Thursday, April 29, 2010

We Try...We Try Really Hard

I remember the Christmas I gave my mother a new canister set. Her old canisters had the flower decorations worn off from many years of handling; one lid was dented, one little handle was off the top. The new set was silver and shiny with black lids, no dents, perfectly beautiful. I was so proud to give her that Christmas present that I had saved months to buy.
But when she opened the box and saw those canisters, she said, "What did you do that for? I have a canister set." And that just broke my heart.
The Christmas I gave my husband a beautiful pen and pencil set for his desk at his new job, I could hardly wait for him to open it. I was so proud of it. Even had his name engraved in gold on the marble base.
But when he opened the box, he said, "You didn't need to do that. They gave me a pen and pencil set at work."
I tell you this not because I seemed at one time to be terrible at giving gifts, but because those memories flooded my mind the other day when two of us staff members tried to help a patron who was using the auditorium for a
He needed some way to put up a poster and wanted to hang it on the wall. But he needed some thumb tacks or tape. Our staff member told him items were not to be posted on the walls, but we had an easel he could borrow. He wanted to know what it looked like. So, I got one from the janitor's closet and set it up in the hallway for him to see. He said his poster wouldn't be able to stand on the easel because it was only paper. I found a poster board he could attach his poster to, but he didn't have a way to do tape, no tacks...
and his poster was too big anyway. It appeared we just didn't have what he needed and he was rather upset. Well, we tried to help...we tried really hard.
That incident reminded me of another time when a patron found out an evening event would not be over until late and he had to use the auditorium at nine the next day. He was very concerned that the room would not be set up early enough for his program. It took a great amount of reassuring to convince him that when the janitor came in around 8 a.m., he would immediately vacuum the room and set up the tables and chairs for the meeting. The patron was somewhat calmed, but still appeared rather doubtful.
Sure enough, the next morning the room was ready by 8:30 when the patron arrived. But he never said a thing. Well, we tried...we tried really make it nice for him.
When a patron complained that we didn't have any hand soap in the men's restroom, we had to tell him it was because someone was taking the soap. We also told him that we have bottles of hand sanitizer at the front counter for our patrons' use, if he cared to use that. He thanked us for telling him.
We try really hard to be of help here at our library. We care very much about our patrons. Sometimes things go wrong that we're not aware of and we appreciate being told about it. But we really try to go the extra providing hand sanitizers, in setting up the rooms appropriately, in keeping our "home away from home" neat and clean, in smiling as we wait on our patrons, in helping any way we can. Once in a while it doesn't seem to be quite enough.
But we try...we try really hard. Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dr. Morton Is Quite A History Buff

If you didn't get a chance to visit our library on Monday evening, you missed a great event.
Dr. William J. Morton, who is not only a physician but a lawyer, gave an outstanding talk about the boundaries of Georgia. His book, "The Story of Georgia's Boundaries," tells of exciting events and personalities of the people who helped determine those boundaries. His book reflects centuries of wars, treaties, political maneuvering, litigation, heroic actions, and even human error.
Before a crowd of interested men, women and children, Dr. Morton's slide presentation showed government seals, maps, and photos of researchers and the areas they investigated. He made us laugh, ask questions, and realize how much trouble was taken to finally make the four-sided state we now call Georgia.
His impressive book is the winner of the Georgia Historical Society's 2010 Lilla M. Hawes Award for the best book in Georgia local or county history published in 2008-2009.
And Dr. Morton has been nominated by the Georgia Writers Association for the 46th annual Georgia Author of the Year Award (GAYA) for his book. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on June 19th at the Kennesaw State University Center in Kennesaw.
We're having a great year of authors so far. Janisse Ray was in January. Dr. Morton in April. And you will be so surprised to see what we have coming for you in May!!! So far, 19 authors all in one place...the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. Keep tuned...there's more news to come.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finally, A Dream Library

This is not only my son's birthday, but it's Earth Day! This is a time when ecology is playing a big hand at trying to keep us alive on a planet that we are constantly destroying. And although there are those out there who are more than aware of the quality of air we breathe and the quality of water we drink, there are just not enough of us who are aware of what is actually happening to our Earth.
However, I did get a pleasant surprise this morning when I read the New York Times. An article posted March 26, 2010 by Ariel Kaminer announced "A Library That Most Can Only Dream Of." Of course, that made me very curious since I'm sitting here in a library.
The library is Battery Park City's public library branch in the state of New York. It claims to be the city's newest, greenest one yet.
This library has an ecologically correct circulation desk made from recycled cardboard, a terrazzo staircase made of recycled glass chips, blond wood floors made from the lumber salvaged during the manufacturing of window frames. It also has a carpeted area with material made from repurposed truck tires.
The whole space is filled with oxygen and light that streams through floor-to-ceiling windows. You can gaze out those windows at the landscaped terrace.
The 10,000-square-foot library, which opened on March 18, had a rich grandfather...Goldman Sachs. The investment bank (yep! the one that's been in the news lately big time!) donated $3.5 million to the library branch, when it moved to Battery Park City in 1995.
How did this all come about? Well, a little over a decade ago, local residents started contacting elected officials and library representatives, noting how the area's population had grown. With good community organizing, a well-connected population and responsive officials, things began to take off. That's where Goldman Sachs came in. And even though many people feel the once-regarded genius of the financial world is now tainted, they did a good thing with The Battery Park City library branch.
Makes you wonder what we could do, right here in Moultrie, if we all pulled together and became advocates for our Moultrie-Colquitt County Public Library System. Wouldn't Earth Day, April 22, 2010 be a good time to start making plans to turn our library into a green zone?
It's something to think about. By becoming a member of the MCCLS Friends, you can be that advocate we need.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Library Fines Could Affect Your Credit

That's what I heard on the news this morning! I was really surprised! So, I decided to check it out on the Internet. And, yep, there it was.
That a library debt is like any other and, if it appears on a credit report as an unpaid obligation, it will effectively impede credit. That's what Kenes Bowling, manager of Customer Development for Unique Management Services said.
He also said, however, that he knew of no instances in which a library fine that's been paid off has ever ended up hurting a person's long-term credit, but you do have to pay up to remove the debt from your file.
Do you know some libraries are even turning library fine debts over to collection agencies?
Well, I have to say we've never had to do that. But there is a limit to your fines, and you do have to pay up before you can check out another item.
So, just to keep you up-to-date with our fine or billing structure, post this on your refrigerator for an easy reference:
  • Regular books 10 cents per day
  • 7-day books 50 cents per day
  • Videos and DVDs 50 cents per day
  • Maximum charge for each item $5 (but if you have 5 late books, that would be a $25 total)
  • There is a one-day grace period on all items.

The Internet article said libraries say a gentle nudge from a call center usually makes everybody happy. Customers come back in, return the materials, pay their fines, and then become regular library users again. And that's what happens at our library, too. After all, we're nice people. And so are you.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hugging Is A Good Thing

There are days when I come to work and just want to hug every staff member I see. This feeling stems from long ago, when as a volunteer for Birdsong Nature Center I was told by the Center's founder that in order to stay healthy a person needs 12 hugs a day. I believed her then and
still do.
So, every once in a while I come to work and make it my day to receive and give 12 hugs. Just the other day I traveled around the offices and hugged everyone, and everyone seemed happy to get hugged. I didn't find a single person unwilling to be hugged or give a hug in return. In fact, they all seemed happy to get a hug.
When I got to Norma, our children's librarian, she told me about an email someone had sent her about hugging. And it's this information I want to pass on to you today.
For instance...
Do you know what hugging is? Hugging is natural, organic, naturally sweet, free of pesticides and preservatives. Hugging contains no artificial ingredients. It's 100% wholesome. No calories, no nicotine.
Hugging is nearly perfect. There are no batteries to wear out, no periodic checkups. It consumes little energy, while yielding a lot.
It's inflation-proof. It's non-fattening. There are no monthly payments. No insurance requirements. It's theft-proof, non-taxable, non-polluting, and fully refundable. And it costs very little.
Hugging is healthy; it assists the body's immune system, it cures depression, it reduces stress, it induces sleep, it invigorates, it rejuvenates, and it has no unpleasant side-effects. It's a miracle drug.
So, what sort of people like hugging? Nice people. People who like to share things. People who make themselves and the world they live in a little happier by hugging. Hugging can be done by anyone, any place, any time. (Well, that's mostly true.)
Hugs are free; perhaps that's why so many take them for granted. If hugs cost a lot of money, people would probably knock themselves out to make enough to buy them.
Although hugs are free, they're worthless if they aren't used. An unused hug is lost forever. On a planet that's starved for affection, can we really afford to lose a single hug?
Every human being needs four hugs per day merely to survive; eight hugs per day to maintain oneself at a strong emotional level; twelve hugs per day to grow. (My friend said 12 hugs a day to stay healthy.)
By this time, you may be wondering what hugging has to do with our library. As the headliner for the Bookworm Blog says, this blog is to share exciting news about our library. So, this is to warn you that if you come in someday and see a strange woman running around and hugging people, be might become one of those persons she hugs. And if the newspaper picked up on what was happening and sent a reporter to cover the event, you might be in a front page picture with the caption, "Patron hugged at the Moultrie Library."
Now, wouldn't that be exciting news about our library? I thought so, too.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's National Poetry Month

If you're an avid reader of novels or memoirs, this is your month to celebrate something different. Try the genre of poetry.
Now, don't turn your nose up and say it's not for you. You'd be surprised at the great poetry books we have here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.
When you tour our books in the 811.5 section, of course you're going to see familiar names that have floated across the years, such as: Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost,
E. E. Cummings, Carl Sandburg, and Sylvia Plath. But you're also going to see poetry by Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, and Jimmy Carter, not to mention Rod McKuen and Helen Steiner Rice.
Probably some of the most popular poetry is by Maya Angelou, who wrote my favorite "Phenomenal Woman." We also have her book "The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou." (811.54A).
I think one of the poets I have liked best over the years is Ogden Nash. I used to have a small book of his poetry and that's when I found his humor. But you can check out a much larger book of his poetry, "Selected Poems of Ogden Nash - I Wouldn't Have Missed It" (811.52N) and find it just as funny.
We also have poetry by Georgia poets. One is Agnes Cochran Bramblett, who wrote "With Lifted Heart" (811.52B). It's a slim white cover book with a red decoration and the poetry is just delightful.
Another Georgia poet is Jeanne Osborne Gibbs. Her teal green book's cover with gold letters is titled "The Other Side of the Water" (811.54G). It reads like a memoir and I found it very interesting with its plain everyday language.
"Snaps, Poems by Victor Hernandez Cruz" (811.54C) is another small book. Sometimes it seems the really good poems are in little books. You might want to take a look at this one.
Then there's "Dunking Doughnuts - A Fun Look at Life through the Verse of Leonhard Dowty" (811.54D). But don't look for that one right away. I've checked it out. It's a tiny book. The colorful picture on the cover, illustrated by Peter Lippman, is of a doughnut swimming in a cup of coffee. Riding on top of the floating doughnut are a woman, two small children, a cat, and a man peering through a spy glass. The theme is nautical, anchors and all. The reading inside is just as clever and crazy-like. It was just too good to pass
There may be a few poets laureate on our shelves, as well as National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winners, but I like to look for those poets who speak my language, tell great stories, and often make me laugh. After all, poetry should be fun.
Check out a poetry book out during National Poetry Month. And don't forget to look for those small books.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Make Your Library Staff Happy

National Library Week began Sunday, April 11th, and ends Saturday the 17th. It's a time to think about what the library means to you as a patron.
Look at it this love going to the library. You know it's a great place to enhance your reading options, answer your questions and provide resources for your children's school work, as well as giving you opportunities galore to explore all over the Internet.
Well, have you thought about letting the library staff know how much it means to you? Here are some things you can do during National Library Week, and even beyond that date.
***Visit your library regularly. We love to see regular users, not only for the computers, but checking out books, DVDs, and audio books, as well as visiting the genealogy and children's libraries. Remember, there are also dates and times when your favorite organizations can hold their meetings in the Willcoxon Auditorium.
***Donate books to the library. You might have books you no longer need or want, or you can give money for a memorial book in memory of someone you'd like to have remembered. And don't forget, we're always on the lookout for good DVDs if you have any you're tired of watching.
***How about donating your time and expertise to the library? By joining the Friends of the Library, you can volunteer in several areas where help is needed. Find out what you can do by picking up our Friends brochure at the circulation counter. In fact, if you're interested in serving on the library board, contact the library director for further information.
***Be an advocate for the library. Tell your friends about the library and services you think will benefit them. Write to The Moultrie Observer's editor and praise the library and its library staff.
***You can also compliment the library staff who wait on you. Tell them how much you like the books that are selected for the library, the way the displays are arranged, and the help they offer with a smile. Write a note thanking a staff member who has been so helpful to you.
***And last but not least, especially during National Library Week, take a batch of cookies to the library staff. That's also a good week to send that letter to the newspaper praising the library's services.
Think about this, might have someone in your family who will be a library staff member someday. Practice now by making your local library staff happy!
We'll practice our special smiles for you all during National Library Week.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Day The Magnolia Garden Club Met

There are quite a few groups that meet at the library on a regular basis...genealogy researchers, lapband supporters, retired teachers, writers, and dieters just to name a
The day several ladies carried beautiful flowers toward the Jenkins Conference Room, I knew the Magnolia Garden Club was meeting. I gathered up my paper and pencil and decided to pay them a little visit to see the
Most of the ladies carried several containers: cans, coke bottles, large and small vases. They deposited their containers on the counter where a colorful display began to grow.
I introduced myself to Peggy and told her I wanted to let our readers know about the club's gorgeous flowers for this meeting. She just sparkled as she showed me her yellow Lady Banks roses, white Cherokee rose blossoms (that's the state flower, you know), and a big snowball
Now, I know all these flowers have special names (many I can't even pronounce), but it was the color of the specimens that delighted me. This is April when everything is in bloom and Moultrie is a riot of spectacular color.
I watched Ruby, Jackie and Grace, the hostesses for the month, prepare the long table with scrumptious eats and fruit, lime green plates and napkins. It would be a tasty meeting, too.
Ruby's flowers were lavender wisteria, Lady Banks roses and white irises. They graced a very tall glass vase with the wisteria and roses draping down the sides. The vase was placed in the center of the food table where it looked rather regal.
As the counter display grew, I saw azaleas in every shade of pink, white baby's breath, yellow daffodils, lavender scilla, white dogwood, white bridal wreath, pink flowering almond, spring green bottlebrush fern, pale pink blooming cherry, yellow bearded iris, salmon pink Gerber daisys, tiny green ivy, pink miniature azalea, lavender Rosemary, white pear tree blossoms, and pink lorapetalum.
Joyce brought a lavender flower and said she didn't know what it was. She wondered if it was just a pretty weed, but I imagined someone would be able to tell her exactly what it was.
Mary arranged an oriental-looking display she said was called "Spring Splendor." I decided it must be part of the program.
As Ruby, Jackie, Grace, Peggy, Nina, Patsy, Mildred, Fay, Odelle, Joyce, Mary, Dottie, Lorena, and Wendy took their seats for the meeting to begin, I slipped out the door. I hated to leave that room; the perfume from the flowers made me want to stay. And even as I walked back toward the main foyer, I saw more ladies hurrying to the meeting with their contributions.
The samples of colorful blooms from right here in Moultrie made my day. There are colors in each fragile petal that you can hardly believe. But you can come see for yourself.
The Magnolia Garden Club meets the first Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m. If you're interested in more information, give Peggy Bridges a call at 941-2000.