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 and the American Library Association

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 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)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

National Constitution Week All This Week

Monday, September 17, began the national celebration of Constitution Week. The weeklong commemoration of America's most important document is one of our country's least known official observances. Our Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedom, and to ensure those unalienable rights to every American.
On September 17, 1787, the United States Constitution was signed by 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia's Independence Hall. In honor of this historic event, President Bush declared the week of September 17 through September 23 as Constitution Week.
The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started many years ago by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The aims of the celebration are to (1) emphasize citizens' responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, preserving it for posterity; (2) inform the people that the Constitution is the basis for America's great heritage and the foundation for our way of life; and (3) encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.
This year the DAR took to schools over 700 bookmarks to be given to students. They furnished booklets and bookmarks free to the public, and Barbara Hendrick set up a magnificant display in the foyer of the main library. Lisa Horken loaned the flags for the display.
We hope you will take time to stop by the library and see this wonderful display. "Constitution Week is the perfect opportunity to read and study this great document which is the safeguard of our American liberties," stated DAR president general, Presley Merritt Wagoner. (Source:

Those Quick Book Reviews I Promised

Remember way back when, I told you we were going to have some quick book reviews for you. Well, these aren't necessarily quick, but here they are:
  • Melody, our director, told me one of the best books she's read (and you can get the audio version als0) is Letters for Emily by Camron Wright. This book is for women and men! It was written by a man whose grandfather's poems inspired the book. The story opens in the final stages of Harry Whitney's life. Not only is he dying, he's losing his mind. With Alzheimer's disease looming, he decides to compile a book of his own poems as a final gift for Emily, his favorite granddaughter. When the family discovers the book, they also discover secrets hidden in each poem; secrets about Harry's past. And they not only discover important things about Harry, but themselves. It's a story that celebrates goodness, hope, love and life.
  • Then Norma, our children's librarian, told me about Pirates Don't Change Diapers. When the pirate crew turns up at Jeremy Jacob's house and accidently wakes his baby sister, that wee scallywag howls louder than a storm on the high seas. Sure, there's buried treasure to be found, but nobody's digging up anything until Bonney Anne quits her caterwauling. So, quicker than you can say "scurvy dog," Braid Beard and his swashbuckling pirates become. . .babysitters? A hand-in-hand book with this one is How I Became A Pirate, same author and illustrator.
  • And, of course, most people have heard about that darling little baby hippo that survived the 2004 tsunami and made the giant tortoise its mother. It's like a National Geographic moment! Now there's a book about him titled A Mama for Owen. When the tsunami washed Owen's world away and the rain stopped, Owen befriends Mzee, a grayish-brown tortoise, who he plays with, snuggles with, and decides might turn out to be his best friend and brand-new mama. It's a heartwarming true tale of healing, adoption, and rebirth with splendid illustrations and oodles of love.

The books are here at the library. . .just takes a library card to check them out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Maybe We Should Have A "Granny Brigade" In Moultrie

My AARP magazine came the other day. (Yep! I'm old enough to get one.) A tiny little article at the bottom of one page caught my eye. It said: "Grandmothers Rule!" Cool, I thought. (A saying that really makes me old, huh?) Anyhow, the article was talking about how the mayor of Salinas, California, decided to create a "granny brigade" to fight gang violence in his city. He said they were a working-class community with a lot of single parents and the reality was that a lot of time the grandmothers were running the home. So, he met with 30 Salinas grandmothers to ask them to visit area juvenile detention facilities. But that wasn't what caught my eye! He also asked the grandmothers to help ensure that all first-graders obtain library cards! WOW! What insight, I thought. So, maybe we should have a "granny brigade" here in Moultrie. A group of 30 or so grandmothers who would be willing to make sure that every kid in the first grade had a library card. After all, this is National Library Card Month. Do I have any volunteers? (Source: AARP Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2007)

New Videos Now On The Shelf

Monique just got in a bunch of new videos. Well, actually, they were donated by some kind soul, but are new to us. They are here now for your enjoyment. They have the orange "adult" cards in the sleeves.
  • Leave Her to Heaven with Gene Tierney

  • The Odd Couple with Jack Lemmon

  • Mask of Zorro with Antonio Banderas

  • The Man in the Iron Mask with Leonardo DiCaprio

  • The Fugitive with Harrison Ford

  • Liar Liar with Jim Carrey

  • Sleepless in Seattle with Tom Hanks

  • Cape Fear with Robert DeNiro

  • The Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day-Lewis

  • Unforgettable with Ray Liotta

  • City Slickers II with Billy Crystal

  • Roommates with Peter Falk

  • Dances with Wolves with Kevin Costner

  • Bye Bye Birdie with Jason Alexander

  • Drop Dead Gorgeous with Kirstie Alley

  • The Santa Clause with Tim Allen

They're here just waiting for you. All it takes is a library card to check them out. A video and a bowl of popcorn sounds like a good thing!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Today In History

Some days you're lucky, because you get three blogs! But this date is important to tell you about! On September 18, 1947, the U.S. Air Force was established as a separate military service. For those of you who were and are in the U.S. Air Force, we salute you!!!

The Library Is The Perfect Public Place

You know how it is when you're chit-chatting with a friend. You usually pick up some information you didn't expect. Well, the other day when I was chit-chatting with Norma, she told me that Melody used to present a program about how libraries are the perfect place. Something to this effect: that to visit a library there are no qualifiers, just that you want to learn. You don't have to be rich or poor, well or sick, need money, or be any particular color of the rainbow. And there's no age limit. Some parents get their child a library card before they can even look at the pictures. Some people, like the seniors from Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Doerun, get them when they're older. Granted you need some identification if you want to get a library card, but there are also things you can do in the library without a card. All you have to do is want to come in. There's something here for everyone. Such as:
  • Get to know your librarian, the ultimate search engine at your library

  • Pick up voter registration information

  • Attend a lecture or workshop or meeting

  • Call the reference desk if you have a question

  • Ask for a recommended reading list for your kids (or yourself)

  • Make photocopies

  • Read the latest fashion magazine

  • Trace your family tree

  • Pick up tax forms

  • Find a quiet spot, curl up with a good book and enjoy.

So, if you can do all of this without a library card, can you imagine how much more perfect the library will be when you have a library card. This is National Library Card Month. Your smartest card is just waiting for you to pick it up!!!

Community Showcase Presents Local Authors

This coming Thursday, September 20, the Community Showcase will be held at the YMCA from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be 60 businesses displaying unique products, wares and services. Books & More will host the following local authors:

  • Bobbie Jean Wright, author of Wild as the Southern Wind
  • Janice Short, author of Tapestry of Love: Poetry of Faith, Hope and Love
  • Clyde Short, author of Bleeding Blue
  • Buddy McCoy, author of A Walk on the Beach
  • Ren Summerlin, author of This Week's Episode
  • Debbie Griffiths, Thomasville author of Little Lady, Big Dream.

This will be a great time for you to rub elbows with published writers, find out how they came about writing their books, and buy copies of those that interest you. Moultrie is lucky to have these great writers. Show your support by participating in this local community event.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Technology Lunch Bunch Meets Sept. 25

There used to be a comedian who said, "Have I got a deal for you!" That's what I'm going to say to you now! If you want to find out more about how your child is doing in school, then this meeting is for you. On Tuesday, September 25, a new group called the Technology Lunch Bunch will meet at noon in the Willcoxen Auditorium here at the library. These informal monthly meetings are aimed at expanding the library's free technology training for patrons. The first program, "Parent Connect," will be presented by Emily Nichols, director of information and instructional technology for the Colquitt County Board of Education. "Parent Connect" is an online application that is used by the Colquitt County schools to allow parents to track their child's grades, discipline and attendance. Participants need to contact their child's school in advance to get a password for the "Parent Connect" secure website so that they can explore the program while at the library. The presentation will be 45 minutes and computers will be available with help for 30 minutes after the program. Reservations can be made by calling the library at 985-6540. Bring a lunch and join us. And you might want to put these upcoming Technology Lunch Bunch programs on your calendar: October 23, Family History; November 13, Online Sites for Children and Parents. Plan ahead now for an hour or so of useful information. . .courtesy of your local library.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Do You Have The Smartest Card?

September has been designated by the American Library Association as National Library Card Month. The Moultrie-Colquitt County Library wants to make sure that you are among the two-thirds of Americans that carry the smartest card of all -- a library card. A recent study by the ALA showed that families use libraries to spend time together. Forty-four percent of survey respondents report taking their children to the library for this reason. And do you know that public libraries today acquire the bulk of their funding from local property taxes? As a result, the local economy plays a major role in your library's budgetary success or failure. Local taxes help pay for your library card. So, now is the time for anyone who does not have a library card to get one. To show you how important a library card is, the ALA has come up with 52 ways to use your library card for each week of the year. Here's just a sample:
  • Get a book from the Intra-Library Loan service
  • Update your MySpace page
  • Research new job opportunities
  • Find a list of childcare centers in your area
  • Learn about local candidates for office
  • Learn how to use a database or computerized catalog
  • Check out your favorite novel
  • Pick up a DVD
  • Get homework help
  • Find a new recipe
  • Connect with other people in the community
  • Research your term paper
  • Use the library's resources to start a small business
  • Read a newspaper from another country

And we're here! Just waiting for you to come in and ask for YOUR library card. We are the Moultrie-Colquitt County Public Library System and we are here to serve you. (Source: American Library Association

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

But I Like To READ!!!

"Hold on!" someone said to me yesterday. "I saw on your library blog the other day about The Atlanta Journal-Constitution being online, but I like to come into the library and HOLD a piece of paper in my hand and READ! Don't you still have those old-fashioned newspapers?" Well, I'm here to tell you that if you still like to come to the library, pick up a real-live newspaper, and sit on the couch and read, we've got newspapers for you. A quick tour of our reading area shows that we have the following papers: Albany Herald (daily and Sunday), Georgia Times Union (daily and Sunday), Moultrie Observer (daily and Sunday), USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. But don't stop there! We have magazines also; ones like Atlantic Monthly, Beckett Baseball, Better Homes and Gardens, Consumer Reports, Crafts 'n Things, Ebony, Family Handyman, Glamour, National Geographic, Newsweek and a host of others. So you can come in and sit at a table or on a comfy couch and read till your heart's content. Consider it a bonus for having a library in your town!

It's September 11. . .Again

Years and years ago I was married on a September 11th. It was a joyous day. Love ruled each minute. Then another September 11th came along. I remember I called my son half a world away and told him to turn on his television. It was morning my time; night his time. Together we watched the tragedy in America unfold. The planes, the buildings, the people. Today as I remember it's September 11th again, I think way, way back to when love ruled each minute, and I consciously bring that love into my heart now. But this time it's for all who perished in that terrible American tragedy, love for all who were left, love for all who continue to give their lives every minute for freedom. Simple love. For September 11th will come. . .again. . .and I will continue to pray for loved ones and freedom. I will continue to make love rule each minute of every September 11th.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

We DO Have The Atlanta Journal-Constitution!

The other night at our book club meeting we were talking about the newspapers at the library. Someone mentioned that we no longer have The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the public to read. So, when I went to work the next day, I checked into it. I found out we don't have a paper copy of the newspaper. However, we DO have it online! It is available to all patrons using a computer inside the library. And not only can they read The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but they have the opportunity to read online many of America's great news magazines, such as Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, Life, Parenting, Real Simple, Newsweek, Time, Popular Science, and Sports Illustrated, just to mention a few. If you've missed The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, you don't have to miss it any longer. Just stop by the library and ask any staff member about the newspaper. They'll be glad to help you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

September Employee of the Month - Catherine M. Bryant

September 2007 brings a new program to the employees of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. Director Melody Jenkins announced an employee will be selected each month to receive the title Employee of the Month. The exemplary employee will receive a certificate of appreciation bearing their picture (copies of which will be placed in the main library and the genealogy library) and a designated parking space for the month of their reign, as well as other forms of recognition.

This month's Employee of the Month is Catherine M. Bryant, Genealogy and Administrative Assistant, who has been employed with the library for 41 years.

Beginning as a Bookmobile Librarian, she later was placed in charge of the library's film service, the audio-visual equipment and its repair, and the Intra-Library Loan service. She also has been secretary to the library board for more than 30 years. However, Catherine's greatest library love has been the Veterans History Project, which was named in her honor earlier this year. Since it was her desire that Veterans be honored and never forgotten, the Veterans Project was housed in the genealogy library. Catherine has worked hard for many years to raise money to support the project and acquire information on as many Veterans as she can add to the collection. One co-worker said: "Mrs. Bryant lays a foundation to help future generations develop a deeper understanding of peace."

Those of us at the library, who know Catherine, see a tiny, sweet, hard-working woman with the stature and power of a giant. And it is with love and congratulations that she is presented this honor. Thank you, Catherine, for your many years of dedication and caring service.