Best of 2017 at MPL

Posted Friday Dec 29, 2017

The keyword for 2017 at McAllen Public Library was “innovation.” MPL pushed the envelope in all areas, including programming, expanding library services, and how it served the community. Take a look at this year’s Top 10 significant moments and achievements and see why MPL continues to be a hot space for everyone to meet and connect.


#10: Orchid Playground
The Orchid Playground by KaBOOM! is a brand new, all-inclusive playground for kids ages 5-12 years old at McAllen Public Library!
The playground was built by volunteers from Keep McAllen Beautiful, Inc., UTRGV - The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and NHPO RGV, with special thanks to Acura of the Rio Grande Valley for their support of this project!


#9: Local Authors at MPL
In a community where storytelling is part of our culture, it’s no surprise authors from throughout South Texas presented their meaningful literature at McAllen Public Library. Events ranged from book releases and author signings, to celebrating National Poetry Month and listening to spine-tingling tales of the RGV.
Some of our local authors who made it out to MPL in 2017 include Alexa Yunes, Alfredo E. Cardenas, Celina A. Gomez, Claudia Yunez, David Bowles, Emmy Perez, Ivonne L. Bollain y Goytia, Judith Luna, Mario Ybarra, Jr., M.H. Stout, Olga Campos Benz, Priscilla Celina Suarez, Raquel López Suarez, Robert Armstrong, Roberto de la Torre, Rodney Gomez, Shawn Russell, and Teresa Stern.


#8: MPL Helps the Community
MPL strives to be an important cornerstone in our community. This year, we were able to accomplish that with the help of our city and our patrons. After Hurricane Harvey, MPL opened its doors and offered free resources and serviced to evacuees, including free printing services.
The public also gave a hand in donating supplies to the NICU RGV Book Drive and by participating in our Food for Fines campaign to help stock the pantries at the RGV Food Bank, while Library Staff participated in purchasing Christmas gifts for CASA Angels.


#7: New Resources
McAllen Public Library is proud to continually acquire important and helpful resources for the community to make use of. This year we added Libby, Lit Kits, and Tutor.com to our arsenal!
Libby is a reading app for borrowing digital books and audiobooks from the library's OverDrive collection.
Lit Kits are a way for you to set up your very own book club by checking out a set of the same books quickly and easily. We even include questions to help get the conversation going when you meet up with your group!
Tutor.com is a fully online tutoring service. You can get a tutor 24/7 in more than 40 subjects including Math, Science, Social Studies, English, AP ® Support, Foreign Languages and Business. Tutoring sessions take place in our easy-to-use online classroom, which runs in your web browser.


#6: Special Programming
MPL pushed the boundaries in 2017, especially when it came to programming.
The Solar Eclipse Viewing Party was an amazing event that welcomed 2,000 people to a safe, fun place to view the solar eclipse – along with popcorn and music. We distributed 1,000 pairs of NASA-approved viewing glasses and around 600 pinhole viewers.
The Trick or Treat Trail led library patrons down the yellow brick road to plenty of Halloween treats! Over 1,500 costumed visitors trick or treated at Main Library services desks and at tables of our community partners.
In August 1,050 participants applied for jobs and had on-site interviews at a job fair hosted by MPL, in partnership with Workforce Solutions. Over 40 employers were on hand.


#5: Library Movements
McAllen Public Library has joined a nation-wide library movement that promotes and celebrates the diversity of its users. Libraries Are For Everyone is a series of images which drive home the message that it doesn’t matter what race or ethnicity you are, what language you speak, whom you love, whom you worship, or where you are from: Everyone is welcome at the library.
“Libraries truly are for everyone, and we want to make sure that our public is reflected in everything that we do. It is important that everyone in our community feels welcome, whether it is to use a computer, browse the stacks, or attend a program. The images on display perfectly capture our purpose,” said Kate Horan, Library Director.
During the Spring, MPL also invited the entire community to participate in the Reading Without Walls Challenge. The challenge, started by National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Luen Yang, celebrates reading and diversity. The community was challenged to read three books to spread appreciation and understanding of others.


#4: McAllen Book Festival
It was a celebration of culture, imagination, and literacy that linked readers of all ages with authors and illustrators. This year’s McAllen Book Festival was one for the books! On November 11, MPL hosted the fourth annual McAllen Book Festival that drew in over 7,000 people!
The Festival is a free event open to the public featuring a diverse group of national, regional, and local children and young adult authors who participate in authors talks, readings, storytimes, and book signings. This year, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Xavier Garza, Rene Saldana, Jr., David Bowles, Carolyn Dee Flores, and Ashley Hope Perez were among the featured authors.
This year, children enjoyed a carnival atmosphere with outdoor inflatables, a petting zoo, an activity tent sponsored by IMAS, games, and free books, hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream, and fresh lemonade.
This year’s sponsors who helped make the McAllen Book Festival a success were: H-E-B, IMAS, MPL Advisory Board, MPL Advocates, Raising Cane’s, Stripes, and our exclusive bookseller, Storybook Garden.


#3: Library Director Accomplishments
Leadership is the root of any organization — the vital source from which all energy, vision, values, and style manifest themselves. This year MPL’s leader, Library Director Kate Horan, led the charge in what it means to be innovative.
Horan was elected president of the Texas Municipal League Directors Association (TMLDA). She was the first library director from South Texas to be elected president since the start of the organization in 1966. The Texas Municipal Library Directors Association advances outstanding leadership and best practices in library and information services through advocacy and networking, and seeks collaborative alliances with the Texas Municipal League, the Texas Library Association and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Horan received worldwide recognition as one of only 28 librarians that was featured in a prominent international publication. The book, "World's Leading National, Public, Monastery and Royal Library Directors," launched this year. Horan had a chapter dedicated to her leadership.


#2: MPLab
McAllen Public Library is always looking for ways to keep our community up to date and ahead of the curve with the technologies of tomorrow. MPLab was created with this in mind! MPLab offers 3D Printing Services to the public as well as programs to experience interactive Virtual Reality activities with our dedicated VR optimized systems!


#1:MPL Digital
MPL Digital is our brand new library app that lets you carry MPL in your pocket! Want to renew a book or place one on hold? MPL Digital does that! Want to know the library hours or locations? MPL Digital does that too! Patrons can also check their account and find out what programs are happening at the library with one-click access from a mobile phone! MPL Digital is FREE on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store!


The keyword for 2017 at McAllen Public Library was “innovation.” MPL pushed the envelope in all areas, including programming, expanding library services, and how it served the community. Take a look at this year’s Top 10 significant moments and achievements and see why MPL continues to be a space for all people to meet and connect.

#10: Orchid Playground

The Orchid Playground by KaBOOM! is a brand new, all-inclusive playground for kids ages 5-12 years old at McAllen Public Library!

The playground was built by volunteers from Keep McAllen Beautiful, Inc., UTRGV - The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and NHPO RGV, with special thanks to Acura of the Rio Grande Valley for their support of this project!


#9: Local Authors at MPL

In a community where storytelling is part of our culture, it’s no surprise authors from throughout South Texas presented their meaningful literature at McAllen Public Library. Events ranged from book releases and author signings, to celebrating National Poetry Month and listening to spine-tingling tales of the RGV.

Some of our local authors who made it out to MPL in 2017 include:

Alexa Yunes, Alfredo E. Cardenas, Celina A. Gomez, Claudia Yunez, David Bowles, Emmy Perez, Ivonne L. Bollain y Goytia, Judith Luna, Mario Ybarra, Jr., M.H. Stout, Olga Campos Benz, Priscilla Celina Suarez, Raquel López Suarez, Robert Armstrong, Roberto de la Torre, Rodney Gomez, Shawn Russell, and Teresa Stern.

#8: MPL Helps the Community

MPL strives to be an important cornerstone in our community. This year, we were able to accomplish that with the help of our city and our patrons. After Hurricane Harvey, MPL opened its doors and offered free resources and services to evacuees, including free printing services.

Our patrons participated in our Food for Fines campaign to help stock the pantries at the RGV Food Bank, while Library Staff participated in purchasing Christmas gifts for CASA Angels. 


#7:  New Resources

McAllen Public Library is proud to continually acquire important and helpful resources for the community. This year we added Libby, Lit Kits, and Tutor.com.

Libby is a reading app for borrowing digital books and audiobooks from the library's OverDrive collection.

Lit Kits are a way for you to set up your very own book club by checking out a set of the same title quickly and easily. We even include questions to help get the conversation going when you meet up with your group!

Tutor.com is a fully online tutoring service. You can get a tutor 24/7 in more than 40 subjects including Math, Science, Social Studies, English, AP ® Support, Foreign Languages, Business, and Citizenship. 


#6:  Special Programming

MPL pushed the boundaries in 2017, especially when it came to programming.

The Solar Eclipse Viewing Party was an amazing event that welcomed 3,000 people to a safe, fun place to view the solar eclipse – along with popcorn and music. We distributed more than 2,000 pairs of NASA-approved viewing glasses and around 600 pinhole viewers.

The Trick-or-Treat Trail led library patrons down the yellow brick road to plenty of Halloween treats! Over 1,500 costumed visitors trick-or-treated at Main Library services desks and at tables of our community partners.

In August 1,050 participants applied for jobs and had on-site interviews with more than 40 employers at a job fair hosted by MPL, in partnership with Workforce Solutions. 

Lark Branch Library's popular children's programming expanded to include baby and toddler programs and Kids-on-STEAM, a children's program incorporating STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) principles in a fun, educational environment. 

Palm View Branch Library partnered with South Texas College to provide advanced computer classes for patrons and provided Chromebook laptop computers and headphones for language learning, citizenship test practice, and job searches.

 

#5: Library Movements

McAllen Public Library has joined a nation-wide library movement that promotes and celebrates the diversity of its users. Libraries Are For Everyone is a series of images which drive home the message that it doesn’t matter what race or ethnicity you are, what language you speak, whom you love, whom you worship, or where you are from: Everyone is welcome at the library.

“Libraries truly are for everyone, and we want to make sure that our public is reflected in everything that we do. It is important that everyone in our community feels welcome, whether it is to use a computer, browse the stacks, or attend a program. The images on display perfectly capture our purpose,” said Kate Horan, Library Director.

During the Spring, MPL also invited the entire community to participate in the Reading Without Walls Challenge. The challenge, started by National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Luen Yang, celebrates reading and diversity. The community was challenged to read three books to spread appreciation and understanding of others.


#4: McAllen Book Festival

It was a celebration of culture, imagination, and literacy that linked readers of all ages with authors and illustrators. This year’s McAllen Book Festival was one for the books! On November 11, MPL hosted the fourth annual McAllen Book Festival that drew in over 7,000 people!

The Festival is a free event open to the public featuring a diverse group of national, regional, and local children and young adult authors who participate in authors talks, readings, storytimes, and book signings. This year, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Xavier Garza, Rene Saldana, Jr., David Bowles, Carolyn Dee Flores, and Ashley Hope Perez were among the featured authors.

#3: Library Director Accomplishments

Leadership is the root of any organization — the vital source from which all energy, vision, values, and style manifest themselves. This year MPL’s leader, Library Director Kate Horan, led the charge in what it means to be innovative.

Horan was elected president of the Texas Municipal League Directors Association (TMLDA). She was the first library director from South Texas to be elected president since the start of the organization in 1966. The Texas Municipal Library Directors Association advances outstanding leadership and best practices in library and information services through advocacy and networking, and seeks collaborative alliances with the Texas Municipal League, the Texas Library Association and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Horan received worldwide recognition as one of only 28 librarians that was featured in a prominent international publication. The book, World's Leading National, Public, Monastery and Royal Library Directors, launched this year. Horan had a chapter dedicated to her leadership.

#2: MPLab

McAllen Public Library is always looking for ways to keep our community up to date and ahead of the curve with the technologies of tomorrow. MPLab was created with this in mind! MPLab offers 3D Printing Services to the public as well as programs to experience interactive Virtual Reality activities with our dedicated VR optimized systems!

#1: MPL Digital

MPL Digital is our brand new library app that lets you carry MPL in your pocket! Want to renew a book or place one on hold? MPL Digital does that! Want to know the library hours or locations? MPL Digital does that too! Patrons can also check their account and find out what programs are happening at the library with one-click access from a mobile phone! MPL Digital is FREE on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store!


#9: 5 Year Birthday Celebration

The New Main Library celebrated its Cincoañera on December 10th! All were welcome to attend and enjoy birthday cake, refreshments, and goodie bags. Library staff were on hand to help patrons access our new music service subscription, Freegal.

Five years after the grand opening we continue to be the largest single floor public library in the nation, and attract many visitors curious to see the wow features of our award winning library. Our grand opening had effectively transformed MPL from a neighborhood library into something like a regional attraction. And the impact and sense the New Main Library has had in our community continues to be impressive!

#9: 5 Year Birthday Celebration

The New Main Library celebrated its Cincoañera on December 10th! All were welcome to attend and enjoy birthday cake, refreshments, and goodie bags. Library staff were on hand to help patrons access our new music service subscription, Freegal.

Five years after the grand opening we continue to be the largest single floor public library in the nation, and attract many visitors curious to see the wow features of our award winning library. Our grand opening had effectively transformed MPL from a neighborhood library into something like a regional attraction. And the impact and sense the New Main Library has had in our community continues to be impressive!


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