Thursday, September 30, 2010

Interesting little tidbits about libraries

My coworker shared some interesting tidbits about libraries with me yesterday. Of course, because we work at a library, we're probably more interested in these tidbits than most people.
But you might be amazed to know:
1. Every day 300,000 Americans get job-seeking help at their public library.
2. Most public libraries provide free wireless Internet access for their users. Nearly 12,000 now offer free Wi-Fi. That's more than Starbucks (11,000), Barnes & Noble or Borders (1,300).
3. Every month business owners and employees use resources at public libraries 2.8 million times to support their small businesses.
4. Two-thirds of Americans have a library card. For many young people, the first card in their wallet is a library card.
5. There are 5,400 U.S. public libraries offering free technology classes as compared to 4,000 businesses offering computer training.
6. Every day, Americans borrow 2.1 million DVDs from libraries, and we spend $22 million for DVD rentals at outlets like Netflix and RedBox vending machines.
7. Every day, 225,000 people use library meeting rooms at a retail value of $11 million. That's $3.2 billion annually (based on 286 business days per year).
8. There are 13,000 U.S. public libraries offering career assistance as compared to the U.S. Department of Labor's 3,000 One-stop Career Centers.
9. Every year, Americans visit the library (1.4 billion) more often than we go to the movies (1.3 billion) and six times more often (218 million) than we attend live sporting events.
10. U.S. public libraries circulate as many materials every day as FedEx ships packages worldwide. FedEx shipments are 8 million; library circulation is 7.9 million.
Libraries are at the heart of our communities - a resource for people of any age to find what we need to help improve our quality of life.
Why not visit your public library this week.
(Sources: OCLC, a nonprofit library cooperative; American Library Association; Starbucks corporate communications;;; U.S. Census Bureau;;; Stross, Randall; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; IMLS;; FedEx.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Library library cards...get them right here!

Did you get your free library card? Each year September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. So far, we've had a good run on people getting their new library cards. Did you get yours?
In July, 176 people obtained their cards. In August, it was 123. With only two days left in this month, 134 people have new library cards. Did you get yours?
Maybe you don't think a library card is very important, but it's the Smartest Card you can have in your billfold, wallet, purse, pocket, etc. Let me tell you what you get with your free library card.
You can get to know your librarian, the ultimate search engine @ your library.
Research new job opportunities or prepare your resume.
Learn about local candidates for office.
Pick up a DVD for home movie night.
Get wireless access.
Check out your favorite author's books.
Learn to navigate the Internet.
Look up all kinds of health information.
Research the purchase of a new car or your term paper.
Check your stock portfolio.
Borrow an audio book for your next road trip.
Use the library's resources to start a small business.
Get a book from the interlibrary loan system.
Trace your family tree.
Learn how to use a database or computerized catalog.
Find the latest romance or mystery paperback.
Connect with other people in the community.
Of course, there are lots of things you can do without a library card, too, such as have cards, pictures, etc. laminated.
Read a newspaper in the reading area.
Find a quiet spot, curl up with a book and enjoy.
Pick up tax forms.
Attend an author's lecture or workshop.
Attend the preschool story hour with your child.
Well, I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
So...if you don't have a library card, step right up, ladies and gentlemen. Get your free library cards right here @ the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library. There's not too many things you can get for free now days. Why not take advantage of this great give-away. Get your free library card today.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We are celebrating the freedom to read

Once a year, every year since 1982, during the last week of September, people all over the USA celebrate the freedom to read. That last week of September is called "Banned Books Week." It was launched in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries.
From Saturday, September 25th, until Saturday, October 2nd, we are celebrating the freedom to read.
More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982, and the challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities.
People challenge books that they say are too sexual or too violent. They object to profanity and slang, and they protest against offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups - or positive portrayals of homosexuals. Their targets range from books that explore contemporary issues and controversies to classic and beloved works of American literature.
According to the Americal Library Association, out of 460 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2009, the ten most challenged titles were:
  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle. Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, drugs, and unsuited to age group.
  2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. Reasons: homosexuality.
  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group.
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Reasons: racism, offensive language, unsuited to age group. (2010 is the 50th anniversary of this classic.)
  5. Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyer. Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group.
  6. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group.
  7. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Reasons: sexism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group, drugs, suicide, violence.
  8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler. Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group.
  9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group.
  10. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group.

During "Banned Books Week," hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. Many activities are planned to help remind people of the importance of free speech.

If you want further information about "Banned Books Week," visit, or And visit our display in the adult reading area. We even have a few of these banned books for you to check out.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My library is a learning place...

...especially for me!
Yesterday my coworker and I talked about some statistics we read from a seminar for library workers. Some of those stats surprised me.
When the statistics from a survey taken at another library in another state were compiled, here's what they found:
That more people came to the library alone than as a couple or family.
That most people (those who didn't come to use the computers) stayed at the library for only a short period of time (many for only about ten minutes).
That the audio-visuals accounted for about one-third of the circulating items, and ages 14 to 24 were the ones drawn to the AVs.
That about two-thirds of the patrons used the library more for reading and conversations than anything else.
That about 70% of the people checked out books and about 51% checked out AVs.
Well, there were more statistics, but I won't go into them.
It's just that the longer I work here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, the more things I learn about our patrons also.
For instance, the number of people who stop by the returned-books cart, possibly to see what other people have been reading that might be interesting to them.
The number of children who come to the Children's Library during story time from all the Pre-K schools and facilities. This is the biggest children's story time facility in
The number of homeschooled children who come to the library with their mothers, who are also their teachers. Some come and sit around the tables in the reading area to work on their homework.
It surprises me how many of our books on the displays are checked out. The books must seem more appealing if they are right there in front of everyone and not on the bookshelves.
It surprises me how fast our bookmarks disappear, the ones that we make up each month for special events.
And the most recent service we are providing...the MCCLS Friends Recommendations...well, the books are just disappearing off that shelf like crazy!
We're always working on ways to keep our patrons' interest in the library. We want each person coming through our doors to like what they see, feel comfortable in finding what they want, and enjoy staying for a while (especially more than ten minutes!).
And me...well, I want my library to be a learning place for you, too. We are loaded with good stuff! Come and stay for a while, make yourself comfortable, and have a great learning experience.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Even our secret weapon is a book-lover

Today I had a visit from a person I call our secret weapon. He's the fellow that comes to help whenever we call. He's Shannon, our computer expert.
So, there he was, just a-working away at my computer with me standing nearby and watching his interesting work. And while I had him as a captured audience, I asked some questions...but not about my computer.
Shannon drives two hours all over Georgia, as long as it's in a circle. Let's say that Moultrie is the center of the circle. He travels in all directions: Georgetown, Bainbridge, Quitman, Fitzgerald, Ashburn, etc. He has 20-plus libraries' computers that he services, as well as several small businesses. Shannon told me that he travels between 13 and 14 hundred (that's 1300-1400) miles every month.
"What do you do all that time you're driving?" I asked. "Do you listen to audio tapes and CDs?"
He said, "Yes!" In fact, he admitted he'd probably go crazy if he didn't listen to stories while driving. (That's different than texting or talking on your cell phone while driving.)
Shannon said lately he's listened to The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett, and to The Wee Free Men by the same author. He said he likes the little six-inch blue men because they talk with an Irish brogue like leprechauns. He must have a great imagination! But that's what listening to stories does for you.
He has some more favorite authors, other than Terry Pratchett: W.E.B. Griffin, Janet Evanovich, and Robert Jordan to name a few. His genre seems to run in the science fiction and humor areas. He said it was a librarian who turned him on to listening to Janet Evanovich. Yea for librarians!
It's nice to know that we have a secret weapon who enjoys checking out audio books and listening to them during his long travels. Guess you could call him our traveling library card. Imagine the choice of material he has because of visiting all those different libraries.
Good traveling, Shannon. And good listening also.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We're trying out a new service

If you're like me, you just hate to walk into your favorite store, no matter whether it's Winn-Dixie, Big Lots or Belk, and find everything changed around. You feel lost and sometimes a little upset, because whatever you are looking for was right there in that spot the last time you were in and now it's not there.
Well, we're trying out a new service and we want it to stay in the same spot all the time. It's a shelf in the area of the new books and 7-day-loan section. It's a shelf in the area located to the left of the front desk. You know where I mean?
Ask one of the staff at the front desk; they'll show
The service is a book review shelf provided by our Friends of MCCLS. It's titled "Friends of MCCLS Recommenda-
tions." Right now there are four books on the shelf...well, there were. They seem to be going fast.
Since this year is the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird, our Friends are recommending the book in celebration of great writing. It is a nostalgic story of a young girl growing up in a small Southern town with the help of her father and a loving community that's growing up also during the 1930s. It has become a classic.
Our Friends are also recommending Heaven by Randy Alcorn. This book encourages the reader to consider the destination of Heaven. It may challenge your imagination and answer some of your questions. It's a good book for small groups or individual study, with a study guide included.
One book that went off the shelf fast is Spoken From the Heart by Laura Welch Bush. This is a revealing account of the life of a First Lady. It's amazing the amount of influence internationally that her position commanded. Readers might be surprised to know what the First Family had to say for themselves.
The last book recommended by the MCCLS Friends is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. When I started reading this book, I was surprised that a book comprised of only letters could have such appeal (that was almost a joke!). This book's style is as intriguing as reading someone else's mail, which tempts everyone. The fiction is based on historical fact in a little known part of Great Britain during WWII. It stretches geographical knowledge and encourages reverence in memory of The Greatest Generation.
If you're interested in any of these books and they're checked out, you may reserve the book of your choice at the front desk.
We're hoping this new service is one you'll look forward to. And we promise you, it will stay in the same spot every time.

Friday, September 17, 2010

We're not just about books...

No indeedy! Of course, libraries have books...all kinds of books. But we're not just about books!
Have I ever told you about our additional services? That's right...additional services.
For instance, the library has Internet computers for public use. You must have a current library card, however, to use a computer. And you must follow ALL computer rules. Document printout is available at ten-cents per page. Now, that's not a bad deal.
Microsoft Word is available for public use also. Again, printouts are available for ten-cents a page.
We have a photocopy machine available and our staff is always ready to help you make copies. The charges for black and white copies are: 8-1/2x11 is ten-cents, 11x14 is 15-cents, and 11x17 is 20-cents.
We can make color copies for you also. The charges are: 8-1/2x11 is $1, 11x14 is $1.50, and 11x17 is $2. However, no professional prints can be copied.
There's laminating services available at ten-cents per inch. Laminating is done on Friday mornings. You can leave your materials at the front desk anytime and we'll have them back to you as quick as possible.
Meeting rooms are also available for your use free of charge for educational and civic groups. We do ask that you contact us as early as possible to make the reservations. That way our cleaning-setup crew can make sure the room is ready for you.
And we do have some sound and audio visual equipment available by reservation at no charge.
Lots of people ask us about two services we do not have: Fax and notary. There is no public fax service available. Notary service is available at most local banks.
Well, we hope this helps you know that we are a full-service library. We DO look forward to serving you.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The little people are coming to storytime

On Tuesday this week, the little people started coming to Miss Norma's storytimes.
At 9:15 the first group came. Sixty little people from Odom Pre-K; that was three classes of 20 each.
Right after them at 10 o'clock came two classes from Culbertson Headstart. And at 11 a.m. there was the Heritage PreK group.
It's nice to see the long strings of little people come through the library, heading toward the Children's Library. They're dressed in their T-shirts of yellow, red, orange, green, etc. They're holding hands or onto a colorful rope, or they walk with their hands together behind them, or stuffed into their pockets or mouths. They're little people; they do things like that.
Most of them are in awe of this great big high-ceilinged place. For many it's their first time here. They tend to look around while walking and sometimes walk into each other. Once in a while, someone gets frightened. After all, it is a big place and there are lots of other children from other schools and childcare facilities that they don't know. Life gets scarey sometimes. They even had a ride on a big yellow
But once they're back in the Children's Library, inside the Reading Garden's white picket fence, once they're sitting on the carpet, all lined up in rows, with their teachers sitting in chairs behind them...well, let's just say the show
Once Miss Norma begins her story, she keeps them interested. There's no telling what they'll do while visiting. Sometimes they sing, sometimes they do a little dance-in-place, but always they get right into her stories.
And before they leave, they all meet the Library Mouse. He has to say goodbye to each one, often touching the tops of their heads.
I counted 19 different groups that come to the library for the storytimes. However, the storytelling isn't just here in the library. Miss Norma also has her "traveling
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for the rest of the month here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library you'll find little people coming for storytime.
Someday take the opportunity and stop by to watch these future library cardholders in their bright T-shirts as they do the long walk to the Children's Library. Honestly, they'll put a big smile on your face.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I just learned about something really exciting...well, exciting for a person who loves to read books.
If you've read all the books by your favorite author and would like to know who writes like him/her, this is a database you will enjoy and appreciate.
We have on our library's home webpage the database GALILEO. Just go to GALILEO and search for NOVELIST on the "Databases A-Z" tab. The database deals only with fiction titles.
There are recommended reading lists in eleven different genres which can be searched by reading levels. You can search by author, title, or series. There also are lists of award winning books.
Each entry lists all of the information about the book (title, author, publication date, reading level, grade level, genre and writing style) along with a synopsis and reviews.
And there are book discussion guides for many novels that would aid teachers and members of book discussion
One of the most helpful areas of the database is the "Author Read-Alikes" section. This section recommends books by other authors who have similar writing styles, themes or genres to the author you are searching. This can be very helpful when you feel you have read all of the books by a particular author and need a recommendation for some other books.
Remember, just to go our library's home page of the website and click on the GALILEO icon. You'll have a great time.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

10 simple things

As part of National Library Card Sign-up Month, the Georgia Public Library Service came up with "10 Simple can do to help your library." Why not see if there is anything on this list you can do?
  1. Take a friend or relative - or even a class of youngsters - to the library. Show them what you most enjoy and offer to help them sign up for a library card of their own.
  2. Consider a tax-deductible gift to your library. Libraries and library systems often have memorial programs and endowments that provide opportunities to support and improve library services.
  3. Remember the library in your estate planning.
  4. Sponsor a magazine subscription for the library or donate books - either to the library or to your local Friends organization to raise money for the library.
  5. Volunteer your time. Opportunities could include delivering reading materials to shut-ins, helping children or teens with homework or being a reader to preschool children. Ask your library director or branch manager how you can best help.
  6. Nominate your library as your community's, your company's or your school's project of the year.
  7. Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper expressing how important the library is to you - and to your community.
  8. Speak up for libraries at community groups that you belong to, such as the PTA, Chamber of Commerce, and others - even your book club! Invite your library director or branch manager to attend a meeting and talk about your library's services and its needs.
  9. Attend a regular meeting of the city or county commission or other local funding agency and take the opportunity to thank its members publicly for supporting the library. Or send a short note to a council member to let them know how much you use and appreciate the library.
  10. Develop a short "elevator speech" (just a sentence or two) that will help you quickly explain to others why libraries are more important than ever - and use it when you have an opportunity to encourage others to get involved.

The Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System thanks you in advance for doing these 10 simple things. You can help your library! (Source: Georgia Public Library Service,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We having a "red hot" September!

This is the month at Moultrie-Colquitt County Library when we have "The Hunt for Red September" going on. You're going to see "red" all around.

Our display table in the front foyer is covered with red-covered books such as:

  • Jonathan Kellerman's "Bad Love"
  • Terri Blackstock's "Cape Refuge" and
  • Elizabeth Buchan's "Wives Behaving Badly," as well as
  • books about depression glass, weight loss for men, and poems and fairy tales.

There are also red-covered audios such as:

  • "High Profile" by Robert B. Parker
  • "Bad Luck and Trouble" by Lee Child and
  • "The Mephisto Club" by Tess Gerritsen.

The children's table has stacks of books to "Feed Your Reading Dragon" such as

  • "Vulture View" by April Pulley Sayre
  • "Squids Will Be Squids" by Jon Scieszka
  • "Inside-Outside Dinosaurs" by Roxie Munro and
  • "The Big Red Lollipop" by Rukhsana Khan.

Be sure you check out the lighted display cases. We've filled them with bright red things such as a chair, clothes, glassware, books, toys, flags, etc. All kinds of "red hot" things of interest.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Smartest Card...what is it?

You can get the Smartest Card at your library.
It's your own personal library card.
Why do you need one? Well...
  • Why buy when you can borrow? Your public library is a goldmine of books, magazines, movies, CDs and other great stuff.
  • Make learning fun. Check out reading clubs, storyhours, movies and other free programs for kids and families.
  • Free at your library. Most public libraries provide computers - and classes - for kids to use, mom and dad too.
  • Keep kids reading. The more kids read, the better they do in school. Your library has something for every age and interest.
  • Need homework help? Encourage your child to ask a pro - your librarian.
  • Look, listen and enjoy. Borrow films and music for the whole family.
  • Bring the whole family! How many places can you all enjoy together? For free!!!
  • If you don't see it, ask! The library may be able to get it for you.
  • It's never too late! Use the library 24/7 online.
  • Remember, learning begins at home. See your library's parenting collection for tips on how you can be your child's first and best teacher.

National Library Card Sign-up Month is September. It's easy to get a your own personal card. All you need to do is come into the library and talk to one of the staff at the front desk. She will give you a form to complete. You'll need to bring a valid form of identification (driver's license, current phone bill, rent statement, etc.) that shows your mailing address. Students 17 or younger must have their parent's or guardian's signature in order to receive a card.

Sign up now. We'll be looking for you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why do you like the library?

I took a little walk through the library the other day and saw all the people who were visiting. It didn't take long for me to wonder what they like about our library, so I decided to take a small survey.
In the Willcoxon Auditorium two ladies were deep in discussion. I politely asked if I could intrude and ask a quick question. They politely told me yes. One lady said she liked the library because, "You allow us the space to have our meetings for the Colquitt County Retired Educators." The other lady said, "And because the library has a typewriter! And a paper cutter, too, and you let us use them." I never thought we're just about out of typewriters in this world. Two happy patrons.
In the foyer of the Odom Genealogical Library, I introduced myself to a young woman sitting on one of our three benches and asked why she liked the library. "It's quiet and easy to concentrate out here on the benches," she said. When I asked if she found it hard to concentrate in the adult reading area, she said no; she just liked it better on the foyer benches where she could see the plants in the atrium. Another happy patron.
In the genealogy library, I saw a woman who comes to the library every day to work on her genealogical projects. I knew why she liked the library.
But there was also a man sitting at a nearby table with books spread before him, the concentration line deep between his eyes. I quietly introduced myself and asked if he would tell me why he likes the library. He said, "The library." He explained he drives from Bridgeboro, about 25 miles away, only once a month. Since he didn't have the time to come more often, he spends about four or five hours each time on his research. He had a big smile. A happy
In the public library I saw a tiny woman standing at the VHS-DVD counter. When I asked her my question, she said she liked the old movies, like the classics that you can't get at the video stores. She said she homeschooled her children and the entire family liked to watch the old movies together in the evenings. She especially liked the fact that the movies were free with her library card. Ah! Another happy
As I turned to go back to the office, I noticed a woman sitting on one of the two couches in the adult reading area. She was reading a magazine. When I asked her why she liked the library, she said she liked the ladies at the circulation counter, because they were so helpful in finding her the books she wanted to read. She said she comes every day to the library, almost every week, with her boyfriend and, while he works at a computer, she sits and reads. She gave me a big smile also. Need I say "happy
I talked with only five people. They all liked the library. They didn't just pop in and out; they stayed for a while.
Do you like the library? Do you visit often? Do you have a library card?
September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. Why not get a library card if you don't have one and let us know why you like the library.