Bruce Cameron: Dogs, Dads and Teenage Daughters

February 24th, 2014

Bruce_CameronThanks to donors like you and the Library Foundation’s Cultural Arts Endowment Fund, the Library is able to bring author W. Bruce Cameron to Springfield during the Big Read at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10.  Cameron will blend his wit and love for dogs for the Big Read presentation: “Come. Sit. Stay, An Evening with Bruce Cameron.”

Cameron hams it up in his “Unauthorized biography” on his own official website, but here’s the straight (we think) story about him (but you really should read his funnier version on his website): He always wanted to be a writer and sold his first short story at age 16 to the Kansas City Star for $50. He attended Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., was editor of the literary magazine and student newspaper. After college he became a freelance writer while doing a host of other jobs to make real money.

In 1995 he started an online Internet column with six subscribers. At its peak, he says, the Cameron Column had 40,000 subscribers. As he tells it, “I showed my columns to the Rocky Mountain News and in 1998 they began featuring me weekly in their Home Front section. Before long I was considered one of their most popular columnists… A column I’d written, ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,’ was crazy popular, so I turned it into a full book on the subject.”

His writing career took off after that, with national TV, magazine and radio exposure. Cameron explains, “Oliver North (bet you didn’t see this coming!) took an interest in ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter’ because he has a teenage daughter. He had me on his radio show and introduced me to Creator’s Syndicate, which picked me up in October 2001.”

For more information on this and other Big Read 2014 events, check out the Big Read website.

Final ‘First to Know’ Breakfast slated for Thursday, Feb. 20

February 14th, 2014

Get a sneak peek at the Brentwood Branch Library renovation plans . . . and breakfast is on the house.

Come take a look at our plans for the Brentwood Branch Library renovation. No donations will be solicited; we are simply eager to tell you what we have planned, and to get your feedback.

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Notice of Public Meeting – January 27

January 24th, 2014

The Library Foundation Board will meet January 27, 2014 at noon at the Library Center.

View the Notice

Notice of Public Meeting – November 18

November 15th, 2013

The Library Foundation Board will meet November 18, 2013 at noon at the Library Center.

View the Notice

Find great bargains at the Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale

October 16th, 2013

It’s just around the corner –  the Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale begins Tuesday, Oct. 22 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 27 at Remington’s, 1655 W. Republic Road in Springfield. The public sale hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, Oct. 22-25; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27.  Half-price day is Saturday, Oct. 26 and “Bag Day” is Sunday, Oct. 27, when everything you can fit in a bag costs $1 or $5 for regular or better books. The Friends Night Preview Sale (admission only with your Friends of the Library membership) is Monday, Oct. 21, from 5-8 p.m.  If you are not already a Friends member, you can pay $5 at the door to join and enjoy the early-bird bargains. You can also sign up or renew your Friends of the Library membership prior to the sale at your library branch.  booksale-collage_000

Remington’s will again be filled with best-sellers, sci-fi fantasy, cooking and crafts, religious fiction and nonfiction, textbooks, rare and collectible books, music CDs and record albums, DVD and VHS movies, audiobooks, sheet music, puzzles and games. This fall the Friends have an extra-large collection of children’s books, so be sure to get there early to scoop up great buys! Holiday gift-giving time will be here before you know it, and books make terrific gifts! Children’s books are 50 cents or less; children’s better books are $1 and up. Adult, young adult books and most audiovisual items are $1 or less. Paperbacks are 50 cents; better books are $2 and up. Follow the Friends on Facebook as Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library District.

Proceeds from the sale are returned to the Library in many ways through grants for Library branch programs, building needs and the Brentwood capital campaign.  Thanks to everyone who has donated to or purchased books from the Friends Book Sale and kudos to the Friends for all their tireless work making the book sale a huge success – together we build a strong and innovative library district!

Come have coffee with us and see what’s planned for Brentwood!

October 7th, 2013

Get a sneak peek at our plans for the Brentwood Branch Library Friday, November 1. The Library Foundation is hosting an informational session at 7:30 a.m. in the Brentwood Library’s community room to “show and tell” the exciting changes that are forthcoming. Coffee and a continental breakfast will be available while we share how we are going to expand existing spaces and create new ones. We promise to take no longer than one hour, but you are welcome to stay and chat if you like.

130411 Interior RenderingWe will have architectural renderings on display, a video explaining the changes and a time for questions and answers. No donations will be solicited – we just want to tell the story about how your favorite neighborhood library is being brought into the 21st century with all the latest technology and services everyone has been waiting for! Despite the new technology and sparkling additions, we want to assure you that Brentwood will still be “Brentwood,” with the same outstanding, friendly staff that makes this branch so special.

If you are planning on attending, please RSVP by calling Valerie Richardson, Library Foundation Director, at 417-616-0586 or by email at

Location:  Brentwood Branch Library Community Room, 2214 Brentwood Blvd (one block east of Glenstone Avenue on Seminole Street); please enter the library on the south end of the building.

If you mention when you RSVP that you found out about the meeting through this website, we will have a special prize for you!

What did you read this summer?

September 24th, 2013

Summer is a time for riding bikes, staying up late and splashing in the pool or lake. It’s also a time of special risk for reading skill loss. Kids who don’t read during summer break —  especially those from low income families — can lose up to two to three months of reading skills, which can add up to an entire grade level by the time they reach middle school.

Research shows that kids who read on their own, simply because they love books, are likely to score higher on reading tests. Practicing reading increases their fluency and comprehension.

This summer 18,359 children and teens in Greene County (31% of all county youth) participated in Springfield-Greene County Library’s Summer Reading Program. Of that number, over one third participated in the program through Library Outreach programs at Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA’s and other area youth facilities.

Parents surveyed said that their kids were excited about reading and that they loved the programs, activities and incentives.  The kids were proud of their accomplishments, and they developed a love of reading that will serve them life long.

The Summer Reading Program is made possible partly through proceeds from the Friends of the Library book sales, and grants from The Library Foundation.  The Library couldn’t reach this many children without our supporters. Thank you for helping kids love to read!

‘Turning Points’ Civil War Series Draws Huge Crowds

September 9th, 2013

Grants from The Library Foundation helped support Turning Points, a week-long series of Civil War lectures and events that drew over 1,000 people to the Springfield-Greene County Library in July.  The series was developed in response to the overwhelming public feedback asking for additional Civil War programming following the very popular Battle of Springfield programs held at the Library this past January.  Turning Points explored and commemorated major Civil War events that transpired in 1863.

Granville Automatic in concert at the Library Center

The Library Foundation provided donor-designated funds to host a presentation on the capture of Little Rock by noted author and Civil War historian Mark Christ.  Funds from The Library Foundation’s Cultural Arts Endowment Fund also helped sponsor a concert at the Library Center by Granville Automatic, with singer-songwriters Vanessa Olivarez and Elizabeth Elkins performing haunting and lyrical compositions inspired by the Civil War.

“I want to thank The Library Foundation for their support of the Turning Points series this past July,” said Brian Grubbs, Local History Department Manager for the Springfield-Greene County Library District, and organizer of the series. Grubbs stated that many Library patrons commented on how much they enjoyed the series and asked when the next Civil War series was planned.  Based on the high level of interest, a series commemorating Sterling Price’s raid in Missouri, as well as other national Civil War-related events, is being considered for the fall of 2014.

The Library Foundation depends on donations from individuals, businesses and foundations to be able to support programs such as Turning Points.  Your tax-deductible contribution to The Library Foundation can be made online and can be designated for particular programs or services provided by the Library.

Notice of Public Meeting – August 26, 2013

August 23rd, 2013

The Library Foundation Board will meet August 26, 2013 at noon at the Library Center.

View the Notice

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant Takes Summer Reading Digital

July 23rd, 2013

Dollar General Literacy Foundation is helping the Library encourage lower-income kids to keep up their summer reading skills while making it accessible and fun on new technology – e-readers. The goal is to narrow the technology gap for low-income students while increasing their reading skills, according to Library Foundation Director Valerie Richardson, who submitted the request on behalf of the Foundation.

The Dollar General $2,500 grant has allowed the Library to purchase six variations of e-readers loaded with 24 different books geared for teen and pre-teen readers. The e-readers will be rotated among three Boys & Girls Club locations during the summer. In a series of six sessions at the clubs, Library Outreach staff are meeting with the participants to help demystify the technology and conduct book discussions about the titles. The kids can experiment with the software on the devices and get comfortable using them.

Grant funds have also been used to purchase print copies of the books, so they can be checked out and taken home.  During the sessions, the kids have also debated the value of digital book formats and “bookless libraries.”

The Library will keep the e-readers for use during year-round and successive summer reading programs, and will add new titles to the devices.