Thursday, December 18, 2008

Remember, We're Closed For The Holidays

Since you're reading the blog, I know you saw our home page first. Did you notice the scroll across the upper part of the home page? It tells about our holiday season closing. We will be closed from 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 22nd, until Monday, January 5,
I know that seems like a long time when you need to come to the library and use a computer to help you find a job. Or if our computers are the only way you can get your important emails. Or if you really need more children's books to keep the kids happy until school starts again.
But since this particular holiday season comes only once a year, maybe you should take time off from all those things you've been tied up with. Get away from the worry for a little while. Maybe it's time to appreciate all the blessings you do have.
I thought about my blessings as I drove to work this morning...the roof over my head, a hot shower whenever I want one, a car to take me where I need to go, loved ones to share Christmas Day with. Little things like that. I know we'll have food on the table, but this year we all decided not to give Christmas presents. Instead we said we'd call each other on the phone and talk for a while. And I like that as my Christmas present, because I can hear my loved ones' voices. That's a blessing, too...loved ones' voices.
So, as we close for the holiday season, we will think of you, our patrons, and say a special prayer for you. We'll look forward to seeing you in the new year and have all our services ready for you to enjoy in 2009.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We're Closing For The Holidays, But...

...we have great plans for 2009!!!
Over the past few weeks, we've laid out the plans for our 2009 calendar of events. There are, of course, library events we feel are necessary to promote. But we've also found some interesting ones we feel are of a great public service. And some that are just plain
In January we will publicize not only National Hot Tea Month (which has become a big health item) and National Puzzle Week, but we will be working with the Georgia Hospital Association and the Partnership for Health and Accountability to promote National Glaucoma Awareness Month.
February is American Heart Month, and again this year we will sponsor blood pressure readings by Colquitt Regional Medical Center on the AARP Tax Tuesdays. For just plain fun, we'll promote Library Lovers Month (the one I'm looking forward to.)
We always enjoy March because it's National Craft Month. Our plans call for gorgeous quilt displays in the library by some of our local quilters. And it's also National March into Literacy Month, which fits right in with our library plans.
April, of course, is National Library Week - one of those "musts" that we will do. But we have big plans to promote Child Abuse Prevention Month, and hold a time when parents can have their children's pictures and thumbprints recorded.
I don't want to give away everything we're going to do in least, not right now. But I have to tell you that in May we will hold another Authors' Tea. The one last May was such a tremendous success, not only for the public but for the authors, that we decided it is a definite "must" again in 2009. Of course, it's also Get Caught Reading Month, and what better way to publicize the books by those authors than to take pictures of people in the community who are caught reading their books.
Well, you get the idea. 2009 is going to be a great year at Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. Just wait and see what we have planned for the rest of the year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Is Near...Cookie Swaps Are Here

When I first moved here, I had a Christmas cookie swap at my house. Fourteen women came to the party and brought five dozen cookies each - one to eat at the party, four to share.
I had asked them to give me their recipes a week before the party so I could make a booklet for them to take home.
When cookie swap day came, the ladies arrived all decked out in their Christmas finery. They carried their cookies in gold baskets, snowmen bowls, and poinsettia plates.
My house was decorated with an amazing Christmas tree, window snowflakes, and glowing candles. We sat in the living room and sampled our cookies with cups of hot cider and hot tea. We shared what Christmas meant to each of us and told favorite Christmas memories. I read a Christmas poem. Another lady read a short Christmas story. We delighted in our friendships and yummy
At the end of the party, we filled our take-home containers with samples of everyone's cookies and took a copy of the little recipe booklet tied with red and green ribbons. We were so happy that our families would enjoy a variety of goodies on Christmas Day.
Today our library staff members will share in a cookie swap. Ten of us have baked four dozen cookies - one to eat at work, three to share. It's one way we enjoy each other's friendship. And there's also a recipe booklet for everyone to take home.
I found the recipe booklet from my very first Christmas cookie swap the other day. It was stuffed in my Southern cooking cookbook. It brought back memories of a good time and great friendships.
Here's hoping the same will happen to each staff member many years from now when they see their booklet of Recipes from the Library Ladies and Gents.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Do You Remember The Amazing Black Book Bag?

Way back in August of 2007, I told you about this Amazing Black Book Bag we have here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.
Well, we still have some. And they are still on sale for only $5 each. You can see one hanging on the wall near the circulation
They're so great that I have three in use, and I've even given them as Christmas presents. They are the perfect book-lovers tote bag. (I saw a man at the New Books Section the other morning with one hanging on his arm!)
The Amazing Black Book Bag is a spiffy black, 17-1/2 inches long and 12 inches deep with a 4-inch wide bottom. That a generous size! It has two handles and a side pocket with "Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, Moultrie, Georgia" printed in gold on it. The entire bag is a canvas-like polyester and waterproof inside. It can hold your books and all your reading or writing stuff, or it can hold all the things you haul around for your children, or it can even hold tools for Dad or Grandpa.
Like I said, a bag is at the circulation desk for you to see. It's going to be one of the cheapest (excuse me, most economical) holiday presents you can give. Only $5. Think how many you can get for all those hard-to-please people you have on your list.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Book Picks For 2008...Well!

I just finished reading the book picks for 2008 from the New York Times. I sat and read every little blurb about the 100 Notable Books of 2008, the 10 Best Books of 2008, the Notable Children's Books of 2008, and the Notable Crime Fiction of 2008. I found a few interesting books, but a lot of them were just plain uninteresting to me. Don't know what the reason was...they just were.
One fiction that seemed interesting, however, was The Other by David Guterson. He's the fellow who wrote Snow Falling on Cedars, which was made into a movie. The new book is an exploration of how one should live in a flawed world, the choices we make and the values we reflect. It's about two guys and their friendship, their hardships and the compromises of adulthood. Sounds like a good read for
Then there was a fantastic children's book I think I'm going to have to put in my personal library. It is Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein. The book was chosen as a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book. The first time I heard about it was on the Sunday Morning television show. It's about a cat named Wabi Sabi who seeks her name's meaning. Wabi Sabi's quest and the splendid pictures will please children, and the rest of us will enjoy the subtle interconnections among dialogue, poetry and collages fashioned from "time-worn human-made, as well as natural,
When I closed down the NY Times website, I headed for our library shelves of new books. Well, new to us, anyhow. I wasn't looking for notable books picked by our library staff. I was looking for a few interesting books.
The book cover of Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts always catches my eye. It's a glowing jar of lightning bugs set in a nighttime sky. The picture and the title make me want to read the book. Even better is the story...about two gutsy children who must discover how cruel, unfair and frightening the world is before they come to a place they can finally call home.
Sons of Glory is a Christian Fiction by Craig and Janet Parshall. This is the third book and conclusion in The Thistle and the Cross series. It's about three brothers in Boston in 1770 living during the building of a new nation and political system, who are trying to remain true to God's will in the midst of dangerous and uncertain times.
And Superior Saturday, The Keys to the Kingdom is the sixth in the Kingdom series. This is where Arthur Penhaligon discovers the secret to his identity, the identity of The Architect, the complete Will of the House, and the fulfillment of his fate.
I've heard many good things about Three Cups of Tea. It's written by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. It's about building schools for kids who really need them.
Of course, you can never go wrong with one of Dr. Wayne Dyer's books. The one I picked up today is Inspiration. I've seen his shows on PBS...The Power of Intention, Your Ultimate Calling, etc. This book can change your life also.
There were several books with "Christmasy" titles. But then it's getting to be Christmas time.
Debbie Macomber has books titled Where Angels Go, When Christmas Comes, and Christmas Letters.
Thomas Kinkade's three books will also get you in the mood for Christmas...A Christmas Promise, A Christmas Star, and A Christmas to Remember.
And if you want something a little, just a little, deeper, you could read The Snowball by Alice Schroeder. It's about Warren Buffett. Don't know who he is? Now's the time you can find out.
I even saw a book about Joe Biden, Barak Obama, and Robert Kennedy on the shelves.
So, if you read what the New York Times and a few other newspapers or magazines tell you are the top books of 2008 and you don't like any of them, come on over to the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. I believe we have a few hundred top books that you'll enjoy reading. They're a great way to break up all that television-watching.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Josh Nobles Is December Employee Of The Month

It was no surprise to many of his fellow employees when director Melody Jenkins announced Josh Nobles as the December Employee of the Month.
With a shy expression and big grin, he accepted the boutonniere Melody pinned to his shirt. He also received a gold Georgia Library bookmark and library pin. However, it was felt the special employee parking spot would be given to others, since Josh rides his bike to work.
Josh Nobles was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but lived in Pelham, Georgia between the ages of 8 and 19. It was while attending church in Moultrie that he met Irene Godwin, the Odom Library genealogist. Through her he heard about a job opening with the main library. On August 1, 2007, he was hired to work as a Bookmobile
When asked what he likes best about the Bookmobile, he said, "I love to drive, but I also like the people. They really appreciate the books coming to them, since many can't make it to the library."
Josh and his co-worker, Sheila Houston, travel in the Bookmobile year round to eight county schools and on twelve home routes. During the summer, they take the Bookmobile out for the Summer Reading Program. But when not on the road or processing books for the Bookmobile, he helps at the circulation desk in the main
Josh is a multi-talented, young man. He's not only good at helping patrons with the computers, but also by helping our Hispanic patrons. He speaks fluent Spanish.
Before the library, Josh worked with a surveyor, as a pre-school aide, and as a Tift County school interpreter. He said he learned Spanish in Phoenix when he helped with community services as a
"I like working at the library for lots of reasons," he said. "I like helping people. And there's less stress here than at most jobs." In this day and age, he admitted the regular hours and regular pay help tremendously also.
Josh's hobbies are sleeping, eating, biking, swimming, and writing. Among his many talents, he is a published author. He has written two books; the first published in 2008 with the second coming out in February 2009.
Way to go, Josh!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sign It And Pass It On

In a long discussion the other evening with a friend, I was told about a simple but neat idea.

Basically, you sign your name on the inside cover of a book and pass it on with instructions that the recipient do the same.

My friend said it's really cool to leave the book in a place where it can be seen, like on a park bench or on a counter in a store, and then hang around long enough to see who picks it up.

And it's best to leave a really good book, a book that everyone should read, such as:
  • Catch-22 by J. D. Salinger
  • Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  • Walden by Thoreau
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  • Illusions by Richard Bach
  • Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Aside from the obvious good spreading of generosity and books, there's always the hope that in the future someone will lend the book back to you and this time the inside cover will be full of names.

I'm going to do that. I'm going to leave a book with my name inside the front cover either on a park bench downtown or on a chair here in the library or on a table in a restaurant. I'm going to hang around and see who picks it up. Now, all I have to do is decide which book I want to leave. And that's the hardest part!

Why don't you give it a try, too? Remember, it has to be a book of good value. Wouldn't it be great to get the same book back someday and see how many people's hands it has traveled through? Kinda like that old adage...what goes around, comes around.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Just Learned About "Wardrobing"

This morning while watching the news, I learned a new word. The word is wardrobing. The dictionary said it's the "practice of purchasing an item, using it, then returning it to the store for a refund - most often done with expensive clothing." Retailers, the news said, are trying to combat this problem, because wardrobing is a fraud.
It may be a new word to people, but I heard about this practice many years ago. It seemed to be mostly associated with young women whose salaries did not give them enough money to purchase a new dress each time they went to a wedding or special event.
Once again, I connected this bit of information to our library. Usually when I read or hear about something interesting, I wonder how it might relate to our library. Sure enough, I could do it with wardrobing.
Have you ever gone to a bookstore and found a book that you felt you just couldn't leave without? But you knew you didn't have the money to purchase it. And you tried to figure out how you could get a copy, because you just have to have it! Well, I have the answer to that.
Think of it this way...people are wardrobing when they come to the library and check out books, videos, DVDs, and audio books. But instead of having to pay cash for those items, they show their library cards. They walk away with something they really want and can return it after they've finished with it.
The best part is...this is not considered fraud! It's all legal and a great way to save money. You don't have to feel guilty about what you're doing, because using all the resources your library has to offer is one of the greatest benefits you have in your life.
Believe me, I could practice wardrobing at our library for the rest of my life! Just remember, your library card is better than cash when you want that book from the bookstore you can't afford.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Our Children's Book Pick Of The Month Is...

The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book TAKE JOY! It's songs, stories, poems and things to do for a family Christmas.
I've been a collector of Tasha Tudor books for years and have seventeen in my personal library. My joy in collecting her books has been the search in Goodwill stores, at yard sales, and even at Christmas events. So, when Miss Norma, our Children's Librarian, selected TAKE JOY! as her December book pick, I was thrilled. And to think, it's a book I don't have in my library!
TAKE JOY! is a beautiful book from Tasha Tudor to everyone who loves Christmas. From a wide range of sources, this famous and beloved artist has chosen a richly varied collection of poems, carols, stories, legends, and even Christmas receipts (as she called recipes) and decorations.
The many full-color and black-and-white pictures in this book are aglow with the tenderness, reverence, and beauty for which Tasha Tudor's work is known. It's truly a book for all members of the
Many people across our nation were saddened when Tasha Tudor died this year at the age of 92. She had been declared one of our National Treasures. She was a children's illustrator, whose pastel watercolors and delicately penciled lines depited an idyllic, old-fashioned vision of the 19th-century way of life she famously pursued -- including weaving, spinning, gathering eggs, and milking goats.
She frequently said that she was the reincarnation of a sea captain's wife who lived from 1800 to 1840 or 1842, and that it was this earlier life she was replicating by living so ardently in the past.
She lived in such a manner that she fascinated most people. She wore kerchiefs, hand-knitted sweaters, fitted bodices and flowing skirts, and often in the summer went barefoot. She reared her four children in a home without electricity or running water until her youngest turned five. She raised her own farm animals; turned flax she had grown into clothing; and lived by homespun wisdom: sow root crops on a waning moon, above-ground plants on a waxing one.
Named Starling Burgess, she later legally changed her names to Tasha Tudor. Her mother was a portrait painter and her father was a yacht and airplane designer. Her father nicknamed her Natasha after Tolstoy's heroine in War and Peace. This she shortened to Tasha. After her parents divorced when she was nine, she adopted her mother's last name of Tudor.
A cottage industry grew out of Tasha's art, which has illustrated nearly 100 books. Her drawings, particularly the early ones, often illustrated the almost equally memorable stories she herself wrote. Her family sells greeting cards, prints, plates, aprons, dolls, and more, all in a sentimental, rustic, but still refined style resembling that of Beatrix Potter.
For 70 years her illustrations elicited wide admiration. Two of her books were named Caldecott Honor Books: Mother Goose (1944) and 1 is One (1956). She often said her favorite of all her books was Corgiville Fair, one of several she wrote about the Welsh corgi dogs she kept as pets, sometimes 13 or 14 at once.
I'll continue to hunt for her books in strange places. But you can see the front cover of TAKE JOY! with a brief summary of the book in our lighted calendar case. Who knows...maybe you'll become a collector of her books also.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Last Blog For November 2008

Did this month go by fast for you? It did for me.
So much has happened this month. I remember...a President-Elect was chosen, the economy continued to plunge, a great many people lost not only their homes but their jobs, and a dear friend of mine went into the hospital. But despite some things that might make me feel depressed, I realize there are many things I feel grateful
Many of us will celebrate Thanksgiving Day on November 27th. And although Thanksgiving receives far less attention than Halloween and Christmas, in the USA it's a very important holiday.
Many of us will celebrate in our homes or the homes of friends or family. Some people will celebrate Thanksgiving Day at a local restaurant. Some will be thankful for food received from a local shelter.
Today, most of us celebrate Thanksgiving Day by enjoying turkey with "all the trimmings." Others may have traditional, ethnic, or religious recipes, or a special food item that their family always serves at Thanksgiving dinner.
Although American traditions of Thanksgiving revolve around a huge and lavish meal, we often forget that Thanksgiving Day is the time to give thanks to our God for the things He has bestowed upon us and upon this great nation. And there's no nation in the world that has more to be thankful for than us. Even in our difficult
Granted, as tradition has it in most families, a special prayer of thanks precedes the meal. In many homes, family members will each mention something they are very thankful for. But often that's where the thankfulness seems to stop. Many will kick back and relax after their huge meal, watch television (football is usually on) or go to a movie. The day will come and go, and the next thought will be "Here comes Christmas."
It's been a long time since that first Thanksgiving Day in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Indians sat down together to share their fall harvest. They, too, thanked God for the good crop and for being with them during their difficult times.
That's what I'm doing on Thanksgiving Day...being thankful for all the wonderful blessings God has bestowed upon me and, at the same time, asking Him to bless our men and women in the armed services, no matter which land they are in. There's no nation in the world that has more to be thankful for than us. And the economy will turn around, and people will get jobs again, and my dear friend in the hospital will improve.
I'm going to keep these prayers of thankfulness going all the way to the New Year...and beyond.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving, y'all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here's A "Find" On The Internet

I've never told you about the websites I find on the Internet that are related to books. In fact, I don't think I've ever talked about computers, except to say we have 20 for public use here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. However, yesterday, while checking out several library sites, ezine sites, and authors' sites, I ran across this website. It's called Fantastic Fiction and it originates in the United Kingdom.
I added it to my "Favorites," along with sites for the American Library Association, Bookreporter, Southern Literary Review, The New York Times Book Review, and the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame; stuff like that.
The Fantastic Fiction website has bibliographies for over 15,000 authors and information on over 250,000 books. I felt I'd dropped into a reader's/writer's heaven in the United Kingdom.
What I liked about the website was it showed books from the USA (latest published): new hardbacks, new science fiction, new fantasy, horror, mystery, etc. And since I've been on a "cozy" mystery kick for about two years (I'll never be able to read them all!), I searched for an author I recently discovered.
When her webpage came up, it showed her picture and gave a three-sentence biography. Best of all, it showed her new and forthcoming hardbacks and paperbacks, as well as listing the fourteen books (with dates published, so I could start at the beginning) of the mystery series I'm interested in reading.
Now, here's another best...I immediately clicked on our library website's home page and the PINES icon. In the PINES Catalog, I looked up the author to see how many of her books we have in our library. And you know what? I found there are five of her mysteries here, just waiting for me to check them out, including the very first one of the series! Talk about another reader's heaven...our library, with the books I want to read, right at my fingertips.
So, now I'm telling you that you can do the same thing. Go to and find any author you like. Pull up their webpage and see the books that are listed.
But before you go out and pay all that money for a book you're interested in, go to the PINES Catalog on our library website. See if we have that book in our library. Or talk to one of our circulation clerks and order it from another library through the Interlibrary Loan. In this day and time, it's a good idea to use your library and save some money on books, audio books, DVDs, etc.
And if you think of another website I should add to my "Favorites," let me know. I'm always on the lookout for interesting book and author sites.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Food Must Be On My Mind!!!

Maybe it's because I baked a bunch of cinnamon swirl muffins for the Veterans Coffee last week. Or maybe it's because I decided (what a wrong time to do that...right before Thanksgiving!) to go back on my Weight Watchers food.
Anyhow, there I was, minding my own business, walking past the rack of returned books, when I saw this book I had to pick up...If You Give A Moose A Muffin. Isn't that cute?
It's from the Children's Library, of course, by Laura Joffe Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond. The moose on the cover is charming! What else can I say? And he's holding a stack of titillating, good-smells-rising muffins! Made my mouth water!
I took the book back to the office and sat right down to look at it. The summary said: Chaos can ensue if you give a moose a muffin and start him on a cycle of urgent request. That was very intriguing to me and I had to read the book from front cover to back.
Here's a hint about the story: If you give a moose a muffin, he'll want jam on it; and another muffin and another muffin. You'll have to go to the store to buy muffin mix; he'll want to go, but will need to borrow a sweater. And it goes on and on. Get the idea? One thing leads to another.
If you have kids, I hope you read to them, because this is a great book to read aloud.
If you don't have kids, I'd advise you to come to the Children's Library, pick out a book, and then sit and read it for a while. Your whole day will brighten UP and you'll leave with a grin on your face.
Take the time. Read a kid's book. Brighten up your day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Veterans' Coffee Was A Success

Yes, it was! So successful that our director, Melody Jenkins, said we'll plan another one for next year!
Approximately 50 people arrived around 9 a.m. to attend our "Salute to Veterans," which was held in the library's Willcoxon Auditorium on Friday, November 14.
The event began with Melody welcoming everyone and telling how the Catherine M. Bryant Veterans History Project began. She said we now have 113 notebooks that hold information on more than 15,000 veterans of all wars and conflicts. She invited everyone to watch a special video presentation and enjoy refreshments.
The next speaker, Dr. Fritzie Sheumaker, director of Alternative Education with the Colquitt County Schools, told about finding her Dad's discharge card after he passed away. She said he must have been very proud to carry that card with him in his billfold for all those years. She also thanked the REACH program students for their hard work with the interviews for the video presentation.
Then Lynn Pritchett, principal of the REACH program, told about growing up as a "Navy brat." She married her husband, who was in the Army, and now they have a son in the Coast Guard. She told how the REACH students worked on their video project, and she thanked the veterans who participated.
A nice touch to the event was when the REACH students presented DVDs to the veterans they interviewed: Hoyt Holland (Army), Johnnie Shriver (Army), and Judson Mclean (Army Air Corp/Air Force). DVDs were also presented to Jack Bridwell, representative of the Museum of Colquitt County History, for placement in the museum, and Ann Glass, Veterans History Project Chairman, for inclusion in the Project.
Thanks also went to Beau Sherman, teacher of the video project, as well as the John Benning DAR and the Moultrie McNeill Chapter UDC for their help and contributions.
After the program, the guests watched the video interviews, which were shown on a large television screen. They reminisced and laughed. It was a time of sharing old war stories by many. For others, it was a time to reflect on what our veterans have given to us all...our freedom. And they continue to do so, every day.
Our veterans' coffee was just a small way to say "thank you."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Here's Some Of What We Have New At The Library

Monique is our cataloging clerk and she's always busy. When I stopped by her desk yesterday and asked what's new, she had a bunch of new entries to tell me about.
  • The Children's Library has just received a stack of Junior Library Guild Books with titles like Dinosaur vs Bedtime, Too Many Toys, and Brand New Day with Mouse & Mole.
  • For the adults, we have on the shelves Cross Country by James Patterson, Every Now and Then by Karen Kingsbury, Just After Sunset by Stephen King, and A Mercy by Toni Morrison (I have dibs on that one!).
  • There are several gift books, including three Christian Fictions: A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber, as well as Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas, both by Robin Jones Gunn. Also, there is a mystery, Knock'em Dead by Rhonda Pollero.
  • Some new books on CDs on the racks are Testimony by Anita Shreve, The Gate House by Nelson DeMille, The Goliath Bone by Micky Spillane, and A Good Woman by Danielle Steel.
  • There are also a bunch of Disney videos (VHS) that we've put out for your enjoyment.

So, like I said, Monique is always busy and she keeps adding new items every day. Stop by and see what we have to tickle your fancy. Reading and listening to books, and movie-watching, are always good from our house. All you need to get them to your house is a library card!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Real Cute Book About A Cat And A Library

I read an article the other day about Dewey Readmore Books, a fluffy yellow cat who lived in the Spencer, Iowa library. His owner, Vicki Myron, the director of the library, finally wrote a book about him after loving him for almost 20 years and because so many people asked her to tell his stories. She said after he died, everything in the library reminded her of him. The book is "Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World."
If you haven't read her account of the unforgettable cat, who became a fixture at the library, you'll be sorry you missed it. It's not only for animal lovers or library lovers. It teaches us about compassion and kindness and dedication, not only among people, but also among our small furry friends.
There was something else Vicki wrote about in her article that I liked. She wrote about "the magic of libraries."
She said, "Libraries aren't warehouses for books; they are meeting houses for human beings. A good library is less an institution than a home. It has comfortable seats, desks, computers, friendly people, and yes, sometimes even a cat. Libraries are society's great leveling agent: they offer job listings, financial information, technology, entertainment, any book you want. For free."
She hit the nail right on the head!
But I think the part I liked best was when she said: "Libraries...change lives. Everywhere in this country. Every day."
Vicky Myron worked at the Spencer Public Library for 25 years, the last 20 years as its director.
Now, we don't have a cat at our library (that we know of), but we do have Miss Norma's Library Mouse! And I'm sure Miss Norma has stories she can tell about the children who visit and the Library Mouse.
Come check us out. We're at 204 Fifth Street, S.E. in Moultrie, Georgia. And we are a library that will change your life!
(Source: Book Page, October 2008)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Way We Honor Our Veterans

We have an ongoing project here at our library. It's called the Catherine M. Bryant Veterans History Project. It's housed in the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library, in the south wing of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. I know that's a lot of names and words, but the Project is one of our most precious collections...a collection that reminds us daily of what our veterans have done for us.
It all started in 1992, when a member of the Moultrie High School Class of 1939 was working on a veterans display at the Moultrie First Presbyterian Church. She thought, How great [it would be] to have a reunion honoring veterans of the classes of 1937 through 1940.
The four classes approved the idea and all veterans were asked to send copies of their wartime pictures. Many were received. A very successful patriotic reunion was held in June 1994 to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Allied Forces Landing in Europe on June 6, 1994.
After the reunion, the steering committee approached the director of the Odom Library, Melody Jenkins, about creating a veterans' memorial to include all veterans who served honorably from the Civil War to present day. The project was approved. All veterans' pictures from the reunion were given to the library for permanent record. And the Moultrie High School Class of 1939 donated $700 to start the project.
The person with that first thought of a reunion to honor our veterans was Catherine M. Bryant. She worked for the library for 61 years as our Genealogy and Administrative Assistant. Catherine passed away last year.
Everyone knew Catherine's greatest library love was the Veterans History Project. And because it was her desire that veterans be honored and never forgotten, the Veterans History Project was placed in the genealogy library. She worked hard for years to raise money to support the project and acquire information about as many veterans as she could to add to the collection. Because of her dedication and appreciation of all veterans, the project was named for her.
At this time, the genealogy library is conducting a Veterans Survey in an effort to locate all military personnel - past and present. To be included in the Project, an information sheet is required. All records and/or pictures must be identified. Forms are available at the Odom Genealogical Library.
We're also working toward creating a list of the names of veterans for whom we have information, with the possiblity of publishing that list on our website. At the present time, we've compiled 113 notebooks with information on over 15,000 veterans.
The Veterans History Project is an important part of our heritage. If you have information you'd like to contribute, please contact the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library at 229-985-6540 and ask for Ann Glass, Project Chairman.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We Always Check Out Other Libraries

Some of us were standing around the other day, listening to our director tell about her trip to Denver. She said she ended up going to the public library to see what it was like.
Then my coworker came back from Olympia, Washington and said she visited the library up there.
I had to laugh at that. I remembered a friend, who was a preacher's wife, who told me that she and her husband (the preacher) always had to visit churches in towns they traveled through while on vacation. "Just to see what they looked like," she said.
Another friend, the administrator of a hospital, said he always visited the largest hospital in each town where he went to a convention.
I wonder if teachers visit other schools to see what they're like, or if pharmacists check out pharmacies in other towns. Do people who work in a bookstore visit other bookstores? How about pet store employees and restaurant employees?
Anyhow, our director said she visited the Denver Public Library to see what it was like. She told us she saw the round table that was used for the G8 conference held in Denver (it's in the library Board room), and that she talked with the director about his library. He told her they see 15,000 people in one day, they have hundreds of computers, and he knew where Moultrie is.
She said that last part really surprised her. It was when they were talking about genealogy. He told her that anyone who does genealogy knows where Moultrie is. And that's because of the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library and the Scottish Weekend that was held in Moultrie.
So, you see, you never know how far information about you, or your city, or where you work, precedes you whenever you leave home.
And it's always great to visit places of interest no matter where you go...Tifton, Albany, Tallahassee, Atlanta, or even Denver and Olympia. You're never sure what you might see or who might know exactly where you're from.
But people like us - people who work in libraries - we always have to check out other libraries.
Why don't you come check us out also!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We're Thinking Of "President" This Morning

While I was getting ready for work this morning, I listened to Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America. She told about some of the questions people were asked last night during the voting process. One question asked was: "Do you think your child has the chance of becoming President someday?"
Of course, like always, my brain began to tie in how either the question or the answer relates to our library.
When I got to work, I did some checking through the PINES Catalog System to see what we have about Presidents that we can offer to our patrons.
First, I wanted to see what we have for children. In our Children's Library are these books:
  • The Encylcopedia of Presidents - This is a series of Junior Biographies, written by different authors, about all of the Presidents of the United States. Look for books with JB on the spine and the President's name.
  • The Look-it-up Book of Presidents - by Wyatt Blassingame is a Juvenile Nonfiction (J973B) and
  • Arthur Meets the President - by Marc Tolon Brown. This is an Easy Book with EB on the spine, and is one of many in the "Arthur" series.

Then for our older children, I found:

  • The Modern American Presidency by Lewis L. Gould (973.9G) and
  • The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents by William A. DeGregorio (973.0099D).

And not to forget the adults, there's Executive Orders, a book by Tom Clancy (Fiction Clancy), and the 2006 movie The Sentinel with Michael Douglas.

But those aren't the only items we have in this library about Presidents. There are plenty more. You just need to come to the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, 204 Fifth Street, Southeast, in Moultrie, Georgia and see what we have.

Take advantage of your opportunity. Remember, the public library is open to everyone and it's your place to learn!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tuesday, November 4 - Our Opportunity To Vote

I suppose most everyone across this great land has one thing on their mind
We were fortunate enough here in Georgia to have early voting, so mine was done the first part of October. Of course, I received several emails today, encouraging me to get out and vote.
In fact, an item of interest caught my attention as I closed out my Yahoo! account. I spotted a blurb telling why we vote on Tuesday. It wasn't really something I'd ever wondered about, until I saw that headline. So, I checked it out.
Why do we vote on Tuesday? It's because we used to be a nation of farmers. Congress chose November because the harvest was over and the weather wouldn't be bad enough to prevent people from traveling to vote. People used to have to travel overnight to their poling location - think "horse." And in order to avoid religious days of rest, Congress chose Tuesday, leaving Monday and Wednesday as travel days. Tuesday was voting and horse-resting days.
And now you know the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey says.
If you don't do anything right today, do this one thing right...go vote. Then sit back tonight and watch television as the making of history rolls out before your eyes.
And be proud that you were part of the making!!!
(Source: Yahoo! News)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween, Hallowe'en...

...also called All Hallows Eve, All Saints' Eve, Samhain (the Celtic holiday), and Hallowed End.
Occasionally, we write about something that is community-related and outside of our library. This is one of those times. But it's still intended to give our readers some interesting information.
Halloween is coming. It's observed by Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Japan, the Bahamas, the United States, and sometimes Australia, Sweden, and many Latin American countries.
It's called an international holiday.
Some of the activities of Halloween include trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, visiting haunted attractions, carving jack-o'-lanterns, reading scary stories, and watching horror movies.
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, which was a celebration at the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Traditionally, it was a time when the ancient Gaels took stock of their supplies for winter. They believed that on October 31st, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead became dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. Costumes and masks were worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.
Today we see carved pumpkins lit by a candle inside and never realize this tradition first originated in Europe by carving a turnip or rutabaga. Along the way, we've added black cats, spiders, goblins, skeletons and scarecrows.
Many parents now hold parties at their homes for their children and friends, rather than let them roam the neighborhoods to trick-or-treat. Often if children do go out into the neighborhoods, parents go with them. Sometimes schools open their gyms and hold big community parties for children. Even various organizations hold parties or set up haunted houses.
Everyone attempts to provide a safe environment for small children to enjoy Halloween. And Moultrie is yet another city in the U.S. that attempts this same goal.
On Friday, October 31st, the day of Halloween, the citizens of Moultrie and surrounding areas can bring their children to the downtown area, where they can trick-or-treat with participating merchants from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Then a costume contest will be held at 5:30 p.m. Costume-wearers can sign up for the contest between 4 and 5:30 p.m.
Make your Halloween a safe one while you have fun. Trick-or-treat in the daylight, on the Square in Moultrie, and enjoy the safety of one big party. Make Halloween a fun time for the little ones, and try not to be too upset by the "big" children who still want to be little.
(Source: Wikipedia, Downtown Merchants Association)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm A Sucker For A Great Title

Yesterday I sat in the reading area at one of the long tables and folded some brochures. I watched people come in and out of the library. Some people came to bring books back and stayed long enough to check out a few more. A few people came in to sit on the couch and read or settle down in one of the soft chairs. I folded and watched. No one looked at the sale books.
When I finished with the brochures, I lingered and looked through one of the many magazines we have on the slant-shelves. For some reason, I just knew there was a something in the reading area to tell you about, but I didn't find it until I walked past the discarded books that are for sale.
You know about our sale books, don't you? They're on the other side of the counter where the videos are located in the front lobby. They're on the low shelves that face the reading area. Of course, I had to stop and look. And that's where I found the "something" to tell
I'm a sucker for a great title - doesn't matter if it's a book, magazine, movie, or whatever. There are books on those shelves that will make you want to read them simply because of their great titles.
How about My Mother the Arsonist & Other Toasty Tales? It's by Dave Wood, a books editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who also wrote a weekly column for Grit, a 106-year-old family newspaper. Now, doesn't that sound like a fun book?
And they didn't stop there. I found:
* I Love You, I Hate You, Drop Dead by Artie Shaw
* Thursday, the Rabbi Walked Out by Harry Kemelman (He has other Rabbi books, also.)
* Blue Skies, No Candy by Gael Greene
* Stray Kat Waltz by Karen Kijewski
* Feather on the Moon by Phyllis A. Whitney
* Apple to the Core by Marc Lovell (This is a Crime Club selection.) and --
* Weirdos, Winos and Defrocked Priests by Ludlow Porch, who is a radio talk show host in Atlanta.
The nice part about these books are that they are CHEAP! Maybe I should have said really affordable. You can find a good read among these books for only 25 cents to $1.00! And if these great titles don't make you want to read one, come on up to the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and scan the shelves for yourself. I just bet you'll find one you like! (Oh, the one I took home was called Sticks and Scones.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's That Season Again

When I came to work this morning, it was what we consider cold here in South Georgia. And it was cold in the office as I cranked up this little computer.
You know how you think of a word, and that word makes you think of another word. I did that while sitting in my cold office. I know it will warm up a little later, but sitting at the computer with cold fingers caused my chain-reaction of words.
Cold made me think of winter. Winter did not make me think of Christmas. Instead, it made me think of flu. Yep, flu season is upon us. I've already talked with a couple of people who have been "laid low" with the flu, and it's only October.
One of the things we do here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library is help the public be aware of various opportunities they have available to them in our city, county and state. We have a long counter in front of the Fiction Section covered with pamphlets and brochures that tell about all kinds of help. But the other day when I passed by the counter, I didn't see a single brochure telling about the flu.
As a library here in Georgia, we have a great opportunity to partner with a group called Partnership for Health and Accountability, which also works with the Georgia Hospital Association to publish health facts. So, I went to the PHA/GHA website and obtained some information to make a brochure. Now, our patrons can pick up the brochure titled "What Is The Flu?" A stack of the brochures can be found on a small round table behind the Directional Sign in the front lobby, as well as on the long counter in front of the Fiction
The brochure will tell you what Influenza or "the flu" is, who can get it, and how you can tell if it's really the flu or just a cold. The brochure also names the symptoms, tells you what you should do, and how the doctor treats the flu. And it gives you online resources if you're interested in finding out more about seasonal influenza.
It's our pleasure to be able to provide you with information you need to keep healthy. Please pick up the flu brochure when you're in the library.
I got my flu shot the first week of October. Have you had yours? Protect yourself today! After all, it's that season again.
(Some resources:,,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Time For A Few Memories And A Lot Of Laughter

It always amazes me how hard we work to be different from each other. And yet, we prove to ourselves day after day that we are all so much alike.
For instance, the other day some of us were talking about the children who visit, how wide-eyed they are while walking down the long hallway to the Children's Library, how excited they are when they sit down to listen to Miss Norma's stories, and how they act in general. Occasionally, of course, we do have a youngster who wants to be somewhere else, and fast!
That led some of us to talk about things that our mothers never would have let us do as kids. And that gave us a few memories and a lot of laughter.
Just recently, we talked about some of the things our mothers taught us, which reminded me of an email I once received. Maybe your mother taught you some of these things.
My mother taught me about irony. You keep crying, and I'm gonna give you something to cry about.
My mother taught me about the weather. Your room looks like a tornado went through it.
My mother taught me about wisdom. When you get to be my age, you'll understand.
My mother taught me about medical science. If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they're going to stick that way.
My mother taught me about logic. Because I said so...that's why!
She taught me about foresight. Be sure you're wearing clean underwear in case you get in an accident.
She taught me about behavior modification. Stop acting like your father!
She taught me about my roots. Shut that door! You weren't born in a barn.
She taught me about anticipation. Just wait till we get home.
And my mother taught me about stamina. You're going to sit there until you clean your plate.
If she didn't say that, then she said, Shut your mouth and eat your supper. (Really hard to do!)
And she taught me about horror. One of these days you're going to have kids and then you'll know what I had to go through. That'll be my payback.
Now, do you remember your mother saying any of those words to you? Mine certainly did. And I bet your mother did too.
So, see how much we're alike. Not much difference at all.
And I have to admit, my mother was right. There's not a day that I don't wish she was here to see how her payback is working out. I guarantee you, it would be a time for a lot of laughter.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How Many Libraries Have A Park? We Do!

One of the advantages of working here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library is being able to walk out the door, cross the parking lot, and enter the gate of Bert Harsh Park. I say advantage, because it's a place where we can take our brown bag lunches, or meals from Fuller's Restaurant across the street, and sit in the sunshine while we eat. There are picnic tables, benches, plenty of shade, and lots of grass. And those of us who work here are close enough to it to enjoy it on a daily basis. Not many people are that lucky!
I drove past the park last Friday and noticed two women and a little girl sitting at one of the tables. Five children of various ages were running around in the fence-enclosed park, tossing a Nerf ball and laughing and hollaring. The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze, and it was just a beautiful day to be in the park. Made me envious!
The park is on the corner of Fifth Street, S.E., and Fourth Avenue. It's not very big, but just big enough for several families, singles, or couples to enjoy. But you know, not many people who come to Bert Harsh Park know about the man it was named for. They also don't know that there are trees in the park named for famous people, such as Jimmy Carter Slash Pine, Julia Gordon Lowe Crepe Myrtle, and Abraham Lincoln oak.
So, let me tell you a little about Bert Harsh. He was a trustee on the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library Board when the new library was built in 1963-64 and served as chairman for two terms from 1978-1984. Then he served a third term when the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library was built in 1988-89.
He was a native of Goshen, IN, but came to Moultrie in 1951, after managing the Pal-Waukee Airport near Chicago, IL. He worked at Spence Field for Hawthorne Aviation in the USAF Pilot Training Program and made Moultrie his home. In 1978, Mr. Harsh was named Moultrie's "Man of the Year" by the Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce.
The park was named after him because he suggested establishing one outside the library. There wasn't anything on that little corner. When the genealogical library wing was finished, Mr. Harsh helped transform the space into a park, and because of his love for trees, it was decided to turn the park into a historic grove.
Trees were purchased from Famous & Historic Trees of Jacksonville, FL, and local groups and individuals sponsored the trees at a cost of about $40 each. Twenty-two trees, offshoots of those with documented historical significance, were planted in the area. Also, in the park is a cast-iron sundial, which has a time capsule scheduled to be opened on February 27, 2093, one hundred years after the dedication of the park. Everything in the park was donated by friends of the library.
By establishing the grove, Moultrie became the first among 300 designated Tree Cities USA to plant one. During the dedication ceremony in February 1993, someone said: "This is a place of learning. This is a place of history. It is dedicated to the people and children of Moultrie for quiet reflection of the past and future of the community." The park has been called "an oasis of green to push away concrete in a world that often seems determined to cover everything with asphalt."
This is the perfect weather to enjoy the library's park. The next time you come to the library or drive by, take a little stroll over to Bert Harsh Park, sit on a picnic bench, feel the sunshine warm your shoulders, smell the sweet breeze, and listen to the birds chirp. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This Is A Place Where People Meet

I know for a fact that sometimes it's difficult to find a place for your group or organization to meet. That's why many times, people will come to the library to see if there's a meeting room they can
There are several groups of folks that meet here in the Willcoxon Auditorium during the month. Groups like the Magnolia Garden Club, the Retired Teachers Association, the Girl Scouts, Sunbelt Writers, Pilot Club, and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
We've even have home schoolers, children's librarians from the Southwest Quadrant, the library boards, and genealogy workshops. And recently, we had a large group for the U.S. Census Testing for 2010.
During tax time, the AARP tax aides keep the Willcoxon Auditorium busy every Tuesday from February until near the middle of April, when everyone's taxes are due.
And occasionally, our classroom is used. The Library Board granted permission to name it the Melody Stinson Jenkins Classroom (after our director), and lately it's been busy, too, even though it is still part storage room. It can hold a small group, but it is available.
There are some rules about using the areas, however...such as,
* making a reservation ahead of time,
* keeping the food (if any) that is served in the room,
* cleaning up and placing trash in trashcans after meeting,
* and letting the circulation desk staff know how many people attended your meeting.
There's no charge for non-profit and education purposes, but meetings for political or religious purposes are not allowed. Questionable meetings are referred to the director for a
There've been times when the library was so busy with meeting groups that we had every available space filled. Once, when the Willcoxon Auditorium was filled with a large group, the Retired Teachers Board met in the classroom, and the Magnolia Garden Club members sat around tables in the reading area.
We're a busy place, that's for sure. And we like it that way. You can always call and ask if space is available for your group to meet.
After all, this is a place where people meet.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We're Having So Much Fun With "Our Memory Wall"

During our 100-Year Celebration in May, we posted on the wall of the Willcoxon Auditorium a few pictures from an old scrapbook of library events. Everyone had so much fun trying to identify the people in the pictures.
Well, we've put "Our Memory Wall" up again in conjunction with Family History Month. This time it's in the long, white hallway between the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library and the main library. Right out there where everyone can see it!
And we're having so much fun with it!
We hear people chattering as they recognize someone they know. Sometimes we hear people laughing as they remember a person. Often we see a person standing and studying a picture up close, as if to see some really small item in the picture or get a closer look at a face.
Always we thank them for looking at the wall and encourage them to write the name on the picture of a person they can identify.
These are pictures of our library family. These are pictures of:
  • Anne McKee and Hazel Wade at the circulation counter,
  • Lorene Harrell with the Culbertson Head Start,
  • Catherine Bryant, Lucille Dunn, Dorothy Richardson, Elois Matthews, and Hildred Lewis with the Bookmobile.
  • There are pictures of children in the reading area, Bookmobile stops in 1963, a downtown parade, a groundbreaking ceremony, the summer reading club and storytime in 1975, as well as a couple of presentations.
  • Some of the other people identified in the pictures are Lanelle (Gregory) Plaza, Aline McKee, Walter Norman, Barbara Vereen, Mary Jo Stone, Julianne Chambliss, Ann Alderman, and Mayor Willy Withers.

The next time you're in the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, stop by "Our Memory Wall." See if there is anyone you can identify. And if you're old enough, you might find a picture of yourself!!!

October is Family History Month. We're sharing our Library Family and special memories with you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October's Employee of the Month is Elois Matthews

Elois Matthews was surprised when our director, Melody Jenkins, announced the October Employee of the Month. Melody talked about a long-term employee (that's at least 98% of the people working here), "who has done a little bit of everything, and has not only her library job but a full-time job at home."
That's when all of us standing around, waiting to see who it would be, realized it was Elois. We picked her out right away. And I do believe she blushed as she received the flowers Melody handed her.
Elois began with the library in 1962 at the age of 31. Next February she will celebrate her forty-seventh year! In this day and age, it's hard to believe there are still people who have worked at their job longer than three years!
"When you try to think back over 47 years, it's hard," Elois said. "I"ve seen lots of employees come and go, and lots of changes."
Before Elois began with the library, she worked at the Spence Field Hawthorne School of Aeronautics. She left when the base closed and began raising her family.
When Hildred Lewis asked her to work on the library's bookmobile with her, Elois took the job. She said it is the job she's enjoyed the most.
"You know, when you work with people and have a close communication with the patrons, they become like family."
She continued that love of people when she semi-retired from the bookmobile after 32 years and Melody placed her in the library's reference section.
"Melody said she put me in the reference section because I have such an inquisitive mind," Elois said as she laughed. "And I've been in it for 15 years now!" When you put a loving spirit and curiosity together, you have a winning combination for working in the library.
Elois said she's done almost everything in the library: bookmobile, processing, repairing books, circulation. "I'm a jack of all trades," she said. "But the hardest thing for me to learn was using a computer. I just had a hard time with that." This time she didn't laugh.
Elois received a certificate of appreciation and flowers, a gold Georgia library pin and bookmark, and access to the special E.O.M. parking space right in front of the employee entrance.
She's lived in Colquitt County all her life. She said she raised her children, Joey and Debbie, in the library. They live near Elois and her husband, J.E., who will be married 60 years next February.
Long-term employee, loving spirit, inquisitive mind...we have a winner, don't we?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

We're Gonna Be "Reaching Back"

If you're a brand new genealogist or need a refresher course, this is a great time to learn the basics of hunting for ancestors. We're going to explore local resources, including the wealth of material available at the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library, as well as using online resources safely.
We're inviting you to join the genealogy study group on Tuesday, October 21st, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library's Willcoxon Auditorium. This will be a videoconferencing session.
Guest speaker will be Pat Richley, known as "Dear Myrtle" in the genealogy world. Dear Myrtle will talk about using the online catalog to prepare for a trip to the Latter Day Saints (LDS) Family History Center, as well as how to order microfilm through your local Family History Center.
In the event you'd like to know more about Dear Myrtle, you can check her out at But I'll give you a little info right now.
Dear Myrtle says Myrtle is the given name of her dad's mother, who lived in Puyallup, Washington. Grandma Myrtle taught little Myrt to play Solitaire, make open-faced tuna fish sandwiches and prepare apricot preserves, among other things. So, naturally Grandma Myrtle was little Myrt's favorite grandma.
Dear Myrtle began her website ten years ago, in 1998, and it really took off in 1999 as a place to archive special columns for access by anyone on the Net. Myrt's The Everything Online Genealogy Book was published in November 2000 and is now in its 4th printing. DearMYRTLE's articles have been published in Heritage Quest Magazine and Everton's Genealogical Helper, as well as various other genealogical publications.
In 2000 she began Internet radio braodcasts. In 2004 the hurricane season put new broadcasts on hold, but she is thinking of starting them up again. In March 2003 she began writing the series of "DearMYRTLE's little books," and is currently working on The Joy of Genealogy: African American Roots with co-author James Rose, Ph.D.
So, if you're inclined to have a curiosity about your ancestors, or what genealogy is all about, come join us as we go "reaching back" into time for answers to questions we all have.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Things Like This That Keep Me From Reading

I took myself to Taco Bell the other day, knowing that I would get my three crunchy tacos and big drink and park my car at the end of the parking lot and read my new mystery book by Monica Ferris called "Sins and Needles." I'd been waiting for that book for a week. I'd ordered it through the Inter-Library Loan System and it had finally come in.
So...there I was, eating and reading. Just as happy as could be. I looked up as I took a bite and saw a man at the nearby service station, trying to open a window on the driver's side of a white Jeep. He had a flat metal bar stuck in the window. Right away I knew someone had locked their car keys inside. Sure enough, a little lady in a gold T-shirt and black skirt walked up to the man. Together, they looked inside the Jeep, and then he went back to using his metal bar. And I went back to reading.
In a couple of minutes, my curiosity got the best of me and I looked at the man again. This time he had moved to the back of the car and with a screwdriver was prying the back window out of the Jeep. It was one of those vehicles with a tailgate and window that opens into the "up" position. I watched until he had the glass out and had carefully propped it against the side of the car. Good, I thought, now he can crawl in. I went back to reading.
The next time I looked up, the man had taken a long metal pole (the one that you see men use to dip into the underground gasoline tank) and was poking it through where the back window had been. He poked it all the way over the back seat and past the front seat, but all that poking did not unlock the driver's door. I watched him poke until I got tired and went back to reading.
I actually read for about five minutes and then absentmindedly looked over at the man as I took another bite of taco. By this time there was a medium-size tool box on the ground beside the Jeep, as well as a fishing rod and reel. He was lifting the car jack out the back window's opening. Apparently, he couldn't get the tailgate down. Then he took out the spare tire. After that, he tried to pull out of the window opening a red-handled thing shaped like a large upside down "U" with a cord wrapped around it. I never figured out what that was. Finally I got tired of watching and went back to
When I looked up in a little while, the man had crawled into the back of the Jeep (the red-handled thing was still inside!) and was stretched on his stomach over the back seat as he reached over the front seat and attempted to open the driver's door. I think he made it.
I watched as he crawled backwards, with great difficulty, until he had all of himself out of the Jeep except for his left leg, which was hung inside the tailgate. Realizing his leg was not going to come out of the Jeep, the man climbed up onto the back bumper and with both hands pulled his leg, with great difficulty, over the tailgate until his foot was on the bumper with the other one, and then he stepped down to the ground. I was greatly relieved! I was afraid he would fall to the ground on his you-know-what!
As you can see, I just gave up reading. I watched the man open the tailgate (why didn't he do that before he climbed out?), pull the back window frame down and put the glass in with his screwdriver. He checked it thoroughly before he raised it back up. Then he began putting everything back inside the Jeep -- the spare tire, the jack, fishing rod and reel, and the tool box.
I had eaten my lunch, but I didn't get much reading done.
It's things like this that keep me from reading. And I have to admit, this one was just too great to miss!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October Is Family History Month

We're celebrating Family History Month during October at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and the Doerun Municipal
On Thursday, October 2nd, a genealogy workshop will be held at the Doerun library, 10 a.m. till noon. And on October 23rd at 10 a.m., an "Online Genealogy" workshop will be held. Aileen McNair will be the instructor at both sessions, which are free to the
On Saturday, October 11th, an "Online Genealogy Resources" workshop will be held at the Moultrie library's Willcoxon Auditorium, 1 to 4 p.m. And a Genealogy User Group with "Dear Myrtle" will be held on Tuesday, October 21st, same place, 6 to 7 p.m. Again, both sessions are free and Aileen McNair will be the instructor.
In addition to the free workshops, you might consider these ten ways to celebrate Family History Month:

  1. Get started tracing your family tree. Join us at one of the workshops and learn more.
  2. Create a family cookbook. Contact your relatives and ask them to send you a few of their favorite family recipes.
  3. Record family stories. Use an audiotape, videotape, or legacy journal to record events, personalities, and traditions.
  4. Uncover your family health history. Tracing your family health history is not only fun, but what you learn now could potentially save a family member's life tomorrow.
  5. Scrapbook your family history. Document your family's history and create a lasting gift for future generations.
  6. Take a trip back in time. Visit sites of importance to your family or take a trip to a historical museum, battlefield, or re-enactment event that relates to your family.
  7. Play detective. Start your children or grandchildren on a lifelong journey of discovery by introducing them to genealogy.
  8. Craft a heritage gift. Make picture frame Christmas ornments with family pictures or create a lap quilt of old pants, shirts, skirts, or ties. Handmade gifts are favorites.
  9. Have a year of family pictures. Make a family calendar of current photos or ancestor's pictures. Add family birthdays, marriage dates, etc.
  10. Start a family web site. This allows you and your kids to share family photos, favorite recipes, funny stories, and even your family tree research.

Make some time during Family History Month to enjoy your family and heritage!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Have You Ever Been A Member Of A Book Club?

Our book club held its monthly meeting last night. We meet at a local restaurant in one of their meeting rooms. Some of us come early enough to have supper. Others come early enough to chat before our meeting begins at 7 p.m.
We're a small group, but that's good because it gives us enough time to talk about what we've been reading. Last night eight of us discussed our latest books. I like this time because it's where I learn about new books I want to read.
When our group was first organized, we all tried reading the same book. We met at a local church and each person put into "the hat" the name of a book he'd like the group to read. We soon found that many of us didn't like those deep dark thrillers or the sweet little stories with recipes included. We soon found that each person wanted to read their preference and would be delighted to tell the group about their book. So, that's what we do now.
Our group reads a variety of topics: history, poetry, sci-fi, Southern tales, pet stories, political; lots of everything. And like all good readers when we talk about books, one thing leads to another and before you know it, we have covered a wide range of intellectual stuff, not only books.
Three books that were talked about last night interested me.
The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart tells about an experiment that is leading scientists and readers around the world to test the power of our thoughts to change the physical world.
The Shack by William P. Young is about a man whose youngest daughter was abducted during a family vacation and evidence is found that she may have been murdered in an abandoned shack. Four years later, the father receives a suspicious note inviting him back to that shack. What he finds there changes his world.
And Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen. This is a humorous novel (a caper someone called it) set in Florida about a woman who takes revenge on her cheating husband after he tried to murder her. It also revolves around the ongoing project to save the Florida Everglades as a natural habitat.
If you don't belong to a book club, why not think about starting one. It's a great way to learn about books you might want to read, and a great way to share with others what you have read. It's also a great way to meet other people, form friendships, and maybe even share a meal or two.
And just remember...those new books you find you might want to read can be obtained through your local library. They are either on the shelves or can be ordered through the Inter-Library Loan System.
Come check us out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Celebrate The Freedom To Read

Throughout the country, most children are starting a new academic year. Teachers are sending out their lists of required readings, and parents are beginning to gather books. In some cases, classics like The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin, The Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird, may not be included in the curriculum or available in the school library due to challenges made by parents or administrators.
Since 1990, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has recorded more than 7800 book challenges, including more than 400 in 2007. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. About three out of four of all challenges are to material in school or school libraries, and one in four is to material in public libraries. OIF estimates that less than one-quarter of challenges are reported and recorded.
It is thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, and students that most challenges are unsuccessful and reading materials like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Slaughterhouse Five, the Harry Potter series, and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series remain available.
The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children. However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves. For children, decisions about what books to read should be made by the people who know them best -- their parents!
Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has reminded us that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to, or view. Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System and thousands of libraries and bookstores across the country will celebrate the freedom to read September 27th to October 4th.
The American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the ALA, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Association of American Publishers, and the National Association of College Stores sponsor Banned Books Week. The Library of Contress Center for the Book endorses the observance.
American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people.
Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read @ your library! Celebrate the freedom to read an old favorite or new banned book this week.
(Sources:, http://www,,,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Life Is a Mystery!

I never was a mystery reader until about a year ago, when I found a series of little mysteries that I could not put down until I'd read every one of the books.
They were titled the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs. And since I'm a tea-drinker from way back, I fell in love with her books; books named Death by Darjeeling, Gunpowder Green, and Shades of Earl Grey. Earl Grey is not only the name of a tea, but the tea shop owner's dog.
Theodosia Browning is the owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, South Carolina, and through her books I learned all kinds of interesting things about teas. Her books also have recipes of goodies that are baked in her tea shop. So, I began my own cookbook as I collected recipes for scones, salads, and all sorts of delightful yummies. And each little mystery took you on a tour of Charleston and many of the interesting landmarks in the town.
Laura Childs also writes a Scrapbooking Mysteries series with names such as Photo Finished and Bound for Murder.
Then I found Monica Ferris's Needlework Mysteries series. So far I've read all in the series except the last three books, and today I start Sins and Needles. Other books are Crewel World, Framed in Lace and Unraveled Sleeve. In the back of each book Ferris has a free needlework pattern. Just great for all those who love needlework such as crewel, counted cross stitch or embroidery.
I read about Mary Freeman through the New York Times. She writes a Gardening Mysteries series with names of flowers: Bleeding Heart and Deadly Nightshade just to name two. And there's also Kate Collins who has a Flower Shop Mysteries series: Mum's the Name, Slay It with Flowers, and Dearly Depotted.
There's the author who writes mysteries about carrot cake, cherry cheesecake, and Key Lime Pie. Her name is Joanne Fluke. And she has recipes in her books.
Lillian Jackson Braun writes about The Cat Who Lived High, The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal, and The Cat Who Saw Red. Since I have cats, I'm interested in what her cat is doing.
For a good while I thought only women were writing these little mysteries with recipes and patterns. Then I found a male author! Tim Myers writes Soapmaking Mysteries like Dead Men Don't Lye, as well as a Candlemaking Mysteries series: At Wick's End and Snuffed Out.
And today when I walked past our New Books Section, I saw Tamar Myers' book As the World Churns, A Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery with Recipes. I looked through our PINES Catalog System and found she's also written The Crepes of Wrath and The Hand That Rocks the Ladle, as well as an Antiques Mysteries series: Gilt by Association and Splendor in the Glass.
Now, I have to say again I never was a mystery reader, but, by jove, I have decided there's just too much fun with these little mystery series and I don't want to miss a single one.
And I'm so glad I've found them (not that they were lost!) that I had to tell you about them. I hope you'll check one out and try it. Oh, be sure to get one that has recipes in it! Then try the recipe. What a great way enjoy a good mystery!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Did I Tell You We've Joined "Walk Georgia"?

Yep! We did! A whole bunch of us here at the library have joined the "Walk Georgia" campaign.
It is an eight-week program sponsored by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and is designed to increase a person's physical activity in a fun, community-oriented way.
We were told we could participate as individuals or in teams of four. So, we have teams. My team is called (get this!) Movers and Shakers! We have one person on the team who is definitely a mover, while the other three of us are shakers! The object of the campaign is to move more, and enjoy living more!
What we have to do is log our real time exercise virtually at It seems like everything counts...from your aerobics class to walking your dog.
The time when recorded is translated into miles and the website gives you the go-ahead to "move" around the state. Through an online map, you can electronically chart a course as you "walk" Georgia. As you move across the state, you read online about the counties you visit and learn new ways to improve your health. And you're able to see how you compare to other individuals and teams throughout the state.
We have four teams here at the library and we plan to put in the miles. Of course, we're also trying to decide how we're going to celebrate at the end of our walk. You know we are notorious for having lovely shared meals after each of our walks. And since we've already walked to Jekyll Island (our seafood meal) and Las Vegas (our Southwestern meal), I can only happily imagine what we're going to have after walking all over the state! I'm hoping for at least one big piece of peach pie!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When Bibles Were Family Treasures

A phone call came to me the other day. Our local bookstore owner said he'd received a large family Bible and wondered if the library would like to have it. I referred him to Irene, our genealogist in the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library, who I felt would be very interested.
This morning I decided to see if Irene had accepted the Bible. Sure enough, there it was sitting on her desk. A dark cloth-bound Bible, it is 9 inches by 11-1/2 inches with a 2-1/2 inch spine. The first copyright date was 1923 and the last 1936. On the back of the title page is a stamped blue ribbon that states: Awarded the Blue Ribbon at the Texas Centennial Celebration, Dallas, Texas 1936. It is a New Standard Reference Bible.
Someone had filled in the family members' military service records, Domestic and Foreign Service records, as well as Discharge. It has a Family Register with the names of grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren, along with births and deaths filled in.
I sat with the book in front of me. When I touched it, I felt I was touching an actual piece of time and history.
Someone had written loved ones' birthdays on the second page of the inside cover. The third page was a picture of a painting in color titled The Creation of Light - After Dore's Black and White by Max Bihn with a 1912 copyright.
The presentation page read: To Lillie Mathis by her husband Brady Mathis in Moultrie, GA.
As I turned the pages, I realized it was not necessarily a "study" Bible, but a treasure-keeper of family history, as well as the page from a favorite Sunday School lesson, a newspaper clipping of a relative's 60th wedding anniversary, and special bookmarks.
The Bible had ended up at our local bookstore. It made me wonder - was this one of the dearest possessions someone took with them to a nursing home? Or had it been forever on someone's buffet in the dining room? Whose hands were the last hands of a family member to touch it? Why wasn't it with family now? So many questions.
I sat and looked at the frayed cover with thin strings hanging off of it, the spine's binding broken from the front cover, the yellowed pages. I felt as if we should give it a proper burial, but it's such an important piece of history. Someone's family history!
When I asked Irene what she was going to do with it, she said she'd make copies of the family records to place in the Odom Library, then she'd put the Bible in a box in storage along with the two or three others she has.
Maybe someone out there will recognize these names recorded in the Bible: Brady Connie Mathis and Lellie Strawder Mathis, James and Beatrice Ricks, and George Howard Hiers, Jr.
If so, a treasure of your family history is at the Odom Genealogical Library, right here in Moultrie, Georgia.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reading Is For Everyone

A tiny lady with tight, grey curls stopped me in the hall the other day. She reminded me of a little doll in her deep red silk shirt with the Mandarin collar. Her black tote bag was nearly as big as she was.
"Excuse me," she said as she reached for my arm. "Do you have any large print books in this library?"
Her little eyes looked like the eyes of Yoda from Star Wars...all full of wisdom.
"Why, yes, we do."
Before I could say more, she asked, "Could you show me where?"
I said I'd be happy to take her to the Large Print Section. So, with a slow shuffle she walked beside me all the way to the other end of the library -- past the circulation counter, the reading area and the fiction stacks. Our large print books are located at the far side of the Fiction Section and shelved against the front wall of the library.
The little lady was happy to see we have a nice size selection of large print books. She asked if she could sit down in the chair close by and just look at the books on the lower shelves.
When I pulled the chair up to her and said I hoped she would find what she was looking for, she smiled and said, "Oh, they aren't for me. They're for my sister. She's blind and she loves for me to read to her. But, you know, it's getting harder for me to see, even with my
I pulled one of the low library stools close to her and sat down. I told her about the audio books the library has, something they both could enjoy without her having to read. And we talked about the services provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
Maybe it's something you need to know also for one of your loved ones. If they are not able to enjoy books or magazines because they can't see well enough to read conventional print or because a physical disability prevents them from handling the printed materials, they may wish to take advantage of a free service from the Library of Congress.
The NLS produces books and magazines, and even music, on cassettes and in Braille, maintains a collection of many books on recorded disc, and loans them to eligible readers in the United States and to eligible U.S. citizens living abroad. You can borrow these materials through a national network of state and local libraries. The books are sent to you and returned to the library by postage-free mail.
You or your loved one can select books from a national collection that includes many kinds of popular and interesting writings, such as bestsellers, classics, mysteries, children's books, etc. Many Braille books are available directly from Internet files. You can also subscribe to recorded and Braille magazines, choosing from more than 70 popular titles.
The books and magazines are recorded at slower than conventional speeds, so you need special playback equipment to use them. NLS loans you the machines for as long as you are using the recorded materials and repairs them as needed free of charge. You can also request accessories like headphones and levers to make it easier for you to use the switches. And if you're hearing impaired, you can borrow an amplifier.
Well, back to the little lady. She was from Thomasville, she had come to Moultrie with a friend who was attending a church meeting, and the friend had dropped her off at the library. She had her library card, but she was not familiar with our library. She had at least an hour to enjoy our facility.
I showed her the brochures we have and gave her two about Books for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. I told her she could call the Bainbridge Subregional Library for the NLS (229-248-2680 or 1-800-795-2680) and talk to them also. And I showed her an application for the free National Library Service in the back of one brochure.
"Well," she said,"I'm certainly all set up, thanks to you. But, I'll go ahead and pick a book or two to take home. My friend is coming back to Moultrie in two weeks, and I'm going to ask to come with her. She can drop me off at your library again. It's nice for a change. And I'll call the Bainbridge Library also."
She thanked me and asked if she'd see me during her next visit. I assured her I'd be delighted to see her again. I told her to just ask for the Bookworm. Someone would find me.
(Source:, Bainbridge Subregional Library, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Honor Them This Morning

Today is the seventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks on citizens of the United States. It is this day that we remember the victims of September 11th. However, this is not the only day we remember them. Many of us remember them every day of our lives. Some of us only have to look at the skyline of New York to remember. Some of us only have to look at the Pentagon to remember. And some of us only have to hear the name Pennsylvania to remember.
The number of people who died...2,975.
Ceremonies are being held around the country today to mark the anniversary. We are remembering our fellow men and women who died in these attacks.
Please honor them with a moment of silence and prayer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Children's Librarians Are Coming To Visit

It's always exciting to have visitors at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. This Monday, September 15th, we will have some very special visitors. We will have a house full of children's
The librarians are members of the Children's Services Quadrant, who meet several times a year to review and discuss the most up-to-date services they can provide the children of Georgia. Elaine Black is the head of Children's Services of Georgia.
Monday's meeting will involve approximately 40 people from Macon, Bainbridge, Valdosta, Camilla, Cairo, LaGrange, Columbus, and other cities around the state. The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Speaker Pat Carterette will present information about early literacy and WebJunction Georgia. Lunch will be served in the Willcoxon Auditorium and library tours will be given.
Norma McKellar, Moultrie's Children's Librarian, said Georgia was one of the first states to be cohesive in Children's Services. She said one of the first workshops was held in 1978 right here in our library. That was 30 years ago!
It's a great feeling to know that they're still meeting, trying to find bigger and better ways to serve the children of Georgia. They are our leaders with the World of Knowledge that can be found in reading and libraries. We are thankful they have this deep desire to teach our children.
And we say, "Welcome to Moultrie!"

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Book In The Bag

One of my favorite television shows is Sunday Morning. It covers a wide range of interesting topics. This past Sunday, I especially enjoyed Andy Rooney's segment.
He talked about noticing that everyone now days is carrying a bag of some sort...large tote bag, back pack, huge purse, laptop case, etc. The segment showed people hurrying on city sidewalks, going through business store doors, riding subways or commuter trains, and everyone had some sort of big bag filled with all kinds of stuff.
But the thing that impressed me the most was when Andy Rooney said everyone...everyone they interviewed...had a book in their big bag. It was a book to read while they were either on a work break or while they were traveling. And all agreed they did not read their books during work hours. But it was impressive to me that people are still reading books even when the pollsters say "books are on the way out." Well, paper books, anyhow.
So! What with everyone carrying a huge bag of some sort and me working here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, it just seemed natural that I should remind you of our book bag.
The Amazing Black Book Bag is 17-1/2 inches long and 12 inches deep with a 4-inch wide bottom. That's a generous size! It has two handles and a side pocket with "Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, Moultrie, Georgia" printed in gold on it. The entire bag is a canvas-like polyester and waterproof inside. And the best part is...
(ta-da!)'s only $5.00!
Can you imagine what you can stuff in this bag? Not only books to read, but notebooks, your lunch and a bottle of water, pens and pencils and markers, maybe a magazine, your wallet and Blackberry and iPod and cell phone and on and on!!!
All you have to do is ask anyone at the circulation desk and they'll be glad to see you get as many as you want.
Be one of those people seen on the Sunday Morning show. Join the thousands of us who carry a big bag everywhere we go. Stuff a bunch of library books in that bag and show those pollsters that books made of paper are not on the way out!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

She Said She Likes It When I Roam Around...

My friend in Thomasville said she reads the Bookworm Blog. She said she gets good information from it about our library, what to read, events we hold, etc.
But she said what she likes best is when I roam around and tell what's going on at the library on a particular day at a certain time. She said that doesn't necessarily mean she's nosy, but that it's interesting to read about what people do at the library. So, today, to please my friend, I took another little roam around the place at 2:45 p.m. and here's what I found.
I was surprised to find two young ladies sitting in the reading area, working on their laptops; one at a table and the other in a comfy chair next to the sofa. Laptopers are usually sitting in the reference section. You know we have wireless access to the Internet now. That means people can come in with their laptops and work in various areas of the library. Kinda cool, I think.
There was a boy of about ten working a giant puzzle in the Children's Library. His grandmother sat on one of the primary-colored couches, reading her book.
And a middle-aged man was sitting at a table near the magazine racks, reading a newspaper.
As I walked from the Children's Library toward the circulation counter, I saw four people in the nonfiction stacks, peering at books on the shelves. Then I noticed a woman using her laptop (which was plugged in) in the reference section. That's the area I like to use because it's really quiet, not many people, and just the right place to study.
As I walked past the circulation counter, I saw ten people working at the bank of Dell computers. That surprised me, because usually all twenty computers are busy.
There were four people being helped at the circulation counter, one person looking at books in the new fiction section, and two people walking toward me in the long, white hallway.
As I entered the foyer on my way to the Odom Genealogy Library, I saw a woman sitting on one of the three benches in the foyer, with another woman coming in the library door from outside.
In the Genealogy Library, three people were working in the workroom; a man and woman with heads bent toward each other as they poured over records, and a woman using one of the five public computers.
I thought that was a nice number of people to be in the library on a Wednesday afternoon around 2:45.
Now, yesterday was a different story, and I'm glad I didn't try to count the people in the library during the morning hours. The Willcoxon Auditorium was filled with homeschooled children and their teachers. The Melody Jenkins Conference room held the board meeting for retired teachers, and the back half of the public reading area was filled with members of the Magnolia Garden Club, who were holding their monthly meeting.
I can honestly say I've never seen a day when the library has not been busy.
My neighbor said her teenage son asked her one day when they were driving by, "Who still goes to the library?" Of course, he has Internet at home, and television, and games to keep him busy. Made me wonder how much he a good mystery or teen fiction or a book about sports. I wish I could have been there to invite him to come visit our library. On just any day! We always have gobs of stuff going on here. He might be amazed at what he would find.
You, too! Come visit us. The more, the merrier! This is an exciting place.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How To Feed The World With Words

When my son told me about this website, I didn't think at first that it would be appropriate for the library blog. But then, after talking about it with a friend, I had to agree it is a website about words, and our library is a building full of words. And our library is about learning. So, it made sense that telling you about this website could help you learn more about words.
But that's not only what this website is about. It's also about helping to feed the world. And that made it even more interesting to pass on to you.
It's called FreeRice. The website is and it's a fun website. It helps feed the world and build your vocabulary at the same time. For every correct word you get, 20 grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Program. One right word equals 20 grains; five right words equals 100 grains. Yesterday 92,963,720 grains of rice were donated. Over 42 billion grains have been donated to date.
FreeRice gives you a word and four meanings to choose from. And it also gives you a warning: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance, etc. FreeRice has a custom database of over 12,000 words at varying degrees of difficulty. There are 60 levels in all, but it is rare (they say) for people to get above level 50. (Now, that's a challenge if I've ever heard one!)
You can hear the word pronounced also. Whenever you get a word wrong, it will be repeated a few turns later to give you another chance to learn it. And there are other subjects, such as math, science, geography, art history, other languages, and more.
The rice is paid for by sponsors, who have banners listed on the bottom of the FreeRice screen. The money generated by these banners is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for rice donated to hungry people.
It's a two-fold website: good for you and good for the world.
Check out the website and learn more about words, free rice, and the UN World Food Program.
(Source: FreeRice website)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's "Smart Card" Time Again!

Once again it is National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Every September is the designated month. This is the time when we want everyone who does not have a library card to get one. It's been determined that if you have a library card, you are among the two-thirds of Americans that carry the smartest card of all -- a library card.
To get your "free" library card, all you have to do is fill out an application, show that you are a resident of this county (bring your electric bill or phone bill) and you will have your card in just a couple of minutes.
Your card is free because public libraries today acquire the bulk of their funding from local property taxes. So, the local economy pays a major role in your library's budgetary success or failure. Local taxes help pay for your library card.
Maybe you think all you can do is check out books with your library card and you don't feel that is enough. Let me tell you, your library card is the key to opportunity! Come to the library and pick up one of our flyers that tells 52 ways you can use your library card, such as:
  • Ordering a book from the Inter-Library Loan Service,
  • Using a computer to update your MySpace page, learn about candidates for office, or find a list of childcare centers in your area,
  • Learning how to use a genealogy database or the PINES Online Catalog,
  • Checking out a DVD or video,
  • and, of course, checking out a new novel to read.

There are other things you can do in the library also. You can read a newspaper from another city, research your term paper or job opportunities, bring your children to story hour, hold a meeting in one of our meeting rooms, find out about your ancestors in the genealogy library, or use your laptop in our wireless library.

So, you see, you really need to come get a library card. Make sure every member in your family has one. Afterall, it's the key to their opportunities also. Sign-up for the "Smart Card" now!!!