Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pardon me for being an old poop...

...but I want to share something with you that made a big impression on me this weekend.
     I had the privilege of helping our director last Saturday as she emptied the two book drops just outside our library.  I actually helped with only one because I was working on something else.
     But when she came in from gathering the books from book drop #1, the pickup cart was filled to the brim!  Not with only our returned library books, but with paperback books (the small size) that someone had unloaded thinking we might be able to use them.  But now that I've said that, that's not what I really think they were doing.
     These paperbacks were old, old, old.  They were so old they were yellow.  And they were bent and torn and dirty.  Yep!  Dirty.  It's like they had come from someone's garage attic and had been up there for upteen years.  And they smelled!  Bad!
     Since I finished what I'd been working on, I went with her to retrieve the books from book drop #2.  And guess what.  Yep!  Same thing.  Lots and lots of old books, same kind, apparently from the same person.  The one I'd like to think gave us the books because they thought we might be able to use them.
     So, I'm going to be an old poop and say this...please! if you don't want old, yellow, bent, torn, dirty, and smelly books, please throw them away.  Because if you don't want them, we certainly can't use them.
     Sometimes we get bags (plastic grocery bags) and old boxes filled with old books and inside those books are bugs.  Sorry to say that, but it's true.  We certainly can't give those books out to our patrons!  But sometimes people drop them off anyway.
     As much as we always appreciate receiving gently used books, those in good condition and clean (and smell good too), we just have to ask you not to give us those old, yellow, bent, torn, dirty, smelly books.
     We appreciate your understanding.  We're a library, not a garbage dump.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A word from our director

     I can hardly believe it.  Thanksgiving is only days away and that means Christmas will be here in a flash!
     My grandmother always told me that the older I got, the faster time would go.  I never believed her then, but now I know she was telling the truth.  There are evidences all around me that prove that fact...I have lived in Moultrie much longer than the place I call my hometown, my children are now adults, I have had the same job for 35 years, and on my next birthday, I will be...well, old enough.  How did that happen?
     At this time of year, I always look back over the past 11 months to see what I've accomplished.  Sometimes it's hard to put my finger on a single tangible project because so many activities seem to be on-going.
     But the one thing I can always count as an accomplishment is the fact that I have grown (as a human being) because of all of the wonderful and sometimes quirky people with whom I have come in contact.  I hope that each of you know that I count you as one of the "wonderful" people who has influenced my life this year and made it so rich. 
     When Thanksgiving rolls around and I am counting my blessings, there are so many of you right at the top of the list.
     Thank you for enriching my life and have a happy Thanksgiving.
     Melody S. Jenkins, Director, Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well, I spoke too soon!

     Just when I thought I had my winter reading all set...just when I thought I'd found my series to read...well, I spoke too soon!
     Today our director showed me the books she ordered with the Joanna Rosner Estate gift.  Ms. Rosner's gift was to purchase only mysteries and the books have started coming in.
     On our "New Books" shelves and our "7-Day-Loan" shelves are more books than I could possibly read during just one winter-sitting.  I may have to extend my series reading far into the summer.  And look at some of what I'll be reading.
  • Nancy Atherton writes the "Aunt Dimity" series.  Aunt Dimity is a ghost and signs of her appear in every book.  The new one on our shelf is Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon.  But, I've read all this series and will move on to another.
  • Emilie Richards is the author of the "Ministry is Murder" series.  We have the book A Truth for a Truth.  This is a new series for me and is now on my must-read list.
  • Jennifer Chiaverini writes lots of books about quilts.  I've been watching her list grow over the past few years, but haven't begun any yet.  The Rosner gift has purchased The Lost Quilter, Circle of Quilters, The Runaway Quilt, and The Aloha Quilt.  We have lots of quilters in town who will really enjoy these books.
  • Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant write the "Gourmet Girl" series, books about the doings of an executive chef.  We have Cook the Books on the shelf with recipes included.
  • Ellen Crosby has a series of "Wine Country Mysteries."  If you're a wine-lover, these are your books.  The one on our shelf is titled The Viognier Vendetta.
  • The Laura Childs "Tea Shop Mysteries" I've read from first book to last.  However, she also has a "Scrapbooking" series and we have her book Fiber and Brimstone.
  • Gail Fraser's books were introduced to me by our director.  She writes "The Lumby" series.  This is another series I've followed from the first book, and now I get to read the latest, Lumby on the Air.  Just checked it out!  Guess what I'll be doing all weekend!
     So, you see, there's just so much to read here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.  What with all the new books purchased with the gift from the Estate of Joanna Rosner, we are so excited about what we have to share with you.  Come check them out today.  But beware.  If you're a series-lover, they might go fast.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Maybe I've found my books for winter reading

     For quite a while now I've been thinking about starting a series.  I like reading about a person or a group of people and following them through a series of several books.
     I did that with the Laura Childs "tea shop" mysteries and with Alexander McCall Smith's series about "The Number One Ladies Detective Agency."  And there were a good many more series before that. 
     There's something comforting about reading a series.  It's like going home and being on familiar ground.  In the tea shop mysteries I learned all about Charleston, South Carolina, the historic sites and festivities, the little shops and restaurants, as well as a ton about the different kinds of teas.  In the detective mysteries, I learned about Africa and Botswana, the customs and dress, the beauty of the land, and the politeness of the people.
     Yesterday I wondered if I'd found my books for winter reading.  The best way for me to be sure was to log onto the Pines Catalog and see how many of the books in this special series we have here at our library.  Also, if we don't have them, can I get them through our Interlibrary Loan System.
     Sure enough, after all that checking, it looks like I have a winner.  I'm going to start the Fairacre series and the Thrush Green series, both by Dora Jessie Saint, best known by the pen name of Miss Read.
     Saint is an English novelist, by profession a schoomistress, using a pseudonym derived from her mother's maiden name.  Her series of novels centered on two fictional English villages, Fairacre and Thrush Green.  The principal character in the Fairacre books, Miss Read, is an unmarried schoolteacher, a sharply severe yet compassionate observer of village life.  Her books are laced with gentle humor and subtle social commentary, as well as observations about nature and the changing seasons.  She retired in 1996 and in 1998 was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to literature.
     Her first Fairacre book was published in 1955 with the last in 1996, understandably titled "A Peaceful Retirement."  There are 20 books in this series.
     The Thrush Green books first began in 1959 with the last published in 2009.  There are 13 in that series.
     That's a total of 33 books in both series.  Don't you think I've found my books for winter reading?  Maybe even into the early months of spring.
     If you'd like to begin a series, why not stop by the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and talk to a few of us who like to read series about quilts, needlework, English ghosts, candlemaking, and lots of other topics.  I'm sure there is someone here to help you.
(Source: Pines 2000-2010, Wikipedia Dictionary)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The royal saga continues

     From my television this morning, across the living room and into the kitchen, I heard the news...Prince William is engaged!!!  Of course, everyone knew it would be Kate Middleton, the Prince's long-time girlfriend.  Every television station carried the news.  I couldn't turn to get away from it.  Ah!  So be it, I thought.  Love is in the air and it's not even spring time.
     For the next five years we will follow this young couple...through the engagement, the wedding (the BIG wedding), the honeymoon, the first child, and on and on.  This is a better following than when Charles married Camilla, however.  And we hope this following will be even better than when we followed William's parents, Charles and Diana.
     I wondered how many of our patrons would come to the library to check out information about the First Family of England.  So, I did a little checking myself.
     The best books seem to be in the 942 Section, in the bookshelves right across from the adult reading area and the audio books.
     You'll find lots of books about Elizabeth (all of them), Henry VIII (and his wives), George III, and The Prince of Wales (better known as Prince Charlie).  You'll also find lots of books about their homes and wars and generals and history.  An interesting book is titled "The Queen's House." 
     Then there are the books about Diana, some simply called "Diana."  We all remember "The People's Princess." 
     Someone on the television news this morning even wondered what dear Kate will be called.  They've already slammed her because she doesn't have a job (except with her parent's business...I didn't stay around to see what it was) and that she hasn't been big into charity work until recently.  BUT, Charles and Camilla do like her, we've been told.  That has to be half of the battle.  The other half must be the grandparents and we were all told, again on television, that William and his grandparents are very close.
     So, be prepared.  Come check out one of the books about the Royal Family of England and bone up on the saga.  Then be prepared to follow...from the comfort of your easy chair in front of the television.

Monday, November 8, 2010

You're invited to attend...

...our Veterans' Coffee on Friday, November 12th, from 9 to 11 a.m. 
     At a time when our country is still at war, we take this opportunity to honor and recognize our most important contributors to world peace...those who served the United States in all wars, especially the Veterans.
     It is a time marked by parades and church services and in many places the American flag is hung at half mast.
     Often a period of silence lasting two minutes is held at 11 a.m.  Some schools and businesses are closed in order to mark the occasion with special assemblies or other activities.
     We will be serving refreshments to the Veterans and their friends and family at our event.  The refeshments will provided by the Moultrie Federated Guild, the Moultrie Junior Woman's Club, the John Benning Chapter NSDAR, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, and the Friends of the MCCLS.  Flowers will be provided by the Magnolia Garden Club.
     Some of those wonderful Veterans we will be serving were interviewed this year by Beau Sherman of South Georgia Governmental Services Authority, along with members the high school's video production team Katie Moore and Matthew Lardy.  The video production teacher is Samantha Hardin. 
     The Veterans interviewed were William J. Bell (Army, Persian Gulf), Grover Reeves (Air Force, Germany), Clem Weldon (Army, Korea), Julian R. Bowles (Army, WWII), Billy Yarbrough (Army, Vietnam) and Randall Lairsey (Army, WWII).  During the program the video interviews will be shown to the public.
     Mr. Sherman will also present copies of the DVDs to Ann Glass, the chairperson of the Catherine M. Bryant Veterans History Project at MCCLS, and Jack Bridwell, the representative for the Museum of Colquitt County History.  These DVDs will be available in each location for the public to view.
     We hope you'll make plans to join us in "Celebrating our Veterans."  We'll be in the Willcoxon Auditorium.  The program begins about 9 a.m.  We'll look for you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Funny titles...again!

     I just finished reading one of my favorite blogs.  Bill Starr has been the executive director of the Georgia Center for the Book since 2003 and he's the writer of Bill's Blog.  It's not a daily writing, so catching up with his thoughts is a once-a-week thing for me.  Today I read, once again, his blog about funny titles.  Now that's a subject I really like.
     It made me want to make my way down the long white hallway to one of my favorite places in the library...our sale books. 
     These are the books that, if they were mine, I could never throw away.  I suppose that's why they're on the sale shelf.  We couldn't throw them away either.
     I started looking for funny titles in the long, low shelves.  I've done this many times before.  The funny titles just seem to pop out at me, like a flash of recognition, like a book that says "read me," and usually I do.
     Of course, the kids' books have the funniest titles, such as:
Sparrows Don't Drop Candy Wrappers by Margaret Gabel,
Me and the Eggman by Eleanor Clymer,
Do Bananas Chew Gum? by Jamie Gilson and Hello, My Name is Scrambled Eggs, and
The Horse on the Roof by Bob Wells.
     Lots of adults don't enjoy reading juvenile fiction, however.  And they really don't know what they're missing. 
     So, there's funny titles for them also, such as:
That's Doctor Sinatra, You Little Bimbo! by G. B. Trudeau,
Feeling Kind of Temporary by Frank Edmund See,
Dude, Where's My Country? by Michael Moore,
How to be a Pregnant Father by Peter Mayle, and
Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins.
     Of course, I can never just walk away with empty hands.  I did find a book with a funny title that I took back to the office for a closer look.  And it may end up on my bookshelf at home.
     If you're like me, you're looking forward to the holiday season simply because it's a time of year that we seem to put forth an extra effort to make scrumptious foods, some once-a-year foods.  That, of course, leads to putting on extra pounds, which in turn makes me think of having to lose those extra pounds, which in turn makes me think of New Year's resolutions.  (Pay no attention to that badly written sentence!)
     But with this book I selected from our book sale shelf, I'll have a head start on my resolutions.  Of course, it has a funny title in a serious kind of way.
     The name?  Oh, it's Outsmarting the Midlife Fat Cell by Debra Waterhouse, MPH, RD.  Just perfect for this time of the year.
(Source: Bill's Blog, http://www.georgiacenterforthebook.org/)  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

25 books for young Georgians

     Once again the Georgia Center for the Book has given us a list of great books to read.  This time it's for our young Georgians.  The inaugural list of "25 Books All Young Georgians Should Read" was announced on August 26th and many of the authors and illustrators on the list will participate in free public readings at libraries and schools throughout Georgia during the next two years.
     Bill Starr, executive director of the center said, "We believe it's going to prove helpful in guiding youngsters to some of the finest writing available for them."
     Here's a partial list of the books selected:
Picture books (the list includes)
Little Duck by the late Liz Conrad (illustrator)
14 Cows for America by Carmen Deedy (author) and Thomas Gonzalez (illustrator)
Soap, Soap, Soap - Jabn, Jabn, Jabn by Elizabeth Dulemba (author and illustrator)
The Origami Master by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer (author) and Aki Sogabe (illustrator)
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin (author) and James Dean (illustrator)
Grades K-3 (the list includes)
Mittens by Lola Schaefer
Owly (graphic novel) by Andy Runton
Grades 4-8 (the list includes)
Freedom Train by Evelyn Coleman
A Yellow Watermelon by Ted Dunagan
The Tree That Owns Itself and Other Adventure Tales From Out of the Past by Gail Karwoski and Loretta Johnson Hammer
Grades 7 and higher (the list includes)
Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
I Am Rembrandt's Daughter by Lynn Cullen
The Maze Runner by James Dashner.
     The Georgia Center for the Book plans to release new lists at least every three years, like they do their adult lists.
     You can obtain more information about the center, its lists and honored authors by visiting http://www.georgiacenterforthebook.org/.  The center is holsted by DeKalb County Public Library.
(Source: Georgial Public Library Service News, October 2010)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Well, it's November...

...and when November gets here, I start thinking about Thanksgiving.
     Maybe it has something to do with the weather changing, but I doubt it.  For some reason, November really makes me think about food, not weather.  And food makes me think about Thanksgiving.
     This year my small family in this part of the U.S. has decided not to have a traditional Thanksgiving, meaning no turkey, dressing, etc.  Instead, they want to grill steaks outside on the big, shiny silver grill.  Of course I had to agree.  I mean, you can't buck the entire bunch.  You just have to "go with the flow."  Even if I am "the mother."
     Then I thought, I'm going to ask everyone to bring just one dish to the meal, anything they want to bring...maybe fresh veggies to grill from my daughter-in-law, maybe oatmeal cookies from my son, maybe mashed potatoes from my other son.  You get the idea.  If they'll all do that, then I can bring what I want to bring.  And I know exactly what I want to bring. SWEET POTATOES.  So, I started my hunt for something really special.
     Now, when I go hunting for something, I hunt for it in the library.  And I headed for the 641.5 section here in the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.  That's the cookbook section.
     I found the Quick and Easy Cookbook, the American Heirloom Pork Cook Book, and the Steaks, Ribs and Chops Cookbook.  That wasn't exactly what I had in mind.
     I looked through the Better Homes and Gardens cook books (we have several of those), as well as the Slow Cooker Recipes (there are several of those also).  I even looked in the Blue Ribbon Recipes, Paula Deen Celebrates!, and Food for Friends cook books.
     And I made a note of the cook books titled Christmas in the Heartland, The Creative Christmas Kitchen, and Christmas with Southern Living.  After all, you know that when Thanksgiving comes and goes, Christmas is right around the corner.
     I thought I was at the end of my hunt until I saw The Plantation Cookbook.  Now, if you can't find a yummy sweet potato recipe in a plantation cookbook, in the South where plantations are as plentiful as sweet potatoes, then you just might as well give up.
     But sure enough, there it was!!!  Sweet Potatoes in Oranges!!!  Sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, eggs, light cream, allspice, cinnamon, salt, chopped pecans, sherry (just a little bit), and orange cups (made from real oranges, large oranges cut in half, pulp scooped out, edges fluted...just makes my mouth water thinking about them).
     So!  I have my recipe.  I'm going to have my sweet potatoes.  Now all I have to do is convince everyone to bring just one dish they'd like to have to our un-traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
     Thank you, library, for all these wonderful cookbooks and for my special 2010 (traditional) sweet potato plantation recipe.  I can hardly wait!