Thursday, August 27, 2009

And The President's Reading...

A blurb on Yahoo the other day said that the President's favorite book is "Where the Wild Things Are." The book by Maurice Sendak was written in 1963 and has won several awards.

It's about the wild adventure of a boy named Max, who was sent to his room without supper for talking back to his mother. The amazing thing about the story, to me, is it's only ten sentences long! And it's available in our library for you to read.

Just today I learned it's going to be in theaters on October 16th, where you can see Max's wild adventure flashing before your eyes, big as life, while you're sitting in the dark. How scary can that be? I'll be one of the first ones to see it, I know.

But that's not all President Obama is reading. Yahoo listed five other books on his reading list.
  • The Way Home by George Pelecanos is a crime thriller. Even though we don't have that book, we do have another by Pelecanos. The Night Gardner is not only in our fiction section, but we have the story on CDs, too.
  • Lush Life by Richard Prince is about race and class in New York's Lower East Side. You can find that in our mystery section.
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Tom Friedman talks about the benefits to America of an environmental revolution. The book is on our shelf, located at 363.7F.
  • John Adams by David McCullough is a biography and in our biography section.
  • Plainsong by Kent Haruf is about eight people living in a Colorado prairie community. This surprised me, because it's the only book on the President's list (other than Wild Things) that I've read. But it's one that stuck in my memory as a great read. You can check it out through our PINES catalog as an Inter-Library Loan.

After looking over the President's list, I think I'll see what Lush Life is all about. I might even check out Plainsong again. And I definitely know I'll go see Wild Things the minute it hits the big screen. But I think I'll take a friend with me. Just in case I get scared!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy's Last Sail

There's a wonderful thought floating through my mind. It's about sailing...sailing on a sailboat.
Now, if you've never had the chance to do that, you might have a hard time picturing such a thing in your mind. But I've been
It kind of falls in the same category as snow skiing, drifting through the sky in a sailplane, or driving a convertible with the top down through a beautiful countryside. There's a rush to it, but a calming rush. And there's the invigorating feel of control over a particular power. There's the feeling of just you and nature. It can be hard to describe.
When I turned on the TV this morning, the news said that Ted Kennedy lost his battle with brain cancer during the night.
For some reason, I remembered a picture of him on that big sailboat of his, a grin on his face and the wind blowing through his white hair, and I immediately thought Ted Kennedy had taken his
last sail.
If you watch television, and I believe the entire world does, then I don't really need to tell you who Edward Kennedy was. You'll see a great deal of information about him and his famous family in the news throughout the next several days. But I will say he was one of the most influential and longest-serving senators in U.S. history. He was called "the Lion of the Senate."
If you are interested in knowing more about him, we have these books available for you:
The Kennedy Brothers (929.2S)
Living with the Kennedys: the Joan Kennedy Story (973.92C)
The Education of Edward Kennedy: a family biography (GB Kennedy)
The Senator: my ten years with Ted Kennedy by Richard E. Burke (B Kennedy)
The Last Kennedy by Robert Sherrill (B Kennedy)
Teddy Bare, the Last of the Kennedy Clan by Zad Rust (B Kennedy)
Death at Chappaquiddick by Thomas L. Tedrow (973.494T), and
The Last Brother by Joe McGinniss (973.92M).
Ted Kennedy was 77 years old and leaves quite a legacy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We've Got Conroy's New Book!

I guess you've heard that Pat Conroy's new book, "South of Broad," is out. And we've got it!
Conroy was even seen on Good Morning America! the other day, talking about how this is his first published book in umpteen years, his fifth novel and nineth book. I can't imagine many people in this land of ours who does not know who Pat Conroy is, but I suppose there are some out there.
Just looking over his list of writing achievements is quite
His first book, "The Boo," written way back when, was a tribute to a beloved teacher.
The second, "The Water Is Wide," written in 1972, is actually my favorite. It's about when Conroy was a teacher, and the book won a humanitarian award from the National Education Association. Then the book was made into a movie titled "Conrack" with Jon Voight playing Conroy.
Even the third book, "The Great Santini," written in 1976, was turned into a movie with Robert Duvall.
And the fourth book, "The Lord of Discipline," written in 1980, became a film.
But the biggest and best book, "The Prince of Tides," written in 1986, has been called his crowning achievement. Most everyone has seen the movie starring Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte.
Then came "Beach Music" and "My Losing Season."
He even wrote a cookbook..."Recipes From My Life." There is just no end to this man's writing!
And now the book everyone has been waiting so patiently for..."South of Broad."
When you read this book, you're going to find it totally different. It's a book with a loveable father!
But really, it has been called a "love letter to the city of Charleston" from Pat Conroy, and many say "it's the celebration of a lifelong friendship."
We've got Conroy's new book. But, believe me, you're going to have to line up to read it.
In the meantime, don't forget all those other great books Conroy wrote. We have those, too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Read Anything Good Lately?

Today while I was pulling books for September displays, I ran across the cutest children's book called "Read Anything Good Lately?"
That sounded like a great title for a, here it is.
The book is written by Susan Allen and Jane Lindaman, and illustrated by Vicky Enright. It was published in 2003 by The Millbrook Press, Inc. out of Connecticut.
The book takes an alphabetical look at some different places and things to read. And of course, as I read through it, I thought about whether I'd read anything good lately.
Here are some of the things mentioned in the book any of us can read: an atlas, a biography, comic books, the dictionary, an encyclopedia, fairy tales, gossip magazines, history, information on the Internet, joke books, the back of the Kellogg's (tm) cereal box, literature...well, you get the idea.
The pictures in the book are colorful, funny, and very detailed.
My friend Dorothy would like the one that says "Recipes in my rocking chair."
I would like the one that says "A vacation guide in the van."
And of course, we could all read "Whatever in the waiting room."
It's a perfectly delightful book for you to read to your youngster or just read all by yourself. Because the last page says "And what have you read lately?"
Good question, huh?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's Like A New Year

Coming to work this morning was spooky!
As I left home at 8:45, the street I took to work was cars, no one walking along the side of the street, no one coming and
When I turned the corner and headed toward the library, I saw only two cars in the parking lot. And there were only two cars and a bicycle parked in front of the library.
Even inside the library was extremely quiet. Spooky!
When I complained about not seeing anyone, a coworker laughed and said, "You must have thought the Rapture came and you were left behind." We both laughed about that.
As I headed for my office, I saw only three people in the computer center.
I dumped my stuff in the office and headed back out the door, wondering "Where is everyone?"
In the reference area a man hunched over to read a newspaper.
In the reading area, a man was reading also, but no people were sitting at the tables, heads bent, intently writing on school work or whatever.
The children's library had only one person; Keva, who was shelving books.
So, I stuck my head in Norma's office door. She's the children's librarian and she was busy working away at her computer.
"Have you noticed how quiet it is around here?" I asked. I told her about my trip to work and the other areas of the library.
She got a big grin on her face, and then I knew!
All the kids are back to school!
We know, however, that after school lets out for the day, the computer area will be tightly packed again. The reference area will have students seeking answers to homework given right off the bat, and the children's library will hold a bunch of little ones looking for library books they can take home to practice reading.
Life in the library doesn't sit still when the kids are back in school. It may be quiet for a while, but it always gets busy after a quick breather.
Norma said she's working hard on her new calendar for storytime. She's waiting for teachers to call back and verify the times their children will come for the stories. She said she always feels like it's a new year when inventory is finished and the new school year begins. And that's true.
It may be quiet now, but I can guarantee you it's going to get busy very fast. We don't have much quiet time in the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. Even the Doerun Municipal Library will have its doors swinging off the hinges in a matter of hours.
So, although it's quiet and spooky right now, we want to welcome you to our new year, where things are bright and shiny and clean. We're ready for even the busy times.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Will Anybody Notice?

During the closing of our library for inventory, lots of things have happened.

When we reopen on Saturday, August 15th, at 8:30 a.m., will anybody notice our deep cleaning and extra hard work, such as

  • the grass was mowed and trimmed away from the sidewalks, and the trees trimmed,
  • the sidewalks and entrances to the building were pressure-washed, as well as certain areas of the building itself,
  • the weeds were sprayed around the building and parking lots, and pulled from the flowerbeds,
  • straw was spread around the plants, and
  • the park was cleaned?

Will anyone notice when they come inside the library that

  • the carpet was cleaned,
  • the hard floors were mopped and buffed to a high shine,
  • the computer screens and glass display cases were cleaned,
  • the reading area furniture was cleaned and rearranged,
  • the ceiling fans were cleaned, and
  • everything everywhere was dusted?

No one will really know that the Bookmobile people were getting ready to go out again on August 31st by

  • working on their schedule for the upcoming school year,
  • transferring routes,
  • repairing books,
  • working on teachers' cards, and
  • cleaning the inside of the Bookmobile.

No one will really know that staff members in the library

  • cleaned their work areas by straightening, dusting, discarding junk, sorting, reorganizing, deleting and rearranging,
  • repaired books,
  • weeded books,
  • straightened and cleaned books, audio books, DVDs and VHSs,
  • discarded unused books, and
  • prepared the sale books.

In the midst of all this activity, the everyday jobs had to go paying bills, answering emails, cataloging books, etc., etc., etc. And writing this blog.

When we open the doors again on Saturday, August 15th, at 8:30 a.m., will anybody notice?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Inner Critic Is Working On Me

Everyone has one. An inner critic. And mine's a negative one, not a constructive one! At least, most of the time it's not constructive.
Mine is working on me today.
Heeyyyy, now that the library is closed for a week, you should be able to write about anything you want to...not all that library stuff.
Sounds lovely. Like what?
Why don't you write about that movie you saw last Saturday?
Yeah, that's a good idea.
I went to see "Julie & Julia," the movie about Julia Child. It was hilarious, but it didn't make me want to cook French food from the Julia Child cookbook. Nevertheless, it did appeal to me, because of the young gal writing a blog about her cooking Julia Child's recipes, and the old gal (sorry, Julia) going through all the pains of trying to get her cookbook published in the USA. And it did send me to our stack of cookbooks to see how many Julia Child cookbooks we have here at the library.
Stop that now! You're not supposed to write about library stuff!
Okay. Let's see. Well, my coworker is on vacation in the state of Washington where she's visiting her daughter. When I go on vacation, I want to go to the beach. But the closest I've been able to get is to read Dorothea Benton Frank's books: Sullivans Island, Pawley's Island, The Isle of Palms, books like that. Our library has lots of beach reads.
There you go again...talking about books! And the library! Don't you have anything else going on in your life?
I did go to Thomasville the other day for a little shopping. Managed to find some fall leaves for an October display. Oh, and I got a lime green, fringed throw for the dragon display that I'm going to put up the first of September. And I found a dark green tablecloth for our hiking display...
Stop! Stop! Stop! Girl, I don't know what I'm going to do with you! You've got no life! All you think about is what you have going on here at this library.
No I don't! I DO have a life! I have friends and my cats and my books and my writing. I go places and do things that I like to do. But there are some things I DON'T want in my life.
And what's that?
YOU! I don't need an inner critic fussing at me about my library and my job! I like things just like they are! So, there! Stuff youself back in that bottle you blew out of and leave me alone! Tomorrow's another day. Just wait to see what I write about then!
Bet it'll be about this library! Girl, what am I going to do with you!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Taking Stock

Those are funny words - taking stock. Sounds like something to do with soup, but I know it has to do with inventory time here at our library.
The library is closed to the public for five days this week, and it's much quieter today than it normally is. It's a good time to take stock.
That led me to sit in the quiet of this office and think about what the libary means to me. So, in a small way, I'm taking stock of my thoughts.
It didn't matter what town I moved to all my life as long as it had a library. And I've lived in a lot of towns. Most of them had a library.
One little town in Illinois had a Carnegie library, round dome and all. It was a small library, but I managed to find a way to get a job there. I dusted a lot of shelves and straightened a lot of books. And one time, when the cleaning lady was sick, I even cleaned the entire library, both floors full of stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed doing whatever I was given to do.
So, when I moved here, I looked for a job at this library.
I also made sure that no matter what town I moved to, my children knew that the best place in town was the library. And it's the same here. When they first came to see me, I took them to the library so they could see where I work and what a great place we have.
We have a fantastic children's library. It's a magical place that makes me want to be a kid again. The reading garden and the bright primary colors make kids feel right at home. And when the special programs are held, you can hear their laughter ripple down the
Today I took the opportunity to sit on the cushy sofa in the reading area and look around. I feel proud we have such a comfortable and pleasant place for our patrons to enjoy, where they can read the daily newspapers and up-to-date magazines, look over a book before they check it out, or study at one of the tables. And I have to admit, once in a while, on a day off, I do just that.
I feel proud that we have twenty Dell computers where our patrons can search for a job, study for a test, research a specific topic or answer email, and where out-of-towners can bring their laptops and catch up on their lives while away from home or work.
I feel proud that we have one of the most highly regarded genealogical libraries in the United States, maybe even the whole wide world. That it's a place where people from all over the world visit to research their family trees and clan histories, where they can sit together as friends and family and learn more about Grandma Clara or Uncle Wilbur, where they can use the computers to pull up genealogical databases, and know that they are sitting in a "gem" of a library.
There's lots to be thankful for on this day of taking stock. To me, this is the best place in Moultrie to have a job. Not many people can say they get paid to do what they enjoy, but I can. And I have to admit, my coworkers are a swell bunch of people.
I'm sure there's lots more I could have covered, but there's only so much time and space. And our inventory time lasts only five days. But this was a start.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Here We Go Again! Inventory Time!

Yep! It's inventory time again!
We've had our signs posted all around the library for the past couple of weeks about being closed next week. This happens every year at the same time.
So, don't look for our doors to be open Monday, August 10th, through Friday, August 14th, because we'll be in the process of waxing floors, cleaning shelves and ceiling fans, straightening books, and dusting all over the place, as well as the many other inventory processes that will be going on. This gives us time to look into every nook and cranny to find that lost book or misplaced file.
It also gives us time to be together as a library family.
In fact, the first morning of inventory always brings the staff together early (and I mean early for some of us) to share breakfast. In the past, we've met at various restaurants, but this year we're breakfasting here at the library.
Our director plans to serve breakfast casseroles, someone will bring fruit, someone will prepare the coffee, another will fix toast, and another will bring the jams and jellies. We'll all thank the Lord for our jobs and friendships and food, and then we'll sit down together to a feast.
After that, the serious business of inventory will begin and last for a whole five days.
By the time our doors open again on Saturday, August 15th, at 8:30 a.m., the place will be spick and span, clean from top to bottom, and ready for you to join us.
Thanks for your patience and understanding. See you on the 15th.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What Are WE Reading, You Ask

Good question!
Today I decided to take a little tour around the library and see what other staff members are reading. There were a couple, of course, who are not reading at this time. One was busy doing other things and the other is in between books.
But here's what I found out...
Norma is reading a Fannie Flagg book, Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! Most everyone knows who Fannie Flagg is. If I said Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, you'd know who I mean. Yep, she wrote that book also and they made it into a movie in 1991. If you haven't watched the movie or read the book, you should. The story is a little mystery. But seriously, anything Fannie Flagg writes is funny, funny, funny. Always a good read.
Ann is reading a funny book also. She's reading Augusta Trobaugh's The Tea Olive Bird-watching Society. Trobaugh is famous for her book Sophie and the Rising Sun, but she's more famous to us here in Georgia because she lives in Athens, Georgia. Another book she wrote (which some people speculated was similar to Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees) is Swan Place, about a little girl named Dove. Trobaugh didn't write many books, but they are all good
Now, Cray is reading a book by a mastermind author, Danielle Steel, titled Matters of the Heart. Did you know that by the time 2010 gets here, Steel will have written 81 fictions (beginning in 1973), three nonfictions, one picture book, and 14 children's books? By the way, we have some of Steel's books on our sale book shelves for only $1.00. Your choice and several to choose from.
Jinx is reading another Dorothea Benton Frank book, Full of Grace. She said she's working her way through all of Frank's books (10 or 12 at the present time) and has recently read Shem Creek, Isle of Palms, and Pawley's Island. Frank was born and raised on Sullivan's Island (the name of another one of her books), South Carolina, so she should certainly know all about that area.
Melody is not only reading, but listening to an audio book by J. A. Jance. The book she's reading is an old book originally published in 1940. Try Giving Yourself Away by David Dunn is an inspiration to read. Dunn was a businessman, who decided to take up the "hobby" of helping others and wrote this classic book of servce, attention and the joy of giving yourself away.
When I talked to Irene, she had her book open on her desk. She said most of her reading is work-related. Right now she's reading Marriage and Death Notices from the Southern Presbyterian, Vol. 1. That's definitely work-related, since she works in Genealogy.
So, you can see, even though we work around books all day long, we don't leave them at work. We check them out and take them home and read, read, read. It's one of the best hobbies I can think of having.
How about you? What are you reading now?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Georgia Is Loaded With Authors!

I am just amazed, astounded, at how many authors Georgia
We put up a little display called "Read Georgia Authors." While I was researching this project, I could not believe how many authors we have. I used several resources: the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, Georgia Center for the Book, Southern Literary Review, and a few others. No matter how many lists I looked at, they were never all the same, of course, But, boy! Did I find a bunch of Georgia authors, living and otherwise.
You've probably heard of these: Julian Bond, Erskine Caldwell, Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn, Pearl Cleage, Max Cleland, Pat Conroy, James Dickey, Lewis Grizzard, Terry Kay, Martin Luther King, Carson McCullers, Zell Miller, Margaret Mitchell, Flannery O'Connor, Eugenia Price, Janisse Ray, Ann Rivers Siddons, Alice Walker, Bailey White, Frank Yerby, and Andrew Jackson Young. And there are many more I didn't name.
But then I found some I didn't know. Do you? Bill Arp, Turner Cassity, Rosemary Daniell, Francis Fontaine, Mary Hood, Grace Lumpkin, Byron Herbert Reece, Bettie Sellers, Francis Orray Ticknor, and Don West. And many more.
If you go to the Georgia Center for the Book website, you can see a list of Georgia authors sorted by last name. And you can also locate them on a map of Georgia by county!
I also found the 2008 list of Georgia Top 25 Books by Living Georgia Writers that all Georgians should read. This list is made up of books set in Georgia or written by a resident or former resident of the state. The list, aimed at enhancing public appreciation of Georgia's rich literary tradition, was chosen by the public and members of the Center's advisory council. The purpose of the Top 25 is to promote reading and discussion and to enhance appreciation of Georgia's rich literary traditions.
We really don't have an excuse for not reading Georgia authors. There are so many of them and so many books they've written that it would take us a lifetime to read them all.
Why not start today and check out a Georgia author's book. It's wonderful stuff to read!
(Source: Georgia Center for the Book,

Monday, August 3, 2009

GALILEO - Our Buzz Word

That's right! GALILEO. That's our buzz word.
GALILEO stands for GeorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online. It's an initiative of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
It's a World Wide Web-based virtual library, which provides access to multiple information resources, including secured access to licensed products.
Participating institutions (that's us) may access over 100 databases indexing thousands of periodicals and scholarly journals. Over 2,000 journal titles are provided in full-text.
Other resources include encyclopedias, business directories, and government publications.
To use GALILEO, all you have to do is go to the website and look at all the information at your fingertips.
Library card holders may get a password from their local library. It changes quarterly. But a password is not required if you use GALILEO in the library.
There are even databases for job seekers. For instance, there's the Georgia Career Information System. It provides current and accurate occupational and education information to schools and agencies throughout Georgia in order to help young people and adults make informed career choices. (This site requires a password which is found by clicking a link under the database title.)
And there's GAcollege411. Both recent college graduates and returning adult learners will find the website useful. The site provides all of the necessary information to apply properly for admission at any of the State's 35 public colleges and universities.
There's also the Career Resources Education Network (The Fun Works). This website is about careers. Not just the interesting ones other people have, but the ones you can have. You may not exactly know what you want to do, but this site will help you discover who you are, what you like to do, and what you do the best.
And there's a GALILEO for kids, too. is a kid-friendly interface that includes not only a few selected subscription databases, but also Internet resources appropriate for elementary and middle school-aged children. It is available from home. Passwords are available from public schools and Georgia's public libraries.
So, now it's time for you to check out GALILEO. I bet it'll become your buzz word, too.