Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our memory wall is up again

     At least once a year I try to put up "Our Memory Wall." 
     This wall is a bunch of black and white photos that we've pulled from our archives...some from when the library first opened, when the first bookmobile traveled into the county, when students from Spence Air Field studied here.  It's a series of photos from time gone by. 
     Many people have looked at the photos and recognized a familiar face.  To those people we've said, "Please, write the name of the person you recognize under their picture."
     You see, we feel all these people in the photos are part of our library family.  They're not only staff members, but our patrons and friends.
     I guess the part I think is sad is that there are so many little children in the pictures and we may never know who they are.  Once in a while someone comes in and says, "Oh, there's Dorothy's little boy...what was his name?  David!  That was it."  When that happens, it's a good feeling.  We've captured another name.
     This is my invitation to you, if you live in the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library area, to come on in and look at "Our Memory Wall."  See if there's someone you recognize.  Or better yet, if you're of a certain age, see if you're in one of the pictures.
     We're still trying to name all the people in the photos.  You might be surprised who you see.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hiding from the dragons

     I just have to tell you about what happened this morning.
     I took a little trip down the hallway, past the computer area and the reading area, into the Children's Library.  I went there specifically to find a couple of yellow books to put on the children's display table.
     It was quiet in the big room and I thought I was by myself.  But I wasn't.
     As I rounded the corner of the long, low bookshelf, I saw a little black-haired boy, maybe about five years old, sitting under the children's table.  He sat cross-legged and was looking at a book.
     "Hi," I said.  "Whatcha doing?"
     He didn't say anything.  Apparently, I was interrupting his deep reading.  But I tried again.
     "Whatcha doing?"
     "Hiding," he said in a whisper.
     "From what?"
     "Dragons," was his answer.
     Now, that intrigued me.  Dragons.  In the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library's children's library.
     "I don't see any," I said as I looked around.  I decided if I sat down close to the table, close to him, maybe he'd tell me more.  So, I did.
     "Where are they?" I asked.
     He stared at me with big eyes, like he was thinking of what to say next.
     "They're in the shelves, watching us."
     "OH!" I gasped.  "Do I need to hide too?"
     He shook his head.  "No, you can't see them, so they won't get you."
     Wow, I thought.  This is worth writing about.
     "How are you going to get out of here?" I asked.
     "When my mama comes back."
     "What happens then?"  I wondered how long he was going to have to wait.
     "She'll come get me and we'll go home."  He seemed very positive about that.
     "Where is she now?" I asked.
     He wrinkled his little nose and said, "Doing computer stuff."
     "When will she come back for you?"  I had no idea how long he would have to stay under the table.  What if he had to go to the bathroom?
     "In a little while," he said.
     "OK," I said.  "Do you have enough books?  Want me to bring you more?"
     "No," he said. 
     "What are you reading now?" I asked.
     For the first time he had a smile on his face.  He was really cute and he surprised me when he said, "The Library Dragon."
     "How do you know what that says?" I asked.  "Can you read?"
     Again he smiled.  "I've been reading since I was three," he answered.  "I've read almost all of the dragon books in the library.  When are you going to get some more?"
     Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather...a dragon feather, that is.
     "I don't know," I answered.  "I'll have to ask Miss Norma.  But you take care of yourself, you hear?  Those dragons won't get you, will they?"
     "No," he said.  "I'm hiding."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do you get offers for free things?

     When I opened my email this morning, I found a friend had forwarded to me a coupon for a free Blizzard.  She asked if I would print the coupon for her and go with her to get a Blizzard for her birthday.
     This is the same friend that occasionally sends me coupons for free cat food.
     Then in another email I received an offer for a free cup of coffee if I visited a local coffeehouse. 
     Another email offered me a free Halloween e-card to send to my friends.
     Do you get offers for free things?  Do you ever wonder how really free they are?
     I sat for a good while and thought about all the free things we are offered on a daily basis.  And I wondered what the connection to being really free was with all these offers.
     If you read this blog fairly often, you probably realize that somehow I tie all the stuff I talk about back into our library.  My brain just seems to work that way.  Maybe it's because of where I am when I write the blog.  Maybe I just like my job.  Maybe I just like libraries.
     But you know, where can you get as much free stuff as you can at the library?  Think about it.
     Right now, down in the wildly colorful Children's Library, there's a free children's program going on.  About 30 little people and their caretakers are listening to Miss Norma's storytime.
     There are free books, audio and paper, available for check-out.  And stacks of free magazines to read, not only subscriptions to the library, but free magazines you can take home with you.  Free DVDs and VHS movies to check out also.
     Don't forget the free Internet and the free use of Dell computers, as well as free access when you bring your own laptop.
     And I don't want to forget the Bookmobile, which travels to our patrons all around Colquitt County, delivering free books to those who can't make it to the library in town.
     Free to me means you can use all this stuff free with just your very own library card.  And even getting a library card is free.  Do you know that some places charge for a library card?
     When it's hot outside, we have comfortable chairs and couches and tables to work at, in the comfort of free air conditioning.  When it's cold outside, you can find those same free conveniences available for your use, as well as the warmth of our heating system.
     We don't even charge a fee to use our free restrooms.
     And if you're in the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library, you'll find free access to, the deluxe library edition, plus many more genealogy databases.
     Don't forget the free use of our meeting rooms.  That's right, we don't charge a single cent.
     Well, if that's not enough, just remember we have free parking, not only in front of the library, but also in the parking lot adjacent to the genealogy library.
     And we have all the free help you could ask for, pertaining to library stuff, of course.  Just ask.  We're more than delighted to give you any free information we can.
     So, are you tired of hearing the word free?  Just look at all the free things we are offering you.
     Makes the word free, really free, sound good, doesn't it?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

No, it's not just another day at the library

We sat in the break room this morning and talked about working at the library. About how to not take unpleasant situations so personally, about how to be more responsive to our patrons, and about how we've reached the place we're at right now.
A little earlier a patron had wanted to buy a set of medical encyclopedias and didn't have the $5 to pay until tomorrow. I told her we'd be glad to hold them for her in our processing room. A few minutes later, a staff member hauled the two heavy boxes into processing and put them on a
Well, to make a long story short, the staff member and I had different ideas about how the matter should have been handled. We went our separate ways, but later found ourselves in the break room together and began to talk about what we felt was a small problem between
One thing led to another and we found ourselves talking about personal faults - me and how I struggle to stay upbeat, smiling and friendly to everyone; her and how she tries to balance authority, knowledge and kindness at work while coping with the rigors of college courses. We talked about past experiences, our library patrons, and how we hope to contribute to the progress of our work
Being much older than the staff member, I realize I talked more about my life experiences, about a recent conference I'd attended regarding the future of libraries, and how her youthfulness will bring fresh ideas to our library.
We must have talked for thirty minutes. It was a good talk. I learned a lot from her.
But what I really learned was that we're both doing the very best we can. I saw in her a younger me, full of ambition and struggles to make it through each day, to make it a better day every day, and give my very best to each person I come in contact with. To share a smile, a kindness, and a helpful word to all who enter the doors of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.
But the best thing I found was a friend, a better friend, in this staff member, which made it not just another day at the library.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reasons to plan ahead

When I left home this morning, I saw a large blue heron perched high in the top of a old snag just across the creek from where I live. Most bird-lovers know that a snag is an old leafless tree, more than likely dead, that probably should be taken down, but gives all kinds of reasons for birds to love it.
I've also noticed that the hummingbird feeder is half full. Usually within a day after I put it up, it's empty. So, I guess the hummingbirds have flown to their wintering
And I've already seen the V-shape formation of geese flying over head in anticipation of keeping warm in another
My birdfeeder just outside the bedroom window was empty yesterday. After I filled it with nutritious yummies, I saw the cardinals quickly found the sunflower seeds. And the little doves got in a taste or two also.
In the letter from my daughter this week, she said they are getting ready to "hunker down." They live way above the Mason-Dixon Line, up there where hunker down means making sure you have plenty of firewood, filling your freezers full, and putting the snow shovels just outside your front door.
As I think about my reasons to hunker down and get ready for colder weather, I know I need to not only fill my freezer with soup, pull out my sweaters and jeans and warms socks, but put plenty of reading material on my
When it gets cold here in Moultrie, I like to stay inside and cuddle up with a good book and a hot cup of tea. I can always put off house-cleaning in order to read a mystery or two. So, that means I need to start stocking up.
Maybe you should too. Be sure you have a library card so you can check out lots of books. You can even check out DVDs and videos. And if you're so inclined, you can listen to an audio book while you're doing things around the house. I've often put a CD book in the player and listened while making those big pots of soup, and packages of cornbread and muffins for my freezer.
I guess it's also time for me to start thinking about getting my car ready for winter. And decide where I'm going to put my one-and-only fern so it won't freeze.
My goodness, it's only the middle of October and here I am thinking of all these reasons to plan ahead. But it's time, you know.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On this day many years ago

On this day, October 13th, quite a few years ago, my son was born. When I woke up this morning, I thought back to that time...a Friday the 13th when he was born. He weighed 7 lbs. 13 oz., was 21 inches long, and we were in Room 711. The whole thing sounded like one of those games played in the back room of a dark bar. Right?

Well, anyhow, today I woke up thinking about him. And on the way to work I remembered all the times I read to him as a child, him and his brother who was four years older.

In fact, I read to all my children when they were little, until they could read for themselves. The youngest one began reading at 4 years old. Just had to do it for himself.

And here we are in the middle of October, the Family History Month, and I'm remembering all these things I should be recording for my children. I've documented lots of things, but these little stories I haven't written down. I guess now is the time.

My last child was a boy also. When he was born he had hair like little orange duck feathers, light and floaty all over his head. I remember going to a fall bazaar at Children's Hospital and purchasing a lap quilt simply because it had little orange squares in it, orange squares the color of his hair. When he was about four months old, I would put him on the quilt in front of the television where he could watch Sesame Street and all it's colorful characters. This weekend I'm sending the quilt to him, along with the story of when and why I bought it.

Well, back to today's birthday boy. He's a man now, on his own, doing his own thing. I have to admit I'm proud of him. Not only because he's turned into such a fine young man, but because he's doing something I like...graphic design in a regional library in Florida. We have lots of things in common and his library job is just another one.

Wonder why I had to tell you all this? I suppose because it's Family History Month and October 13th was once a Friday 13th and I have a son with a birthday today.

Somehow my life has always had libraries in it. All the way from getting books to read to my children when they were little up to having a son who works in a library. It's amazing how important reading and libraries have been in my life.
And the last amazing thing...I'm here working in a library. And able to tell you about it...the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.

I hope reading and libraries are important to you also. Especially ours.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October is also Georgia Archives Month

This year the Society of Georgia Archivists has designated October 2010 as the month to Travel Back in Time. The purpose of Archives Month is to celebrate the value of Georgia's historical records, publicize the many ways historical records enrich our lives, and recognize those who maintain our communities' historical records.
For years now, that has been the job of the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical maintain our communities' history. It's an archival treasure house of historical
The Travel Back in Time celebration will be publicized across the state through proclamations, posters, newspaper articles and events at various repositories. Even bloggers will be telling how to bring the past into the future.
I've felt that over the past several years people have become more interested in caring for their family history and family heirlooms.
Look at the television shows that draw attention to hidden family treasures, such as Antiques Roadshow, and family relationships, such as History Detectives and Who Do You Think You Are.
And the Internet has various websites to instruct you on how to preserve your personal documents, not only the paper but electronic kind.
Today, right here in our own library, we are interviewing and recording service members from the wars of World War II, the Korean and Viet Nam Wars.
Here in Moultrie, just a block away from our public library, the Museum of Colquitt County History is presided over by historian Jack Bridwell.
In the Odom Library, Irene Godwin is the genealogist with Ann Glass as assistant. Also our director of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System, Melody Jenkins, has written a book about Colquitt County history and is presently working on her second book of historical
You might think you don't have a reason to preserve your family's history, but you do. Think of it this way. Somewhere down the genealogical line a child will wonder about his family, about his history. He'll even wonder who you were. Why not begin recording today, by handwriting or on your computer or by a tape recorder, those oral histories and folk tales you were once told. Maybe the little songs that your mother sang to you or when your uncle showed you how to catch a fish.
If you're not sure how to go about such documentation, please visit the Odom Library or the Museum of Colquitt County History. You'll see things that will jog a memory in your head, a memory you'll just need to record, a memory to share with future generations. Talk to Irene or Ann or Jack. Both will be more than delighted to help you figure out what to do.
After all, when you travel back in time, you never know what might unravel in your head and all those hidden treasures will appear. It's time to preserve them.
(Source: Society of Georgia Archivists,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I just hate book sales!

Sometimes I just hate a book sale! I mean, I could spend all day looking at books that are on sale. For some reason, the word "sale" is like a magnet. Take this morning for
I had just clocked in and made my rounds to see if all our displays were filled (and they were, thanks to Keva), when I noticed our big book sale had gone down in size from five tables to only two. So, I drifted over to see what was left.
Big mistake!
The tables held mostly Juvenile Fictions, many with fascinating titles, such as: The Clay Pot Boy, The Nose Tree, Humbug Mountain, The Hat-Shaking Dance, The Hairy Horror Trick, Nutty Can't Miss, The TV Kid, and Ike & Mama and the Once-in-a-Lifetime Movie.
Of course, I had to open a few and see what they were about.
Tales from Silver Lands by Charles J. Finger, illustrated by Paul Honore', was awarded the Newbery medal on July 9, 1925. Mr. Finger learned these stories from the Indians in South America as he went from one "Silver Land" to another, far from railroads or main lines of travel. They all make fascinating tales for the older fairy tale age and grown-ups.
Since I'm a turtle-lover and saver of all those slowly trying to cross the roads, I had to look at Tales of Myrtle the Turtle by Keith Robertson, drawings by Peter Parnall. It was actually the drawing on the cover that caught my eye and the ivory-colored cover that's all crinkled like a turtle's rough skin. Robertson's imaginative eavesdropping on an illustrious turtle family has resulted in a wacky, completely untrue book about turtles, which manages to turn the tables, giving us a fresh look at the human race - and not always to our credit.
I did find a few Easy Readers for the younger children, one being Something Queer at the Library. When a couple of young girls find some weirdo has been cutting pictures of dogs out of expensive library books, they're determined to find out who's doing it because Mr. Hobart, the librarian, has trusted them with the books, and they'll be blamed unless they find the culprit. The book is by Elizabeth Levy and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein. (I'm going to read it today, then put it back on the table.)
And I found an adult fiction by Tom Horn, The Shallow Grass, a Novel of Texas. The book is about the Texas grasslands and three generations of the Parker Family: Tom, the big wealthy rancher; Arron, his son, who lives to see oil derricks march across the grasslands; and Arron's son, Ronnie, the tragic focal point of an epic confrontation between the nobility of the grasslands and the forces bent on its destruction.
Well, now you know why I hate book sales. I get so involved in reading through them, gingerly selecting those I want to read, and hating to leave behind any that I feel I probably should have taken.
Besides, the books in our sale are so inexpensive you can buy stacks and stacks. Hardbacks are only 25 cents, paperbacks 10 cents, audios and videos 50 cents. Other books are for sale as marked, including several sets of encyclopedias.
Let's see, I'm reading today Something Queer at the Library (it's short), but buying Tales of Myrtle the Turtle and one called Ride the Pine Sapling by Beth Bland
The day's still early. I may make another trip by the tables. You better get here and get the ones you want before all the good books are gone. Well, really, they're all good books. That's my problem!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October is also the beginning of fall

Yes, our fall season is here. It's finally cool outside. It's the first morning I've worn a sweater to work. Even my coworkers are wearing fall colors and sweaters. It's apparent we're glad the cooler season is here.
On the drive to work I noticed the trees have changed from a lively green to several darker, flat shades of green. It is the season of not only orange, but yellow and purple.
In fact, on October the first our staff decorated the lighted display cases in the main lobby with fall colors...all oranges and yellows. We filled the cases with children's yellow cars and trucks, yellow vases and pitchers, and a big yellow bear. There are also tiny orange pumpkins and a big pumpkin, even an orange New Testament, as well as a lovely basket of sunflowers, plus many more interesting items.
On our round foyer table there's a centerpiece of mums, pumpkins, leaves and berries. Our books are also in color: an orange Whiskey Sour by J. A. Konrath, yellow Lemon Meringue Pie Murder and orange Carrot Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke, and Tangerine by Marilynn Griffith, just to name a few.
In the display bookcase beside the checkout counter we placed yellow and orange books to help you "Fall into Fall reading." You'll see books such as The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson (this is a great grilling season!) and The Promise of Lumby by Gail Fraser.
At our children's table "The Great Pumpkin recommends" lots of good yellow and orange books. Above the table a hairy dark spider looks down at the books through colorful fall leaves.
So, you see, we've decorated the library with all manner of fall stuff. It's really festive-looking, bright and cheery. Even warm and friendly.
Come visit us in all our fall glory. We'd love to see you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What is October?

Well, let's at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System, October is quite a few things.
For instance, it's Family History Month, a time when we and our families should celebrate our family heritage. This means sharing information about our ancestors and commemorating their lives and accomplishments.
If you've heard of our genealogy library, the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library, you know that we really celebrate families all year long.
The library was made possible by a bequest from Mrs. Odom, who was a Trustee of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and very interested in genealogy. (She was also an accomplished musician, as well as an active leader in the Georgia 4-H program.)
Her interest in genealogy led to her membership in the Huguenot Society and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She coauthored two books: A History of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and Colquitt County Confederate Soldiers.
At her death, it was revealed that she had bequeathed the proceeds of the sale of her land and home to the library for the purpose of building a genealogy library in Moultrie. Today, the Odom Library operates on the interest from her estate. The endowment is managed by a Moultrie banking firm and the library is governed by a Board of
Since October is Family History Month, there are a few things you and your family can do together to make this month more special for you.
Why not "play detective" and bring your children or grandchildren to the Odom Library and trace your family tree? We have the deluxe version of and our librarians are very willing to show you how it works. In our library you can make copies of your family records and find pictures of all those great-great-grands that you haven't seen before.
How about creating a family cookbook, a scrapbook of family history, or a family calendar of old photos?
Why not work together to uncover your family health history and make a copy for each person in the family? You never know when that information will come in handy.
How about taking a trip to the old family homestead, or a historical museum, or a Civil War battlefield?
Or even get the family together to create a heritage gift, maybe a Christmas ornament or a lap quilt (maybe several) from old ties from family members.
And last but not least, you could start a family
There are so many things you can do to celebrate Family History Month. We're here to help you; not only the Odom Library, but the public library also. We have lots of interesting ideas....