Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Something To Leave You With

We will be closed for the Christmas and New Year's holidays, December 20th through January 2nd. But we'll be back with doors open at the regular time on Thursday, January 3rd. That's 2008, you know. And we'll have another hard time dating our checks right for a while. Well, those of us who still use checks, anyhow.
So, I wanted to leave you today with something I've been thinking about.
Do you remember the time people talked about wanting a "kinder and gentler" world? Wasn't the first President Bush one of the people who talked about that? Well, that's what I want to talk about today.
For some reason, when I thought of Christmas and the beginning of a new year and a kinder, gentler world, the word gratitude popped into my head. I looked up the word gratitude online. I found that Wikipedia says, "Gratitude, appreciation, or thankfulness is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive."
On another website, I read: "The art of cultivating gratitude -- it's not just about making a list." And that's the line that grabbed my attention.
At this particular Christmas-time, my children are all off in their own areas of the big United States; some married and some not, some with children and some not, some apart from each other for a time-being. They are like me, just doing the best they can. And it's because of this that I feel thankful they are doing all right in their lives. Just as I am. So, at this Christmas-time, I am cultivating my art of gratitude by thanking the Lord that He has blessed me so greatly in 2007 and, I know, will continue to bless me in 2008.
That brings us to the new year. Like the earlier saying said: It's not just about making a list. But I've decided I want to make a list! Oh, not the same old kind of list I usually make; that "resolution" list 1) to lose weight, 2) clean out my closets, 3) write to my brother more, etc., etc., etc. No, when New Year's Day comes, I will be sitting at my table, pen in hand, writing down what I'm thankful for.
Of course, I'm always glad I have this job. It's pure joy! And I'm glad my old car continues to run and I have my health, and my family is doing all right, etc., etc., etc. On one website I read this is called a Level 1 Gratitude.
But I really wanted to leave you with something more to think about. I wanted to move us to a Level 2, which encompasses everything in Level 1, but goes beyond that to include being grateful for things like 1) our lives, 2) our problems, challenges and hardships (yes! even those!), 3) the people who treat us unkindly or unfairly, 4) our freedom of choice, etc., etc., etc.
As I thought about that last item and the feeling of how wonderful it is to exist, I remembered our Armed Forces; those great men and women all around the world who are making it possible for us to have a freedom of choice. Then I also thought of all those kind and wondeful people who give up their Christmas and New Year's time with friends and family right here in the United States -- the firemen/women and policemen/women and hospital workers, etc., etc., etc., who are there for us at times when we fear we have lost our freedom of choice.
There's lots more to say a prayer of gratitude for, such as 1) time and space, 2) thoughts and emotions, 3) ideas and concepts, and 4) the whole universe.
I guess that's one reason why I'm writing this. To tell you I have something to leave you with: I'm so thankful you are in my universe and that you're here to read this blog. Thankful that you've taken the time to read about our fabulous library and the staff members who work here. Out there in cyberspace, where my words fly around, I often think of you reading this blog. Sometimes I hear you laugh. Sometimes I feel you scratch your head in wonder at what I'm talking about. But always I feel your presence.
And with that gratitude, I wish you a merry Christmas, happy holiday season, and a prosperous new year. All of us here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library do.
Won't 2008 be great??? Let's make it a kinder, gentler world. It's our freedom of choice, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's 2:15 P.M. And All's Well

Occasionally my curiosity gets the best of me and I just have to take a little tour around the library and see what's going on.

At 2:15 in the afternoon one cold, dreary December day, you'd expect people to either be Christmas shopping or home taking a nap. I figured it'd be really quiet around here, but not so in the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. My tour proved it. With pen and paper in hand, I locked the office door and took my little stroll. Here's what I found.

  • There are 20 Dell computers in the computer area and 14 people were working at them.
  • Three staff members were working in the back workroom.
  • Another one was at the circulation counter, helping a patron.
  • There was one staff member at the intra-library loan area and one in the reference area.
  • A patron sat reading a newspaper in one of our new reading area chairs.
  • A young mother carried her small child in another part of the reading area and looked at the covers of magazines on the racks.
  • A patron stood at the magazine rack, reading to himself as he held a magazine close to his face.
  • There was a boy of about 8 in the children's library, walking the aisles and looking at books.
  • Two staff members in the children's library were practicing for a special children's program.
  • And there were four people working in the genealogy library, along with one staff member.

And I nearly forgot about the two staff members in the Bookmobile area, and the two working in Information Services. Also, the three patrons sitting in the auditorium.

Now, how's that for an afternoon at the library? I thought it was surprisingly busy. In fact, I was really delighted that many people wanted to be at the library at a time when I would have been home taking a nap!

Just wanted you to know that it's 2:15 p.m. and all's well here at the library.

Remember, we close Wednesday, December 19th at 5:30 p.m. and reopen January 3, 2008 at 8:30 a.m.

Here's Some December Literary Birthdays

I have a nice little website I like to go to when I'm looking for birthdays for the large calendar we put together each month here at the library. Often I put their pictures with their names and scotch tape them to the date of their birthdays. Today I looked to see who was on December 18th and found these people:

Hector Hugh Monro (Saki), Scottish/Burmese journalist, short story writer, born December 18, 1870 and died 14 December 1916. Saki took his pen-name from Omar Khayyam's Rubiayat. He was born in Burma to Scottish parents and lived afterwards in Switzerland, London, Warsaw, and other countries, writing columns for many British newspapers. He was killed by a sniper's bullet in France during World War I.
Besides Saki, there is English playwright Christopher Fry (1907), and
U.S. sci-fi writer Alfred Bester (1913), and
Georgia native, African-American actor, dramatist, screenwriter, and novelist Ossie Davis (1917), who wrote the play Purlie Victorious (1961) and its musical adaptation Purlie (1970), about a Southern black preacher who hopes to establish a racially integrated church, and
U.S. fantasy writer Sterling Lanier (1927), and
English fantasy author Michael Moorcock (1919).

I only knew one of these people, so I guess I will investigate the others to see what made them famous enough to be on that website's list. There's several ways I could go about my search and the library is the perfect place for this hunt. But first I'll try our PINES catalog. If you haven't used the PINES catalog, you're in for a treat. Tells you all kinds of good things. You can check it out by clicking on the large PINES sign on the home page of our website. Just another way we aim to help you. . .

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Christmas Past

While sitting here working, I've been listening to Mannheim Steamroller's new Christmas CD. It's put me in the mood to give you another poem from a Christmas past by Hildred Lewis, who was a library staff member. She would write a poem to deliver at the staff Christmas party that chronicled the events at the library for the year. So, here 'tis for 1971.

The Week Before Christmas 1971

'Tis the week before Christmas and all through the library
The staff is happy, cheerful and merry.
It's the day of the party, an annual event,
And if you've been here before, you know what is meant.

The table is groaning with turkey and the trimmings,
You know what that'll do to the girls who are slimming.
And salads, cakes, pies and rich things like that
Will keep the rest of us happy and fat.

We welcome four staff members who are new,
Hewlette, Loyas, Lynn and Valerie, too.
And we have had weddings galore,
One, two, three and then four.

Mrs. Schinkel will spend Christmas with Emily and the boys,
I know she'll enjoy it inspite of the noise.
I'm happy to report that the McKees
Made their annual visit to look at the leaves.

We had some sadness in the library this year.
We lost Elvera, a friend who was dear.
And Bill Aycock has been indisposed,
But in a family this large, that's how it goes.

The vacation reading club was quite a success,
And moving the Branch was surely a mess.
And to all the Bookmobile girls,
Vacation reading club causes some whirls.

To Elois this would be good news,
If the library would send no more overdues.
I've heard a rumor, I do declare,
Margaret and Amy will get dentures next year.

In spite of Mary's head, Catherine's luck, Hildred's skin,
We're a pretty good group for the shape we're in.
With apologies to Clement C. Moore,
Merry Christmas to all, and many, many more!

Just imagine, that poem is 36 years old and lots of it still applies today to the library staff. We're going to have our staff party this year on the 20th, the day after we close. Wonder who I can find to come up with a poem about 2007's library events? I'd better go check. . .

Thursday, December 13, 2007

2007's Ten Best Books By Your Library Staff

Occasionally I read the New York Times Sunday Book Review. It covers the best sellers and first chapters of many books. But the article about their ten best books of 2007 really caught my eye.
That's when I got the bright idea to create the 10 best books for 2007 by our library staff. I asked them what they'd read during 2007 that really stuck in their minds, really popped up as a "good read." The book didn't have to be a newly published one or even a classic, but it had to be a book they'd read during 2007. So, from your favorite library staff, here are the books they consider the top 10 best of 2007:
  • The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve - A woman discovers after her husband's death that he kept a series of secrets from her and lived a double life.
  • Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard - The story of a Mormon teenager whose life is torn apart when a schizophrenic man murders her two young sisters, and how the event affects her and her family.
  • The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan - Richard Hannay is asked by a freelance spy for help with a German plot to murder the Greek Prime Minister and steal British plans for the outbreak of war. When the spy is murdered, Richard continues the spy's work and his adventure in Scotland begins as he is chased by both police and German spies. Written in 1915, the book was made into movies in 1935, 1959, and 1978.
  • I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark - Psychological thriller involving murder cases, sleepwalking, a whistled song, and how accurate memories are over a period of years.
  • We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates - An incident that is hushed up in town and never spoken of again shatters the fabric of a perfect family with tragic consequences.
  • The Little Friend by Donna Tartt - A revelation of familial longing and sorrow, the novel tells of a little girl who grows up in the shadow of her brother, who - when she was only a baby - was found hanging dead from a tree in their back yard. His killer is never identified and the family tries to deal with the tragedy.
  • Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin - When paramedics find a malnourished 6-year-old boy near a burning car that holds a dead woman, they wonder who he is - and why he won't talk. A small-town journalist covers the story and unearths long-buried emotions about his own history.
  • Letters for Emily by Camron Wright - While afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and dying, Harry Whitney compiled a book of his poems for his favorite granddaughter. After his death, his book is discovered, as well as the secrets he has hidden in each poem.
  • Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Big shot Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard's life is turning sour. On a road trip to figure out why, he spies on a lonely Colorado highway, a young woman dressed in a beaver suit. Blue Bailey is on a mission to do great harm to her ex. Together the wandering portrait artist and the football star encounter all manner of strange characters and a real life.
  • Up Close and Personal by Fern Michaels - When Trinity learned the dark truth about her parentage, she left her South Carolina family estate and her trust fund. She said she'd never return, but then she wavers. Her childhood friend, now a handsome attorney, tracks her down and she finds out what her future holds for her.

So, that's the top ten! But things got so good, I just couldn't leave out these other four suggestions by the staff:

  • Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky - A novel that asks penetrating questions about race, family and the choices people make in times of crisis - choices that have profound consequences for generations. A novel in which a woman discovers the truth about her past and her husband's heritage and unearths secrets rooted in prejudice and fear.
  • Flirting with Pete by Barbara Delinsky (by a different staff member) - A novel about Casey, a successful counselor, and her quests: to understand her father (who could acknowledge her only in death), to uncover the mystery of Jenny (a compelling case study), to deal with the gradual decline of her mother (who is in a permanent vegetative state), and to bring closure to the past so she can move into the future.
  • Lemony Snicket Series by Daniel Handler - 13 novels about the adventures of three children after the death of their parents in a fire. Film adaptation of first three books released in 2004. While the series' dark humor has won several awards and sold over 55 million copies, it has also been banned in some schools.
  • Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer - Five fantasy novels starring the teenage criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl, a child prodigy, whose main goal is the acquisition of money through a variety of schemes (although his values change towards the 5th book). Movie of first book scheduled for 2008, as well as 6th book to be published.

Well, you have lots to pick from. Or better yet, plan to read all of them in 2008. They're here in our library just waiting for you to come get them. And don't forget to bring your library card!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Remembering Catherine Bryant

When I came in this morning, I shoved aside what I'd planned to write and sat thinking about Catherine Bryant. She was a dear little lady with blond hair and sparkling eyes that I met when I came to work here in August of 2003. She had a desk space in the Odom Genealogy Library, and she was in and out on her special schedule all the time.
Catherine M. Bryant, age 86, passed away on Sunday, December 9th, and left a hole in a lot of people's hearts and lives. She had lots of friends all over Moultrie.
I remember reading about her in the book Mrs. Odom wrote, History of the Public Library of Moultrie, Georgia 1906-1965. It said in 1945 Catherine replaced Mrs. Robert Anderson as Bookmobile Librarian. It was Catherine's first paying job with the library. And elsewhere in the book it stated that in July 1947 Mrs. Bryant attended the Bookmobile Institute. Then when the County Board of Education purchased a Ford-Vanette Bookmobile, Catherine and her husband, Ray, drove it to Moultrie in June 1950.
In another part of the book, I read: "No official records of library personnel other than the librarians are on file prior to 1943, when the first report was made to the State Board of Education. This showed three members on staff. From 1945 to 1950 there were five members: librarian, bookmobile assistant, office assistant, clerical assistant, and library assistant." Catherine was one of those people. And the book said in 1964 Catherine was still on staff. In fact, in 2007 Catherine was still on staff.
In her 62 years of employment with the library, Catherine was not only a bookmobile librarian, but she was in charge of the library's film service, the audio-visual equipment and repair, and the Intra-Library Loan service. She began the Veterans History Project and she was also secretary to the Library Board for more than
30 years.
When Catherine was selected Employee of the Month this past September, several staff membes wrote notes about her and I kept them in a file cabinet beside my desk. Today I pulled the notes out and read them. One person said, "There is no one more dedicated! When she sets out to do a project, she's in it 110% with all her heart and soul!" Another person said, "I've worked with Catherine for 45 years. She is one of the most dedicated and sincere persons I have ever known. She gives of herself unconditionally."
I, for one, will remember her best as the caretaker of the Veterans History Project at the library. Earlier this year it was named in her honor. One co-worker said, "Catherine has a love for all Veterans of all the wars. She wants to have the Veterans Project section in the library so all Veterans will be honored and never forgotten." That was the reason library staff members requested in November 2006 that the Library Board approve naming the Veterans History Project in Catherine's honor. And they did.
Today while sitting in front of the computer, I wondered what else we could do to honor Catherine. We'll no longer see her smiling face or hear her sweet voice. But I feel we can honor her each day we walk into this library that she loved so dearly and smile at the patrons or answer their questions, or just be as dedicated in our work as she was, no matter what we do. And I know she will never be forgotten by those of us who are fortunate enough to have known her.
Of course, there are lots of people out there who have had very up close and personal relationships with Catherine. They will undoubtedly miss her even more. So, there's no way anyone is going to forget Catherine M. Bryant. Little as she was in stature, she's big -- very big -- in the hearts and minds of us all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We Might Be Able To Have A Library License Plate!

Yep! Surprised me too! Melody was telling us about it. She said the goal is to have 1,000 people sign up for the license plate before December 31, 2008, so it can be produced.
Currently, the state lists 30 people as having signed up. That's a long way to go (970) by the end of December 2008. But we need to be positive in our thinking. The first year cost will be $70 plus the regular tag fee. Thereafter, it's only $45 plus the regular tag fee.
To some people that might seem like a lot of money, but think about what it will mean to support Georgia's public libraries. All the books and reading and sources of knowledge...and on and on!
In case you didn't notice, you can see the license plate on our website's home page. It is just under where you clicked on the Bookworm blog. There's a picture of a child sitting under a tree, reading a book. The words around the oval picture are: Georgia Center for the Book. Under that, the words are: Support Georgia's Public Libraries.
We were told you could sign up for the license plate at the local tag office. In Moultrie, that's right down town in the Courthouse Annex. Look for the Colquitt County Tax Commissioner's office on the first floor. Most everyone in town knows where the office is, so just ask if you get lost.
If you go to the Georgia Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division's website, you can pull up an Application for a Special Interest License Plate. The box you need to check says: Georgia Center for the Book. Be sure to retain your receipt when you get it. When the manufacturing requirements have been met (1,000 paid requests), you will need the receipt to register your vehicle with this license plate.
And while I have your attention, let me tell you about the Georgia Center for the Book. This organization is the state affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The Center, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008, has a mission of supporting libraries, literacy and literature, particularly Georgia's rich literary heritage. There are centers in each of the 50 states. The Georgia Center was chartered in early 1998 with the DeKalb County Public Library serving as the host site.
William (Bill) W. Starr, a native of Atlanta, has been executive director of the Georgia Center for the Book since 2003. He is assisted by an advisory council of distinguished authors, librarians, publishers, scholars and journalists from around the state of Georgia.
The Georgia Center is now the largest non-commercial literary presenting organization in the South and one of the largest in the nation. Its free public programs reached nearly 90,000 people throughout Georgia in 2006 and drew more than 160 authors to the state.
If you'd like to know more about the Georgia Center for the Book, check out their website at www.georgiacenterforthebook.org.
And don't forget to sign up for one of the library license plates. It will be well worth your money.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Brings Back Wonderful Memories

I got an email from our director, Melody, the other day. She said she was going through her desk drawer and ran across a diskette that contained some interesting files she thought I might use for the blog. It was poems that Hildred Lewis wrote. Hildred had been a bookmobile driver and processing clerk. Each year for the staff Christmas party, she would write a poem that chronicled the events at the library for the year.
Well, Melody was right; there was some blog material. This is a poem Hildred wrote for 1964. Maybe some of you out there reading this blog will remember a few of the good people mentioned. Hildred called this poem That Was The Year That Was 1964.

Sue Alderman was always on the run,
From early morn' 'till her full day was done.
When she took time to play,
We've never heard her say
If it's really true that blondes have more fun.
Myrtle Aycock sat at her desk all day,
And while the sun shone she made lots of hay.
No job she ever shirked,
She just sat there and worked,
Whistling while she busily typed away.
Catherine Bryant was always hurrying,
And at times she was even scurrying.
As a person she's swell, she does everything well,
And she holds a world's record for worrying!
Janet Clark donated blood, sweat and tears
To the biggest job we've tackled in years --
The moving ordeal;
For her part we feel
She deserved many loud and hearty cheers.
Vivian Cooper typed pages and pages
Without often flying into rages;
But the staff would prefer
To pin a rose on her
For her job of writing checks for their wages.
Amy Crapps was as busy as a bee,
That she's good at her job we all agree.
Each staff member feels
She should be on wheels,
And what we'd do without her we don't see.
Lucille Dunn as in past years was great,
And always did a job that was first rate.
Though she must often be
Thinking of Bruce and Lee,
On her works she seems to concentrate.

Well, that's about one-third of the poem. There are many more names to mention. The verses about friends and staff members bring back wonderful memories. And that's part of what Christmas is all about. Next time I'll tell you about Hildred's poem The Week Before Christmas 1971. It's even better. . .

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Be One Of A Million To See The River Of Words

Once again you're going to have a chance to see the River of Words display. The exhibit is located in the reading area of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and may be viewed December 4th through December 15th. This is the fourth year the library has hosted the event.
I imagine you're wondering what River of Words is, especially if you've never heard about it.
It is a California-based non-profit organization that has conducted training workshops for teachers, park naturalists, grassroots groups, state resource agencies, librarians and others since 1995, and helps them incorporate observation-based nature exploration and the arts into their work with young people. In addition to helping improve children's literacy - and cognitive skills like investigation and critical thinking - River of Words nurtures students' creative voices as well, through instruction and practice in art and poetry.
That was a lot of words, I know. So, you'll just have to come to the library and view some of the poems and artwork created by children from right here in our big state of Georgia. Most of the works come from children around the Atlanta area, but there are also pictures and poems by children from other areas such as Savannah, Statesboro, Milledgeville and Martinez. They are children in grades K through 12. The entire grouping represents State Winners, National Merit winners, and National Finalists.
These extraordinary works, created by children around the world, were submitted to River of Words' free, annual environmental poetry and art contest, conducted in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book. The contest theme is watersheds, a meaningful, scalable way of looking at the whole of nature. Through the universal language of art - paintings, drawings, and photography - and poetry, students learn not only about their own home grounds but, in sharing their works with each other, about other bioregions and cultures as well.
The watershed art and poetry submitted to River of Words is exhibited around the globe and is seen by millions of people each year, both in person, and reprinted in magazines, books, annual reports and other media. Every painting, every poem contributes to an informed appreciation of the natural world and the interconnectedness of all beings.
You can learn more about River of Words at their website: http://www.riverofwords.org/ , but best of all, you can come to the library and see for yourself the wonderful pictures and poetry on display. We're located at 204 Fifth Street, Southeast in Moultrie, Georgia.
Please support the children of the world, and especially Georgia, with your interest. Be one of the millions to see the River of Words. And be sure to sign their traveling guest book when you see the display.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chris Newton Chosen As December EOM

He's quiet, but inquisitive. He's friendly, but reflective. He's busy, but takes time to help if you need him. That's what the staff and patrons know about Chris Newton, who has been a shelver with the library since March 11, 1993. That's for 14-1/2 years, nearly half
of his age.
I first met Chris through his mother, Jean, who worked as the bookkeeper for the library. She and her son would come to work every morning and go home together. Like his mother, Chris is a person everyone likes. Just kind, sweet, friendly folk. Both always with smiles on their faces. Then Jean retired, but she continued to drive Chris to and from work.
There's many a time on the days Chris works that he will stick his head in our office door to say hello. And we often drop what we are doing to find out how his dogs are or what he has been doing lately. Chris will tell you his favorite interests are his two dogs, Mickey and Lucky, and singing in the choir at his church.
When Chris came to work the afternoon of November 28th, our director called the staff into the workroom, saying she had an announcement to make. Chris followed her into the room and waited patiently with the rest of us.
Melody said she was going to present the December Employee of the Month to a person who is always friendly and helpful, a person who has made her feel better on days when she would be down, and a person who's been a dedicated worker at the library. It was then she announced that Chris was the Employee of the Month.
Needless to say, Chris was surprised when Melody handed him a certificate of appreciation and a gold peach-designed Georgia Libraries bookmark. Then she pinned the boutonniere on his jacket and he got the biggest smile on his face. But the best part was when he said, "I bet Mama will be surprised."
The December EOM appreciation could not have gone to a better person. And for that reason, we say congratulations to Chris Newton. We're so glad to know you.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We've Got The Best References In Town

The day I watched Oprah talk about "blowing out" her thyroid, I was confused about the word "blowing." Then I remembered Elois, our Reference Clerk, told me about a book called SOLVED, The Riddle of Illness, How Managing Your Thyroid Can Help You Fight and Control: (and it listed a host of illnesses). I'm sure this is the book that will tell me how to "blow" out your thyroid. If you're interested, too, the book is in the Reference Section at R616.4L. It's by Stephen E. Langer, M.D., and James F. Scheer.
Another book Elois told me about is The Caregiver's Sourcebook by Frena Gray-Davidson (R616.12.D). This book gives you everything you need to know about: 1) the importance of a caregiver in the lives of Alzheimer's patients, Parkinson's patients, and those who suffer other mental or physical disabilities; 2) how you can find resources for financial, medical, and legal help; and 3) how caregivers can care for themselves.
With Christmas right around the corner, Elois has another book that might help with the gift problem. If you're one of those persons who loves to give antiques to your loved one, Schroeder's Antiques Price Guide might be just the book you're looking for. It gives the identification and values of over 50,000 antiques and collectibles. Look for it in the Reference Section at R748.S.
If you're a student, you never have enough reference material when you're thinking about going to college or what line of work to go into. There's the 2008 Scholarship Handbook (R378.3C) that includes more than 2,100 programs offering 1.4 million awards. It not only tells you about scholarships, but internships and loans, and gives you eligibility indexes that guide you to awards you can get.
And while you're looking for those scholarships, you'll need to check into financial aid. The 2008 Getting Financial Aid for Scholarships, Grants, Loans & Jobs (R378.3C) gives you easy, step-by-step instructions for applying for college aid, as well as helping you find scholarships and other aid at more than 3,000 colleges, universities, and technical schools.
Then there's more. If you haven't decided what you want to take in college, the Book of Majors, Second Edition (R378.1C) has 180 professors to help you choose the right major. It also has 900 majors at 3,600 colleges, listed by state, and gives you up-to-date career information.
So, now you know where the best references in town are. At the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, here in Moultrie, Georgia. We're only about four blocks from downtown and easy to find. Check us out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

You Need To Come See What We Have!

There is such a lovely display in the foyer of our library that you need to stop by and look at. Five members of the Magnolia Garden Club brought in three gorgeous quilts.
The club's members are Faye Gay (membership chairman), Lorena Barhite (1st v.p.), Peggy Bridges (president), Odelle Cato (parliamentarian), and Betty Cooper (2nd v.p.).
Two quilts, Dresden Plate and Holly Hobby, belong to Ms. Barhite. They are about 25 years old. Ms. Barhite said she bought them at the same time from a Mrs. Sloan here in Moultrie, who made them. The other quilt, Christmas Yo-Yo, is owned and was made in 2000 by Betty Cooper. She said she usually keeps it in a pillow case in her linen closet, but brings it out at Christmas.
Ms. Bridges said the decision for the display came about during one of their meetings. Mildred Rentz, treasurer of the garden club, had read The Christmas Quilt by James Davis and suggested that everyone in the club read the book. That was when Aileen, Library Information Specialist, asked the ladies if they would be willing to have a display at the library in December. From there, the quilt display was born and dedicated to the theme of The Christmas
Quilt.
BookPage, a monthly book review newsletter, declared that The Christmas Quilt, published in 2000, "glistens with the wisdom of a childhood." Set in 1942 in the north Georgia mountains, the book celebrates the hope and love a grandson learns as he watches his dying grandmother make a Christmas quilt for a son who's been gone too long. (Thomas J. Davis at http://www.thomasjdavisbooks.com/)
There are only two copies of The Christmas Quilt at the Moultrie Library, but there are 139 books with the word "Christmas" in the title. So, if you can't get The Christmas Quilt right away, be patient and check out one of the other Christmas books.
And if you're interested in knowing more about the Magnolia Garden Club, you can call Faye Gay, membership chairman, at 985-3208. The group, which was formed in June of 1951, presently has 20 members. They hold regular meetings the first Tuesday of each month and welcome all lovers of flowers. . .and quilts.
Be sure you stop by the library and look at these lovely quilts. And find yourself a wonderful, warm Christmas story to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Interesting Facts About Reading

I read an interesting survey the other day. It was an AP (Associated Press) poll that gave the reading habits of Americans in 2006. There were 1,003 adults interviewed by phone. (Amazing, but the Gallup Poll in 2005 found similar results.) Some of the AP poll's facts were:
  • Among those who read in 2006, the average respondent read 7 books.
  • 25% of the adults polled said they didn't read any books.
  • The typical person read 4 books - half read fewer, half read more.

Who are the 25% of people the AP poll found had not read a single book in 2006?

  • Nearly a third of men and one-fourth of women tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, from rural areas, and less religious.
  • Put another way, avid readers in current and past studies were found to be elderly, female, southern, religious, and educated.
  • Southerners who do read, however, tend to read more books, mostly religious and romance novels, than people from other regions.
  • Women read more of every category of books than men, except for history and biography.
  • The Bible and religious works were read by two-thirds in the survey, more than all other categories.
  • Popular fiction, histories, biographies and mysteries were all sited to be about half, while one in five read romance novels.
  • Every other genre - including politics, poetry and classical literature - were named by fewer than 5% of the readers.

I was surprised to find myself in this poll, although I wasn't interviewed. Are you there too? And how many books have you read this year? After all, the year is nearly over. I know the next few weeks will be extremely busy, what with Christmas events coming up, but you still have time to read a little in between the cracks. Come on by the library and pick up a small book to read.

Miss Edna at the Circulation Desk recommends the following:

  • Santa Cruise (a holiday mystery at sea) and The Christmas Thief (mystery) by Mary Higgins Clark
  • Fresh Elastic for Stretched Out Moms (inspirational) by Barbara Johnson
  • Glad Tidings, When Christmas Comes, and Christmas Letters (fiction) by Debbie Macomber
  • The Choice (fiction) by Nicholas Sparks
  • Skipping Christmas (fiction) by John Grisham.

Don't forget to bring your library card. And remember, reading IS a stress-buster!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

All Thanksgiving Days Are Special

We are two days away from Thanksgiving Day 2007. This afternoon our library closes early at 5:30 p.m. We will be closed November 21 through 24, with our return to work on Monday the 26th.
Just thinking about Thanksgiving brings warm fuzzies my way. One Thanksgiving Day in particular always comes to mind. My two youngest children had gone off to their father's home for the holiday weekend, and I was left to my own devices. I think I'd made a pot of coffee and had decided to just "muck around" in my housecoat and slippers, watch a little television, read, and take several naps.
I remember the doorbell rang around 10:30 that morning. When I opened the door, there stood my two oldest children. They were both young men and on their own, so I was surprised they were standing at my front door.
Anyhow, when I asked them what they were doing, they said they'd come to take me out to Thanksgiving Day lunch. That really surprised me! But more than being surprised, I was so thankful I didn't have to spend the day all by myself. And I was extremely proud that my sons had thought of me on Thanksgiving Day and invited me to lunch.
Well, I got all dressed up and off we went. We were living in Omaha at the time and it took only about 15 to 20 minutes to get anywhere you wanted to go. Our drive was just down the street, under the bypass, and around the corner into Denny's parking lot. (I'm sure all of you know that Denny's is a restaurant.)
We had turkey and dressing and all the trimmings. We talked and laughed and simply enjoyed being with each other. And we didn't rush over our pie and coffee.
I don't remember the rest of the day or until my youngest children came home on Sunday. But I do remember that particular Thanksgiving Day and my oldest sons taking me out for lunch.
So, this Thanksgiving, because all my grown children live in different states than I do, I plan to share the Thanksgiving Day meal with my "adopted" son, who has no family close by. And guess where we're going for lunch. Yep! You're right! We're going to Denny's!
I hope you have someone to share your Thanksgiving Day with. If your family is a long way off, pick someone you know who will be by themselves also and share the meal. If you like to cook, invite friends and neighbors to get together, bring a dish, and share the meal. Sharing and being thankful for what we have is what it's all about.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your loved ones. May you make happy memories, too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Does This Mean That Montel Is Coming To Town?

Our director, Melody, told me the other day that the PPA bus is coming to Moultrie. That didn't register with me for a while, until I realized that this is the bus I see on television all the time. The one that Montel Williams is promoting.
Well, even if Montel doesn't come to town, the bus is coming. And that's what I need to tell you about.
If you are uninsured and struggling with your medical prescriptions, the Partner for Prescription Assistance program may be able to help you. You need to come to the library to find out if you qualify for one or more of 475 patient assistance programs, many of which offer free or nearly free prescription medicines. And this bus is the fast, free and convenient way to see if you qualify.
The Help Is Here Express bus will be at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library on Tuesday, November 27th, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The library is located at 204 Fifth Street, Southeast, in Moultrie. If you don't know where it is, just ask anyone in town and they should be able to help you.
The Help Is Here Express bus is equipped with computer terminals and phones so people can find out (for free) if they may be eligible for help. Trained specialists will be on board to make sure the process is quick and easy. It has to be one of the best ways for you to see about prescription assistance.
And tell you what. . .while you enter the bus and get the help you need, I'll stand outside the bus and watch for Montel. You can be sure if I see him, I'll be the one yelling, "Montel! Montel! Montel!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

You Might have To Reserve A Spot!

The other day I did a quick tour through the library to see and listen and snoop, but I don't tell many people I do that intentionally. It's one way I gather my stuff for the blog. Anyhow, I found something interesting and asked my coworker to come with me to see it.
That's when Aileen and I sat down on one of the most comfortable sofas I've been on in a while. We sat there on those comfy seats and looked around us at the new furniture and just grinned. You see, the new furniture is in the library's reading area. And if you didn't know better, you'd think you were in someone's lovely living room.
Melody, our director, told us the other day she was going shopping for furniture, but I guess I didn't expect to see it this soon.
There's a sofa and matching loveseat in a gold/green/burgundy floral pattern. They have plush cushions and plump pillows in complimentary patterns and colors.
Then there are four mahogany chairs with burgundy and gold seats and backs. And to accompany them are three matching end tables and a sofa table.
So, here we are today sitting in our office and Aileen just said, "I need a nap." And guess what I thought? Maybe we should go sit up there in the reading area. I think I've seen a couple of people napping on those comfortable sofas.
Hmmmmm! You might have to reserve a spot if you want to sit in that area.

Today In History

There are days when my curiosity just cannot be contained and I have to go snooping. This morning I decided to see what happened today in history. The History Place is one of my favorite Internet sites and here's what I found:
  • In 1666 on this date, the first experimental blood transfusion took place in England, utilizing two dogs. (Wonder if they were trying to save them, or one, or just experimenting?)
  • In 1889, newspaper reporter Nellie Bly (pen name for Elizabeth Cochrane) set out from New York to beat the record of Jules Verne's imaginary hero Phileas Fogg, who traveled around the world in 80 days. (Have you read that book?) Bly returned 72 days later to a tumultuous welcome in New York. (Talk about fast!)
  • On this day steamboat developer Robert Fulton (1765-1815) was born in rural Pennsylvania. (Had some relatives in Pennsylvania at one time.)
  • And this is the day that French painter Claude Monet (1840-1926) was born in Paris. He pioneered the impressionist style in his landscapes including the Haystacks, Poplars, and Rouen Cathedral series. (Impressive impressionist!)
  • Today was the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru (most everybody just called him Nehru), who was born in Allahabad, India (1889-1964). He spent over 20 years working with Mahatma Gandhi (most everybody just called him Gandhi; funny, but no one calls George W. Bush just Bush). Following independence in 1947, Nehru became India's first prime minister, serving until his death in 1964.
  • American composer Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was born on this day in Brooklyn, New York. He created a quintessential American music style in his ballets, film scores, and orchestral works including Fanfare for the Common Man, Rodeo, and Appalachian Spring (all my favorites!) for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. His film score for The Heiress won an Oscar.

So, there you are. . .important dates, important people, important events. All at the website www.historyplace.com where there's even more interesting news. Check it out on one of the library's 20 Dell computers which are available for public use. Just takes a library card to get online.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's Been Happening With The Bookmobile Lately?

Josh was sitting at the circulation desk the other morning when I came in. Just seeing him made me wonder what's been happening with the Bookmobile lately. So, I asked. Boy did he have lots to say!
"We've discovered hundreds and hundreds of our children's books are AR (Accelerated Reader) and Joel, our volunteer, has helped us label them. This has helped us out tremendously as most schools only want AR books.
"Also, we have several new books and series in the Bookmobile now. Children's books include Gordon Korman's On the Run and Kidnapped series, as well as the fourth installment of the Sisters Grim: Once Upon a Crime. The Ulysses Moore, Artemis Fowl, and Inheritance (think Eragon and Eldest) series are new additions, too. And we now have all five of the Spiderwick Chronicles.
"We are constantly adding adult fiction books and have rearranged the adult fiction section of the Bookmobile. We are carrying more titles from authors like John Grisham, James Patterson, Jonathan Kellerman, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, and Stuart Woods.
"More noteworthy is that the Christian Fiction section, which has had an incredible amount of usage, has expanded. There are now about two-and-a-half as many Christian Fiction books onboard. We've actually had to order extra copies by authors such as Kingsbury to keep up with the demand."
So, now you know how busy the Bookmobile is. And if you're on one of their routes, be watching for the red, white and blue bus. Sheila and Josh are working hard to bring great books to you for your enjoyment.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Everyone Has A Wish List

A couple of months ago, I heard someone talking about a library wish list. But in the rush of things, it slipped my mind until today. I decided to check around and find out.
Of course, I started at the top and talked to our director, Melody, who admitted she has a few wishes. She said one wish has been granted already, but is not in place yet, and that's the new book drop that will be placed at the back of the library parking lot. Melody said the SPLOST funds helped with that.
Another wish she has is to have more book money from the state. (Something all librarians would want.) But her biggest wish is to have a full-time certified adult services librarian to provide more community services, workshops and seminars. She said the county has to have a population of 75,000 before we can have such a librarian, and we're only at about 43,000. Sounds like we have a long wait!
I strolled around the library and asked several staff members what is on their list. I was amazed at some of the answers:
  • From Genealogy, Ann and Irene would like a reader-printer that would print a newspaper's full page. And a typewriter for where a computer can't be used. And greeting card software and a color printer.
  • From Intra-Library Loan, Johnnie wishes for a redesign of the circulation counter (this was Leon's wish also); easier-to-open-and-secure entrance doors; fresh paint on the concrete walls of the main library; a flat staff parking area instead of downhill; tinted windows throughout the library to eliminate glare and heat, but still be able to see out of; more large print books; and new staff chairs. (Wheeeew!)
  • From Bookkeeping, Ann wishes for a remote control for the wall air conditioner, since it's up too high for her to reach the controls; carpet and "her-height" (can you tell she's short?) painted wall shelves; and a tall silk plant for the corner-wall of her desk (we didn't say the wish list had to be entirely functional!).
  • From Information Services, Jinx wishes the signs in front of the library would be repainted for easier reading and have better lighting. Aileen wishes for a laser color printer and that the auditorium was set up for a multimedia presentation system.
  • From Cataloging, Monique wishes for a new chair, and more carousels for the CD books and DVDs.
  • From the Children's Library, Norma and Cray wish for a color printer for the office, a non-skid library-related welcome rug, poster frames, more shelving, and the north wall painted blue and the south wall painted red. (Again, beauty is sometimes functional too!)
  • From the Bookmobile, Sheila and Josh wish for another laptop and more book money. But most importantly, they would like wireless accessibility through each school's Internet to their PINES account to check on each teacher's books.
  • Gail (Circulation) and Carolyn (Processing) were gone, but Sheila said she knew they would like a new laminator.

The list could go on and on, I guess. I wasn't able to catch everyone for their wish lists, but got the majority of the staff. When I started asking about wishes, I had no idea the list would be this extensive. Maybe we should post it on a wall somewhere and as each wish is granted, mark it off. Then we could say, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." (Didn't I read that somewhere in one of our library books?)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Technology Lunch Bunch Will Meet Tuesday, November 13

I was going to tell you about this tomorrow, but, you know, time marches on. And sometimes too fast. So, I need to tell you now!
The Technology Lunch Bunch, sponsored by the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, will meet on Tuesday, November 13, in the Willcoxon Auditorium at the library. The meeting will be held from noon to 1 p.m. and is open to the public.
Presenter Aileen McNair, Library Information Specialist, will talk about safe Internet sites for children and parents. She said: "Since we can't always cover our kids' eyes, we have to teach them how to see."
The 45-minute session will explore ways to help our kids become Internet savvy. Discussion will be held about how to keep our kids safe online and review sites concerned with child safety. We'll also talk about how we can help them and ourselves make wise choices as the Internet becomes a part of our everyday life.
If you're a parent with a computer in your home, this is one meeting you are encouraged to attend. But remember this, kids use computers elsewhere also. So, it's up to all of us. . .parents and educators alike. . .to "teach them how to see."

Today In History

Occasionally, I get curious about what happened years ago on the day in which I presently live. There's a good website I enjoy that tells me what I want to know. It's The History Place at http://www.historyplace.com/.
Today it had a ton of stuff that was interesting, such as:
  • The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed, ending the Franco-Spanish war of 1648-59. (That was an eleven-year war! I hope the one we're in now doesn't last that long.)
  • General William H. Harrison led 1,000 Americans in battle, defeating the Shawnee Indians at the Battle of Tippencanoe Creek near Lafayette, Indiana. (Another war!)
  • A pro-slavery mob attacked and killed American abolitionish Elijah Lovejoy at his printing works in Alton, Illinois. (I used to live 3 hours from Alton!)
  • Canada's first transcontinental railway, the Canadian Pacific, was completed in British Columbia. (Rode a train one time all the way to Texas. Had an amazing time!)
  • Russian Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky in Petrograd. (Exactly where is/was Petrograd? I'll have to look that one up.)
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented fourth term, defeating Thomas E. Dewey. (I once saw the huge headlines in the newspapers about this. Was in a genealogy library somewhere.)
  • Richard Nixon told news reporters in Los Angeles "...just think how much you're going to be missing. You won't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference." (Do you think they knew what he was going to say before he said it?)
  • The East German government resigned after pro-democracy protests. (What can I say?)
  • L. Douglas Wilder became the first African American governor in U.S. history, elected governor of Virginia. (Progress at one level, anyhow.)
  • Mary Robinson became Ireland's first female president. (Progress at another level.)

This day, November 7, was also the birthday of Polish chemist Marie Curie who with her husband received the Nobel Prize for physics for their discovery of the element Radium. And it's also the birthday of Christian evangelist Billy Graham, who was born near Charlotte, North Carolina in 1918.

Great website, huh? You can check it out on one of the library's 20 Dell computers that we have for your use anytime you're in the library. Only takes your library card to get online. . . .

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Today Is All About Cats!

When I came in today, I wasn't sure what my thoughts for the blog would be. But after getting my coffee and talking with a couple of coworkers about this little kitty I have, all I could do was think about her.
You see, she's an orphan that I rescued when she was about six weeks old and weighed one pound six ounces. Now she's five months old, and all the time she's been growing she has been like a ping pong ball! She has literally turned my home upside down. I've had to remove and hide so many items, I may never be able to find them all! And the fact that my older cat is not particularly happy about the kitty is another problem.
Of course, since I work in a library, I always wonder what kind of books we have to solve any problem I might have at a particular time. This seemed to be one of those times. So, with Johnnie's help, I located a few books about cats that I thought might help me.
  • Helga Fritzsche's Cats, A Complete Pet Owner's Manual, With A Special Chapter: Understanding Cats. (Wonder if there's a chapter that tells you how to take the bounce out of ping pong balls?)
  • Harry Miller's The Common Sense Book of Kitten and Cat Care. (This book gave me encouragement about a four-to-nine month old kitten. If we can live through the next few months, we just might make it!)
  • Catlore by Desmond Morris has on its front cover: "Why cats purr and everything else you ever wanted to know." (This book answers some interesting questions, such as: Are there ideal cats for allergy suffers? Why is a cat called a cat? Why are cats attracted to people who dislike them? I'm going to check this book out for sure!)
  • The Cat by Muriel Beadle is A Complete Authoritative Compendium of Information about Domestic Cats. (From Chapter 1 "The Chase" through Chapter 8 "How Sociable?" to Chapter 17 "Man and Beast Together," there's much to learn from this book.)
  • Brian Kilcommons and Sara Wilson's Good Owners, Great Cats has a lot of promise for my kitty also. Or maybe I should have said for me. I need to check this book out also, because there are chapters about "Preventing Bad Habits," "The Great Declaw Debate," and "Chewing and Suckling Behaviors."
  • And the last book I picked up is For the Love of Cats by Amy D. Shojai and Irene Gizzi. It's just a fun book of knowledge about cat history, behavior, their five senses, myths and lore, and beautiful pictures of famous people with their cats.

Maybe someone out there in blogland is going through a similar problem with a kitty. I do have a problem, don't I? Or do I? Maybe I'm just learning to live with a baby who has growing pains. Or maybe she has no problems at all. Maybe it's just me! Anyhow, for all cat lovers, the library does have some good books about cats, whether you're trying to solve a problem like I am or just want to read cat books for fun. Look for those good books in the nonfiction section, number 636.8. They're right beside the dog section. Where else?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Well, We Did It Again And Carolyn's "It"!

Carolyn Clark knew something special was going to happen, since everyone had gathered in the work room where she has her desk. But she had no idea it was going to happen to her, until Director Melody Jenkins announced that Carolyn was the November Employee of the Month for the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.
With cheers from her coworkers, Carolyn received the E.O.M. certificate and flowers, and Ms. Jenkins announced the special parking place was Carolyn's for the month.
Thirty-six years ago, in September of 1971, Carolyn was hired to work on the Colquitt County Bookmobile. Later, she worked on the Thomas County Bookmobile when Thomas and Colquitt counties were in a regional system together (Colquitt-Thomas Regional Library System). When Thomas County dissolved the regional system in 1988 and the bookmobile service to that county from Moultrie ceased, Carolyn began working as the processing clerk in the main library, the job she holds today.
When I asked her what she liked best about working for the library, Carolyn said, "Being in the library and doing the processing. There were lots of good experiences with the Bookmobile, but I enjoy the processing now." (That's the essence of what she really said, without talking about ladies of a "certain age.")
Carolyn also enjoys her church, Oak Grove Baptist Church, where she's been an active member since 1949. She has been married to Joe Clark for 53 years and has three children (JoBeth, Donna and Brian) and seven grandchildren.
Those of us in the library who know Carolyn find her to be a kind and happy person. And when the mood strikes her, rather funny. We just enjoy working with her. So, we say, "Congratulations, Carolyn, for being it this month!"

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Now, What Would You Expect On Halloween From A Bookworm?

I heard of something sooooo cute for Halloween! Carolyn, who works in processing, told me that her church holds on Halloween what they call, "Trunk and Treat." She said church members put their cars in a circle at the church and open their trunks-full of treats for all the little kids! Now, isn't that just about the best Trick or Treating you ever heard!
And I have to tell you this. . .the other day my coworker sent me an email. She was out of town and found some funnies to share. I just have to pass them on to you. Remember now, this IS Halloween!
  • What do skeletons say before they begin dining? Bone appetite!
  • What does a ghost eat for lunch? A BOO-logna sandwich.
  • Where do ghosts buy their food? At the ghost-ery store.
  • What does a skeleton order at a restaurant? Spare ribs.
  • What do ghosts eat for dinner? Spookgetti.
  • What do zombies like to eat at a cook-out? Halloweenies.
  • What do you call a goblin who gets too close to a bonfire? A toasty ghosty.
  • Why don't mummies take vacations? They're afraid they'll relax and unwind. (I really like this one!)
  • Why don't angry witches ride their brooms? They're afraid of flying off the handle.
  • What's a monster's favorite play? Romeo and Ghouliet.
  • What's the ratio of a pumpkin's circumference to its diameter? Pumpkin Pi.
  • How do you mend a broken Jack-O-Lantern? With a pumpkin patch!

Now, that wasn't so bad, was it? Better than a knock on the head, I always say. By the way, are you dressing up for Halloween? I am. I'm going to be a butterfly and look at the books from another angle! That's what bookworms do. . . .

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We'll Treat You Like Royalty!

There's a newsletter put out for friends and employees of Georgia's public libraries. We get it here at our library. It's published bi-monthly by the Georgia Public Library Service, the state agency that supports public libraries and works with them to improve the quality and variety of library services available to Georgia citizens of all ages. That means YOU!
The October issue highlighted the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library as one of the three libraries in Georgia that reign as "the Georgia public library system's genealogical crown jewels." Now, to those of us who work for the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System (of which the Odom Library is a part), that just made our eyes sparkle!
The article stated that the Odom Library, "founded a scant 17 years ago, is a relative newcomer to the spotlight." Director Melody Jenkins stated: "Prior to 1990, we had a small Georgia history collection -- maybe 2,000 volumes. It was so small, my office used to be the history room!" When Mrs. Odom's bequest of $1 million was received, the south wing of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, which became the Odom Library, was built to house several collections, including the Emmett Lucas Collection. Mr. Lucas of Southern Historical Press was planning to retire, and he was interested in selling his collection about the southeastern United States, the Civil War and migration routes west.
Melody Jenkins said, "We purchased it as a whole, quadrupling the size of our collection in the process."
The collection took another giant leap in 1994 when the local high school's Class of 1944 held a reunion in honor of the 50th anniversary of D-Day and invited everyone who had graduated within four years of 1944 to attend and bring pictures related to their or their loved ones' armed service. The majority of this material was copied, the information identified, and placed in the library. That collection became the Veterans' History Project and was recently named for Catherine Bryant, who began her career with the library in 1944 and took over the project.
In addition to these collections, the library is perhaps most famous for its collection concerning Scottish genealogy. According to Ann Glass, genealogy clerk, the Odom Library is the archival home for more than 130 Scottish clan organizations, and houses many rare books including an original edition of Scottish Perrage, as well as The Highland Papers, and several Gaelic Bibles.
Genealogist Irene Godwin notes that American highlights at the Odom Library include original bound volumes of The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, as well as colonial and state records for both Georgia and North Carolina, and historical records from many counties in Texas.
Melody Jenkins also said, "The Odom Library has earned an approved attraction rating from the American Automobile Association, which features the library in its AAA Tour Guides for Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina.
If you're out there, somewhere other than Moultrie, Georgia, and you're interested in genealogy and you haven't been to the Odom Genealogical Library, now's the time to make the trip. We draw local, regional, and worldwide visitors. All the time! Come be one of them!
We'll treat you like royalty! After all, we're a crown jewel of genealogy libraries! (Source: Georgia Public Library Service)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Will You Make A Difference?

Saturday, October 27th, is Make A Difference Day.
What is Make A Difference Day? you ask. Well, it's a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. And everyone can participate.
Created by USA WEEKEND Magazine, Make A Difference Day is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October. In 2005, 3 million people cared enough about their communities to volunteer on that day, accomplishing thousands of projects in hundreds of towns.
Who takes part in Make A Difference Day? you ask. Anyone! Young and old, individuals and groups, anyone can carry out a volunteer project that helps others. It might be as ambitious as collecting truckloads of clothing for the homeless, or as personal as spending an afternoon helping an elderly neighbor or relative. Your project can be as large or as small as you wish! Look around your community and see what needs to be done.
If you're reading this blog, that means you have access to a computer. If you'll go to http://usaweekend.com/diffday/aboutmadd.html you'll find all the information you need to participate. And you'll find that each year in April, hundreds of good deeds done on Make A Difference Day are selected for honors, headlines and charitable donations.
What are the rules to participate in the Make A Difference Day event? you ask. If you want to participate, just help someone else on Saturday, October 27th. If you can't participate on Saturday for religious reasons, you may do your project on Sunday. If you volunteer regularly, great! On Make A Difference Day, expand your volunteering by creating a special event for those you help. If you don't volunteer now, here's an occasion for you to get started. Clean an elderly neighbor's house, read a book to someone, visit institutionalized kids or the elderly. Join in someone else's project. Help at the community soup kitchen or food bank, help paint a house or clean a yard. Get a group of your friends together to hand-deliver food to homeless people or a shelter. Take first graders who don't have a library card to the library to get one.
If you participate but don't send in an entry form, you can't be considered for the awards and can't be counted among the millions of people who simultaneously reach out to help others. So, go to the above website and click on Entry Form and sign up.
What are you going to do for Make A Difference Day? you ask. Well, I'm volunteering to take care of any of my neighbors cats while they are out of town for the holidays, or if they need to go to the hospital, or if they just want a weekend away from them. And I'm going to continue to check on my 82-year-old neighbor, invite her to eat out or to lunch at my place, or just sit on the porch and talk with her. That way my Make A Difference Day will last all year! Make a difference on Saturday the 27th and stretch it into all year. It'll warm your heart! (Source: Make A Difference Day website)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

United Nations Day. . .Should It Be Every Day?

Today, by my calendar, is United Nations Day.
The name United Nations was devised by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was first used in the Declaration by United Nations of January 1, 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their governments to continue fighting against the Axis Powers (at that time, the Major Axis Powers were Nazi Germany, Facist Italy, and Imperial Japan).
I could tell you all about how on April 25, 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco to draw up the United Nations Charter on International Organization. But I won't. I'll just tell you that these earnest individuals were "determined to set up an organization which would preserve peace, advance justice, and constitute a permanent structure for international cooperation."
They signed the Charter on June 26, 1945. And Poland, which was not represented at the conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States.
On October 24, 1945, with flags of all the nations flying together, the United Nations officially came into existence. And the chief observance of the United Nations was designated as October 24th of each year.
By 1956, the American committee for the United Nations promoted the celebration of United Nations week. The official American Association for the United Nations sent out information and suggestions for programs, requesting the people help the United Nations promote a peaceful future.
United Nations Day is celebrated very generally in all states and American possessions and by all 81 countries, which are members of the United Nations, for the purpose of informing the people of the world as to the aims, purposes and achievements of the UN. Some towns hold a public rally, perhaps at the City Hall, with the American flag displayed with the flag of the United Nations. Speakers stress the accomplishments of the organization. Some shop windows feature products and dress of other lands. Some towns put on an "International Festival" with songs and dances. Maybe a banquet with foreign dishes is held at a local church.
Once a year we designate a day to promote peace. Once a year we set aside one day, one week, where different nationalities, with different religions and colors, plan to come together and celebrate a peaceful coexistence.
A peaceful coexistence. . . . Why just one day? Why can't we plan to do this every day for a whole year? Why can't we plan to do this every year, all year long? Why do we have to plan for it? Why can't we just do it?
When are we going to learn that we all have the same feelings of pride in our traditions, the same hurt at being ignored or abused, the same desires for a safe home and good job, the same love for our families? When are we going to realize that we are all alike, no matter what our nationality, religion, or color?
Why just one day, one week out of the whole year? Why not united nations all the time? What have we done lately to preserve peace, advance justice, and constitute a permanent structure for international cooperation? Maybe United Nations Day should be every day! (Sources: United Nations Day websites at www.un.org, www.patriotism.org)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Early Physicians Still Live Here

Sometimes it's hard to stay out of the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library.
Ann, our genealogy clerk, showed me an interesting article the other day and said, "This newspaper clipping talks about a record book of early physicians and dentists in Moultrie. There's a copy of the book, Superior Court Physicians Register 1886-1966, on file in the genealogy library. When I looked through it, I saw we still have some early physicians living here."
The article dated November 28, 1941, talked about "the little well worn record book in which early physicians and dentists were required to register in the office of Clerk Superior Court. It also serves as a valuable recorded history of this great community."
So, I decided to go to the genealogy library and take a peek at this book.
Ann took a minute to put the film in the reader and spun the wheels for me. Lo and behold, there ARE two physicians still living here whose names we recognized in the little well worn record book. . .Dr. Walter E. Harrison and Dr. John Newton!
The newspaper article of 1941 mentioned the name of J. S. McKenzie who registered here March 3, 1892. Also Dr. C. C. Fletcher came to Moultrie from Fitzgerald during the naval stores and lumber days. He registered here in February of 1900. The writer of the newspaper article promised to talk about another local physician in the next installment of these authentic historical records. I think I'll have to go back and see who is mentioned.
If you have an interest in the history of our medical community, ask Ann to show you these records. They are a fascinating read. (Source: Superior Court Physicians Register 1886-1966)

Today In History

On October 23, 1983, terrorists drove a truck loaded with TNT into the U.S. and French headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, exploding it and killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers. (Source: The History Place at www.historyplace.com)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Technology Lunch Bunch Meets Tuesday, October 23rd

Did you get to go to the first meeting of the Technology Lunch Bunch? If you didn't, you missed some important information about how to check on your children's school work. But you're going to have another chance to join us and this time it's for genealogy.
The Technology Lunch Bunch, sponsored by the library, will hold its second meeting on Tuesday, October 23rd, in the library's Willcoxon Auditorium. And this program is really user-friendly. It will be held two times on the 23rd; one meeting from noon to 1 p.m. and the second meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. So, you have no excuse about not being able to attend. Besides, you really don't want to miss this one!
Aileen McNair will present the 30 to 40 minute program, Free Online Genealogy Databases. She is a DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Field Genealogist and a Library Information Specialist at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.
The program will explore several FREE online genealogy databases that anyone with a computer and Internet access can use. (If you don't have a computer at home, you can use one of the library's computers by just showing your library card at the circulation desk.) Participants will preview the Odom Genealogy Library website, as well as the websites of World Connect, GenForum, and Family Search. They will also discuss how to use search engines as an aid to genealogical research.
After the presentation session, participants will be able to spend 20 to 30 minutes online with the presenter available to help explore the resources previously introduced.
If you're BIG into genealogy and want to know more about research, or if you're just starting your genealogy tracking, this is the meeting for you. Aileen's got loads of neat ideas to help you!!! And a major bonus of this meeting is that it's FREE! Another service provided by your local library. See you there!

How Did Spence Field Get Its Name?

Yesterday I told you about the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo being held at Spence Field. Today I remembered our genealogy clerk, Ann, showed me an article a couple of months ago about how Spence Field got its name.
From the November 21, 1941, newspaper, The Moultrie Observer, an article was headlined: Moultrie Base May Get Name "Spence Field." The information from Washington read: "'Spence Field' has been recommended to the War Department as a name for the flying school at Moultrie, Ga., army officials said today. Before final adoption, the name must be approved by a special board, the next meeting date for which has not been set. The name was proposed in honor of Second Lieutenant Thomas L. Spence, Air Corps, Thomasville, Ga., who was killed in the World War (WWI)."
Spence Field was previously called the Moultrie Air Base. It's obvious the name was approved by the War Department's special board. So, now you know the rest of the story and how Spence Field got its name. (Source: Odom Genealogy Library)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Suppose You Know The Sunbelt Expo Is Here!

I remember the first time I went. It was an overwhelming event. I'd never seen so many people roaming around a flat piece of land in all my life!
We got there early and left late. We roamed around looking for the food booth where my friend's granddaughter was working. Never did find it! And when I got home, I felt as if my feet were worn to nubs! But I did learn a lot.
Later I was amazed to find out how many people checked out our city. They visited the downtown shops, ate at all the restaurants, and even checked out our library. (Of course, that's the first place I visit when going to a new town.)
For those of you who don't know, the Sunbelt Ag Expo's permanent home sits on 1680 acres, four miles southeast of U.S. Highway 319 (also called Veteran's Parkway and some other route numbers) on Highway 133 near Moultrie. Those of us who live here in Moultrie say the event is held at Spence Field on the Spence Field Highway (or the highway to Valdosta or some of those other route numbers).
This year the Expo is October 16 through 18. The kids are out of school and running around the grounds, the old-timers are in their electric buggies, and visitors as well as exhibitors are camping out on the grounds in their RVs. It's like a big family reunion. Except most of the people who are attending are very serious about why they are there.
If you've never been to the Expo, you're in for a treat. You're going to see things you may not see anywhere else except the Expo. Here's just a sample:
  • Cow milking contest
  • Tire auction
  • Stockdog trials
  • Hunting and fishing demonstrations
  • Seminars on beef cattle, hay and forage, dairy, aquaculture and pond management, alpaca, goat and sheep, poultry and equine.

There are all kinds of tractors and machinery, music, kids' events, cooking shows, giveaways and prizes. They hold a Young Farmer event and even select the Farmer of the Year. Oh, I can't begin to name it all. Like I said, if you've never been, you should go at least one time! And be sure to wear your easiest-walking shoes, take an umbrella (in case of sun or rain), and be prepared to walk, walk, walk! You're going to have a really great time. And you'll definitely learn something! It's like one great big library book!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

How Just One Librarian Met The Challenge

Elois is our reference clerk. We were chatting the other day when she told me about a real challenge she'd recently encountered.
She said a young man came to her for help. He asked for information about the Brady bunch. Of course, Elois did what I would have done and thought he meant the television comedy, The Brady Bunch. But that wasn't what he wanted. In the course of conversation with her, he asked about the Griffin papers. Elois suggested he talk to the librarian in the Odom Genealogy Library, but he said he'd already been there and Ann suggested he talk to her, Elois. Finally, the young man said he was a Brady and was looking for information from Berrien County.
Ah ha! Elois thought (can't we just see the light bulb come on in her head!). She said, "You need to go back to genealogy and ask for the census of Berrien County from the year you need." And so, away he went.
Elois later checked on him, and there he was sitting at the computer, just working away.
Now, talk about meeting a challenge!
Every staff member here in our library, not only the Moultrie-Colquitt County Public Library but the Odom Genealogy Library, can tell you a story like this. Answering questions to help patrons can be quite a challenge for us, but that's why we're here. All you need to do is just ask. And like Elois, we all do our best to meet the challenge. Every day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

We're Right In The Middle of Columbus Day

Quite some time ago, it was decided that if we celebrated certain holidays on a Monday, we could have a three-day weekend. At least, that's what I thought! So, Monday, October 8th, was the official observance for Columbus Day this year. Some businesses were closed, but others were open. Some of us had the day off; others of us didn't.
Today when I looked at my calendar, I saw that we are in the middle of two Columbus Days - the one observed and the traditional one on Friday, October 12th.
Just out of curiosity, I looked up Columbus Day on the Wikipedia website. I found some interesting stuff, such as:
  • Columbus Day is a holiday celebrating the anniversary of the October 12, 1492 arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas (remember that little diddy: "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue..."?)
  • The first celebration was held in 1792, when New York City celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World.
  • In 1937, at the behest of the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic fraternal service organization named for the voyager), President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set aside Columbus Day as a federal holiday.
  • Since 1971, the holiday has been commemorated in the U.S. on the second Monday in October (wasn't that the beginning of the three-day weekends?). It is generally observed today by schools, some banks, the bond market, the U.S. Postal Service, federal offices, and most state government offices; however, most businesses and stock exchanges remain open.
  • I also learned that the Columbus Day parade in Denver, Colorado, has been protested by American Indian groups and their supporters for nearly two decades. Opposition to the holiday cites the fact that Columbus and many of the conquistador followers treated the American Indians with great cruelty. Columbus directly brought about the demise of many Taino (Arawak) Indians on the island of Hispaniola, and the arrival of the Europeans indirectly slew many indigenous peoples by bringing diseases previously unknown in the New World.
  • In South Dakota, the day is officially a state holiday known as "Native American Day," not Columbus Day.
  • Also, Hawaii does not officially honor Columbus Day, but instead celebrates Discoverer's Day on the same day by honoring not only Columbus but James Cook, the British navigator who was the first person to record the coordinates of the Hawaiian Islands. However, many Native Hawaiians decry the celebration of both Columbus and Cook, who they say were known to have committed acts of violent subjugation of native people. Advocacy groups in Hawaii have commemorated Discoverer's Day as their own alternative, Indigenous Peoples Day.
  • On the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Columbus, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, the largest ecumenical body in the United States, called on Christians to refrain from celebrating the Columbus quincentennial, saying, "What represented newness of freedom, hope and opportunity for some was the occasion for oppression, degradation and genocide for others."

Well, that's what I learned. Interesting, huh? Some people celebrate Columbus Day and some don't. Some people recognize Columbus Day on the second Monday in October each year; some people don't recognize it at all. Some people celebrate the day by calling it another name. Then there are people like me who recognize the observed day and the traditional day. We might celebrate and we might not. We're right in the middle of two Columbus Days! And it certainly gives me something serious to think about. . . . (Source: Wikipedia www.wikipedia.com)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

We've Got New Children's Videos!

When I asked Monique about new children's videos, I didn't know what a barrel of goodies she was going to show me! Just look at this list:
  • Franklin's Halloween (what a great one to watch this month!)
  • Barney's Imagination Island
  • Start of Space Jam Bugs Bunny
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Woody Woodpecker and Friends
  • Barney's Adventure Bus
  • Barney's ABC's and 123's
  • Our Gang Collection (old-time favorites)
  • Bedknobs & Broomsticks (I loved this one! Angela Lansbury is in it!)

If you've got little ones at your house, or even have grandchildren visit, bring them to the library and let them pick out a couple of new videos to watch. Just takes a library card and they don't cost a single penny to take home. You'll find the video sleeves on the table in front of the reading area. And you'll need to ask the circulation desk clerk for the actual video to check out. Sounds like great morning shows for the little ones!

Today In History

John Lennon (1940-1980) was born in Liverpool, England. He was a member of The Beatles, an influential rock group which captivated audiences first in England and Germany, and later in America and throughout the world. He was murdered in New York City on December 8, 1980. (Source: The History Place http://www.historyplace.com/)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Put A Little Humor In Your Day!

There are days when I just have to turn the television off, because what the networks are showing for humor are too painful for me to watch. People get hit on the head by flying waterhoses, or bounce off trampolines and land in sticker bushes, or get chewed on in the most unlikely places by fiesty little dogs. And when I read the newspapers, I have to hunt for the funny stuff, other than the comics. So, today I decided to tell you some jokes, because I want to put a little humor in my day! They're silly, I know, but they are humorous!
  • Why did the librarian slip and fall on the library floor? Because she was in the non-friction section. (Get it? Non-friction.)
  • What did the detective do when he didn't believe the librarian's story? He booked her!
  • Do you know how many librarians it takes to screw in a light bulb? No, but I know where you can look it up.
  • Where does a librarian sleep? Between the covers.
  • When a librarian goes fishing, what goes on her hook? A bookworm, of course. (Ouch! that hurt!)
  • What does a librarian eat dinner from? A bookplate.

Well, you get the idea. Then I decided to see what kinds of humorous books we have here at the library. I asked Holly to select a few children's books and she picked these:

  • Wackiest Jokes in the World (J818P)
  • Too Cool Jokes for School (E818.54K)
  • My Tang's Tungled and Other Ridiculous Situations (821.08B)

And not to leave the adults out, Johnnie selected:

  • Joke: Laughing Out Loud (808.87C)
  • Russell Baker's Book of American Humor (818.02B)
  • Barbara Johnson's series of humor; one book is Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy (1248.8J)
  • And a young adult book, Official Golf Lover's Joke Book (808.7W)

If you're in the same place as I am with the humorous television shows and newspapers that are too serious, remember there's a place right here in your home town that will provide you with a laugh. You can pick up a funny book from the library with just your library card, read it in the comfort of your home while you're eating a snack, and not even have to pay the largest part of a ten dollar bill to get a good laugh! We're open Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except on Tuesdays when we're open until 8 p.m. That gives you lots of time to get a book made of paper, an audio book, a VHS movie or a DVD, and put a little humor in your day. Goodness knows, we all need to laugh more!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October Is A NATIONAL Month

Often we find several National Something-or-Anothers in a month, but during this month we have four really great national events to celebrate.
October is National Book Month. The National Book Foundation, sponsor of this annual event, invites everyone to embark on the journey of a lifetime, travel to exotic places, mythical lands and experience adventure beyond imagination. Or escape to another era altogether. All without luggage, tickets, a passport or leaving home. All you need is an open mind. And an open book. With just a library card, you and your children can travel around the world. This is the month to get on the reading bus!
We are also celebrating National Crime Prevention Month. For the past 23 years National Crime Prevention Month has been observed in the month of October to help teach how to prevent crimes that are committed in the home and community. Since its inception in 1984, overall crime is down, and education and awareness is the key to crime prevention. When I hear things like 60% of residential burglaries occur during daylight hours or 65% of all burglaries are by forcible entry, that makes me want to learn anything I can about preventing crimes and join my local crime watch team.
Then there is National Family History Month. Each of us belongs to a family with traditions and a heritage that reflects who we are and where we come from. Family history research is among the most popular hobbies across the nation, with tens of millions of our fellow citizens actively researching their family histories and sharing family stories. The libraries, archives and museums of each state have a rich repository of information about our ancestors and their lives. Since October is National Family History Month, with celebrations and special programs planned throughout the nation, all citizens are encouraged to actively research and share their unique family histories and participate in Family History Month activities. Just remember, the Odom Genealogy Library is here for your use and has expanded its services. And I'll say more about Family History Month later. . .
National Stamp Collecting Month is also October. The annual event began in 1981 as a joint venture of the Council of Philatelic Organizations and the United States Postal Service. For the first National Stamp Collecting Month, then-postmaster general William F. Bolger called stamp collecting "the world's most popular hobby," and urged "employees and customers alike to discover the joy of stamp collecting - a hobby of a lifetime." The Postal Service has continued to promote the event by issuing special pictorial stamps intended to stimulate public interest in the hobby. And the United States isn't the only country to celebrate stamp collecting at a specific time. Germany and the Philippines also celebrate
the event.
Now back to National Family History Month. I'll celebrate it when our library hosts the Technology Lunch Bunch on Tuesday, October 23, with the program "Free Online Genealogy Databases." There will be two meetings held in the library's Willcoxon Auditorium; one at noon to 1 p.m. and the other at 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Pick one of the times and come join us. It's a great learning opportunity. . .
Happy National Something-or-Another month! Learn all you can!
(Source: http://childrensbooks.about.com/, http://www.prweb.com/, http://www.michigan.gov/, http://www.linns.com/)

Today In History

President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation designating the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. (Talk about planning ahead. He did this in October! Most of us would have done it the day before Thanksgiving Day!)
(Source: The History Place at www.historyplace.com)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

October Employee of the Month is Keva Williams

Yesterday we had to hunt all over the library to find Keva. She was soooo busy shelving books that she didn't hear her name called over the PA system. Johnnie searched the aisles until she found her. By the time Keva walked into the workroom, she was wide-eyed and curious. Then when Melody handed her the Employee of the Month certificate of appreciation with her picture on it, her mouth dropped open in surprise.
Keva Williams is a beautiful young woman with dark hair and dark eyes, tall and slender, soft spoken, and very intelligent. She's worked for the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System for 2-1/2 years as a shelver and circulation clerk. She is so meticulous at her shelving that someone said she even alphabetizes the books by each
author.
I first noticed Keva in the fiction section as she shelved books that had been returned to the library. She was quick and careful and studious. Then I noticed her at the circulation desk as she helped patrons check out books and answered their questions. She smiled and was polite to each person. One day I saw her in the genealogy library, typing in data on one of the computers. That's when I realized how multi-talented Keva is. And she's more than just a good employee!
Keva's a member of Grant Chapel AME Church in Moultrie. In April of this year her church put on the musical The Heaven Bound Play: Enactment of Life Pilgrimage at the Withers Auditorium. Keva played the part of a blind girl and COULD she sing! My goodness, what a beautiful voice!
Born and raised in Moultrie, Keva is the daughter of Dale and Avanell Carr Williams. She has a younger sister, Kameda. Keva is not only working at the library, but she is working on obtaining her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from ABAC.
And I suppose it would not surprise anyone to know that Keva also likes to read. I've found that most people who work at a library have a love for books. Some of her other interests include traveling and spending time with her family.
From all of us who work with you, Keva, we say congratulations! You're well-deserving to be called October's Employee of the Month. And we're delighted to know and work with you.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Banned Book Week Is September 29 - October 6

"You shouldn't read that!" my girl friend said. "It's dirty!" But because she said that, I wanted to read it even more, to make that decision for myself. The book was Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. That book, now defined as a classic along with Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, are off the Banned Book list this year, but in the past have often been included.
According to the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), more than a book a day faces removal from free and open public access in U.S. schools and libraries. During Banned Books Week, September 29 - October 6, thousands of libraries and bookstores throughout the nation will celebrate a democratic society's most basic freedom - the freedom to read.
"Not every book is right for every reader," said ALA president Loriene Roy. "Libraries serve users from a variety of backgrounds - that's why libraries need - and have - such a wide range of materials. Individuals must have the right to choose what materials are suitable for themselves and their families."
Each year, the OIF receives hundreds of reports on books and other materials that were "challenged" by people who asked that they be removed from school or library shelves. There were 546 known attempts to remove books in 2006, and more than 9,200 attempts since the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom began to electronically compile and publish information book challenges in 1990. Challenges are defined as formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.
"Part of living in a democracy means respecting each other's differences and the right of all people to choose for themselves what they and their families read," said Judith F. Krug, director, OIF. "We must remain vigilant to assure that would-be censors don't threaten the very basis of our democracy."
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the ALA, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Library of Congress Center for the Book.
The Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association's basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 64,000 members.
We invite you to explore what the week means. Reflect on your freedom to read, cherish it, and, by all means, read what you want to read. As the author of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, said, "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."
(Source: The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression http://www.abffe.com and the American Library Association http://www.ala.org)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What's In Your. . .Car?

You know that commercial "What's in your wallet?" Well, I went around the library asking, "What's in your car?". . .meaning what books do you have in your car? I was surprised to find that lots of people keep phone books and atlases in their car. I mean, I have road maps of a couple of cities and states, but I never thought about putting a whole atlas in the car! Just goes to show I don't go very far, I guess. Anyhow, here's what I found on my survey:
  • Norma has My Father's Dragon, Ruby in Her Own Time, Pirates Don't Change Diapers, and A Mama for Owen (now what would you expect from a children's librarian?). And she has a Moultrie phone book and atlas.
  • Jinx has Invisible Acts of Power by author Caroline Myss.
  • Ann has a Moultrie phone book.
  • Keva has a paperback, but couldn't remember the name.
  • Aileen has Assassin's Apprentice, Sudoku and crossword puzzles.
  • Gail has The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ramona and recipe books.
  • Irene has phone books, an atlas, and her teaching books for church.
  • Melody has Sudoku; audio books, such as I Heard That Before; a phone book, atlas, the owner's manual to her truck (I bet we all have one, but she was the only one to say this), and one of her Bibles.
  • Monique has an atlas and phone book.

So, I guess I should ask you: What's in your car to read? Other than the phone book and an atlas? If you don't have anything, be sure to come to the library and check out a good read. Or if you don't have time to read, check out those audio books. We have lots to choose from. . . . And it's still September, National Library Card Month. Drop by now and get that free library card! It will open a whole new world to you!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Listen To These Craaaaazzzzzyyyy Titles!

There's a children's author who writes stories with the craziest titles! Just listen to these: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Stories, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Squids Will be Squids, and Cowboy and Octopus. This author also writes a number of books featuring The Time Warp Trio, a group of children who go back in time to various moments in history. Some of the titles in that series are: Summer Reading Is Killing Me!, Knights of the Kitchen Table, The Non-So-Jolly Roger and Me Oh Maya. Who is this guy? you ask. He is John Scieszka (pronounced SHEH-ska), who writes books because he "loves to make kids laugh." Most of his noted works have come via collaborations with illustrator Lane Smith, who does the artwork for Scieszka's words. Smith and Scieszka have won various awards and are still coming up with wacky and zany ideas for new children's books. There's another book you should know about also. Scieszka edited an essay compilation titled Guys Write for Guys Read, which featured over eighty essays from noted authors who shared stories from their own childhoods. The Guys Read compilation stems from his personal nonprofit literacy program for boys and men, Guys Read, which he created due to his reaction to United States government statistics regarding literacy among boys, as well as society's attitudes toward masculinity. You can check out John Scieszka's Web page or read about him at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Scieszka where you'll find lots more than I've told you here. And be sure to ask Norma or Cray in the Children's Library where they keep his books. You'll love them! And so will your kids! (Source: Jon Scieszka's Website and Wikipedia)