Don't forget the library

| 25 Jun 2015 | 03:30

By Anya Tikka
— A 2004 Delaware Valley High School graduate Rose Chiocchi — now Pike County Library Director — came to a recent school board meeting to talk about the new programs available at the Pike County Library in Milford town center.

She comes back to the area after gaining her Masters in Library and Information Sciences from Drexel University, and working in Western Sullivan Public Library as well as the Port Jervis Free Library.

“I’ll admit it’s a little strange for me to be here not as a student but as your peer," Chiocchi began her presentation/. "I’m going to try to keep this short, but to be honest, we offer an overwhelming amount of services to children and students.”

The library system currently has two branches, one in Milford, and the other in Dingman. Annually, 60,000 people visit the two branches, and Milford branch had 3,500 visitors in the last month, May. Chiocchi pointed out the library keeps records daily.

The programs available and suitable for DV students include:

Mommy and Me in both branches.

Story time for pre-school students program running in both branches.

A new program this year lets first graders tour the branches to show them how a library works and what they can do with a library card.

Lego Club in both branches has a waiting list of at least 20 children.

A very popular Summer Reading Program, with over 100 children participating last year.

“I’ve also been working with the school librarians to ensure each kindergarten student has the opportunity to get a library card," said Chiocchi. "As students get older, we offer after school help through our electronic databases and provide a place for tutors to meet with students.”

An innovative program this year is called “Read to a Therapy Dog.”

“Lower-level reading students are invited to come to the library on a Saturday morning and read to a certified therapy dog," she said. "This is by far our favorite program because not only do we get to see a cute dog in the library, but we also are able to see students get excited about reading who may have been struggling."

She gave a heartening example.
“We had a special education group from DV come by a few weeks ago and one particular young lady was really not at all impressed by us, until she got to meet Bailey," she said. "When she was done reading to Bailey, she told us that she wanted to volunteer to read to younger kids. It was a really special moment for everyone.”

The library is also working with DV’s JoAnn Anderson, who will be leading a transition program for students age 18-21 three days a week in the Milford branch beginning next school year.

“We’re excited to be able to help her provide a comfortable space for this program,” Chiocchi said.

An important part of the finances are grants and tax credits.

“I’ve also been working with Gina Vives (Director of Curriculum and Technology) to ensure that we receive the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Grant again this year," Chiocchi said. "This grant allows the library to sponsor approved programs within our school district. Since 2002, we’ve secured over $100,000 in grant money for DV programs such as DVE-TV and the Field Trip Program. We also purchase multiple electronic databases for the school through this grant.”

The library also provides a scholarship every year to a graduating senior.

After the library presentation, a video showing the Special Olympics at DV in May was also shown.