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.