Monday, November 30, 2009

Director's Corner by Sandra Collins

As outlined in last month’s message, Northland’s 2010 budget will be 6% less than that of 2009. What does this reduction in our income mean for Northland’s users?

• The amount budgeted for purchase of books and other materials for the collections (CDs, DVDs, audio books, online databases, etc.) will be $190,100 as compared to $307,438 in 2009. We will be purchasing fewer titles and fewer multiple copies and waiting time for items on hold will most likely increase. Donations to our books and materials budget will be accepted gladly.

• Late fees on books, magazines, CDs, and audio books will be increased to $.25 per day as of January 1, 2010. Late fees on videos and DVDs will remain at $1.00 per day.

• Rental fees for the use of our meeting rooms by businesses will increase as of January 1, 2010.

• Rental fees for the use of our meeting rooms by nonprofits when their meeting is not open to the general public will increase as of January 1, 2010.

• A rental fee for nonprofit groups that are not based in nor have members living in one of Northland’s supporting communities will be instituted as of January 1, 2010.

• A longer period of time between check in of items and reshelving of items.

• Available technology maintained at current levels – no additional computers for public or staff user and new technology added.

There is some good news –Northland will be able to maintain its hours of service to our communities and the Northland Library Foundation has agreed to provide funding for the bookmobile service to Ross Township and Marshall Township. Please be assured that Northland’s staff is committed to providing quality service to our supporting communities.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Director's Corner by Sandra Collins

The Fall season is always an interesting time of the year for Northland. By September 16th of each year the Northland Public Library Authority Board is required to adopt an operating budget for the following calendar year. The Board adopted budget is then sent to the elected boards of the 5 supporting municipalities, who have 60 days to adopt or reject it. Those municipalities – Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, Marshall Twp., Town of McCandless and Ross Twp. – provide approximately 56% of Northland’s funding. Northland receives about 34% of its funding from the RAD and state aid. The remaining 10% is self-generated (late fines and other fees, book sale revenues, grants, etc.).

Due to current economic conditions, the budget planning process for 2010 has been an interesting process.. The 2010 budget adopted by Northland’s Board of Trustees includes:
• No increase in funding from the 5 supporting municipalities,
• A 13% increase RAD funding,
• A 38% decrease in state aid and related state funding,
• A 30% decrease in self-generated revenue.

The result is a 2010 budget that is 6% less than 2009 and like everyone trying to cope in the changing economy, that loss of more than $141,000 will bring changes. The reduced funding causes:

• A hiring freeze through December of 2010.
• The bookmobile stops in Ross Township and Marshall Township will end as of December 31, 2009.
• A 38% decrease in the amount available to purchase books and materials in 2010.
• A 21% decrease in the library technology budget
• Reductions to some employee benefits.

On the other side of the picture, the community’s use of Northland in 2009 has risen dramatically when compared to 2008. Visitors to the building increased by 6.7%, items borrowed increased by 11%, attendance at programs and classes increased by 15%, computer use by 8.5% and assistance with research increased by 25%.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rama Says Don't be a Dunce...

Try Northland Library Tutor for expert one-on-one help for all
ages kindergarten through adult.
Northland Tutor is available daily from 3:00 pm - 10:00 pm.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Director's Corner by Sandra Collins

It’s that time of year again – the beginning of a new school year for students of all ages. Northland provides resources and support for students of all ages – whether enrolled in a formal program or pursuing their own plan for lifelong learning.

• Northland Tutor/ is an online tutoring program for students in K-12, college or adult education programs. Tutors may be accessed daily from 3 to 10 p.m. on any library computer or, with a Northland Library card, from any location through and clicking on Northland Tutor. Just log on, specify grade level and subject and get help in anything from 3rd grade math to putting together a resume.

• Northland Tutor/ Skill Center provides access to resources for subject areas for K-12, college and adult education. You can access practice standardized test such as the SAT, GRE, GED, worksheets for elementary school math, and many other sites related to subjects taught at all levels. The Skills Center is available 24/7 at and clicking on Northland Tutor.

• Children’s & Young Adult Department staff can provide assistance in choosing material in a variety of formats to support your child’s formal school work, has copies of the textbooks used in elementary school for North Allegheny (for those days when books are left at school), and assistance in choosing reading material appropriate to your child’s reading interests, age and reading level. The collection is designed for children and young adults to age 17.

• The Adult Services Department staff can provide assistance in choosing material in all formats for to support college level work and independent learning. Many online databases are available through and staff is available to help by email, phone or in person.

Just a few of the many ways Northland is connecting our communities.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What's Your Excuse??

Funding for libraries is only three-tenths of one percent (.3%) of the entire state budget. If we make enough noise, we might be able to keep our funding at the present level.

Here’s our message:“Please freeze library funding next year at the same amount it is this year. Thank you.”

Here are two local legislators’ email addresses:

Jane Claire Orie:
(For more legislators’ emails, click here: )

(If you send an email, please send a copy to: Governor Ed Rendell and Dr. Gerald Zahorchak, Secretary of Education.

For more information about library funding, click on the Save Our Libraries! page:


Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy July 4th

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Matching Game

Match the writer with their crime:

1. Jeffrey Archer
2. Anne Perry
3. William Burroughs
4. Oscar Wilde
5. Henry David Thoreau
6. Norman Mailer
7. Jack London
8. O'Henry
9. Robert Lowell
10. Malcolm X

A. Homicide
B. Perjury
C. Sodomy
D. Homicide and Narcotics
E. Tax Evasion
F. Assault (stabbed his wife)
G. Draft Evasion
H. Vagrancy
I. Burglary
J. Embezzlement

How many correct answers did you have? Leave a comment to check your answers.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rama the Camel

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Director's Corner by Sandra Collins

We have reached a critical time for library funding in Pennsylvania. As noted in an earlier message Northland Public Library receives 56% of its funding from the 5 municipalities of Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, Marshall. McCandless and Ross, approximately 16% of our funding comes through state aid.

Governor Rendell’s budget for 2009-10 proposes a 2.3% cut in state support for local library services. The larger impact for is a 10.6% proposed cut in funding for online databases and other online services provided to Pennsylvania residents through their public libraries that an individual library such as Northland would have difficulty funding on its own.

Since the Governor’s budget proposal was disseminated the Senate Republicans have passed a 2009-2010 budget that would cut state support to public libraries by 50% and eliminate all funding for online databases. Access to many business, health, full text magazine articles, automobile repair manuals and other information sources would certainly be lost altogether. No individual library will have the resources needed to pick up the databases on their own.

You can help by contacting your local legislator to thank him/her for their past support of public libraries and ask her/him to help develop a budget that includes state funding for libraries equal to this year’s (FY2008-09) funding. We realize the reality of added budget pressures during a recession. But, like other public libraries, Northland has seen a growing need for library services precisely because of the recession. We are asking for level funding in order to meet some part of the rising demand for access to computers, training classes, current books and publications and other materials.

On behalf of Northland, thank you to those who have already contacted our legislators. Your support is appreciated – but if you have not had the chance to share your thoughts, please take a few minutes a drop a short note to your State Representative or Senator.

Northland’s State Legislators:

· Senator Jane Orie 9400 McKnight Rd. La Casa Blanca Suite 105 Pittsburgh, PA 15237 412-630-9466
· Rep. Mike Turzai 125 Hillvue Lane Pittsburgh PA 15237, 412-369-2230
· Randy Vulakovich 1407 Mt. Royal Blvd. Glenshaw, PA 15116 412-487-6607
· Dom Costa 1808 Chislett St., Pittsburgh, PA 15206, 412-361-2040
· Don Walko 3880 Perrysville Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15214, 412-321-5523, Robert Matzie 1240 Merchant St., Ambridge, PA 15003, 412-761-1701

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Swine Influenza A (H1N1)

The Swine Flu, officially the Swine influenza A (H1N1) virus, is spreading rapidly around the world and has now been confirmed in Pennsylvania. There is no need for panic but using some common sense will help.

What you can do:
If you feel like you have flu symptoms, stay home. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Throw out used tissues and wash your hands. If you’ve got flu symptoms and you’ve recently been to a high-risk area such as Mexico see your doctor.

Your doctor may not be able to determine whether you have swine flu, but he or she would take a sample from you and send it to a state health department lab for testing. If you were immunized with the Swine Flu vaccine in 1976, it probably won’t protect you now.

The following links have current and reliable Swine Flu information:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Director's Corner by Sandra Collins

Where will you be the week of April 12 to 18? If you answered Northland Library, congratulations you’ll be participating in National Library week, sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). Libraries across the country will join the celebration and this year’s theme, “Worlds Connect @ your Library” describes Northland’s mission very succinctly.

In honor of National Library Week, register for a membership today. A borrower’s card gives you access to a collection of books, CDs, DVDs, videos, audio books, downloadable resources as well as online resources and services such as Northland Tutor.

Northland Public Library provides services from the founding by our supporting municipalities (Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, Marshall Township, McCandless and Ross Township) for the benefit of their residents.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Turn your sound on because this is great.

Director's Corner, by Sandra Collins

Did you know that Northland provides access to tutoring to students of any age, in just about any subject? Our online tutoring service Northland Tutor is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week, every day of the year (except Christmas, New Year’s and Easter). Whether you are in kindergarten or college, writing a resume or just can’t remember how to calculate the square footage of carpet needed, someone is available to help. Just log into Northland Tutor from and click on “Northland Tutor” – select your grade level (K-12, college or adult) and subject and ask your question.

You can log in at Northland, from home or any other site with Internet access. You will need a Northland borrower’s card if accessing Northland Tutor outside of the library. The service is available to all residents of communities within the North Allegheny and North Hills School Districts. All tutors are certified and have been through background checks through, the service provider.

We are able to provide Northland Tutor through the financial support of the Northland Public Library Foundation, Praxair Corporation and Magoo’s Bar and Bistro. This is just one of the many ways Northland supports the lifelong learning efforts of our communities.

Books I’m Reading:The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George
The Main-Travelled Road by Hamlin Garland
The Ape Who Guards the Balance by Elizabeth Peters
The Scold’s Bridle by Minette Walters.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Director's Corner, by Sandra Collins

These are unsettling economic times for people. In order to save money, we’re clipping coupons and cutting back on buying things. We’re also taking advantage of discount cards, making sure we save money on groceries, clothing and other necessities. In times like these, there’s not much room for entertainment or items considered unnecessary.
Northland Library has the best discount card of all: a library card. Consider this: a trip to a major bookstore, where you might purchase two best-selling novels, a CD and a DVD, could run you about $75.00 or more. A night out at the movies for a family of 4 could cost $30-$40. Now think about making the same trip to Northland Library, stocking up on bestsellers, CDs or DVDs, attending a foreign film or participating in a conversation salon. What will this run you? Not a dime. It’s all free to use because the communities which support Northland (Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, Marshall Township, McCandless and Ross Township) have elected to use a portion of your municipal property tax to support Northland. During these tough times, using Northland Library is practical and economically smart, as well as fun. Make sure you take advantage of Northland Library today. If you don’t have a library card, get one. You have already made an investment in Northland; its resources are here for all.