Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Libraries Add Rosetta Stone to Online Services

Interactive Immersion Approach Features 30 Languages

In a growing trend, language learning is no longer viewed as a luxury by many library patrons, but a necessary skill for education and career advancement.
Starting Oct. 1, the Community Library Network and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library are adding Rosetta Stone language learning resources to their online offerings.
Patrons for these libraries will be able to log onto the service using their library card numbers through the libraries’ websites: www.communitylibrary.net or www.cdalibrary.org.
The service offers more than 50 hours of foundational instruction using an interactive immersion approach to build skills in 30 languages. Core lessons will build reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Mobile apps are also available to reinforce language learning on the go.
“Both the Community Library Network and the Coeur d’Alene library have received multiple requests for us to provide the Rosetta Stone language CDs,” said Coeur d’Alene Library Director Bette Ammon. “We feel this online resource is a better investment, because it allows for multiple users at the same time and covers more languages than we could otherwise provide.”
Community Library Network Director John Hartung noted that the online materials are also more cost effective because the libraries do not have processing costs or the risk of damaged or lost items as they would with physical audio CDs.
“Our libraries can offer a more versatile language-learning service to more patrons and make better use of the public funds at our disposal,” he said.
A recent survey by Library Journal found that librarians and vendors alike are starting to see a transition from thinking of language learning services as a luxury item to something that libraries need to provide for their patrons.
“People used to think of learning a language like something you do so you can speak Italian on your honeymoon in Tuscany,” says Chris Vander Groef, manager of library sales at Rosetta Stone, which cosponsored the survey with LJ. “It’s become a thing you need to have for education, for your career.”
While librarians surveyed told LJ that travel was still the most common reason for new language learners to put the library’s resources to use, less leisurely concerns followed close behind. Communicating with neighbors and community members and improving employment prospects both earned nods as popular reasons that patrons worked to learn a new language at their library.
Librarians in the survey identified adults as the most likely users of language learning materials they provide and noted that in the past three years, the materials had either maintained a steady — and fairly high — degree of popularity among library users or seen increasing demand.

Alliance Data to create hundreds of local jobs

Mayor Steve Widmyer, right, joins Alliance Data corporate officials at the ribbon cutting.

Alliance Data Systems, a private-label credit card financing and processing provider, officially opened the doors to its Coeur d’Alene business center on Monday. Already, Alliance employs 100 people locally and the company is optimistic those numbers will grow to 400 by the end of next year.

Attending the ribbon-cutting, Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer welcomed Alliance corporate leaders and dozens of staff members during a ceremony at their 44,500-square-foot call center at 745 W. Hanley Ave., in northern Coeur d’Alene.

“I know it’s taken a lot of hard work on Alliance Data’s part to get here today,” Widmyer said. “We really look forward to our partnership together.”

The mayor noted that Alliance—which offers good-paying jobs—is a good fit for the community. With benefits and other compensation factored in, the average employee at the Coeur d’Alene center will earn $45,000, company officials said.

Demonstrating its commitment to the community, Alliance announced during the ceremony that it is donating $50,000 to the United Way of Kootenai County to support a Ready for Kindergarten program.

“We did our research and really tried to understand where our dollars could have the greatest impact,” said Alliance Data Retail Services President Melisa Miller. “We saw a huge need in pre-kindergarten children.”

Mark Tucker, executive director of the United Way of Kootenai County, said nearly 70 percent of students entering kindergarten in Idaho are not ready.

He said the donation will allow the United Way of Kootenai County to start a full Ready for Kindergarten program that will serve three communities in the county. More than 150 families will be able to go through the program at no cost.

An industry leader, Alliance Data has been named one of the world’s most admired companies by Fortune. Alliance joins other well-known businesses in that category, including Visa, American Express and MasterCard.

New playground equipment for Person Field

City parks staff Christian Hanna, left, and Chris Acuff install playground equipment at Person Field.

Thanks to a $30,000 donation from the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, Person Field off 15th Street is getting brand new playground equipment.

Since the city assumed complete ownership of the field in 2013, officials have been meeting with neighbors to discuss options to enhance public use of the park, said interim city parks director Bill Greenwood.

“We heard from a lot of people that playground equipment would be a great addition,” Greenwood said. “We are excited and thankful to the Board of Realtors for their generous donation to support this cause.”

The collaborative effort involved the Coeur d’Alene School District, Junior Tackle Football Club and city crews who installed the equipment. Person Field neighbors were also supportive of the project.

The city recently adopted a master plan for Person Field with phased implementation as funds for future improvements are available. Future upgrades, as funding occurs, include installation of an irrigation system new restrooms and additional parking.

Monday, September 15, 2014

NIC Film Club Series at Cd’A Library

Classic, Cult Favorites to Screen in Community Room Starting Sept. 22

The North Idaho College Film Club and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library begin a new partnership Monday, Sept. 22, with a monthly film series featuring some classic and cult-favorite movies.
The dystopian future science-fiction film “A Clockwork Orange,” directed by Stanley Kubrick, will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room at the library, 702 E. Front Ave. This free film will also include refreshments. The film is rated R.
“The library has been studying ways to provide programs for college-age patrons and for people in their 20s and 30s, so we were excited to have the NIC Film Club offer us this opportunity,” said Library Director Bette Ammon. “If others in this age group have suggestions for other activities, we would like to hear from them.”
Additional films in the upcoming series will include:
►  “Life is Beautiful,” Oct. 2.
►  “The Shining,” Oct 30 (Halloween costumes encouraged).
►  “Her,” Nov. 17.
►  “Citizen Kane,” Dec. 4.
For more information contact T.J. Gossard, Film Club President, 208-292-4637.

Patrons who need accommodation to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208-769-2315. For more library information visit cdalibrary.org. The library is a department of the City of Coeur d’Alene and a member of the Cooperative Information Network, cinlibraries.org. Library Director, Bette Ammon. Library hours: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m./Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m./Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For regular updates follow the library on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cd’A officials discuss partnership opportunities with Cd’A Tribe

A grand piece of public art with a Native American theme will soon grace the bank of the Spokane River within the Higher Education Campus.

Officials with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe met with Coeur d’Alene city leaders earlier this week to discuss ways to maximize partnership efforts to benefit both entities. The joint meeting on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation included tours of the impressive Tribal Wellness Center and Benewah Medical Center.

During the joint meeting, plans were outlined for public art on the Higher Education Campus. Recreation Director Steve Anthony, liaison to the Arts Commission, said $45,000 has been budgeted for the art. The money comes from art funds established by the city and the Lake City Development Corporation.

The selection process for the artwork will be a cooperative effort involving the tribe, city, and North Idaho College. A call for regional artists to submit proposals will occur in October. Anthony expects the public art to be installed next summer.

In addition to the artwork, the tribe may finance an informational kiosk to be situated nearby that will provide details on the tribe’s rich history. The site is on the tribe’s ancestral grounds.

Mayor Steve Widmyer and Tribal Chairman Chief Allan, as well as other officials representing both entities, emphasized the importance of the tribe and city working cooperatively together.

“This is more than just a partnership opportunity,” Mayor Widmyer said. “It is an opportunity to build friendships as we collaborate on worthwhile projects for the citizens of Coeur d’Alene and members of the tribe.”

Utility work to prompt water shutoff

Replacement of existing water and sewer lines at the intersection of 11th Street and Coeur d’Alene Avenue will require water service interruptions in that neighborhood.

About 60 customers along Coeur d’Alene Avenue between Ninth Street and 14th Street will be affected. Service will be shut off on Monday, September 15, from 4-6 p.m. and Tuesday, September 16, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The utility work required the closure of 11th Street from Lakeside Avenue North to Indiana Avenue. The street is expected to re-open in about two weeks.

Door-hanger notifications were distributed to all affected residents and businesses on earlier this week.  Any affected residents or businesses requiring special needs are encouraged to contact the Water or Wastewater Departments.  Commuters are encouraged to find alternative routes as traffic will be rerouted around the 11th Street and Coeur d’Alene Ave intersection.  Expect some delays.

Water Department 208-769-2210
Wastewater Utility:  208-769-2281