Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's Tax Time And They're Here To Help

Yep, it's that time of the year again. I think I have all my papers together to bring to the library for the AARP Taxaide people to help me with.
They will be here starting next Tuesday, February 3rd, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and every Tuesday until April 14th, in the Willcoxon Auditorium. They come with their computers and stacks of papers and pencils, and they are prepared to help those, who meet the criteria, with their taxes.
Now, if you come before 9 a.m., you'll need to take a seat in the reading area and wait for the Taxaide helpers to finish setting up. Of course, the library doesn't open its outside doors until 8:30 a.m. and the Taxaide people don't open the auditorium doors until 9 a.m. So, bring your library card and, before you have your taxes done, check out a new book to read or a DVD to take home. And be prepared to be part of a long line of waiting tax payers.
This service is provided free by AARP at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. The library is the perfect place to provide the service, since it's in a convenient location in town and has the room for lots of people.
You know, AARP is a United States-based non-government organization (a special interest group). It was formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, but changed its name to just "AARP" (pronounced one letter at a time, A-A-R-P) because its focus had become broader than American retirees. It officially changed its name in 1999 and it no longer requires that members be retired.
The organization claims over 38 million members, making it one of the largest membership organizations for people age 50 and over in the United States, and membership is expected to grow significantly as baby boomers age.
Oh, and here's another thing that will be happening on Tuesday, February 10th, and Tuesday, February 17th, from 2 to 4 p.m., in the library reading area. Robin Tillman, Colquitt Regional Medical Center's Coporate Health Nurse, will be doing blood pressure checks. This is American Heart Month, and what better way to acknowledge your heart than to have your blood pressure checked.
Look at it this way...have your taxes done by AARP and then have your blood pressure checked by CRMC. And be glad we have those fine people here to help us with some of our most important concerns.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Here's Another Service We Provide... with your online computer skills.
We know that many of you are job searching when you come to the library and ask to use one of the computers.
We, also, know that sometimes you have a problem in completing online job applications because you just don't know how to do all those things with the mouse or how to tab to different fields.
And we know that sometimes you have a problem trying to get to a particular website.
So, when you do have those nasty old problems, just ask anyone at the circulation counter for help. There are several staff members very willing to help you.
Just want you to know here's another service we provide.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How About A Friend's Group Here?

Someone gave me a copy of an email they received the other day. It was about an article from the Journal-Constitution by Wally Eberhard, who is the president of the Friends of Georgia Libraries and a retired UGA journalism professor. He wrote about loyal "Friends," the organizations of supporters that work to help libraries.

There were some interesting facts in Mr. Eberhard's article. Things like:
  • Georgia library statistics for the 2007 fiscal year report 35.7 million visits to public libraries in the state, which tops the million attendances at UGA or Tech football games, the 3.5 million visits to the Georgia Aquarium, and the 2.75 million tickets brought for Atlanta Braves games.
  • Jim Rettig, library director at the University of Richmond and president of the American Library Association, wrote in the American Librarian that as the nation's economy struggles, public libraries nationwide report increases in circulation and new demand for other services.
  • A library card is still free and available to anyone with minimal credentials. With that card you can check out a book that costs upward of $20 at a bookstore. Also, many can't afford a computer or Internet service, but their library provides both.
  • Mr. Rettig also reminds us of the importance of libraries...that from preschool story hours to research collections at university libraries to programs for senior citizens, the library is the only agency or institution in American society that provides lifelong learning.
  • For the year ending June 2007, the Georgia Public Library Service reported revenues of $220 million. Seventy-five percent of that was from local funding, 27 percent from the state of Georgia, 1 percent from the federal government, and the rest from other sources, including grants and gifts.
  • Georgia's state allocation for collections and library maintenance has been level for a decade or more, meaning the value has declined.

Mr. Eberhard said, "All of Georgia's publicly funded institutions are on a forced economic diet these days, and your public library isn't exempt. But most have a loyal group of Friends - that's uppercase, please - to help them out...Mr. Carnegie funded construction of 1,689 libraries in the United States...Since then, the cause of the library has been taken up by others, including local Friends groups." He quoted Lady Bird Johnson in his article: "Perhaps no place in any community is so toally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest."

Thanks to Mr. Eberhard for bringing this information to our attention. Could we use a Friend's group here?

(Source: Journal-Constitution, 01/05/09; Georgia Libraries

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Homeland Security Is In The News Again

I suppose you saw on television the other day the new TV program about the heroes of Homeland Security. And I suppose you also saw on the news that Mr. Bin Laden has put out another "encouraging word" to his followers to step up their ways to impress us with threats of annihilation.
Well, I want you to know that we have some literature for the public in our library from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You might want to take a look at it. I did.
We have a booklet titled Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now.
It tells how you can be prepared to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer, in the event we must survive a terrorist attack or other emergency. Just like having a working smoke detector, preparing for the unexpected makes sense.
The booklet gives you all kinds of information in emergency planning for specific terrorist threats, such as biological, nuclear, and radiation. It even tells about natural disasters.
There are also separate brochures about your Emergency Supply List, Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies, and Preparing for People with Disabilities and Special Needs.
You can find these booklets and brochures on the long counter in front of the Fiction Section. Just walk through the reading area to the counter and pick up the information that can help you with important disaster planning.
Preparing makes sense.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And While We're On The Topic of "Freedom"...

...there was one part of President Obama's inaugural address I especially liked.
"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom."
My coworker, Ann, who works in genealogy, recently handed me an article about the Founding Fathers of the Declaration of Independence. It told about those men after the signing.
Many of us studied the history of the Declaration in school, but let me briefly refresh your memory. A resolution came before the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, PA, on June 7, 1776. There was a great debate over it and its adoption was postponed until July 1. John Adams, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman set out to reshape the resolution in order to present it again. That happened on July 3 and further corrections were made. Finally on July 4, 1776, the Declaration was adopted without a dissenting vote.
The Declaration of Independence - the birth certificate of a New Nation - had been signed with full knowledge that this was an act of treason against England for which the universal penalty was
What sort of men were these who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor with a British fleet already at anchor in New York harbor? And what became of them after the signing?
All signers were marked men and objects of vicious manhunts. None were actually hanged, but many suffered physically, emotionally and financially.
Only a few became well-known. Jefferson and John Adams became Presidents. Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Josiah Bartlett, Oliver Wolcott, Edward Rutledge, Benjamin Harrison, and Elderidge Gerry lived to become state governors. Gerry also became Monroe's vice-president. Charles Carroll founded the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. But many, many others suffered greatly.
Philip Livingston of New York, the richest merchant in the colonies, instrumental in establishing King's College (Columbia University), the New York Library and Chamber of Commerce, had all his property seized. His family was driven out and became homeless
John Hart of New Jersey, a farmer who was called "Honest John," had all his property destroyed. His wife was dying and in heading to New Jersey to reach her, he was betrayed. He slept in caves and woods. Finally he was able to sneak home, but found his wife long buried and his 13 children taken away. He died never finding his
John Morton of Pennsylvania was totally rejected by neighbors, friends and family when he came out for Independence. Many believed this rejection killed him. His last words were, "Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it (the signing) to have been the most glorious service I ever rendered to my country."
Georgia had three signers. One, Button Gwinnett, who had been born in England, came to America and settled in Savannah as a grown man and a merchant. After returning to Georgia from the Second Continental Congress, he helped write Georgia's first Constitution in 1777. He died several years later from wounds received in a duel. The site of his grave was forgotten, but in 1964, bones believed to be his were reinterred in Savannah. His signature is the rarest of any of the signers and reportedly worth in excess of $50,000.00.
There are many more signers to tell you about. Those whom the war did not kill or injure lived beyond the normal span of life. It was no idle pledge these 56 men made on that 4th of July 1776. Nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured or imprisoned with brutal treatment. Wives, sons, and daughters of others were killed, jailed, mistreated, persecuted, or left penniless. The houses of 12 were burned; 17 were left without anything. Not one defected or went back on his word. Their honor and the Nation they did so much to create is still intact. But freedom on that first 4th of July came high!
If you'd like to find out more about the signers of the Declaration, stop by the Odom Genealogy Library and ask Irene or Ann about the article. There's more interesting information about freedom for you to read.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day On The Pages Of History

What could one more blogger say about today...January 20, 2009...and a time when history is in the making right in front of our eyes?
I can say this...our director, Melody Jenkins, has set up a large television in the main lobby of our library so the public can watch the inauguration, history in the making.
I suppose I've felt like every Presidential inauguration has been a day on the pages of history. But this one is different. It is a long time in the making. A long time coming. A time when I hope we, as a nation, can see how much we really need each other in order to make our homeland what it was intended to be...the home of the free and the brave.
Did I ever expect to see the day when an African-American would become President ? Did I ever expect to see the day when a woman...white or black...would become President. No, but it has been something I've hoped for.
Wonder what kind of day on the pages of history it will be when a woman becomes President?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mary Alice Green Is January's Employee Of The Month

Mary Alice Green is one of two circulation clerks at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library that people see every Saturday. She loves bright colors, has a great smile and an infectious laugh. And it was that laugh people heard on Saturday, the 10th, when library director Melody Jenkins presented her with the January 2009 Employee of the Month Award. She laughed even as Melody handed her the certificate and flowers, and when the patron at the circulation counter reminded her that her picture would be in the paper. "Oh,
no-o-o-o," she said over and over, but laughed all the time she
said it.
Mary Alice is a graduate of Colquitt County High School and attended Georgia State University in Atlanta where she majored in Business Administration.
While in college, she worked as a secretary for the Selective Service, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Social Security Administration of the Bureau of Hearings and Appeal.
After moving back to Moultrie, she was employed as a clerk at Arwood Drug and then was hired by the school system as a paraprofessional. She's presently employed at Norman Park Elementary School in the physcial education department.
And...congratulations, Mary Alice...she was recently named to the Cambridge Who's Who of Executive Professionals and
Mary Alice said a friend, who worked at the library, encouraged her to apply for a job. The friend felt she would be a great asset to the library. Melody Jenkins must have thought so also, for she hired her in February 1988 - twenty-one years ago. Mary Alice was still working for the school system at the time, so her job at the library was as a circulation clerk on Tuesday evenings and Saturdays. Now she works at the circulation desk on Saturdays only.
When I asked her what she likes most about her job, she said the people she works with, the atmosphere, and the people she helps and talks with at the library.
She also said she loves to laugh, eat, and travel. When she retires, she said she wants to travel more. She's already been to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Spain, the Bahamas, Mexico, Aruba, and
It's evident to anyone who talks to Mary Alice that she's in love with life and thoroughly enjoys it. She likes to make people happy and make them laugh.
What better way to get through life than to be a positive, smiling, laughing person like Mary Alice Green. She sets an example for all of us.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our Children's Librarian Is Going to New Orleans!

Well, we're not giving her up forever!!! No indeed! She's been asked to be the Brooks County Public Library's "storyteller" for the national program PRIME TIME Family Reading Time, which is sponsored by the Louisiana Endowment for Humanities. She'll be going to New Orleans for special training for the PRIME TIME program.
PRIME TIME and bilingual PRIME TIME provide a six-to-eight week program of reading, discussion, and storytelling at public libraries and other venues. A discussion leader and storyteller conduct weekly book discussion and storytelling programs for children 6 to 10 and their parents. Pre-reading activities are also provided for younger siblings.
Other team members in the program are a community organizer, a program coordinator, a scholar who is a professor in humanities, and a preschool coordinator, along with the storyteller (which, in this case, is Norma McKellar, our children's librarian).
In each 90-minute session, a storyteller demonstrates effective reading-aloud techniques, and a university professor then leads discussions about the texts. Team members or translators help facilitate the discussion in both Spanish and English in bilingual PRIME TIME programs. These discussions are centered on humanities themes, such as fairness, greed, and dreams. The syllabi include award-winning children's books and incorporate culturally diverse titles. They span fairy tales and folk tales from around the world, stories about problems most individuals encounter, and tales from history.
Each session also includes a five-minute "library commercial," which allows librarians to introduce families to library resources, such as other books, homework aids, ELS and GED materials for parents, books on parenting and healthcare, and local and international newspapers and magazines.
Norma will go to Brooks County Library every Thursday for six weeks and be their storyteller. The first book she will present is "Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears," a book about justice and
Now, here's my suggestion...come visit the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and see our famous storyteller for yourself. She's here all day most every day, except for the times she visits schools to tell stories to the little kids or has a meeting to attend. And she has the most fantastic programs for children here at our library all during
the year.
Brooks County Public Library has Miss Norma for only a little while. We have her all the time!!! And we'd never, ever let her think of staying in New Orleans!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Feeling Guilty?

I heard a commentary on the radio the other day about how we humans feel guilty about a great many things in our lives.
When we're playing with our children, we feel guilty about not doing all that office work we brought home. But when we're doing that office work, we feel guilty about not playing with our children.
And we feel guilty about not taking better care of our environment. We feel guilty about going off our diet. We feel guilty about not having a better relationship with family members. And sometimes, we feel guilty about taking something we accidently took.
But the commentator said we're also motivated by guilt. That's why sometimes we play with our children. That's why we sometimes work so hard at our work, or pick up all the trash at the local park, or eat in moderation our healthy food, or call our parents every week. And if we accidently took something we shouldn't have, guilt makes us drive all the way back to that place to return it.
I learned that guilt begins between the ages of three and six years, and we usually learn it from our parents. But not all guilt is equal. Some of us feel very little guilt about what we do. Others of us are overwhelmed by guilt.
However, the commentator said, guilt is's designed to make you do better. We are hardwired to feel the sensation of guilt. What differs is how we feel guilt, and different cultures have a different aspect on guilt.
The commentator said that women mostly feel guilty about gossiping, while sexual sins are high on the list for men. But, he stated, it is a human condition.
Can I make you feel guilty about something? Let me try...
You should feel guilty if you don't have a library card. You should feel guilty if you have one and you never use it.
You should feel guilty if you've always wanted to find out more about great-uncle Elmer your mother always talked about, and you've never set foot in the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library and used the help that's available to you.
You should feel guilty if you didn't make a resolution to read at least six books this year...that's only one every two months.
You should feel guilty if you've never taken your children to the children's library, sat on one of the red, blue or yellow couches, and read at least two books to them. Or took them to one of the children's story hours. Or checked out a funny comedy DVD to watch at home with them.
The Moultrie-Colquitt County Library offers you so much! It's the ony place in town that has FREE things for you to enjoy! You don't have to pay a cent to enter, like at the movies or the skating rink. It's even got computers for you to use! And the library is not only for you, but for your entire family!
Stop by and get rid of that guilty feeling.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

We're Celebrating National Hot Tea Month

According to an ancient Chinese legend, around 2737 B.C.E., Emperor Shen Nung was a health conscious man and was known as the "Divine Healer." He always boiled his water before drinking it. One day while he was boiling his water, a few leaves fell into it. The aroma was so wonderful that he decided to taste it and declared it sent from heaven.
January is National Hot Tea Month, and we've decided to celebrate it here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library with a special display of items related to tea.
We not only have a hummingbird-handle teapot and a stacked tea set, but miniature tea sets, oriental tea sets, and gorgeous teacups and saucers, as well as tea containers and tins of different kinds of teas. All these items are in a lighted display case in the foyer of the main library.
Along with the teaware display, we've set up a small table with books about tea...some you might be interested in reading. Author Laura Childs has a tea shop mystery series and two of her books are Shades of Earl Grey (which, by the way, is the name of her dog!) and Blood Orange Brewing. These mysteries are set in Charleston, South Carolina and a fun read. Two for Tea by Jan McDaniel is an Avalon Romance. And for those of you who like Sassafras tea (or want to know what it is), you might be interested in the quaint book Country Folk Medicine: Tales of Skunk Oil, Sassafras Tea, & Other Old-Time Remedies Gathered by Elisabeth Janos. From our children's library, we have The Story of the Boston Tea Party in English and Spanish, Miss Spider's Tea Party Reader, and the story of Tea by O. B.
There are three types of teas made from tea leaves: green, black, and oolong (my favorite). And there are also "herbal teas." These are not really teas because they are not made with tea leaves. And of course, there are caffeine teas and caffeine-free teas.
If you're interested in reading tea leaves, pick up one of the flyers on the table with the books and learn how to recognize certain symbols used in tea leaf reading.
Drinking healthy teas, we've been told, can improve your health. This is the month of hot tea...give it a try. You'll like it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why We Hate Ourselves And The Good Old Days

While listening to TV the other day (I was actually reading a book with the television on - ever do that?), my ears picked up on people talking about the "good old days."
The narrator described some of the things people he had interviewed said they really missed. One was letter writing. A woman had made a New Year's resolution to get back to letter writing in 2009. She said there was something she missed about putting her hand to paper and writing a real letter.
One fellow said he missed dusty old bookstores and would take the time to check them out again. That was something I've never given up...old bookstores.
The TV show took us into a 1960s home where a woman and her family lived with 1960s furniture and other stuff from that decade. She said things aren't made that good any more.
Some people talked about how they missed muscle cars, the Lindy Hop (do you know what that is?), drive-in theaters, guilt-free eating, penny candy, and 1969 Cameros.
The more I listened (and finally watched), I found the discussion centered around a book written by Dick Meyer titled "Why We Hate Us." That title alone was interesting enough to make me really pay attention. But the second part of the title added a bonus: "American Discontent in the New Millennium." Yep! That's us! We are pretty discontented right now, wouldn't you say?
The author is the editorial director for NPR's digital media and is responsible for all news, entertainment, and music content on and NPR's other digital platforms. He's also president of Meyer & Associates, a consulting firm.
In his book, Meyer argues that a lack of trust in public leadership and an overall weakening of public morality are part of why we hate ourselves.
Meyer says, "The 1960s was a symbolic turning point."
He feels that decade was a time when personal choice became more important than following tradition. Of course, times were tough in those days...tough for not only blacks and whites, but for women and gays and American Indians and Asians. So? What's changed?
I checked to see if we have the book in the library and we don't at this time. But I've asked that it be ordered.
If you're missing the "good old days," too, then be sure to watch for this book in our library. It will be here before long, and it promises to be some good reading.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Well, We've Got Another New Slate!

I have to tell you that I got my hackles all up in the air the other day. For lots of reasons.
First, because I heard on the television that people aren't reading books and magazines like they used to because of all the technology used now days...messengers, iPods, emails, Internet websites. Didn't we know when we created this stuff that this would happen someday? Of course, newspapers, books and magazines have been telling us this for quite a while now.
Then the second thing that got my hackles up was all the people who made resolutions on New Year's Day that they would lose weight in 2009. Why did they finally decide to do it on New Year's Day? Didn't they realize as they plodded through 2008 that they were getting bigger and bigger? Well, I did! Of course, it was the last of November when I finally got back on my Weight Watchers meals and started losing.
The next thing that stirred my hackles up was the fact that gasoline is going up again. Why don't they just leave the gasoline alone? About the time we think we're getting a little money back in our pocket, someone decides to take another chunk out and we only have change to jingle. And I was finally getting in my car to travel an hour and a half away to enjoy a day.
The last thing that raised my hackles was realizing I had to go back to work. You know, taking two or three days off is nice, but never long enough. When we had time off at Christmas and the library was closed, I got spoiled. I finally dug out some things I hadn't worked on in ages and realized it was fun to work on those long-forgotten projects. And I took a nap whenever I wanted one. And my cats decided to ignore me because I was around so much. Then I realized I had to go back to work. Kinda upset me. Raised my hackles 'cause I was so disturbed. But I also realized I'd gotten kinda lazy during my time off.
Anyhow...I was thinking about this while sitting at the computer this morning. I realized books and magazines are NEVER going to be gone. Look at all the new first-time authors on the market now. People are still writing, publishers are still publishing, and we, the public, are still reading books and magazines. Some of those published items are right here in our library.
I also realized people are always making resolutions. It doesn't take New Year's Day to do it. When I decided in November 2008 to lose weight, it wasn't because it was the first of a new year. Nope! It was because I got scared I'd get diabetes and heart problems and joint problems, etc. And I realized there are great cookbooks by Weight Watchers, the American Heart Association, and other organizations, as well as magazines to encourage me to keep that weight off.
As for the gasoline, I realized when I didn't drive so much, I got more done at my home that I really enjoyed. Who needs gasoline, except to get groceries, see family, go to work and church; stuff like that?
And time off...well, I needed to come back to work, because I really like what I do and where I work. I don't like being lazy. I don't like my cats ignoring me. I have another new slate to work with in 2009. I can do anything I really want to.
Besides that, if I keep going, I'll have to explain to someone what "hackles" are.