Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's Dr. Seuss's Party-Time

Yep! It's that time of the year again. Time for our annual Dr. Seuss party and YOU'RE invited.
It's scheduled for Tuesday, March 3rd, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Children's Library.
Miss Norma, our children's librarian, has promised some songs and a story or two. But best of all, she's working on having a really BIG surprise for everyone.
So, bring the whole family for fun. Refreshments will be provided by the Moultrie Junior Woman's Club (the same people who put up the white picket fence and made The Reading Garden!).
If you have any questions, call the library at 985-6540. Someone will have the answers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Miss Norma Had Her First Gig!

Back in January, I told you about our children's librarian, Norma McKellar, going to New Orleans to learn how to be a PBS PRIME TIME Family Reading Time "storyteller." Well, she had her first gig the other night.
PRIME TIME Family Reading Time is sponsored by the Louisiana Endowment for Humanities. And the Brooks County Public Library in Quitman asked Miss Norma if she'd be their "storyteller." Well, she was just tickled to pieces to do it.
So, off she went to New Orleans for special training. Now, you wouldn't think a storyteller would need any special training, but for this program you do. 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. In each 90-minute session, a storyteller demonstrates effective reading-aloud techniques, and a university professor then leads discussions about the texts.
On Thursday evening, March 19, Miss Norma went to the Brooks County Library to give her presentation of "Going to Grandma and Grandpa's." There were approximately 25 people in attendance, ages 15 to 6, and their parents. The university professor was Bobbie Warren from Valdosta State University, who told a ghost story.
Norma said they talked about oral tradition, the stories that start verbally. (Wow! That means long before TV!) But the best thing Norma said was "books and stories are the stepping stones for learning values."
When she goes back again this coming Thursday to Brooks County Library, she'll read the book "Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears." She said it's a book about justice and fairness...another stepping stone for learning values.
Great way to learn, huh?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

March Is Coming And We Have Plans

It's getting exciting to think that Spring is coming. Of course, we've had Japanese magnolias, redbuds, and daffodils blooming. Then the cold comes back and zaps them! But I haven't seen the dogwoods or willows doing their thing yet, so I have to say that Spring is coming.
But March is just next week and we have plans!
March is National Craft Month and the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library will display different crafts each week during the month. So, if you're a crafty person, come take a look.
The first week we will display some of the beautiful glass etchings that our director, Melody Jenkins, makes. Also, various pieces of crochet will be displayed in the lighted glass cases. They'll be provided by staff members Irene Godwin, Elois Matthews, Aileen McNair, Jinx Stubbs, and retired Jean Newton.
The second week will be Quilt Week, since Saturday, the 14th, is National Quilting Day. Some of the quilts on display will be "Cathedral Window" from Carolyn Clark, a "Chicken" quilt from Elois Matthews, a "Maple Leaf" quilt from Johnnie Rogers, a "Granny" quilt from Ann Glass, a "Feed Sack" quilt from Aileen McNair, and a "Scrap" quilt from Irene Godwin.
The highlight of Quilt Week will be Melody's mother, Mrs. Vera Stinson, who will bring the quilt she's working on, huge frame and all, for a demonstration in the reading area at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10th.
The third week, crocheted and knitted prayer shawls from Connie Fritz will be on display, as well as ceramics from Ann Glass, Aileen McNair, and Jinx Stubbs.
The fourth week Aileen McNair's stained glass will be on display, and Elois Matthew's decorated and natural gourds.
We're proud to share these crafts with you during March, our National Craft Month. Make sure you stop by our place and see these beautiful items.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We Have A New Genealogy Study Group

The newly formed Genealogy Study Group, meeting at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, participated in an evening of sharing this past Tuesday. Each member of the group presented a resource which they had successfully used to discover information on their ancestors.
As the evening progessed, members began to enthusiastically discuss each offering, and the wealth of information available, both through print and digital resources, became apparent.
The resources shared included land records, the agricultural census, local school census records, personal family history websites and Past meetings have involved a video conferencing with Pat Richley, aka "Dear Myrt," from Salt Lake City.
Topics for future meetings include the use of military records, cemetey research, online resources, and the use and availability of courthouse records. Plans are being made for research field trips to other genealogical libraries.
The group is open to anyone interested in learning and sharing skills to promote genealogical research. Meetings are informal and generally involve members' research experiences, recent findings, and new research tools. There are no dues.
Meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month in the Willcoxon Auditorium of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. All are welcome to join us for research, learning and camaraderie.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, March 17. Wear some St. Patrick's Day green and join us.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

She Said She Needed Another Reader's List

I heard from my friend Alice the other day. We talk occasionally by phone or email until I can get to Tallahassee. Since she knows I work at a library, she always asks me for a list of books to read. So, she said, "Hey, I need another reader's list. I've finished the last one you sent." And I said to her, "Well, here it comes."
I have several websites I frequent to check for books I want to read, and Bookreporter is one of them. This time I sent their list to my friend and I'll share it with you here. I found all of these books in our library or through the Interlibrary Loan System, so you won't have any excuse not to come check them out.
Bookreporter's "Most Requested Top 10 New Favorites" are:
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David O. Relin.
Their "Most Requested Top 10 Ongoing Favorites" are:
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Enduring Love by Ian McEwan.
So, there you are. If you enjoy a reader's list, this should keep you busy for a while. I've read only two out of the first list and three from the second list. That means I need to get busy and start reading the rest of them also.
How sad. I can't imagine anything nicer than sitting in a big cozy chair with a cup of hot tea and reading.
What's your favorite book and reading place? Do you have a reader's list?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Do You Have A Family Of Readers?

I always enjoy clicking on the New York Times for a little online reading. Today I watched a video about a family of four - mother, father, daughter and son - who are a family of readers. The video showed them in their family room with Mother curled up in a big chair reading a book, Father sitting on the couch reading a newspaper, and Daughter sitting on another couch beside her brother, both using their computers.
Mother said she and Father go to the library three or four times a week. They read books, newspapers and magazines. Mother said she always had something to read in her tote bag when she leaves the house. However (and I watched this on the video), Daughter and Son were into their computers big time. Mother said she felt they never pick up a book unless it is something they have to read for school. And she felt her daughter was playing games online more than reading.
Son said he liked reading online, because he liked the interaction between readers. He felt if you were reading something in print, you usually were reading by yourself.
Mother said she felt reading in print and online were two entirely different ways of reading. But she was astonished at how much her son did read and how many ways he used his computer to do multiple research.
The great part about the video was that Mother and Son felt reading in whatever form you choose is valuable.
Do you have a family of readers?
I remember when my kids were little, we read lots, especially when we were curled up on the big bed right before naptime. And there was also story reading at bedtime, too. Going to the library was one of the places we went to not only get books, but to enjoy just going out together, like going to the park. Except at the library, we would always come away with something interesting to take home. Today, all my children like to read...two are book readers, two are computer readers. But the important part is they all read.
So, do you have a family of readers? If you would like them to read more, which will help with all kinds of skills they need in their future, bring them to the library. Turn your family into matter if they are book readers or computer readers. We have computers, too. Check us out.
Make your family a family of readers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Something Different For Valentine's Day

I know all those bloggers out there are writing about the upcoming Valentine's Day, and there will be plenty of blogs about hearts and flowers. But I'm going to tell you something different for this Valentine's Day.
There's a red-cover book highlighted on our February bulletin board. Valentine red. It's the book our genealogist, Irene, has selected as her book pick of the month. Just happened to have a red cover. But it has the longest title I believe I've ever seen.
The Directory of North American Railroads, Associations, Societies, Archives, Libraries, Museums and Their Collections. It has more than 1,600 listings. On the cover is a woodcut of a horse-drawn railroad car filled with people. Printed below the picture is "Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, 1830."
So, my Valentine gift to you is to tell you a little about this book. And if you're a person who is interested in genealogy or trains or traveling, this just might be the book you're looking for.
The directory is a compilation of work by Holly T. Hansen, who received her BA in History at Weber State University. She's currently self-employed and serving the genealogical and historical community.
Ms. Hansen tells us that because of the tremendous love affair with trains and the wild frontier, we are able to enjoy a ride, dinner and entertainment on excursion trains, bringing the past to our
The rail community preserved railroads and their records as best they could. But when many could no longer care for their treasures, they turned them over to libraries and archives or local
This directory will bring the rail community and its holdings to your fingertips. If you purchase one, it will make a nice travel companion. It is an incredible reference book.
Each listing is arranged alphabetically with a state/province index in the back of the book to help you locate resources geographically.
I took a trip on a train one time to see my brother. I traveled through four states in order to get to his home. That was one of the most pleasurable trips I've ever taken.
So, I'm inviting you to visit the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library at 204 Fifth Street, Southeast, in Moultrie, Georgia. Ask our genealogist, Irene, if you can take a look at this book.
Tell her it has a red cover and was highlighted on the library's bulletin board as a February Valentine read.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Our Latest Addition...The Reading Garden

If you haven't been in the children's library for a while, you're in for a treat. And if you have small children to bring, they're in for an even bigger treat.
Our latest addition to the children's library is The Reading Garden.
It's a project made possible by The Moultrie Junior Women's Club. It started with a rainbow of printed hands high up on the white wall of the reading area. You know, rainbows are in an arc, and the hands span the wall in colors of purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. They're in all different sizes, with the smallest hands being those of a baby.
After the rainbow was finished, a Junior Women's Club member came back and painted yellow sunflowers with tall green stems and leaves at floor level.
Then with the help of husbands, the members made a white picket fence. It encloses the storytime area. Miss Norma, our children's librarian, said it changes the whole atmosphere and look of the
When the children come in, they sit on the dark red rug inside The Reading Garden and watch and listen to Norma as she enchants them with her stories and clever actions, including her puppet, the Library Mouse.
Norma said one of the nice thngs about the white picket fence is the ledge along the top. It allows her a place to display books and items of interest, which the children can handle.
Norma's been collecting quotes from people when they first see The Reading Garden, such as: "Cool," "I like it," "Cute as a button; I love it," and "How did it get here?"
As for how it got here, it came by way of a pickup truck late one Tuesday evening. People came with hammers, screws and screwdrivers. Norma said the children always want to know how many hammers and how many screws? So, the fence brings about interesting conversations with the children.
As for the atmosphere of the room, Norma said she's now thinking about adding a tree, possibly a palm tree, with all kinds of amusing things hanging from the leaves.
I'm sure The Reading Garden will be like any garden...continually growing and changing through the seasons, delighting its small visitors. And its large visitors also...the parents, teachers, and caretakers of our small visitors.
Thanks Moultrie Junior Women's Club. You've made an enchanted world at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library for people of all ages.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Meet Our Library Board Members

Our library system is fortunate to have two libraries...the Moultrie-Colquitt County Public Library and the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library. Both libraries are housed under one roof located at 204 Fifth Street, Southeast, in Moultrie,
That also means we have two library for the public library and one for the genealogical library. They meet four times a February, May, September and November. And both boards are represented by great people guiding the future of these institutions.
I won't get into what their professions or public lives are, but I would like to tell you who they are.
So, let's start with the Odom Library Board. The members are Sheldon Brooks, Merle Baker, James Jeter, Jack Bridwell, Ginger Horkan, Bill McIntosh, and Lauren Howell.
Doug Strange is the president of the Odom Board, as well as the MCCL Board.
The MCCL Board members are Diane Stephens, Myrtle Croft, Joanne Smith, Sherrod McCall, Terry Clark, Michael Helms, Alice Slocumb, Melinda Wright, Ed Willis, Jimmy Taylor, and Jim Soos.
Melody Jenkins is the director of the library system and a member of both boards.
We're fortunate in having these fine people serve the patrons of our community. If you live in Moultrie and you see them around town, stop them and tell them how much you appreciate their interest and willingness to be a library board member. Thanks to them our libraries are in good hands and continue to grow.
We just need to let them know we think they're great!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

An Occasional Problem At The Library

Occasionally we have a problem (or two) here at the library. Some of us wonder how to deal with it when it happens; others know exactly how they will handle it.
So, I decided to look online at the different behavior and conduct policies of other libraries. Of course, the policies always state: "The public is required to comply with the library system use and behavior guidelines." Some guidelines made sense to me, while others left me wondering how the staff would handle such a situation if it arose.
A few of the inappropriate behaviors or actions listed by other libraries were: (My comments are in parenthesis.)
  • Any loud, unreasonable, and/or disruptive noises created by persons, cell phones, radios, tape players or other sound devices. (Our problem seems to be with the loud, clacking shoes that come down the long uncarpeted hallways. It would be our wish that all people wear tennis shoes or rubber-soled shoes, but that's impossible, we know.)
  • Running in or around the library. (We occasionally have small children run, but when it's the teenagers...well, that's another story.)
  • Display of obscene materials on computer equipment. (We've had to ask a few people to turn off their computers. Of course, they always say they didn't know they were causing a problem. But it was causing great strain on the eyeballs of the person sitting next to or behind them.)
  • Failure to wear appropriate clothing or the failure to secure clothes with buttons, zippers or other devices (which often leads to indecent exposure, I think, and we have had some of that!)
  • Sleeping or laying your head on a table; placing your feet or legs on furniture. (There's one young lady who really enjoys napping on our lovely couch in the reading area; we wake her quite often.)
  • Distributing or posting printed material/literature that has not been approved by the library system. (If we see such material, we usually just pick it up or take it down; easy to do.)
  • Cell phone use. (Now, this one we have had the most problems with. However, since we've posted several brightly colored "banned cell phone" signs, people have been better. And we have three benches in our genealogy foyer where they can use their phones.)
  • Leaving children unattended who are under the age of twelve or who require supervision. (This doesn't happen every often. It's usually the children of patrons trying to check out books that decide to scamper away and sightsee or play ring-around-the-directional-sign.)
  • Theft or damage to library property is punishable under Georgia Code 20-5-52. (Sometimes this is hard to detect if it's here in the library, but it eventually shows up. Usually, we don't know who does it.)
  • Bringing food or beverages into the library. (People are pretty good about not bringing in food/drinks, unless it's to meetings held in the auditorium. That's all right as long as they clean up and remove the food/drinks when they leave.)

So, I would have to say we seem to be doing pretty good with our rules of behavior and conduct. We strive to provide an atmosphere that helps our patrons feel their library is a great place to be. They know we reserve the right to ask anyone violating our rules of conduct to leave the library. But it's very seldom we have to do this. And anyone who disregards a request by a staff member to leave the building is immediately reported to the local law enforcement officers.

All in all, I'd have to say that we have a great bunch of patrons and a great library for them to use. We work hard to keep it that way. I think they do too.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fiction Reading Is Increasing For Adults

An article in The New York Times stopped me from scrolling too fast on the Internet the other day. The article by Motoko Rich was published in January (I'm slow with my reading, but I am
Rich said, "...the National Endowment for the Arts says in a report that it now believes a quarter-century of precipitous decline in fiction reading has reversed." Well, HURRAH!
In 2002 the literary reading rate among adults in the U.S. was 46.7 percent. In 2008 it increased to 50.2 percent. Literary reading refers to the reading of any novels, short stories, poems or plays in print or online.
Four years ago the endowment released the report "Reading at Risk," which showed that fewer than half of Americans over 18 read novels, short stories, plays or poetry.
In each survey since 1982 the data did not differentiate between those who read several books a month and those who read only one poem. Nor did the surveys distinguish between those who read the complete works of Proust or Dickens and those who read one Nora Roberts novel or a single piece of fan fiction on the
Dana Gioia is the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. It's under his leadership the NEA spearheaded "The Big Read," a program in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences and Arts Midwest to encourage communities to champion the reading of particular books, like "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald and "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neal
So, Mr. Gioia has attributed the increase in literary reading to community-based programs like "The Big Read," Oprah Winfrey's book club, the huge popularity of book series like "Harry Potter" and Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight," as well as the individual efforts of teachers, librarians, parents, and civic leaders to create "a buzz around literature that's getting people to read more in whatever medium."
The NEA report was broken down into various groups - Hispanic Americans (the group where reading increased the most), whites, men 18 and older, and women. At the same time the survey found that the proportion of adults who said they had read any kind of a book, fiction or nonfiction, that was not required for work or school actually declined slightly since 2002, 54.3 percent from 56.6 percent.
Patricia Schroeder, president of the Association of American Publishers, suggested that some people might not count the reading they do online or even on electronic readers like the Kindle as "book" reading.
And Jim Rettig, president of the American Library Association, said that the 2008 data would not reflect a recent uptick (that's a new word for me) in the circulation of libraries. He also said that as the economy has soured, "people are discovering that you don't have to spend anything to read a book if you have a library card."
Now...haven't I been telling you that all along?
But let me also tell you that if you don't have a library card and (for some reason) don't want one (I can't imagine why), there are books here at the library for a quarter or a dollar. Good books, great reads, good finds. Very inexpensive!!!
So, you really don't have a good excuse not to read, do you?
(Source: The New York Times, 01/11/2009, Motoko Rich)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February Is "Library Lovers' Month"

We're part of the many libraries that have designated February as "Library Lovers' Month."
We've filled the lighted bulletin board in the hallway with all kinds of information about how you can love your library. It's an interesting display to see when you visit the library.
You know, many libraries are private, non-profit organizations that depend on the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations to help ensure that libraries remain free to the millions of people who visit in person or via the Web each year. While government funding supports the basic operations of many of our nation's libraries, there are still many more libraries that depend on contributions from private sources.
So, I bet you're wondering just what you can do to love your library. Well, I can give you a few examples...

  • Consider a tax-deductible gift. Many libraries have memorial programs, endowments and other opportunities to support quality library services.
  • You can donate your time, money, and expertise to your library.
  • Nominate your library as your community, school, or corporate organization's project for the year.
  • Buy your library a subscription to a popular magazine.
  • Honor a friend or relative's birthday with a book for the library.
  • Donate a book or a series of books.
  • Remember your library in your estate planning.
  • Give to the library through your company's matching program for charitable giving.
  • Support library referenda in elections.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper to express your concern in keeping your local library a viable center of learning for the public.
  • Speak up for the library and all libraries at the community group that you belong to - PTA, Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, etc.
  • Invite your librarian to talk about library services and needs at your book club meetings, senior suppers, or apartment complex get-togethers.

Research has shown that everyone loves libraries, but no one thinks about them very much. That's where you come in. You don't have to be a public relations expert to promote your library. You just have to talk about your library.

And this is a good month to's "Library Lovers' Month."