- Mead Valley
- Mission Trail
- Canyon Lake
- Cathedral City
- Palm Desert
- Coachella Bookmobile
- Paloma Valley
- Desert Hot Springs
- El Cerrito
- Glen Avon
- San Jacinto
- Sun City
- Home Gardens
- Temecula - Grace Mellman
- Temecula Public
- Thousand Palms - Art Samson
- La Quinta
- Valle Vista
- Lake Tamarisk
- Western County Bookmobile
- Lake Elsinore
I’ve heard other people also say that school starts earlier every year! It seems that Riverside County Library System libraries now are completing summer reading programs, giving out certificates and prizes at the same time we are putting up new displays and creating reading lists for “back to school.”
All summer long we’ve encouraged families to keep education at the forefront—reminding everyone how many learning gains from the school year can be lost if children and teens don’t keep brains engaged in the summer through museums, libraries and reading activities.
Here we are again at another school year with new opportunities to make new gains. We attended a Back to School Night last week at an elementary school in the Desert where we presented the library program and signed up families for library cards. The passion of the families, principal and teachers and the enthusiasm of the kids were so impressive!
The Riverside County Library wants to help sustain that kind of passion and enthusiasm for learning throughout the year, and each of our libraries eagerly anticipates working with local schools to promote their curricula. We’ll share some ideas here with you for helpful resources that you may find at your library for free and in some of our Friends book stores at modest costs.
First, libraries have public access computers which you may use for no charge with your valid Riverside County Library System (RCLS) library card. Parents and guardians may sign their permission for minor children to use the computers, or they may limit access to the Internet and to DVD’s. When parents and guardians sign their agreement that their children may use the library, they are agreeing to be responsible for wise use of library resources and financial responsibility for lost or damaged items.
When you sign for a library card for your child, talk with that child to make sure the responsibility for the materials is well understood. If you are concerned that your children may not be quite ready for the responsibility, check out their materials on your card. This will allow you also to control Internet access, if you wish.
Throughout the year and throughout the County, we are presenting Family Internet Safety Workshops. The purpose of the workshops is to help families make wise decisions about Internet use. We remind parents that they—not the library—have the power and the responsibility to control their minor children’s choices about Internet use. RCLS does not monitor nor does it have control. Our next workshop is October 18th in Mecca at the Mecca Library.
We also do not ban materials or prevent anyone from checking them out if they have a valid RCLS library card. If there is a book or other material that you do not wish your child to check out, please talk honestly with your child and let him or her know your wishes.
We do have an Internet Use and Safety Policy which prevents access of inappropriate material, and unauthorized access and other unlawful on-line activity. Our policy also is to prevent unauthorized disclosure or use of personal information about minors. Our Internet computers have filters or blocks to material that is considered harmful to minors. The library may prosecute anyone who violates the policy.
But filters may not block all material. Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to monitor what minor children view at home, at school and at the library—engage your child so that you communicate your family’s values of knowledge, information and entertainment.
Next, the library has databases—on-line resources—that will help every member of the family with a valid Riverside Library System library card with their learning and even job preparation activities. Complete lists of our databases are available on this website, but we’ll highlight a couple of them here.
This year, we have a new subscription to BrainFuse© an on-line tutorial program which connects families with a live, skilled tutor who is screened to work with children. Covering grades two through community college for subjects from basic language arts skills to advanced calculus, the tutors are available from late afternoon to early evening. Check with your local library for exact times and how to access the information.
We also renewed our on-line subscription to Career Transitions, a database program from Gale Corporation especially developed to aid those in the job market with the challenges of preparing for the job search or transitioning to a new job. Writing the cover letter and assembling information for a resume’, employment market overviews, and interview strategies are but a few of the helpful features in this database. Again, it’s available at no charge with a valid RCLS library card. Ask your friendly local librarian how to access it not only at the library but at home as well.
Finally, in addition to giving your student a quiet place to do homework and read for pleasure, consider assembling a small library of reference materials. For example, a dictionary, a thesaurus, a single volume encyclopedia, an atlas, and a handbook to literature are some of the desk reference works that help your child perform better in school. Most of these works are available in “junior” level or graded levels, and they are available in the library. Friends’ books stores, however, are a great place to look for used copies, and the bargain bins in local book stores offer a variety of interesting works, too.
Children and teens who read perform better in school. Start a family library that is enhanced from time to time by books that you check out from the library. The library books will inspire your home library collection, and your home library provides a safe place to keep your library books until it’s time to return them.
This will be a great school year for you, and we wish everyone a fantastic start!
Barbara Morrow Williams, MLS, PhD
Riverside County Librarian/EDA