of her family, friends, dog and cat she is more than happy to giver her readers exactly what they want in her books…adventure.


D. Krauss
D. Krauss currently resides in the Shenandoah Valley.  He’s been a cottonpicker, a sod buster, a surgical orderly, the guy who paints the white line down the middle of the road, a weatherman, a gun-totin’ doorkickin’ lawman, a layabout, and bust driver, in that order.

Angela McKendrick
Angela McKendrick is a freelance artist and graphic designer based in the Baltimore, MD area.  Her work can be seen under the name CuddleswithCats and on Deviant Art.  Angela has been travelling up and down the east coast and as far west as Ohio for the last two years selling her prints at many conventions and festivals.


Dan Nokes
Dan Nokes is the one man band, jack of all trades, of 21st Century Sandshark Studios.  He is a cryptozoological sequential wonder that is usually haunting the backwoods of Lusby, MD.  But for one day only, he invades the urban jungles of Dover Delaware with his art, writings and various books including THE PARANORMALS, THE PISTOLEERS and ADAM AND EVE: BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!  For more on what this strange sordid man is up to.