Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Just Know Spring Is Coming...

No matter what the weatherman says - it's going to be 28 degrees tonight and colder tomorrow - I just know Springtime is coming.
I saw evidence today on the way to work. There is a huge Japanese Magnolia blooming in someone's yard on Fifth Avenue. And a lovely quince bush blooming in the yard two houses from Tenth Street. Bright yellow blossoms of daffodils are popping up in the flower bed around the trees across the street from where I live. Also, the squirrels are acting like crazy! Isn't all that evidence that Springtime is coming?
That means things are going to be green. Well, here in Georgia, that means that things are going to be greener. And because of that, we are going to bring lots of green into the library.
Soon our glass cases in the foyer will be filled with green things...frogs and flowers and books and glassware and all kinds of green things. The display is going to be an interesting and fun thing to look at.
Our foyer table will be filled during March with green-cover books. Now, that to me is interesting in itself. You'd be surprised what kinds of books have green covers: David Rosenfelt's thriller Don't Tell a Soul, Eugenia Price's Lighthouse, Jacquelyn Mitchard's young adult book Now You See Her, Julia Otsuka's When the Emperor Was Divine, and the witty mystery by Ayelet Waldman Death Gets a Time-out. Of course, we can't forget the audio books like Proof Positive by Phillip Margolin and Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin...and more.
At the front desk we'll have books of Springtime stories and in the reading area books about gardening (it's time to plan!). And the table near the Children's Library will show all kinds of green books, such as Make Way for Ducklings, Seasons of a Red Fox, The Story Snail, and my favorite The Giving Tree.
I don't know about you, but I'm really ready for Spring! And lots of green!
Make your wait for Spring an enjoyable time...come to the library and see our green things! We're doing it all just for you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Igloo Is Growing

Today I took a trip to the Children's Library to see how the igloo is growing. It's about half finished, I guess.
Miss Norma, the Children's Librarian, and I took a closer look at it, because it's had a little problem with leaning inward. It's bound together by clear and white duct tape, and it's waiting for the top and entrance tunnel to be built. So, that means more milk jugs are needed. That's right...milk jugs. It's built out of milk jugs.
We sat on the bright primary-colored couch in front of the igloo and stared at it. It has a long construction sign taped across it exclaiming "Danger" and three chairs are holding the sides up. But it's coming along just fine.
When I asked Norma how she got started with such a project, she said she was researching a theme for her January story times when she came across websites of kids doing igloos in school. It took the classrooms several months of collecting the jugs, and Norma has been collecting a little over a month. The size of the igloo depends on the number of jugs needed, and our library igloo will need about 225 jugs. To date, we have about 190. So, you can see we do need a few more.
Norma said she's been lucky, however, because the local "Y" and some school classrooms have brought milk jugs to her. She also has a request on Facebook for milk jugs and has had some responses.
Norma said she equates each round of jugs to the story of a building. The first three stories of the igloo were actually made by a mother and her daughter, Lily, as they helped one afternoon with the initial construction. There are six, going on seven, stories now.
I asked her what is inside the jugs, thinking there had to be something like a small amount of sand for weight. But she said there's nothing inside. Well, just air. When you look in the igloo, it's really nice to see all the colorful lids; they're primary colors to match the couches in the Children's Library.
Norma said the kids are getting excited about it being finished. She hopes to have it completed by March 1st. That's not too far away.
What's she going to do with all the jugs when the igloo begins to disintegrate? She said she's been thinking about recycling. But she hopes before then to have wonderful discussions with the kids about such topics as construction, measurements, plastic, etc. There's just lots to do with an igloo, you know.
Come check it out the next time you're in the library. Watch our igloo grow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Talk About Being Busy!

I don't normally outright quote anyone, but today I'm going to do just that. What I learned from the Georgia Public Library Service news (that's how it's spelled...all lower case) should impress everyone.

State Librarian Dr. Lamar Veatch said, "The latest statistics are in and they are impressive to say the least. No one can say that public libraries are not being used by Georgia's residents!"

And do you know why? Just listen to this. According to the figures compiled from recently completed annual reports for the state's 61 public library systems, as reported to Georgia Public Library Service and the Institute of Museum and Library Services:

  • Library visits increased 10.47 percent from 2008 to 2009; this represents a cumulative increase of 27.9 since 2006, the last year prior to the current economic crisis.
  • Circulation of books and recordings increased by 9.5 percent last year - a 17.4 percent increase from 2006.
  • The annual number of public-access computer sessions at Georgia libraries this year topped 15 million (yes! MILLION!) for the first time. Computer use increased 6.85 percent in 2009. This was a total increase of 12.2 percent over the 2006 figure.

And according to a recent Harris Poll from Harris Interactive, more than 68 percent of Americans now have a library card, up 5 percent since 2006. This is the greatest number of Americans with library cards since the American Library Association began measuring library card usage in 1990.

Here's the quote from Dr. Veatch that I like the best: "The services provided by public libraries are in greater demand than ever. When Georgians are looking for work, they use their public library's free internet access to assist their job search. When people economize, they check out books, magazines and DVDs instead of buying them. When they wish to improve their knowledge and life skills, they use the vast resources of the library. These latest statistics are proof that Georgia's residents truly depend on and appreciate the services their libraries provide."

How could anyone think our libraries are not needed? And that in the future they are going to close up? And that we need to cut opening hours and staff and salaries? Where are people going to go if all that happens? Think about it!

(Source: Georgia Public Library Service news, A newsletter for friends and employees of Georgia's public libraries), February 2010)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Would You Consider Making A Donation?

I just hate being approached by people asking for a donation. I'm sorry; I'm going to do it anyway.
I'm talking about donating a book, but not just any book. I'm talking about that best seller you bought because you just couldn't wait to read it. It's now considered "gently used," even though it was brand new when you bought it. (Like those used cars, bought brand new and now called "pre-owned.")
When you're through with that pre-owned best seller, would you consider donating it to the library?
Our book budget, like so many libraries, has been reduced big time because of our tough economic times. That makes it difficult for us to get enough copies of much-sought-after titles like Glenn Beck's Common Sense, the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, and many of the James Patterson books.
Of course, we always welcome donations of gently used books in good condition. But you'd be surprised at what sometimes comes to the library as donations: things like dilapidated boxes full of mildewed, page-torn, dirty books, along with mouse pills and baby roaches. These books we have to throw in the dumpster.
And you need to remember, if you don't want that book on your shelf, why would someone else want it on theirs? No one wants stinky, moldy, torn, ragged books, including technological or text books that may be so out of date they can't be used.
Books that we cannot use in our collections are often placed on our "Sale Books" shelves and the money raised goes right back into purchasing new books. Books that don't sell are often donated to new libraries, charitable organizations, hospitals, etc. We make sure they are gently used and clean before we send them off.
So, we're wondering if you would consider making a donation. I've donated quite a few in my ones right from the bookseller. It's made me proud to walk the stacks and see those books, knowing that I've contributed not only to that reader who can't buy books, but to my community of readers and to my favorite library.
We'd love to have your pre-owned, one-time-owner, gently used brand new books with publishing dates of 2008 to 2010.
Would you consider making a donation?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's A Cold Time For Watching Good DVDs

It seems like all I've wanted to do lately is stay home, curl up under my snuggly blanket and watch a good movie on my own little TV, with the biggest bowl of popcorn I can have and a cup of hot cocoa.
There are some really great DVDs right here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library that you can check out with just the show of your library card. No money
Today, the bad weather made me think of DVDs we have about the weather and the world, in general, that I could watch; ones like:
* How the Earth Was Made,
*A Global Warning,
*The Whole Wide World, and
*Life After People (I saw part of that on TV; it was
But I think I've had enough weather. Maybe I need some DVDs more exciting, such as:
*Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,
*The Scarlet Letter, and
*The World's Most Famous Detectives.
Or these frivolous ones:
*Mona Lisa Smile,
*Miss Congeniality,
*Stepford Wives, and even
If I want to learn more serious things, I could watch:
*Banned from the Bible,
*Ancient Secrets of the Bible,
*Exodus Decoded,
*Scientology: An Overview,
*Left Behind, and
*Secrets of the Koran.
Of course, I can't leave out the funny ones that kids like, even me! Like:
*Popeye the Sailor Man,
*Bee Movie,
*Jungle Book,
*The Little Princess,
*Thumbelina: A Magical Story, and
*Bridge to Terabithia.
Now, I know that you think there are a lot of old DVDs I've mentioned here, but you know what? Sometimes those are the best movies of all.
Bring your library card and come see us while the weather is cold. You might as well stay inside, stay warm, and watch a whole bunch of movies. Now is the time to do it, because Spring is just around the corner and then you'll be outside all the time.
Well, until you have to stay inside because it's too hot outside.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Some Of Us Are Hung Up On Series

I just love a good series and, as we all stood around the other day talking about books, it's obvious that many of us
For the second time in two years, I'm reading (or should I say re-reading?) Alexander McCall Smith's series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. At the same time, I'm reading the Lumby series by Gail Fraser. I had already worked my way through the Monica Ferris needlework mysteries and the Laura Childs tea shop mysteries, and even Patricia Sprinkle's genealogy series. And, just today, our director told me about the Harmony books by Phil I put that on my list to read.
Some of my friends have read Jan Karon's Mitford series, and one of the ladies in our "Happy Bookers" reading group is reading about Mrs. Jeffries and the Inspector in Emily Brightwell's Victorian mysteries.
There are so many series to read and often a large number of books in each series.
M.C. Beaton has two series: one about Hamish Macbeth (all titles beginning with Death of a ...) and another about Agatha Raisin (which all begin with Agatha Raisin and ...). There are 26 books in the Macbeth series and 20 in the Raisin series.
In fact, people are often encouraged to check out more than one book in order to read them in chronological order. As they begin reading the last one they have, they order the next few in the series. Keeps the reading going and makes for a happy reader.
I suppose the next series I'm going to read will be all the Elm Creek Quilts books (there are 16 of them) by Jennifer Chiaverini.
Now, don't think we are leaving the guys out of reading series, because we aren't.
James Patterson has the Alex Cross books (and there are 16), while James Rollins has the Sigma Force (only 6 books, but I bet there'll be more). And Vince Flynn writes about Mitch Rapp (10 books) and the Wheel of Time (12 of them) series is written by Robert Jordan.
With the weather as lousy as it's been lately in many parts of the States, including here, it seems like this is a very good time to read a series. Pick one, there are so many to chose from, and sit back with a good cup of hot tea and read, read, read.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Looking For Red Books

I did a bad thing this morning. I got hung up in the Children's Library while I was looking for red books...well, red-cover books. This being the month for Valentine's Day and Library Lovers' Month, we have a lot of red out and about. So, I went looking for red books in the Children's Library. And I want to tell you what I found.
The first book I picked up was Dear Willie Rudd, (comma needed) by Libba Moore Gray with wonderful pictures by Peter M. Fiore. It is about a woman who remembers her childhood relationship with a Black woman and wishes she could thank her and apologize for any wrongs committed due to race. The pictures are beautiful, but the story is more so.
Then I found John Grogran's book Bad Dog, Marley! The book is by the same author who wrote Marley & Me. Of course, Marley is a rambunctious puppy and he makes himself at home while causing lots of trouble. But then he proves in a very dramatic way that he is a valuable member of the household. And the pictures by Richard Cowdrey are just fantastic of a big drooling puppy!
Next, the name of this book caught my eye, as well as the great watercolor pictures. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is about a small boy who tries to discover the meaning of "memory" so he can restore that of an elderly friend. He lives next door to an old people's home, and his favorite person is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper because she has four names just as he does. With a basketful of small gifts he's found, he helps her regain her memory. The story of friendship is written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas.
The Look Book by Tana Hoban is just that...a look book. The full-color nature photographs are first viewed through a cut-out hole and then in their entirety. This is one well-worn book in our library. The pictures of flowers, vegetables, birds, animals, and fish give you a stunning book of imaginative photography without words.
The last book I picked up is Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed and it brought to mind what our library staff is doing. We've been recording random acts of kindness that we do throughout the month and posting them on our break-room door. It'll be fun to see our list grow throughout the year. The story of Ordinary Mary is about a young girl's good deed that is multiplied as it is passed on by those who have been touched by the kindness of others. It was fun to see how Mary's deed of giving a big brown bowl of blueberries came full circle, and on its way changed the lives of every person living. The book is written by Emily Pearson and illustrations are by Fumi Kosaka.
If you get a chance, stop by the library and pick up an armful of red books from the Children's Library. There are amazing stories being told....

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We're Celebrating Black History Month

When Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week in 1926, he realized the importance of a theme to focus the public's attention on the lives of African Americans.

This year the National Black History Theme for 2010 is "The History of Black Economic Empowerment."

Our display for Black History Month shows wonderful drawings of important African Americans, such as Mary McLeod Bethune, Educator; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Leader; Edmonia Lewis, Artist; and Charles Richard Drew, Medical Researcher - just to name a few.

We also have a display titled "Remember When?" showing newspaper articles about some of our local famous people, such as Debora Boyd, Willie F. Ryce, Joseph H. Brevard, John Whitaker, and Brad Bailey - just to name a few.

You can find these displays in the long white hallway between the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library and the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.

This is also the birthday month for Toni Morrison, Roberta Flack, Sidney Poitier, Hank Aaron, and Michael Jordan - just to name a few. But especially for one of the most famous African Americans, Rosa Parks, a great pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, whose birthday was February 4th.

Why not take some time and visit your library to find that special book you want to read about some of our great African Americans? We have Black authors such as Maya Angelou, Richard Wright, Henry J. Young, Nikki Giovanni, and Walter Mosley - just to name a few. And we have them here, waiting for you.