Reflections from Joyce

I’d like to thank the wonderful people of the community who have supported the children’s
programs at Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library throughout the years. As I prepare to
retire at the end of this month, I’ve had time to reflect on my past twelve years as Children’s
Services Manager.

Input from our patrons brought about many changes, such as adding Accelerated Reader labels to
books and creating neighborhoods where all of the Clifford, Dora, Star Wars and other favorite
characters and specific holiday books and movies are shelved in their own little section.

The children’s room staff made changes in the programs that we offer. We were one of the first
libraries in the state to offer programs for children starting at birth based on the Every Child
Ready to Read early literacy program endorsed by the American Library Association. In fact,
I founded and led ITELL, a task force of children’s librarians that lobbied and succeeded in
getting a children’s consultant at the state library. We also trained Indiana children’s librarians
in the Every Child Ready to Read skills and petitioned Indiana University to add early literacy
workshops for students studying to become librarians. Over the years we’ve provided a variety
of craft, art, music, cooking, sign language, and Spanish programs. Some of my favorite
programs and activities have been the Summer Reading Club, Reading with Dogs, I Can Read
Club, Harry Potter: Welcome to Hogwarts, Plainfield Arts Festival, Gingerbread House
Decorating, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Boo at the Library. You may have seen
some of us outside of the library, too. The children’s staff received trophies for our Book Truck
Drill Team entries in the Quaker Day Parade, and we continue to meet many of you at the Kids
Summer Lunch Bunch and the 4-H Fair.

I’ve seen amazing changes in technology in the past decade. VHS tapes were the most popular
format for movies when I started working at this library, and who knew that we’d all be carrying
iPads, smart phones, and Nooks and be able to read books and magazines on them? Twelve years
ago children had to be in kindergarten and print their name before they could obtain a library
card. Now cards are issued to children of any age. Teens and tweens have been given more
respect and now have their own special space and some delightful librarians to accommodate
their needs.

I’d be remiss not to mention the wonderful support we’ve had from the Friends of the Library.
In fact, all snacks, craft supplies and performers are purchased with Friends of the Library
funding. No tax monies are used for these. Your membership in the Friends and support of their
projects, such as book sales, enable us to provide the wonderful Art Zone, craft programs and
Silly Safaris. You won’t want to miss the fantastic Water Show they’re sponsoring this summer.
It’ll be across the street on the grassy area of First Baptist Church. Be sure to wear your swimsuit
and bring a towel to dry off.

It has been my pleasure to work for you, please continue to enjoy the programs we offer and
remember that we are here to serve YOU, so your comments and suggestions are always taken very seriously. Please tell us how we can make your experiences at the library better.

Joyce Welkie
Children’s Services Manager

The Force is Strong With this Library

Join us at the Library this Thursday (1/24) at 6:30 for a celebration of all things Star Wars! Dress up as your favorite character and mingle with other droids, stromtroopers, Jedi knights, and bounty hunters.

While I have your attention, Star Wars fans, I want to ask a question. What are your thoughts on watching the now expanded canon in this order: 4, 5, 2, 3, 6? The reasoning goes like this. Episode 1 adds next to nothing to the larger storyline. Watching the movies in episode order also spoils one of the greatest cinematic surprises of all time – Luke’s paternity. With the alternate order listed above, the saga becomes a more Luke Skywalker focused piece with a nice Anakin flashback midway through before the final episode (Return of the Jedi) ties the father/son redemption themes together. What do you think?

Father Goose

Once upon a time…Father Goose visited the Plainfield Library…and he’s back again, inviting you to participate in the magical fun as our beloved nursery rhymes and fairy tales get a Mother Goose-approved make-over from musician/magician, Paul Odenwelder. Children of all ages are invited to join us on Thursday, January 17th at 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. for this fun adventure that is sure to end happily ever after. Register online or call 838-3801.

Mother Goose is well-known for fairy tales and nursery rhymes, but our Father Goose, Paul Odenwelder, tells the stories his own special way. He offers lots of kid participation, great music and some magic thrown in just for fun. The Father Goose Show brings these classic stories
to life in a way that beats TV and computers for attention and encourages reading. Both Children and adults are charmed and amused.

Resolve to Read in 2013

Have the holidays exhausted you? Are you ready for 2013? Have you made any resolutions for the new year?

It’s time for our annual Winter Reading Club! This year’s theme is Resolve to Read in 2013! The program will run from Monday, January 14 through Thursday, February 28.


Register online from the library’s homepage. Login to enter each book you read between January 14 – February 28 into your Winter Reading log. After logging your first book you’ll be entered to win the grand prize in your age group!

Adults 18+ will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card.

Teens grades 6 – 12 will be entered to win 4 gift cards: a $25 Hot Topic gift card, a $25 Hot Box Pizza gift card, $25 Cold Stone gift card, and a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Children birth – grade 5 will be entered to win a family membership to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

So, have you made any resolutions for 2013? Is there something you hope to accomplish, gain, lose, or do this year? Share your resolutions with us in the comments area!

To help get your year off to a great start, we will have a multitude of programs. Check these out! Click the link for more information or to register.

 Adult Programs 

Teens are invited to write a review about the books they read– stop by area T to write one!

    Every Child is an Artist!

    Every Child is an Artist!

    There’s an art wall by the project table in the Children’s Room, where kids can always find supplies to sit down and make something creative. They can take their projects home, leave them to display, or make two, one to take and one to display.

    The projects that go on the table are great for tactile learners and creative kids. They all support one of more of the five practices of the Every Child Ready to Read Initiative of the American Library Association.

    The leaf project was to decorate a paper leaf with colorful paper bits. It’s amazing how different they were from each other! It tied in with the Writing aspect of the initiative. Picking up the mosaic bits and working with a glue stick helps develop the fine motor skills needed to write, and reading and writing go hand in hand.

     There’s a lot to do in the Children’s Room these days. When kids visit the library they can CREATE (project table,) DO (crawl through the giant caterpillar, play a board game,) READ (book, magazine,) PLAY WITH (train table, computers,) LISTEN TO (snuggle up with together on a cozy couch,) or ATTEND something (a library program- see what there is for your child!).

    Back to School


    These three words mean many different things to many different people. For kids, it’s a mixed bag: some are excited, others hesitant, others filled with overwhelming rage. On the other hand, most parents are ready to drop their kids off in the morning on the first day, and then take themselves out for a celebratory breakfast, to congratulate each other for surviving another summer with their children. Teachers are polishing off the last of the summertime wine, and trudging back to the classroom to put up happy looking bulletin boards, whether they like it or not.

    Back to school time means many different things to library staff as well. For people working at the front desk, there is a chance that they could be crushed by the amount of end-of-the-summer returned items. I don’t think a tower of toppling books ever crossed your mind as a work hazard, did it? The children’s staff looks forward to August and September, when they can take a bit of a breather from the Summer Reading madness, make sure the books are in order, and dust off the textbooks for the kids who left their math books in their lockers and have homework due yesterday.

    In Area-T, the fabulous space for teens that we have created, the insanity is just beginning! Summertime in the teen room is fairly laid back. We have many well-attended programs, and many people stop by for books, but nothing compares to the swell of 13-18 year-olds that fill Area-T after school on a daily basis.

    Last school year, there were upwards of 45-50 kids hanging out, using the computers, playing video games, reading, making crafts, playing board games, and goofing off on a regular basis…meaning Monday through Friday, from 2:35 until they have to leave for dinner.

    During the renovation in September 2011, Area-T moved from the corner of the library to an enclosed area, so the kids can talk in normal voices, play games, have fun, but not disturb the other patrons.  As seeing 50 kids in a closed-off room in the library can be exciting for some, the sight is intimidating to others…especially kids who are new library patrons, new to Plainfield, or even younger teens that are new to middle school. Most of the time I’m intimidated by seeing a million kids in there! However, after teens stop by and hang out once or twice, they have the opportunity to make friends that they wouldn’t normally make and have a blast. There is always a staff member at the Area-T desk after school, so teens can ask any questions that they have without even leaving the room!

    Speaking on behalf of the teen staff, we want everyone to know that we want any teen in Plainfield, especially kids who are new 6th graders, to stop by and check out our space on Thursday, August 16th, from 3pm-8pm, for our Area-T Open House. We want to have the chance to show everyone our space, and give folks the lowdown on how much Area-T has to offer for the teens of Plainfield. There will be a quick craft to make, as well as free paperback books while they last! See you there!


    NEW Library Wish List

    Do you ever want to donate to a good cause but don’t know how to go about it? Using DearReader’s WishList program the library has set up an easy way for the public to donate towards items on the library’s wish list.

    The process is straightforward: just go to and click on the Library WishList Support button on the right side of the webpage. Then click Wishes and then just scroll down through the items on the list and find one that you like. Click Donate Online to make a donation towards that item.

    What’s nice about the wish list is that you can donate in whatever increment you prefer be it $1, $5, $10 or more. It’s just that simple.

    The items on the wish list go towards all sorts of library events and activities from programming materials, to toys for the Children’s Room, to helpful items for our patrons and much more. 

    The library appreciates your support!

    Teddy Bear Sleepover

    We’d love to have you join us for our annual
    Teddy Bear Sleepover!

    Children grades K – 3 are invited to bring your teddy bear, favorite stuffed animal or doll (along with a towel or pillow for your teddy to sleep on) to a library party and sleepover! We will enjoy party snacks and play games with your teddy on Thursday evening from 7:00 – 8:15pm. Your teddy will spend the night enjoying bedtime stories and games with the other teddies after you go home. Please come back Friday anytime between 9:00am – 6:00pm to pick up your teddy.
    Register online here, or by calling (317) 838-3801.

    Meet Miss Mary Puppet: An Interview with Jan’s Puppet

    Miss Mary Puppet and her special quilt
    We recently decided to interview Jan’s friend Miss Mary Puppet.

    Us: Hi, Miss Mary! Let’s cut to the chase. What’s your story?

    Miss Mary: (waving) Hi back! Right now my main thing is helping Jan do the Fabulous Fours & Fives program in the Great Beginnings Series.

    Us: That’s the Early Literacy series of programs, isn’t it? Tell us about it.

    Miss Mary: Sure, there are different program series for babies, one-year-olds, 2 & 3-year olds, and 4 & 5-year-olds. Babies are a lot different than five-year-olds, so the programs are different too. The Children’s Room people are always learning more about the best ways to do those programs. You could probably ask them if you want to know more about it. I know it’s educational but it just seems fun to me. That’s the idea, I guess.

    Us: Interesting! How do you help?

    Miss Mary: I always start the program by waving or saying hello, it’s a great welcome for the kids who are new. I love it when they wave or say hi back! We all have a little chat about the stories or something about the program. Sometimes I even lead the first song.

    Us: Sounds fun. Do you listen to the stories too?

    Miss Mary: Oh, sure. After my part I sit on my special quilt and enjoy the rest of the program. I love it all, especially the stories… and the Dance Along Gong Song at the end. It’s always fun to say hello to new friends.

    Us: Why do you call your quilt special?

    Miss Mary: Jan’s daughter made it for me a long, long time ago. It is yellow with buttons sewn on it.

    Us: Have you known Jan a long time? You seem to work well together.

    Miss Mary: I’ve known her since… practically forever. I guess I have been helping her for 20 years or more, pretty long. Before that I was a stuffed animal. That was a great job too. Jan bought me at a garage sale, washed me, and took out the stuffing. Then I could finally get a job where I move my hands!

    Us: Wait, so you have been here for 20 years?

    Miss Mary: Or more, yes. It sounds like a long time but Jan has been here doing programs for 26 years – and this isn’t even her first library! Sometimes she schedules a vacation for me and sends in another puppet, Zelda or Luna Bella, they like to get a chance too.

    Us: It sounds like you have a great career at the library.

    Miss Mary: I sure do. Being a favorite teddy bear and then becoming a puppet… who could ask for anything more?

    Us: Thanks for telling us about your job, Miss Mary.

    Miss Mary: Before we are done, can I add a *special hello* to my 4 & 5-year-old friends, and to my older friends who used to come to the programs?

    Us: Of course.

    Miss Mary Puppet: (waves) Hello!

    Are you familiar with Miss Mary Puppet? Have you ever been to a program with her or with Jan? Comment below and let us know; we’re sure they would both love to hear of it!