Universal Class a Database Review

As school starts and parents, teachers, and students alike may find themselves struggling as they try to get back into the swing of early mornings, science projects, and the dreaded math homework the Chickasha Public Library has a great resource to help you with that, well, not the mornings, you are on your own there.  

Universal Class is a database with over 500 online classes available for library customers.  Classes range from accounting to history to various crafts and hobbies. But there are many courses geared specifically to students, parents, and teachers. 

 The first step will be to create an account with Universal Class. You will need your Chickasha Public Library card and an email address. Universal Class does not allow the same email address to be used for multiple accounts, however you can take up to 5 courses at time. 

Now it is time to start picking classes. If you are a new teacher or just want to brush up on your skills, there is a section called Teacher Resources that is filled with great classes like Solving Classroom Discipline Problems that covers creating a discipline program that is molded to work for you and your students and managing diverse student populations and Understanding Learning Styles which will help you gain basic knowledge of learning styles and how they apply to your students.

If only parenting came with a manual, raising kids would be so much easier. While Universal Class can’t provide an in-depth guide, it does offer some classes that can help. Building Children’s Reading Skills. This course instills an understanding of the development of reading skills from preschool through adulthood and helps the student begin to consider specific strategies which could be utilized to increase the skills and development of anyone’s reading.  

Unfortunately children today still encounter bullying at school. The class Bullying in Elementary  defines and addresses some of the causes of bullying and supplies tactics to prevent it from happening. If you have observed bullying behavior in your own child, this is an ideal course because it covers prevention and effective solutions for ending bullying. 

There are many courses available for students that allow them to do a deep dive on a topic like the Salem Witch Trials. Most history classes do not have the time to thoroughly explore the people involved in the trials or unique setting of a very small, very religious village this course does, with lessons focusing on the accusers and the accused alike as well as the judges who decided the outcome. 

Before a deep research dive, you will want to brush up on your research skills. The class Basic Research Skills can help. This class highlights sources beyond the internet to help students investigate any topic they may find.  

Of course, life isn’t just about studying, a person needs hobbies to give their mind a break from school and work. Universal Class offers a plethora of classes for people looking to expand their hobbies.  You can get a head start on birthday presents with classes like Soapmaking 101 and Knitting 101 or learn to treat yourself with a class on Therapeutic Bathing.   The library encourages you to create an account with Universal Class to explore all the classes on Universal Class.

Does the Library not have the item you want? Request it!

BLURB–This week, Brande discusses the process to request an item at the Chickasha Public Library. 

Last week a friend of mine told me about how the book Jaws by Peter Benchley was the book that made him fall in love with books, reading, and eventually horror movies. I have always felt that reading the book that made a person a reader is a bonding experience, so I trundled down to my local library to check it out. Ok, well, I went to work the next day. He’s a neat guy and all, but I am not going to do something crazy and put on shoes just to read a fella’s favorite book. 

The next day I arrived at work a bit early to grab Jaws before I was on the clock. To my dismay, there was no copy on the shelf. I checked the catalog because certainly, we have a copy. However, I found that we did not. So I did what every proper literary heroine did-threw myself upon the closest divan and wept bitter tears of disappointment. After drying my eyes with a lace-trimmed handkerchief, I submitted a material request for the 1974 bestseller. 

At the Chickasha Public Library, patrons can submit material requests for items that the library does not currently own. Let’s explore the process. 

The staff at the front desk will take your request. We need your name and contact information, of course, to contact you when your item arrives. Most importantly, we will need the title of the book you are looking for or the general topic. You can also ask for titles in different formats like audiobooks on CD or Playaway. We can also take requests for the Oklahoma Virtual Library, but those items may be a bit more difficult to find. 

After staff has taken your request, it is reviewed by the Director or Youth Services Librarian. They consider each request and choose to add it to the library collection via purchase or to use an interlibrary loan to get the item. In either case, they use the Material Selection Policy to decide. 

Requests purchased for the collection are items that fill in gaps in our collection, like books on stock market trading or bathroom remodeling. We have also purchased requested items that continue popular series like the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book (Big Shot will be released October 26, 2021). Requests also help us complete the series as well. This Fall, we received many requests for The Duke and I from the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, prompting us to check that series and purchase the few titles from that series that were missing. 

When the Library Director or Youth Services Librarian decides not to purchase a request, it will be inter-library loaned. Inter-library is a process where we contact other libraries who own the title and ask to borrow that item for our customers. There are a few reasons that an item would be inter-library loaned over purchasing. The item may be unavailable to purchase, which is often the case for older titles that haven’t reached “perpetually in print” status. Other items that we would inter-library loan are titles that don’t quite meet our material selection policy. Some examples are local history books for other states; we appreciate historical preservation as much as the next library, but a history about the founding families of Chautauqua County, New York, would not be a reasonable purchase for the Chickasha Public Library. 

Once a requested item has arrived, it is added to our system to be checked out by customers. Both purchased, and inter-library loan items have a two-week checkout. 

The Chickasha Public Library strives to curate a collection that will entertain and educate the public. We recognize that there are times when a customer needs a book that we do not own. The library will do the best we can to obtain any item for our customers, however, unfortunately some items just aren’t available.

Every Reader Their Book

In 1931 Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan proposed the five laws of library science. One of them is “Every reader their book”. I use this as a key when helping library patrons find the perfect book for themself. 

Each patron who comes into the library is looking for something different. Some are looking to learn more about gardening. Some want light entertainment. While still others are struggling to find a book that interests them at all. It is my job to help them find what they need and “Every reader their book” is my secret weapon.  

When a patron needs a book about plants I could simply point them to the 635.9 section and say “Go for it.” But even I, and my black thumbs, know that there is more nuance to plants than dirt and green things.( Although most of my plants eventually turn brown.) A book like Hip houseplants (635.965 Hamilton) would be a great resource for a customer who had taken to home horticulture in the last year, but it would be practically useless for a customer wanting to attract birds to their outside garden. That customer would need a Bird-friendly backyard: natural gardening for birds: simple ways to create a bird haven (639.978 Zickefoose.) 

Many people use reading as a form of escape and want a light hearted book to relax with-they would need a book that they could pick up at odd intervals and be able to hop back into the story with no trouble regardless of how long it had been since they had a chance to read that book. If I suggested the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman with its fluctuating cast of characters and timelines the customer may have to spend a few minutes reacquainting themselves with the characters and the situation. “Wait. How did Mr. Wednesday, Shadow, and Mr. Nancy get to this place? Oh yeah, they rode the carousel in the roadside attraction. Yeah, that’s right.”  

Customers of all ages also have different format needs when it comes to books as well meaning that their perfect book may actually be an electronic or audio version or, my favorite, the electronic audio version, of the print title. A person who finds the small print in The Broken Gun by Louis L’amour difficult to read may find the large print version a better fit and less tiring for their eyes.  

Many parents are worried about putting books into their babies hands for fear of them ripping pages. This is an understandable concern as I had to sheepishly present Clumsy Crab  to the front desk one day when my daughter ripped a page in half while trying to turn the page herself. After this I decided that I would check out board books for my daughter until her fine motor skills progressed a little more. Board books are small books with thick pages that are easy for tiny hands to turn. Many of the board books available at the library can help parents teach baby simple concepts like colors, shapes, and numbers.

The Chickasha Public library serves a diverse group of customers who each need a specific book to suit their needs. One of the most satisfying parts of my job is deploying my secret weapon to ensure that each reader finds the book that fulfils their need in that moment. Come on down to the library and let staff help you find the book that will help you become the reader you were meant to be. 

Librarians in the Media

If you were to do a quick google image search for “librarian” you would find several images portraying the typical librarian–glasses, cardigan, pushing a cart of books through dusty stacks.  I can assure you that that is NOT the standard-sometimes there are not any carts available and I have to carry the books. 

Let’s look at other librarian and library worker stereotypes and dispel the myths. 

The second event of the Scare Games in Monsters University takes place in the campus library. In this game the students must capture their team flag without disturbing the librarian. Unfortunately one team can’t stay quiet and the librarian plucks them up and tosses them into the nearby creek. 

The Chickasha Public Library understands that life happens above a whisper. We do ask that customers keep conversations quiet. 

If the librarian on TV isn’t aggressively shushing a person for daring to speak above a whisper, they are meekly tiptoeing about the stacks afraid of their own shadow. Although if I encountered a ghost like the New York Public Library librarian Alice did in Ghostbusters I would gain a healthy fear of turning corners while shelving. 

In reality most public library positions require, well, public interaction. Each day here our staff interacts with customers in person, over the phone, and online. This includes weekly programs we host like Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance and Virtual Preschool Storytime or special programs like the Bookmobile that you will see out at an about on April 7th. Two stops are scheduled one at Shannon Springs park 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and one at the Washita Valley Community center and park from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Ruth Brown was a librarian who was not afraid to take on a challenge. Miss Brown was the head librarian at Bartlesville Public Library in 1950 when she came under fire for her support of the Civil Rights movement.  She conducted Storytime for African American children and allowed students from the Douglass school to use the library. In 1950 she was let go from her position. You can read more about her here at the Oklahoma Library Association website. 

Stereotypes are useful in media to help the audience quickly identify a character and move the plot along. However in real life every person you meet is an individual and will not perfectly fit into any one particular role. The staff at your public library is an eclectic mix of people happy to serve the needs of our community. 

Readers’ Advisory

We all know the names of our favorite authors-at least the name that you scan for when you look at the new release shelf. But did you know that some of your favorite authors may be writing under a pen name? The author may feel the need to protect their privacy, want to try their hand at a new genre, or to determine if their continued success is based on their name or on the content of their work. 

The Brontë sisters, Anne, Charlotte, and Emily, chose ambiguous, yet vaguely mascuine names (Acton, Currer, and Ellis) to publish their works under because they wanted to maintain their privacy while still expressing themselves. Also in the time in which their works were published works by female authors were not taken seriously and often considered flighty or overly romantic. Charlotte and Anne were forced to present their decidedly feminine selves to their publisher when rumors began to spread that Acton, Currer, and Ellis were one in the same. 

Agatha Christie may have been known as the “Queen of Crime” but like most creative people, she had many ideas and needed an outlet for them. In 1930 she published Giant’s Bread, a novel about a composer with a tragic past under the name Mary Westmacott. Neither Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple would approve of the dramatics. 

Once an author becomes famous they have built in readership. Fans grab the latest release off the shelf, sometimes before reading critical reviews. This is great for the author’s wallet and ego, but some authors are not satisfied by money and fame alone-they want to know that they are producing books that entertain the public.  

After his initial success with Carrie, Salem’s Lot and The Shining, Stephen King published several novels as Richard Bachman to test his skills. After only four novels the ruse was found out by a bookstore clerk who spotted the similarities leading him to research publishing documents identifying King as the author. To his credit Stephen King encouraged the clerk to write an article about his findings. Bachman “passed away” in 1985 although his “widow” discovered a manuscript for The Regulators which was published in 1996.

Several authors have decided to hide their identities during their careers. They may have craved privacy like the Brontë sisters, wanted to try their hand at a new genre like Agatha Christie or felt the need to test themselves like Stephen King.  If you had to select a new name to attach to your creative work what would it be?

Here is a list of books available at the library with authors who use pen names. Authors Who Write Under Pen Names

Readers’ Advisory

Open book in front of book shelves.

As 2020 wrapped up many of my friends across social media lamented that they had not read as many books this year as they normally do. I had this problem as well. Very few books held my interest for more than a few pages.  Each time a friend asked for advice on what to read to help them through this slump I suggested reading a middle grade fiction or “chapter book”. 

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

I often pick up a chapter book when I need a palette cleanser between heavier books and this year that habit found me reading Front Desk by Kelly Yang. The Tang family recently immigrated from China and are struggling to find their place in Southern California in the early 1990’s. Mr. and Mrs. Tang take a job as live-in managers at a small motel while Mia starts fifth grade.   The reason I always suggest middle grade fiction is in its simplicity.

Middle grade fiction touches on the topics that humans face on a daily basis like friendship drama, family relationships, physical changes, and encounters with a new grown up world, but in a simple, straightforward way.  The main characters are children who (hopefully) haven’t learned the adult art of ignoring their own feelings just to appease others so while they may not express themselves with finesse, they do it better than some adults in novels do.  Compare how Jane Eyre expresses her unhappiness by running away from Thornfield Hall in the night versus Ramona Quimby who simply shouts “Guts!!!!” as she swings at the local playground. Maybe we need more gut-shouting and less slipping away in the night. The guilelessness of young main characters is refreshing. 

Authors of middle grade fiction have to express complex topics like poverty in simple terms that their young readers will understand. Even though Mia is very intelligent she is still a 10 year old speaking English as a second language. She is not going to use five dollar words like penury and indigence when worrying about the hospital bill after Mrs. Tang is attacked. “But we’re dirt poor!” she exclaims to the hospital clerk after they deny the family relief. 

My absolute favorite thing about children’s books is how they end. All the themes of the book are wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end. I know that life doesn’t always end with a pool party, but it sounds better than some endings we are faced with in adult novels and especially life. 

Diabetes and Beyond Class

The Chickasha Public Library has partnered with to Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative to offer a Diabetes and Beyond class.

This is an online class that requires the use of a computer, tablet, or smartphone. To register, please contact OHAI at 405-271-2290 or by email at rhonda-david@ouhsc.edu

Based on the principles of empowerment and education, the Diabetes and Beyond Education Program was created to provide you with the tools you need to better manage diabetes. You will learn about the importance of a healthy
diet, physical activity, and maintaining a positive outlook
through this six-week class. Take control of your health by
learning how to take an active role in managing your

National Poetry Month at the Library

April is National Poetry Month. The idea was introduced in 1996 and is organized by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States.

Did you know that the US Poet Laureate is from Oklahoma? Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa and still lives there today. In addition to poetry, Ms. Harjo also plays the saxophone and flute. You can read examples of her work here.

The Oklahoma Poet Laureate is Jeanetta Calhoun Mish. Ms. Mish visited the Chickasha Public Library in 2019 and conducted a Poetry Workshop. Read some of her poems here.

The Chickasha Public Library is excited to celebrate this year with our community in two brand new ways!

Poem a Day

Call the library at 405-222-6075 and ask us to read you the poem of the day. The poems will be short and family friendly. We will be reading poems until April 30 Monday through Friday 10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.

Read to Us-Just for Kids

We want to hear your favorite poem! Call us Monday through Friday at 405-222-6075 and read us your favorite poem. Poets.org has a great selection of poems for kids.

Infobase Resources

The username for all resources is 1716159-user. The password is digital

Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center is a comprehensive resource for career exploration and planning that allows users to quickly find the valuable career information they need, whether it’s industry and professions articles, school planning resources, or skills and career advice. The material draws from a range of authoritative sources, including Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance. Click here for access.

Today’s Science bridges the gap between the science taught in class and real-world discoveries by leading scientists—giving comprehensive and in-depth explanations of some of the most important advances in biology, chemistry, environmental science, space, physics, and technology. Each article includes vivid images and groundbreaking videos that help make difficult concepts understandable. Click here to explore.

World News Digest for more than 75 years, the digest has been a go-to resource for context and background on key issues of both historical events and breaking news. With more than 300,000 original articles and a vast archive covering every major event since its inception, this database offers concise summaries of current events and clearly written essays on the top issues of the day. Click here for more information.

The World Almanac® for Kids is the ideal one-stop reference resource for intermediate-level students. Erasing the line between homework support and fun exploration, it contains excellent resources for student reports and research, including extensive, up-to-date articles; videos; interactive games; science projects; and Homework Help; plus Teacher Resources with lesson plans. Kids can explore age-appropriate subjects while developing online research skills with a trusted source. Start here.

Access Video on Demand offers public libraries instant access to thousands of exclusive, high-interest videos and clips from top producers. Start watching here.

Closure Update

As of March 27 the Chickasha Public Library will continue to offer curbside pick up for books on Tuesday, March 31 at 2:00 P.M . In the case of inclement weather we will postpone the event to Wednesday, April 1 at 2:00 P.M.

Several sets of items will be available. This includes mixed genres of adult items and the children’s bags will contain a mix of nonfiction and fiction books.  

We are also accepting holds for currently available items. To browse the catalog and place holds, log into your library account with your library card number and password (last four digits of your number). If you have any questions please email us. Library staff will contact you and make pick-up arrangements for available items.

Don’t forget about the Oklahoma Virtual Library! Requests for the virtual library can be emailed to lillie.huckaby@chickasha.org.