Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We're Closing For The Holidays

Yes, that's right. We're closing for the holidays.
We'll close at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 19th, and reopen on January 4, 2010.
And as much as we love our jobs, we will enjoy being home with friends and family for the Christmas and New Year
I suppose people are already loading up on the books they want to read over the holidays. I came in this morning to find the table we keep filled with children's Christmas books nearly empty. And the "cold" mysteries are disappearing fast, also. In fact, the foyer table filled with Christmas-themed books are being constantly replaced as fast as the others are checked out.
This is a great time of the year to watch Christmas movies. On TV the other night, I watched "The Polar Express." Then last night we had a Christmas party where I live, and we watched "the Express" again on a big screen with the roaring of the train filling our ears. Somewhere along the way, I know I'll be able to watch the Muppets and all kinds of great movies about Christmas.
Of course, we have decorations up all over the library. But if you get a chance, you should take a drive around town and see the Christmas lights people have put in their yards and on their homes. There's a listing of a few of those homes in the newspaper, which makes finding them a lot easier.
We've had our cookie swap and this coming Monday the staff will have its Christmas party. It's also the last time we'll all see each other this year. Just imagine, after this coming Saturday the next time we'll see you will be in a brand new year.
We didn't quite hit the bottom in 2009, but we came close. So, maybe the only way to go in 2010 is UP! As my husband used to say, "Lord willing and if the creek don't rise."
See you next year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Occasionally We Do Something That's Just Plain Fun

About a month ago, several of us decided to have a cookie swap here at the library.
Usually, we're all busy doing things for our patrons, but we decided that December would be a good time for an old-fashioned cookie swap among our employees.
We also decided it would be a good time to reveal our "Secret Pals"...those wonderful people who gave us gifts all year
Well, today was the day! We came loaded with our special cookies and our last Secret Pal gifts. We set up a big table in the auditorium and placed our cookies on a lime-green Christmas tablecloth with a decoration in the center.
I suppose the best part was finding out who the Secret Pals were. Last January when we decided to have Secret Pals, we drew names out of a little basket. All year we've been giving small presents to each other. And today we revealed ourselves to our Secret Pals.
Aileen gave Norma her last gift...a tote bag made by her daughter that said "What's told in the library, stays in the library." Norma is our Children's Librarian and she gives a good many storytimes for the kids.
When Johnnie gave Irene her Secret Pal gift, Irene gave Johnnie hers! We all had a laugh about that. Who would have ever guessed they would have drawn each other's names?
For years and years Norma and Melody have been best friends. Lo and behold, Norma drew Melody's name back in January. Of course, since Melody is a frog-collector, that was one thing Norma gave her today...a big fat ceramic frog to go in her humungous
I know I said the best part were the Secret Pals, but I was wrong. The best part was sharing and sampling the cookies. And we had some really good ones...Choco-Hazelnut Latte Cookies, Gelatin Spritz Surprise, and Raspberry Jam Kolache were among the goodies. We divided them up into baggies for each of us and ate the remainder before we left.
OK. I've changed my mind again. I know I said the best part were the cookies, but it wasn't. The best part was sitting together and talking while we ate the cookies. The best part was sharing with each other. The best part was taking the time out of our busy day and being together.
It's another part of our Christmas Spirit. What do you want to bet we have another cookie swap next year?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Come Learn About Picasa For Your Genealogy Photos

We have a free genealogy study group here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.
Next Tuesday, December 15th, they will meet for the last time this year, and it promises to be a very informational session.
The program will be "Old Photos - Scanning and Restoring with Picasa, a Free App from Google." If you've got old photos you've been trying to "spruce up" for your scrapbooks and genealogy records, now is the time to learn how to restore them. Aileen McNair will lead the group through the necessary steps of learning about
The meeting begins at 6:15 p.m. and will be in the Willcoxon Auditorium, right here in the library at 204 5th Street, S.E. in Moultrie.
For more information, call 985-6540 and ask for Aileen.

Christmas Traditions...Some Stay, Some Go

Today I was curious about the Christmas traditions our staff members have. A lot of us have the same ones that involve food, kids, and gifts. But I did find a few different ones.
For Keva, it's everyone in her family meeting at her grandparents' house on Christmas Eve for snacks and visiting. Then on Christmas Day, they all go back to her grandparents' for a BIG Christmas dinner, where Keva said they feed at least thirty people!
Melody told me when her children were little they'd go to the Christmas Eve service at their church. On Christmas Day, they'd open presents before breakfast, later watch football, and then take naps. Now that the children have grown up, her traditions have changed. But who knows what new ones will come along.
Christmas Eve for Johnnie involves everyone meeting at her sister-in-law's house for finger foods and a Chinese auction. That's probably an event every family wishes they could hold.
For Carolyn, they open presents and celebrate her daughter's birthday, both on Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas Day, everyone comes to her house where they eat a BIG dinner and enjoy family time.
Monique said her family comes to grandmama's on Christmas Day to show her their presents (meaning all the kids' toys). They bring food to share and have a feast.
Now, at Norma's house, there are lots of traditions. Decorating the tree is one, of course, and putting the stuffed animals in chairs by the tree. But her favorite tradition is setting up the manger scene she got in Columbia, South America in 1973. It has a llama instead of a
Since Holly is a newlywed, she and her husband will have the joy of discovering traditions together. She said this year they will give each other their gifts early on Christmas Day morning, before taking off for meals at her folks and his. Ah, newlywed Christmases are for sharing with parents when they live close by.
Elois said they always open their presents on Christmas Day morning and then have a nice brunch.
Aileen's tradition is using the same star on the top of their Christmas tree for the past 30 years.
Jinx said when her children were little, it was a tradition to always give the pets something special to eat or play with on Christmas Day. Now that her chidren are grown, she still keeps that tradition with her two cats.
One of the most traditional, old-fashioned Christmases I found belongs to Irene. She said she has always had a real pine tree, a tradition brought forth from her father. The tree goes up on December 17th, and she puts on all the decorations handmade by her children and other family members. On Christmas Day her children and grandchildren come to her house where they open presents. Later, they go to her mother's house where they have lunch. She said they always talk about the meaning of Christmas so the young ones understand the true meaning.
Christmas makes most of us think of families, children, decorated trees, and good food. But often, time changes things. Children grow up, some family members no longer grace us with their presence, houses become apartments, lots of decorations become just a favorite few, and round bellies can no longer take all that rich
But the true meaning of Christmas never changes. This is a tradition that I'm thankful for.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What Are Your 10 Best Books of 2009?

Here I am writing about books again. We have so many things to talk about here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, but today it's books. Again!
Yesterday I read through the list put out by The New York Times of its "10 Best Books of 2009." I wasn't impressed, but maybe I'm just too selective in what I like to read.
When I looked over another list by The Times, their "100 Notable Books of 2009," I did find three I think I'm going to put on my 2010 list of "must reads." Plus another I've wanted to read for a while
"Lark and Termite" is a book I've kept my eye on for the past few months. When you have books stacked all over your house, sometimes you're hesitant to add one more to the pile. However, this little book by Jane Anne Phillips sounded intriguing. It revolves around a loyal sister and her impaired brother, who sees what others don't. "Shelter" is another book written by Phillips (1994).
"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski on my list also. I didn't read it when it was a biggie on Oprah, but I've always kept my eye on it. This is a book about a speech-disabled Wisconsin youth, who bonds with three yearling canines and struggles to prove his sinister uncle is responsible for his father's death. This book wasn't
on The Times list of "100...," but I believe it's well worth
Another Times book is "Sag Harbor" by Colson Whitehead. Maybe 2009 was the year of youngsters, because this book is about a 15-year-old black hero, who lives in a world where life doesn't assault him, but rather affords him the time to figure out who he wants to be. Whitehead has also written "The Intuitionist" (1999), "John Henry Days: a novel" (2001), and "The Colossus of New York"
As a lover of Southern writers, this book caught my eye on the "100" list. "Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor" is authored by Brad Gooch. It's a nonfiction. The Times stated Gooch strives to make O'Connor, who was witty and obsessed into a quite normal person. But if you've ever read O'Connor's works, you can tell she was not quite the normal person. Gooch has also written "City Poet: the life and times of Frank O'Hara" (1993), "Godtalk: travels in a spiritual America" (2002), and "Scary Kisses" (1988).
If I add these books to what I already plan to read during 2010, I will have found four more wonderful reads. You know, we never have enough books. Of course, we don't have to go out and buy them. If they're not right here in our library, we can certainly put a hold on them through our Interlibrary Loan system.
So...what are you adding to your stacks of books to read in the new year? They don't necessarily have to be on someone's best 10 list or even their best 100!
(Source:, Best Books of 2009)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some People Got An Early White Christmas

Have you been watching that big storm sail across the United States? It's all the buzz on television, especially the weather station. It's like the weatherman's first Christmas present!
My brother lives in the Houston, Texas area. They were all surprised to see that white stuff called "snow" covering the ground.
I was in the sixth grade the first time I saw snow in Houston. It covered the playground of our elementary school and I walked through it to go to class. But when I came out at lunch time, the boys had been busy. During recess, they had rolled all the snow up into a big ball. And there it sat! One big white ball. Talk about being disappointed! I never got to play in it.
But through the years I got my fill of snow when I moved to Nebraska. Of course, it's always lovely when it first falls. In the right kind of light, with the biggest of snowflakes, you can see how different they all are from each other. They are amazing and beautiful little globs of frozen water.
Anyway...even though we probably won't have a white Christmas here in Moultrie, it seems most everyone is getting ready for the big event.
We have decorations up at our house. There are lights and wreaths and bows and trees. There are moving, lighted deer and Santas and sleighs. And there are red or white flowers of all kinds. This evening a group of people are going to decorate a clubhouse where a Christmas dinner will be held on Saturday. And they'll share special treats and sing carols. I'll be part of that group.
We've decorated here at the library also.
Our foyer table has a little sparkly tree and lots of good reading about Christmas. "'Tis The Season" for curling up or baking or creating, and plenty of books to fit your needs.
We have winter mysteries, books about good eating stuff, and plenty of kids' books to delight even the smallest child.
I think the thing I've enjoyed the most lately is listening to the children who look in the lighted glass cases in the front lobby. As I was filling the cases with Christmas ornaments the other day, a little black-haired boy of about five kept saying, "What's that?" and "What's that?" as each ornament was placed in the case. We had quite a discussion about each ornament. And this morning, a little boy and girl, looked like they were brother and sister, stood and pointed at the different wooden ornaments and carried on an excited conversation.
We've had adults stop and look in the cases also, especially at the large ornament tree filled with the most gorgeous golden ornaments I've ever seen.
Of course, you must take a drive around town and look at the Christmas lights, too...that wonderful canopy of lights that no other town has. If that doesn't get you in the mood, I don't know what will.
Who knows. We could get a covering of snow by Christmas time. Wouldn't an early white Christmas here in Moultrie look lovely? Well...for the first few hours, anyway.
Just thinking about it makes me want to curl up with a good book.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

We Have A New Addition At Our Genealogy Library, But It's Old

Most people think of genealogy libraries as having "old" stuff, and I must admit we do have lots of "old" stuff in ours. But it's all "good" stuff.
We've added some more "old" stuff to our Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library that you might be interested in.
Our genealogist, Irene, showed me lots of containers in a flat drawer full of microfilmed newspapers from Southwest Georgia counties and some of the surrounding counties. She said these are original newspapers that have been microfilmed. However, some issues are missing.
For all of you genealogy buffs, here is an opportunity to come and look at "old" news that might possibly mention some of your relatives. Those of you who need obituary information, you'll find it here. And you'll read about interesting and outstanding events that occurred during these particular times. Community news was as big then as it is now: who visited who (or is that whom?), family picnics, births and marriages...all in the newspapers.
These are the counties and dates on the new microfilm:
Berrien County 1877 - 1931
Brooks 1866 - 1927
Calhoun 1882 - 1930 (2 different newspapers)
Clay 1897 - 1911
Cook 1900 - 1927
Dooly 1893 - 1918
Dougherty 1845 - 1880
Early 1863 - 1912
Irwin 1899 - 1920
Jefferson 1799 - 1807 (2 papers)
Miller 1907 - 1926
Mitchell 1904 - 1956
Pulaski 1867 - 1885
Randolph 1856 - 1888
Richmond 1786 - 1813
Taylor 1876 - 1913
Thomas 1860 - 1877, Jan.-Sep. 1965 (2 papers)
Tift (Omega) 1939- 1980.
So...there you are. Irene said that in 2010 (just around the corner), she'll be adding newspaper microfilm from Worth County.
Keep an eye open for more new "old" stuff in our Odom Genealogical Library. It's all here for you!