Thursday, January 28, 2010

Whatever Happened To Just Plain Old Reading?

Do I talk too much about books?
I mean, after all, we are a library full of those bound pieces of paper. And we do have stacks and stacks of them all over this building.
Last night while listening to TV, I read a short piece in an old magazine I'd kept for two years about electronic readers.
An electronic reader is supposed to do for books what the iPod did for music. (Yes? And that was?) You can purchase downloadable books for an average of $10. Now, that doesn't sound too bad.
With the Amazon Kindle, material is transmitted wirelessly in just a few seconds. You can access about 300,000 titles of not only books, but magazines, newspapers, and blogs. And the Kindle 2 only costs you $300. Now, that sounds
A Sony Reader requires a computer with a USB cable to download books from the Sony eBook Store. The Pocket costs only $200 and the Touch is $300. Wow! For me, that's not good either.
Even Barnes and Noble has an e-reader available for your iPhone, Blackberry, PC, or Mac. Their titles cost as little as 99 cents. However, if you're using these little devices, you need to be wary of sites where you can obtain books for free, because there could be copyright issues.
And we have the iPad. Just came out.
Whatever happened to just plain old reading? That means picking up a bound stack of paper, still called a book, a plain old book, and reading it?
Someday we're going to miss sitting someplace, like the coffeehouse or park or in the sunshine on our front porch, and holding a great book, feeling the weight of its bound solidness, touching the smoothness of each page, and smelling that undeniable smell of a good paper
It just doesn't feel the same when we hug an iPhone or iPad. There's something special about hugging a book and enjoying just plain old reading.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Janisse Ray Filled The Room!!!

I dreamed of Janisse Ray last night. No matter which way I turned in bed, I dreamed of her all night and the fantastic event we had right here in the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. If you weren't able to attend, you missed a great evening with a highly popular Georgia writer.
In fact, if you weren't able to attend, you didn't see that Janisse Ray filled the room. We had people wall to wall and standing in the hallway, crowded up close to the double doors leading to the auditorium, straining their ears to not miss a single word she said.
And she said lots of words...
She quoted from her books Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and Wildcard Quilt. She talked about growing up in a junkyard, finding old lipsticks in junked cars to try on with her sister, and learning about trees and flowers from her favorite school teacher.
Of course, with her husband, Raven, close by, she admitted that he gave her permission to read about the 'gator guys she knew when she was still single. And we all laughed at her description of the guys. We even felt the fear she had felt as they roped a 'gater late one night, while she sat in the middle of the aluminum boat and saw the water splash high from the thrashing 'gater.
Oh, she knows how to tell a story!
Janisse Ray has won a Southeastern Booksellers Award in 1999, an American Book Award in 2000, the Southern Environmental Law Center 2000 Award for Outstanding Writing, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award in 2000. Ecology of a Cracker Childhood was a New York Times Notable Book and was chosen as the Book All Georgians Should Read. Anne Raver of The New York Times said of Janisse Ray, "The forests of the South find their Rachel Carson."
Her essays have appeared in dozens of anthologies. She's been a radio commentator for Vermont and Georgia public radio. She's been a visiting professor at Coastal Carolina University, scholar-in-residence at Florida Gulf Coast University, and writer-in-residence at Keene State College and Green Mountain College. She was the John and Renee Grisham writer-in-residence for 2003-04 at the University of Mississippi.
I listened with the over 125 attendees last night to a tall, slender, dark-haired, dark-eyed young woman as she passionately talked about the longleaf pines, the rivers and mountains of Georgia, and how we as individuals should be working to save our world.
Now you know why I dreamed about Janisse Ray last night.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tax Forms Are Here!

Finally! The new tax forms are here!
You have no idea how we've been waiting for them to arrive. Well...I guess some of you have been waiting just as much as we have. This is undoubtedly the busiest place in town for the public to pick up their much-needed tax forms every year.
In fact, this morning at 9:30 we had a gentleman come in and ask where the AARP Tax Aide volunteers are. He was ready to have his taxes done! And it's not even time for the volunteers to be here.
Made me wonder how many other people out there already have their paperwork all together to have their taxes done. I'm almost there, but not quite.
Anyhow, we now have reproducible copies of Federal Tax Forms and Instructions.
We have the 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and Tax Instruction booklets, as well as most other forms, including the Georgia forms.
You have to remember now, these forms are for the public only. People who prepare taxes for others must obtain their own forms, but not through the library.
If you have any questions, you can call the library at 229-985-6540. Other forms needed can be pulled up on the magical Web. We'll be glad to help you in any way we can.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Here's Some Other Dates For Your Calendar

We sat around here the other day with the Director and planned our calendar for the year. If we don't do that, we can be "dead-in-the-water" at some of the most important times. (Sailboat owners know about being "dead-in-the-water"; of course, some other people may have a different explanation for the saying.)
Our calendars that are provided for us have all the national holidays included. They're the kind of calendars given out by banks, funeral homes, and realtors. The nice thing about them is the huge square for each day, big enough for us to write all our daily events.
Even though most of the things we write on our calendars are what we need to do at the library at a certain time, there are a few times when we post fliers to let you know the dates our doors will be closed.
It's those dates you need to add to your calendar. So, here they are:
January - Of course, that's gone, but we did reopen after the holidays on January 4th. And we were closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the 18th.
February - Mark Monday, February 15th, down as Presidents' Day when we're closed.
May - We're closed on Monday, May 31st, for the observance of Memorial Day.
July - Another Monday we're closed...July 5th to observe Independence Day.
August - Every year we close for Inventory Week. This year it will be Monday the 2nd through Friday the 6th. We'll reopen on Saturday the 7th.
September - Monday the 6th, we're closed for observance of Labor Day.
November - Thanksgiving holidays when we're closed will be Wednesday the 24th through the 27th. We'll reopen on Monday the 29th. (Of course, we're closed on the 28th, because we're always closed on Sundays.)
December - January - For the Christmas holidays, we'll be closed Monday, December 20th, through January 2, 2011. We'll reopen on Monday the 3rd.
Also, if you're interested, we have a few more very important dates you can add to your calendar.
Our Friends of the Library meet the last Monday of every month, except when we're closed for holidays.
Beginning Tuesday, February 2nd, through Tuesday, April 13th, the AARP Tax Aide Volunteers will be in the auditorium to help taxpayers file their taxes. Also on the Tuesdays of February 9th and 23rd, the CRMC Corporate Health Nurses will be here to do blood pressure checks. That's a great thing to have done before or after you file your taxes!
On May 22nd, the library and the R. J. Taylor Foundation will sponsor a "Genealogy Writing and Publishing Workshop." On the 27th, the library's third annual "Books & Bites" authors' event will take place.
And on Friday, November 12th, the annual Veterans' Coffee will be held in the auditorium.
We hope this list will help you know when the library is closed, and also help you mark those important events you'll want to be part of. It's great fun planning for our patrons. We try to make your library-life an interesting one.
Let us know if there are other dates you think we should include on the library calendar.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mark January 26th On Your Calendar

There was a nice write-up in The Moultrie Observer today about Janisse Ray. It was on the front page, "Nature friend, author plans Moultrie lecture." And the Albany Herald contacted our webmaster for more information about the event.
So, we're getting excited about Ms. Ray being in Moultrie on Tuesday, January 26th.
The Georgia Center for the Book, with the support of the Georgia Humanities Council, the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System, and the Moultrie Chapter of the Georgia Conservancy, is providing for Janisse Ray to present a free public lecture and book-signing on the 26th at 7 p.m. in the library auditorium. The address is 204 5th Street, S.E., in Moultrie. The phone number, in the event you need more information, is 229-985-6540.
If you've never read one of Ms. Ray's books, then you've missed a real treat about the State of Georgia. She's a woman who writes about family ties, mental illness, poverty, fundamentalist religion, and preserving the ecosystems of the Southeast.
Ms. Ray was born in Baxley, GA, and is an environmentalist activist, poet, memorist, and the award-winning author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood. The memoir is about her life as she grew up in a junkyard, as well as the longleaf pine ecosystem, the Gopher Tortoise, and the streams and rivers near the Georgia
She's also written Wildcard Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home and Pinhook: Finding a Wholeness in a Fragmented Land. She co-edited Between Two Rivers: Stories from the Red Hills to the
As an organizer and activist, she works to create sustainable communities, local food systems, a stable global climate, intact ecosystems,clean rivers, life-enhancing economies, and participatory democracy. She's definitely a leader in her chosen field of writing and the environment.
There are way too many awards to tell you about here and way too many places to list where she's taught as a writer. It's easier to tell you that Ms. Ray tries her best to live a simple, sustainable life on a family farm in southern Georgia with her husband, Raven Waters. She's an organic gardner, tender of farm animals, slow-food cook, and seed-saver. She's a lecturer on topics that appeal to everyone, but especially on saving our world.
Plan now to attend this enlightening lecture by one of Georgia's most popular authors, one whose name is on the list of 25 Georgia authors you should be reading.
Mark your calendar now for Tuesday, January 26th, at 7 p.m. at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library auditorium.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Six Days And Counting Down...

That's right! We are counting down until our visit from Janisse Ray, popular Georgia author and one of the 25 Georgia authors you should read as recommended by The Georgia Center for the
Since I had a virus eat my computer today and time is now short, I'll tell you more about her tomorrow. Bummer, huh?
Stay tuned right here. Tomorrow you'll find out all about Janisse Ray and the opportunity you'll have to see her at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Poor With Money, Rich With Books

Are you like me at this time of the year...trying to keep a tight hand on spending? There are no pennies for that yummy flavored coffee from the fast food place. Or for the latest magazine I love from the supermarket!
But there's one thing I will spend my pennies on. That's why I want to tell you about the elephants I bought for a dollar.
I'm a passionate reader and although I may be poor with money, I'm rich with books. Occasionally I'll spend a few pennies to buy a book I've been wanting to read, especially if I see it on a sale shelf and want it in my home bookcase. And that's what I did this morning.
The book I purchased for $1.00 this morning is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. (See, I told you I'd bought elephants!) I'd heard about it for so long, and so many of our book club members had read it, that when I found it, I knew I had to have it.
Where did I get this book for only $1.00? At a place where books are cheaper than they are at Goodwill! Our public library!
Look at these great books on our sale racks:
*Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
*Virgin and Martyr, Angels of September, both by Andrew M. Greeley
*Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson
*Nighttime Is My Time, Kitchen Privileges, both by Mary Higgins Clark
*The Villa, Three Fates, both by Nora Roberts
*L. A. Dead by Stuart Woods
*Blessings by Anna Quindlen
*A Bend in the Road, Message in a Bottle, both by Nicholas Sparks
*The Woods by Harlen Coben
*Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend by Robert James Waller
*Kill Two Birds and Get Stoned by Kinky Friedman, and
*The Bluebird and the Sparrow by Janette Oke.
There are also books by Anne Perry, Tony Hillerman, Jude Deveraux, Jan Karon, Judith Frantz, and Maeve Binchy.
No book is over $1.00. Some hardbacks are for only 25 cents, with paperbacks for only 10 cents.
So, if you're poor with money, but still want to read great books and keep them for your bookcase at home, the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library is the place to shop.
It's where you'll be able to spend those pennies wisely and be rich with books.
(Now don't can still use your library card for an even greater selection of favorites and new titles to read, plus check out books on CD and large print books.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We're Making This The Year Of Kindness

Last year several of us did a Secret Pal thing here at work. When I asked Johnnie what she thought we could do for this year, she said, "Why not do 'Random Acts of Kindness'?" I thought that sounded like a really good thing.
Do you know there is The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and there is a Kindness Movement? They give a wealth of ideas to help encourage and promote Random Acts of Kindness (RAK), not only in your workplace, but in your entire life!
In an earlier blog, I told you about asking our staff members what New Year's Resolutions they had. The one thing that stood out about their answers was that so many of them said "to be a better me." So, what way "to be a better me" than to do Random Acts of Kindness throughout the year?
After running the kindness idea past our director, who thought it was a good idea, I gave each staff member a letter explaining how we could do a RAK program.
There would be a calendar suggesting Random Acts of Kindness posted each month on the break-room bulletin board. They could pick one of the suggestions on the calendar or come up with an idea of their own. They could do a Random Act of Kindess every day or once a week or once a month.
They would also find on the breakroom table a "Kindness Box." When they did an act of kindness, they were encouraged to write on a piece of paper what they did and place the paper in the Kindness Box. They were also encouraged not to sign the paper and remain anonymous. But if they wanted to be known...well, that was up to them.
At the end of the month, the box would be emptied and all the acts of kindness would be listed on a Random Acts of Kindness Report that would be posted on the bulletin board. That way we could watch the list grow throughout the year.
They were also encouraged, if they were the recipient of an act of kindness, to write that on a slip of paper and put it in the Kindness Box. Those kindnesses would be put on the report also.
Each staff member was given a bookmark with 10 ideas of kindness listed to help "kick-start" their acts. These are easy things to do that would be meaningful to their friends and coworkers.
So, here are about twenty people at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library in Moultrie, Georgia, who will be trying to make a difference in the world by doing Random Acts of Kindness. We hope it will spread from coworker to coworker, then to family and friends, and then into our community.
Maybe you'll see someone drive up at an intersection, who arrived at the same time you did, but with a friendly wave indicates you can go first. Maybe you'll see a mother carrying one child and pulling two along behind her, who just needs a kindly hand to open a door or two for her. Or maybe there will be that friend who needs a big hug to make their day better.
You'll find your Random Acts of Kindness, just like we will. Why not make a note in a journal of your kindly acts? Why not join us and make this The Year of Kindness?
Check out and keep us posted on how your year is going.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Daily Survival Kit

There's another little book club here in Moultrie. Meetings are held at 10 a.m. the first Monday of each month so that the members won't have to travel at night. You see, they're all "women of a certain age," as author Joan Medlicott says. Her "mature woman's genre" has hit a lovely chord with many women of a certain age.
I met with the book club the other day and enjoyed their discussions about the books they were reading. All six ladies were reading different books, which made listening to them enjoyable. They also helped add to my list of books I want to read. And I was able to encourage them to visit the library and select books from our large selection. Some were even happy to find that the library has a large-print collection, which will make reading much easier for some of them.
Toward the end of the meeting, one little lady said she had a surprise for everyone. She handed out a paper showing pictures of a toothpick, rubber band, Band-Aid, candy kiss, etc. Then she handed out a cute little Christmas bag filled with all the items we were to place on that paper. Next she handed out a paper titled "Daily Survival Kit" and here's what it said.
* remind you to pick the good qualities in everyone, including yourself.
*Rubber remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it can be worked out.
* remind you to heal hurt feelings, either your own or someone else's.
*Eraser...(it was a big Pink Pearl eraser) to remind you everyone makes mistakes. That's okay; we learn by our errors.
*Candy remind you everyone needs a hug or a compliment every day.
*Mint (this one was a peppermint candy) remind you that you are worth a mint to your family and me.
*Bubble remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything.
* remind you to list your blessings every day.
*Tea remind you to take time to relax daily and go over that list of God's blessings.
At the end of the page, the little lady wished us love, gratitude, friends to cherish, caring, sharing, laughter, music, and warm feelings in our hearts.
Well, I'll tell you, I'd never been to a book club meeting like that one. I could see how the women all got along with each other. They respected what each one read and treated their time together not only as a way learn something new, but learn more about each other. They were not only readers, but a support group for each other. And they were all ages and all colors and all shapes and sizes. They were all "women of a certain age" with the youngest about 65 and the oldest 92.
Oh, I forgot to tell you their name. It was taken from the title of a book found in the library. They're called "The Happy Bookers." Way to go, girls!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yep, It's A New Beginning...

...and I said I wasn't going to do the New Year's resolution thing this year, but here I am considering what I should make as one big goal for 2010.
In order to build up my confidence, I decided to check with the rest of the library staff to see if they each had one goal this year. Here's what I found. They want to...
* Quit smoking
* Take care of "me"
* Finish college
* Help others more
* Get organized (two said this)
* Travel more
* Get out more (which is different than traveling)
* Not sweat the small stuff and stress out
* Get to work on time, and
* Be a better "me" (two said this one also).
During my vacation at Christmas time, I found a survey that gave the "top 10 New Year's resolutions" across the United States. They are to...
1. Spend more time with family and friends
2. Fit in fitness
3. Tame the bulge
4. Quit smoking
5. Enjoy life more
6. Quit drinking
7. Get out of debt
8. Learn something new
9. Help others, and
10. Get organized.
It seems most of us have the same intentions. We're thinking of ways to improve ourselves, and we're looking for ways to help
Well, that brought the whole subject right back to me. Am I going to do a major resolution for 2010, or just forget it all? With so many friends having at least one resolution, I knew I'd feel guilty if I didn't have just one.
Since I'm always fighting the weight thing and it's always on my list of "to-do's" no matter what, I am going to join those friends who will work "to be a better me." That includes not only my weight, but my attempts to help others more. As one staff member said, "I want to be more compassionate and kind to others, I want to listen more instead of talk, and I want to be a better me." Can't beat that, can you?
So, it's definitely a new beginning. I hope you've decided upon one new year's resolution for 2010. It shouldn't be too hard to make just one work. Not if you put your all your energy into it. After all, one has to be much easier than ten.
Good luck!