National Library Week is April 4-10, 2021, and this year’s theme is “Welcome to Your Library!” According to the American Library Association, this theme “promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building – and that everyone is welcome to use their services.”  The Chickasha Public Library provides access to a variety of information, services, resources, and programs, both physical and virtual, to everyone in the community.  During National Library Week, the Chickasha Public Library will be celebrating its resources, users, staff, volunteers, support groups, and the many ways in which it reflects and serves this community. 

There are many ways to celebrate and promote libraries. You can show your library love by participating in the #MyLibraryIs social media campaign during National Library Week for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.  Monday, April 5th The State of America’s Libraries 2021 Special Report: COVID-19 will be released. Tuesday, April 6th is National Library Workers Day, Wednesday, April 7th is National Library Outreach Day, think bookmobile among other programs not held within a library building, and Thursday, April 8th is Take Action for Libraries Day.  The American Library Association encourages people to support the Build America’s Libraries Act, which will “fund upgrades to the nation’s library infrastructure to address challenges such as natural disasters, COVID-19, broadband capacity, environmental hazards, and accessibility barriers.”

The American Library Association lists several different activities in which people can support libraries during National Library Week. These include showing appreciation to library staff in person and on social media on National Library Workers Day, highlighting the library’s community contributions and involvement, communicating how libraries provide essential resources, services, and information to their communities, and advocating for library funding and support within local, state, and federal governments.  You can highlight libraries on social media using the #NationalLibraryWeek, and #LibrariesTransform hashtags, and by following the American Library Association and I Love Libraries.

American Library Association has also created a word search and coloring pages for National Library Week. Click on each link below to view and print each one.

National Library Week Word Search Activity Page (PDF)

Word Search Answers (PDF)

National Library Week Coloring Page (PDF)

National Library Week Coloring Page in Spanish (PDF)

Finally, a great way to celebrate National Library Week is to visit the Chickasha Public Library, where you can also find several books about public libraries and their continuing impact on individuals and communities.  If you are looking for a history of public libraries, Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library by Wayne Wiegand (027.473 Wiegand) discusses the value and relevance of public libraries as a whole throughout the history of this country.  Closer to home, A History of the Chickasha Public Library, 1905-2020: The First 115 Years by library staff member Michelle Skinner (027.476 Skinner) is about the history of this specific library (and a copy can also be purchased for $10 at the library).   

More perspectives of libraries written by staff from other libraries include Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron (636.80092 Myron) and Free For All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert (BIOGRAPHY Borchert), a humorous memoir about some of the more unusual and entertaining aspects of working in a public library. 

Come to the Chickasha Public Library and discover the many resources it has to offer during National Library Week!  We hope to see you there! 

“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history” – Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950), historian, author, and founder of Black History Month

February was Black History Month, which highlights the history, culture, contributions, struggles, and achievements of African Americans.  However, learning about Black history should not be limited to February. Reading books written by Black authors is a great way to continue learning about both the past and present.  Anyone looking for Black history, perspectives, and representation can find many nonfiction resources at the Chickasha Public Library. 

Some historical works include African American Almanac: 400 Years of Triumph, Courage and Excellence by Lean’tin L. Bracks (973 Bracks), African-American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped our Country by Henry Louis Gates (920 Gates), The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (304.80973 Wilkerson), Crossing the Danger Water: Three Hundred Tears of African-American Writing (810.8 CRO), and Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires by Shomari Wills (338 Wills). 

There are also biographies, including Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (BIOGRAPHY Douglass), and Matter of Black and White: The Autobiography of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher (BIOGRAPHY Fisher), who was born in Chickasha. For more local history, you can read Chickasha Black Heritage and One Room School Memories, both by Loretta Jackson (FRONT DESK 976.654 Jac; GEN 976.654 Jac) while at the library. 

Those looking for books about current events and perspectives can read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (364.973 Alexander), How to be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (305.800973 Kendi), Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (305.800973 Coates), and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeona Oluo (305.800973 Oluo). These books and many more can be found in the nonfiction and reference section of the library for anyone wanting to read about and expand their knowledge of Black history.     

The Chickasha Public Library, which has the distinction of being the first free library in what was then Indian Territory, was founded as a Carnegie Library on March 23, 1905.  This library has operated continuously for 115 years, and has grown and developed as new technology, resources, and information becomes available, and is a vital part of the educational and cultural landscape of this community. 

The library provides a variety of information, services, and resources for both education and recreational purposes to the residents of Chickasha and Grady County.  These services provide personal, social, and economic benefits in many different ways.

Since the beginning, the Chickasha Public Library has offered access to books and other printed material.  Library cards are free for anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Grady County, and each person can check out up to 20 items at a time.  Besides printed books, there are audio books on CD, Playaways, magazines, and kits available.

Due to COVID-19, the library’s services are currently being delivered in modified ways to ensure public safety.  Individuals can call and reserve an appointment to visit the library to browse, check out books, or use the computer during available days and times.  Books can also be requested and held for curbside pickup either by phone or online through the library’s catalog.  Additional curbside services include printing (documents can be emailed to chickashapubliclibraryprinting@gmail.com), copying, and short-term laptop usage.  There is also a notary service free of charge. 

The library’s virtual services have been widely utilized during the pandemic.   Ebooks, audio books, and magazines are available through the Oklahoma Virtual Library and can be read on your Kindle, phone, tablet, or computer.  Sign in with your Chickasha Public Library card and then enter the last four digits of that number as the PIN. 

For those wanting to supplement online learning, Universal Class is a database containing over 500 courses (free with your library card) that cover academic subjects, technology usage, health, finance, workplace skills, and recreational hobbies.  Once completed, each course provides a certificate and CEUs that can be used for continuing education credits.  History and genealogy researchers can benefit from EBSO Host, OK2Explore, ProQuest Black Freedom Struggle, and Oklahoma Digital Prairie.  Free streaming movies are available through Kanopy. These databases and more can be found on the E-Resources tab on the library’s homepage.  Ancestry is also available at home for the duration of the pandemic and can be accessed by signing into your account on the library’s homepage. 

Regular programs, including Tai Chi and classes from the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative, are currently accessible through Zoom.  Those who are interested in health literacy can participate in a community walking challenge, watch videos with healthy recipes on the library’s Facebook page, and check out kits with information about healthy living.  

Finally, anyone can call or email the library and receive information and help from the staff.  We will work to find new and innovative ways to search for answers to questions, find resources, help navigate the vast world of online information, and to provide contact information for official organizations.  For more information about any of these programs or services, please call the Chickasha Public Library at 405-222-6075.

Are you looking for an interesting and captivating book to read?  Here are some of the best books from 2018, all of which are available for check out at the Chickasha Public Library (with each book’s shelf location in parentheses).

According to the New York Times, Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday (Fiction Halliday) is “a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years, and it manages to be, all at once, a transgressive roman à clef, a novel of ideas and a politically engaged work of metafiction.”  There There by Tommy Orange (Fiction Orange) tells the interconnected stories of a group of Native Americans in California who are traveling to a powwow.

If you are interested in award-winning historical fiction, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Fiction Edugyan) is the winner of the 2018 Giller Prize and is set in Barbados in the 1830s during the last days of slavery.  The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Fiction Makkai) has been nominated for the Booker Prize, and the National Book Award and its story centers around the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

For nonfiction readers, How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan (615.7 Pollan) details the history and science of psychedelic drugs and how it relates to consciousness.  Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston (306.3 Hurston) recounts the life of Cudjo Lewis, who was the last known person to be captured in Africa and sold into slavery in the United States.  If you are seeking memoirs and current events, NPR recommends Becoming by Michelle Obama (Biography Obama), In Pieces by Sally Field (Biography Field), and Fear by Bob Woodward (973.933 Woodward).