Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just one more thing to say in 2011

     I thought yesterday's note to you would be my last, but I just couldn't pass this one up.
     You know, there's going to be a lot of eating going on over the next couple of weeks.  Eating like it's going out of style.  Eating like there's no tomorrow.  Eating like you're never going to eat again.
     Now, with those thoughts in mind, I have to tell you that I found, today, right here at our library, something that will help you, if you pay attention.
     Yep!  I found this information right here at our library.
     There I was, pouring myself a cup of coffee in the break room and minding my own business, when I began to look for a spoon to stir the creamer in my cup.
     That's when I found the information about food that I'm going to share with you.
     It was on a shelf in the break room where we put our "stuff" and it surprised me so much that I brought it back to the office to tell you.
     It's a plate that talks about the portion size of food you SHOULD eat, not the size you WILL eat.  Have you ever seen one?  Every household needs one of these plates and I don't know where to get one.  But I want to share the information printed on this plate with all of you (like me) who plan to eat big-time for the holiday season.
     OK!  It says around the rim of the plate that half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, 1/4th should be whole grains, and 1/4th or less should be lean meat or protein (that usually means peanut butter to me.  Sorry about that!).
     The top half of the plate says "fats, oils and sweets USE SPARINGLY!"  (The capitals are there!)  It shows the picture of a baseball and says "one cup of fruits or vegetables EQUALS the size of a baseball."  It also says "a medium potato EQUALS the size of a computer mouse" and shows a computer mouse.  The baseball and mouse are the exact size they should be.
     In the lower lefthand corner of the plate it says "the width of a pancake EQUALS the size of a CD.  A slice of bread EQUALS the size of an audio cassette."  Now, it doesn't show the exact size of those items, but you get the idea.
     In the lower righthand corner of the plate it says "one serving of meat EQUALS the size of a deck of cards," and there's an almost-exact-size card with a few behind it.
     So!  Are you getting the message?  This is one of the most busy "stuffing" times of the year, and I don't mean "stuffing the turkey," unless your siblings call you a turkey.  This is right before you NEED to make that new year's resolution that you will lose weight beginning in 2012.
     We are two weeks and a few days away from 2012.  What do you think?  Should we get a running start on the new year and take a better look at our plates over the next two weeks?  Should we consider how many pounds we can put on over the next seventeen days if we don't control what we put on our plates?  Are we going to take a baseball size portion of Grandma's fruit salad (the one with the marshmallows and coconut and whipped cream; that's the fruit, you see)?  Are we going to leave off the real butter and brown sugar that we usually put on our sweet potato (the one that should be the size of a computer mouse)?
     What are we going to do about those cloverleaf yeast rolls that Aunt Suzie brings?  Will four of them equal the size of an audio cassette?  And the meat...a piece of turkey the size of a deck of cards?
     Oh, geez, why did I have to find that plate?  I have laid a guilt trip on me that's bigger than my mama's fourteen-person dining room table.  Now, I know every time I go back for a refill I'll be thinking of that plate.
     Well, I just thought I'd share this information with you.  No guilt trip intended, honestly.
     Hope you enjoy all the good food coming your way during this holiday season.  But why not join me on January 1st and make the resolution to lose weight in 2012.  I honestly need a few friends to stand beside me and take the pledge to drop those pounds I added at the end of 2011.  You know the saying..."misery loves company."
     Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, y'all.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Closing

The Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, Odom Genealogical Library, and Doerun Municipal Library's Holiday Closing - - December 17, 5:30 p.m. through January 2, 2012.  All libraries reopen Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at regular times.

     As we close our libraries to begin the Holiday Season, all of us at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Public Library, the Odom Genealogical Library, and the Doerun Municipal Library would like to wish you and your loved ones the happiest and best of the holidays.
     We also thank you for the wonderful support you've shown us in 2011.  We appreciate the MCCLS Friends, the visiting authors and program speakers/singers, and all of our patrons.
     Although our budget was tight for our libraries, we have continued to provide you with entertaining, enlightening, and educational programs during the year. With your continued support, we promise to continue to provide you with great quality events in 2012 and for years to come.
     We hope you have a joyful Holiday Season and look forward to seeing you in the New Year, right here at our libraries.

Melody S. Jenkins, Director
all Library Staff Members

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just in time for busy Christmas cooking

     Well, I did myself one of those little 1.5 quart slow cookers.   I mean, why not?  They were on sale for $10.00.  I guess that was the lure.  I got it even though I wasn't sure I'd use one.  After all, it's so tiny compared to the 4 or 6 quart cookers.  But since I cook for just me, I figured...why not?
     Since the cooker didn't come with appropriate recipes for a tiny cooker, I had to do some Internet research.  Most sites said to calculate the recipe to fit my tiny cooker.  Math was not my best subject!  Just tell me in plain English with lots of pictures. But I have to admit, some sites had little calculation meters to help you.
     Well!  What else could I do except head for the 641.5 shelves in my library, the shelves that hold our cookbooks.  Here's where I found the slow cooker recipe books. 
     There was a big blue and green book called "Slow Cooker Cooking" by Lora Brody, the author of "The Kitchen Survival Guide."  It had a copyright of 2001, and I wondered if that was before the tiny cookers came into kitchens.  It read like Lora was right there talking to me, had good slow cooker basics, and mentioned her testers also used a small cooker, which holds about 3 cups. 
     Since my criteria for a slow cooker is to cook recipes with meat, I looked at the meat section first.  I found a recipe for lamb-stuffed cabbage rolls with yogurt-dill sauce, but I'm not big on cabbage or dill sauce.  I found a recipe for chicken merlot with mushrooms that sounded good, but I'm not a fan of merlot.  All recipes were for 3 to 5 quart cookers.  I should have paid attention when the author said she was a fan of the 5-1/2 quart oval cooker.  So...on to the next book.
     There was a teeny, tiny book titled "Extra-Special Crockery Pot Recipes" by Lou Seibert Pappas.  None of the recipes gave a pot-size.  Most receipes served 4 to 8 people, some 10 or 12; way too much for my tiny pot.  Think of all the calculations I'd have to do to make one small little pot of food.  However, the lemon roast chicken made my mouth water.  And the Hawaiian chicken with pineapple slices and avocado spears as a complement sounded yummy!  I decided I might have to check this book out for a few days.
     The Betty Crocker "More Slow Cooker Recipes" was BIG with a spiral binder.  It had information about adapting your own favorite range-top recipes, along with a section for hassle-free holidays.  It also had gorgeous pictures, with the majority of the recipes for 3-1/2 to 4 quart cookers. I did find a beef pot roast with vegetables recipe I thought I could work on cutting down to my size.  Then I moved on to the next book.
     This is where I found several 3 quart recipes I could cut in half.  Called "Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly" by Phyllis Pellman Good, it had a recipe for super easy chicken, beef-lite with ground beef, and a tuna casserole; I liked them all (even if they were for the 3 to 4 quart pots).
     You know, the more slow cooker recipes I thought I'd like to try, I've decided I need to take that tiny slow cooker back and get a refund.  I'm not ever going to use that tiny, little pot. 
     In fact, I think I'm going to get me one of those 5-1/2 quart oval cookers, one I can put a bunch of chicken in, or a meat loaf, or a nice size roast.  I think one of those bigger pots will be just in time for my busy Christmas cooking.  Don't you think so?
     How about you?  If you need help with your Christmas cooking, why not come look at all our cookbooks.  Remember, they're all in the 641.5 section.  We'll be glad to show you where they are.
     And be sure you have one of those bigger cookers.  Everyone tells me to just dump the stuff in, turn the pot on, and go.  Couldn't be better cooking for Christmas or anytime, right?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The "moses hats" have arrived!

     The stage is set!  Three tables, all in a row from the front door to the back of the room, covered in long white and red tablecloths, are set with red serving platters for snacks and goodies.  On the first table a tall tin raindeer stands to greet you.  Red tin Santas are lined up on the piano in the hopes of singing, "Ho, ho, ho!"
     And all around the room, up against the walls, are tables filled with the "moses hats."
     I imagine you're wondering what "moses hats" are.  They are sights to behold!
     They are paper creations, paper hats, carefully crafted out of newspapers and colored papers, painstakingly twisted, cut, tied and glued together.
     They are 46 inspirations created by the 7th grade visual arts students from Willie J. Williams school here in Moultrie, Georgia.  Their teacher is Alisha Montgomery, and through her direction she has stirred the souls of these children into making remarkable art constructions.
     As I strolled the room and looked at each hat, I saw some amazing demonstrations of artistic skill in concept,construction, visual effect, and titles of deep thought. 
     Outstanding in concept was:  Flower Power by Payton Snipes, The Rock Star by Fernando Bautista, The Hat With No Face by Kisheu Patel, and Holy Moses by David Garza.
     Outstanding in construction was: The Hat by John Burdon, Samurai Hat by Gabriel Evans, To Creep by Jaleel Bell, and Dumb-Dumb Hat by Korey Meisner.
     Outstanding in visual effect was:  Flower Power by Payton Snipes (again), Christmas Presents by Josie Moore, Christmas Gift by Keyonna Brown, and Spirit of the Wind by Nathan Stone.
     Outstanding in Name was: Crazy and Old but Back in Style, The Hidden Garden, Wedding Kiss, The Tank, Dread Head, and Laffy Taffy.
     All of these hats, and even the ones I didn't mention, are exceptional.  The young people who made the hats are more exceptional.  They deserve a big round of applause.
     But don't take my word for all of this.  Come see the art exhibit for yourself.
     A reception will be held this evening in the auditorium, 6:30 to 7:30.  You will be amazed at the creativeness of our school children and delighted by the gifts that Alisha Montgomery has given to her students through her amazing teaching.
     The Children's Library of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library is delighted to host this special event.  Watch us grow!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Grinch is gone

     I kicked him out yesterday.  Him and Scrooge, too.
     You see, we decorated the library yesterday.  Pulled out all the Christmas decorations and had a ball!
     It really started with our director, Melody, hanging huge, curly, red and green paper stars over the circulation counter.  I mean they are HUGE!  And they are so pretty.  They hang from the ceiling and were no easy job for her and our janitor, Mitchell.  But with a regular-size ladder and a short wooden stool, Mitchell, who must stand at least six feet, was able to put those long pieces of string up on the ceiling tile carriers.  And the stars hung over the library.
      Next, Johnnie and I worked on the two lighted cases in the main foyer.  She brought in her porcelain Christmas ornaments, the Norman Rockwell kind, in red and pearl white.  We placed them on top of sparkling white felt, bunched up like clouds (actually scrunched over stacks of books), and added huge, debugged pine cones and glistening greenery.  In one case, Aileen's chubby Santa sat in the center; in the other case, Melody's antique-y Christmas tree with tiny decorations.  After we were finished, everything sparkled in the lighted cases and the festive feeling began to float through the building.
     But we weren't finished!  For months Melody had been talking about making a Christmas tree out of books for the foyer table.  While Johnnie and I worked on the cabinets, behind us Melody was stacking huge green books on the round table covered with a green tablecloth.  As she neared the top of the tree, the books became smaller and smaller, until a tiny one sat at the top.  And on top of that little book, she placed a three-dimensional, yellow paper star.  Then in all the little crevices of the books, she added tiny, wooden toy decorations.  It's a sight to behold.  What a clever idea for a library, huh?  Books!  Just love them!
     But we didn't stop there!   On top of the lighted cabinets, we put books about making Christmas crafts, like ornaments, stockings, trees...books all the way from Martha Stewart to Leslie Linsley.  Our table near the nonfiction bookshelves have Christmas books, too...'Tis the Season for Frosty Good Stories...and Johnnie's little cloth Christmas tree her sister made.  We even placed Christmas books on our bookcase at the circulation counter.  I mean, you won't be able to read fast enough to read all the great Christmas stories we have for you.
     But let me tell you what really chased the Grinch and Scrooge away.
     Today Corlis White's little Day Care tiny tots came to sing for us.  Five little 3-to-4 year-olds, dressed in their Christmas shirts (one little girl had on a long green dress and brown boots).  They had their Santa hats on their heads, too.  They sang "Holly, Jolly Christmas" and kissed each other profusely.  They sang "Jingle Bells" and rang bells as big as their ears.  They sang "Jesus Loves the Little Children" and watched us all sing with them.  Then as "Frosty, the Snowman" played on the CD player, they tossed Frosty up and down in a multi-colored parachute they all held.  Believe me, their giggles were the delight of the event!  They put good cheer in all of us and we are definitely in the holiday season mood.
     Now you know why the Grinch is gone!  Don't expect me to talk about him (or Scrooge) again.
     In fact, I still have the December calendar to put up in the lighted case just outside the door.  And while I do it, I think I'll sing along with the Christmas songs I have playing on my computer.  I'm in the mood!  It's December!  And Christmas is coming!
     We are ready to bring you good cheer.   Drop by and soak up some Christmas atmosphere.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November is just about gone! Here comes December!

     Today when I got to work, I looked at the calendar and cringed.  Yep!  Cringed! 
     It's the last of day away from the end of the month.  That means the very next day is December 1st and I'm just not ready for December!
     December means Christmas shopping in busy stores, everyone pushing and shoving, struggling for the perfect gift for the person they're thinking about.  It means spending lots of money all at one time and paying them off all at one time.  Really, really hard to do in this day's economy.
     December means decorating the outside of my palace, putting up the wreaths, the bows, the balls, the snowflakes.  All that stuff!   AH!  But I don't decorate inside my palace, because of the cat who thinks she's a dog and chews on everything.  So, that's a blessing in disguise.
     December means Christmas parties.  So far, I have three this year to attend.  And when I attend one, I have to bring some food.  Well, I've simplified that...I'm bringing to each party the same thing, a veggie tray with artichoke/spinach dip, and hope that some is left over to take home for munching on in front of the TV.
     December means food, like I said, and lots of folks have BIG spreads to plan, buy, and cook for.  Mine this year will be small and that means everyone has to bring a dish.  Yea!  Cause I'm getting to where I hate to cook.  Too bad I hate to eat, huh?  That must mean December brings on the weight, too.  One more thing to grip about, I guess.
     Do I sound like Scrooge?  Well, it sounds like it.  Sorry about that.
     There are a few good things about December, now that I think harder.
     One would be all the great Christmas shows on TV.  And this year I just happen to have a new TV.  I graduated from my 13-inch (which for years I thought was a 19-inch) all the way up to a 32-inch!  Talk about feeling like I'm right there!  Ah, yes.  I'm looking forward to the Christmas shows, in what will seem to me like I'm sitting in my own personal theater.
     Two will be the time off around Christmas that we have each year.  I feel privileged to work in an organization where we have two weeks off at Christmas.  That doesn't help our patrons much, when they depend on the computers for school work or job searching.  But it does help with our slowly dwindling library funds.  I mean, we do save on electricity, heat, water, etc. some.  Hopefully, it all balances out.
     Three will be that I'll have time to read while I'm well.  Couldn't do that while I was sick, remember?  And I am reading three books all at one time right now.  But I need to start collecting the books I want to take home with me to read during the Christmas holidays.
     In fact, we just put on our recommendation shelf the first of our Christmas book selections for you to enjoy.
     We have The Fat Man audio book by Ken Harmon.  You can listen while you cook!  It's a story about Gumdrop Coal, one of Santa's original elves, who wanted revenge because he was fired from his longtime job as captain of the Coal Patrol.  When the parent of one of the Naughty kids gets killed, Gumdrop has to find out who framed him.  This is a "holly jolly" read that will cause you to hoot with laughter.
     For all of you who love "politically correct" stuff, we have Politically Correct Holiday Stories by James Finn Garner.  The author has taken the liberty of revising and improving some familiar holiday tales, such as "The Night Before Christmas," "Frosty the Snowman," and "The Nutcracker," among a few others.  Tongue-in-cheek is required, you know.
     For our romance-story lovers, we have two books on the shelf.  Texas Christmas Grooms by Pamela Griffin and Vickie McDonough tells two tales about Texas Rangers who try their hands at matchmaking.  Now, I've never heard of Texas Ranger matchmakers, but these are cute little Christmas stories that make you wonder if the two grooms will be lassoed in time for Christmas weddings. 
     The second book is by a favorite author, Joan Medlicott, the author of The Ladies of Covington.  Her book A Covington Christmas makes you wonder if the five couples, who thought they were married for a long time and find out they haven't been married at all, actually get re-married on Christmas Eve, when last-minute obstacles threaten to stop their big weddings.  They need a miracle!  Do they get it?  You'll have to read this one to find out.
     There are lots more reasons to like December.  I just remembered the gorgeous Christmas lights over the courthouse square and surrounding streets.   Also, there are lots of great Christmas movies now, like The Muppets, Hugo, and even Happy Feet Two (well, it has snow in it).  And in a couple of weeks some friends and I will go to the Thomasville, Georgia "Victorian Christmas."
    And just to prove that I'm not a Scrooge, we're putting up our December displays here in the library for you to enjoy.  That will certainly get all of us in the mood for a festive holiday season.  Come check us out.  After all, December only lasts for 31 days!   But remember, we'll be closed for half of that time.  (That sounded like a Scrooge ending, after all.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!

     This is from the Land of the South to all of you in other parts of the United States and other areas around the world.  We know you're there, because we've seen you in our stats and know where you're viewing from.  That's why I just had to include "y'all" in my greeting. 
     And as for the "Land of the South," I mean South Georgia in the southern part of the United States.  Right now, that's about as far south as I want to go.
      Our library will be closing this afternoon at 5:30 for the Thanksgiving holidays.  We'll be closed until Monday, the 27th, a short but nice little time off for those of us who work here.  This is when I usually wonder where everyone who comes here to use the computers and sit a few hours in our reading area will be on Thanksgiving Day. 
     I'll have family with me on Thanksgiving Day...all the way from across town and from Gainesville, Florida.  Not a real whole lot of travel going on there.
     We'll share good food and good times with each other for the day.  Then they will leave and go back to their jobs the next day, while I'm able to stay home and enjoy my "whatevers"!
     I know many of you do not celebrate the same holidays we do here in the United States.  But I want you to know that on my Thanksgiving Day, I'll be thinking of you, no matter where you are.  And there's no way I could list all of you to give special thanks for.  There are just too many.
     So, even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you'll be happy and free and have a good meal in your belly.
     From me to you...happy thanksgiving, y'all!

Monday, November 21, 2011

So! What do YOU do when you're sick?

     This past week has not been nice!  That's to put it mildly!  Allergies and sinus problems abound amongst my friends and coworkers.  One is also out with gallbladder surgery (how did that get in there?).  But to have an allergic reaction to the medicine that's supposed to be helping you get well...WELL!
     What did I do while I was sick for a week?  Not what you think.
     You know how we always say, "Oh, if I got sick, I'd be able to read all those good books I've been stocking up on my bookshelves"?  That didn't work for me.  I had two books I'd been reading for the past week...Women Who Run With Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Estes and The Joe Grey Cat Mysteries by Shirley Rousseau Murphy...and I thought I'd read them.  But that didn't really work out.  Headaches don't help your eyesight!
     And waiting on my bookshelf is the Sally Goldenbaum series of Seaside Knitters...Death by Cashmere (book one) and The Wedding Shawl (book five).  I have one through four at home; book five is here in our library.  I've read the first one and am excited about reading the others.  But NO.  The old headache and stomach problems kept me in the dark...hoping the crud would eventually disappear.
     A little TV, a little food (like yogurt and water, and chicken noodle soup and a vanilla malt brought by a friend) did little to make the misery go away.  I stared at my bookshelves, remembering that lovely thought...oh, if I got sick, I'd be able to read all those good books I've been stocking up on my bookshelves.  Oh, woe is me!  that didn't work out at all.  And the food brought on the worst problems of all, which you don't want to hear about, simply because of the allergic reaction to the medicine.
     That's when I had to go back to square one...a different medicine.  You know, sometimes you just have to feel worse in order to feel better.  And I did.
     Did I want to listen to a good story on audio books?  No.  My brain hurt, just like the rest of me did.  Even the soothing music I usually put on while napping didn't help.  Just silence, please.
     Finally, the good medicine kicked in.  The headache went away, as did the other problems associated with the allergic reaction.  The eyesight cleared up, food was tasting good again, the coughing and sniffling (did I mention those earlier?) began to clear up.  And an interest in looking at book pages began to appear.  The energy level was low and the house was dirty, but all that makes for reading order to better recouperate, I told myself.
     Did I pick up Women Who Run With Wolves?  No.  Or The Joe Grey Cat Mysteries?  No.  Or the Seaside Knitters?  No.
     I treated myself to a new book....  I told my friend to bring me a new book from the library.  She called from the library to say, "Which one?"
     Ann Rivers Siddons' new book Burnt Mountain is about "the way love can shape our lives - and the things we keep from those who know us best."  It takes place not only in Atlanta but in the North Carolina mountains, over a period of many years, and deals with first love, first heartbreak, tragic death, and great expectations.
     Nicholas Sparks' new book The Best of Me also takes place in North Carolina and is a love story about a young couple from opposite sides of the track, who meet 25 years later at the funeral of their "mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance" and realize everything they thought they knew about him, themselves, and the dreams they held dear was not as it seemed.
     Terry Kay's new book is The Greats of Cuttercane.  These are the stories of people born in Cuttercane, Georgia, who earned minor celebrity from the townsfolk's highest praise: "He (she) is something else, ain't he (she)?"  Only Terry Kay can tell a tall tale like all those who try to outdo one another.  Written with humor, these are the stories shared daily in cafes and other gathering spots in rural communities in the South.
     OK, which one did I pick?  All I can tell you is that I'm so glad I'm feeling better!  It's pitiful when you don't even feel like reading a good book.  I can't imagine ever NOT reading.  But if that time should come, I know I'll have a stack of audio books close by.
     As for the three new books mentioned, when you come to the library to select your next book, see which one is missing.  I'll have that one.  You can have the other two.
     And I sure hope you feel like reading the next time you're sick.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Browsing for Thanksgiving dinner

     Last Friday I took myself to the new farmers' market here in Moultrie.  It used to be called Bill's, but now it's called Packer Produce.  I just wanted to see what it looked like, since it's being managed by some different people.  When I got inside the newly enclosed, air conditioned building, I must say I was impressed.
     This is not an advertisement for Packer Produce.  It's my lead-in to tell you about my browsing for Thanksgiving dinner.
     I did buy some bananas, lemons, and sweet potatoes, however.  And I know where I'll get my cranberries and carrots and radishes and other veggies for my veggie plate with dip.
     Anyhow, what I really want to say is, around this time of year I get the bug to do some serious cooking.  Maybe it's the change in the weather.  Maybe it's the time of year when all the really good tasting foods, many that we have only once a year, appear on our tables.
     I know I'm going to make vegetable soup and my Mama's stew recipe.  I plan to start that right after Thanksgiving.
     But I started thinking about what I'd like to have for Thanksgiving dinner, that wonderful big meal of Thanksgiving Day, the one that gives you lots of leftovers for the rest of the week and into the weekend.
     And what better place to find what I would like to have but right here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library in the cookbook section...section 641.5.
     The first book I picked up is The Market Place, a Collection of Recipes by the Augusta Jr. Woman's Club.  I plan to have their "Cocktail Meatballs" for my appetizer.  That's on page 14 of the cookbook.  It's the  recipe that uses chili sauce and a jar of grape jelly to simmer the meatballs in.  Yummy!
     I also plan to have a veggie plate with dip.  I found some tasty suggestions in the Carol Arnel Greenberg cookbook, The Day Before Cookbook.   I can prepare all the veggies the day before: clean, slice, and cut them, and make the dip ahead of time.  Even bought a nice new platter to put everything on.
     Of course, there are those who would like to put their whole meal in a slow cooker and be done with it.  Lora Brody has a book titled Slow Cooker Cooking.  She's the author of The Kitchen Survival Guide (just my kind of book).  But in her slow cooker book, she has a recipe for Chicken Merlot with Mushrooms that sounds devine!  It's with skinless chicken thighs and just a little (1/4 cup of) Merlot (or any dry red wine).   Throw all the stuff in the pot and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.  And wal-LA! It's all done!  And yummy too!  That's on page 122, in case you're interested.
     But I have to tell you, the most fabulous cookbook to just look at (the pictures alone will make you want to cook something) is Ina Garten's book, Barefoot Contessa at Home.   Lovely big pictures to make you drool!  And if you're not a ham or turky person for Thanksgiving, you should look at page 109, the recipe for rib-eye steaks with cornmeal-fried onion rings.  Or the chicken with goat cheese and basil (you could get your goat cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville - this is not an advertisement for Sweet Grass either).  Or (and this one might be mine) Eli's Asian Salmon.  This is so scrumptious looking!  Bigger than yummy!
     That brings me to the last cookbook I picked up...Julia Child's book, Julia's Casual Dinners.  This is for all of you who like turkey for Thanksgiving, and have a big family to enjoy it.  Julia has a Buffet for 19 with all the recipes to make your dinner a huge success.  How about this: Oysters on the Half Shell, Turkey Orloff (turkey breast scallopini gratineed with mushrooms, onions, rice, and cheese), Fresh Green Beans with Watercress and Tomatoes, Oil and Lemon Dressing, and French Bread.  Her dessert is a Jamaican Ice Cream Goblet.  And she even suggests the wines!
     No, I lied...that wasn't my last cookbook.  I also picked up Christmas with Paula Deen.  It's a little book chocked full of recipes and stories from Paula's favorite holiday.  After all, Christmas is right around the corner.  Thanksgiving is just for practice.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An evening with Janisse Ray at the library

     Yesterday while visiting with my neighbor, I told her we were going to have Janisse Ray at the library again and invited her to come hear Janisse talk about her new book.
     After telling her that the reading and book signing would be on Tuesday, November 8th, at 6:30 p.m. at the library, my neighbor said, "Who is Janisse Ray?"
     Silly me!  I assumed that everyone in Georgia who reads knows who Janisse Ray is!  Maybe even if they don't read.  Maybe if they like birds and rivers and longleaf forests; things like that.
     Janisse Ray is a writer, naturalist and activist, who has written four books of literary nonfiction and a collection of poetry.  She lives on a farm in southern Georgia and is an organic gardener, seedsaver, tender of farm animals, and a slow-food cook.  She lectures widely on nature, community, agriculture, wildness, sustainability and the politics of wholeness.
     She has a whole list of titles, including a doctorate from Unity College in Maine, and is on the faculty of Chatham University's low-residency MFA program.
     I've read all her books, but the one I've loved the best is Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, her memoir about growing up in a junkyard in the ruined longleaf pine ecosystem of the Southeast.  Besides being a plea to protect and restore the glorious pine flatwoods of the South, the book looks hard at family, mental illness, proverty, and fundamentalist religion.  Anne Raver of The New York Times said of Janisse Ray, "The forests of the South find their Rachel Carson."
     Ray has also written Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home, about a rural community, as well as Pinhook: Finding Wholeness in a Fragmented Land, the story of a 750,000-acre wildland corridor between south Georgia and north Florida.
     Her new book, Drifting into Darien, a Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River explores Ray's lifelong relationship with the river, which is located in southeast Georgia. 
     The first part of the book chronicles a paddling trip along the entire length of the Altamaha, from where it begins at the confluence of the Oconee and Ocmulgee Rivers to where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean near the town of Darien.
     In the second part of the book, Ray writes about many facets of the Altamaha's ecological significance and some of the threats to its remarkable biodiversity.  The Altamaha, which has been the focus of decades of conservation effort by the Nature conservancy, is the largest free-flowing, intact water system on the Atlantic coast and is home to more than 120 rare and endangered species.
     Janisee Ray is a spirited woman, who lives a life she loves and loves to share her concern for our environment.  During her last visit to the library, she drew a crowd of over 200 people.
     This is an event you won't want to miss.  Plan to join us on Tuesday, November 8th, at 6:30 p.m. in the adult reading area for "An Evening with Janisse Ray."  You won't be disappointed.
     For more information about Janisse Ray, visit

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

River of Words, a creation of environmental beauty

     We're fortunate for the fourth or fifth year to have the River of Words display at our library.  It is in the adult reading area and will be here until Tuesday, November 8th.  I hope you get a chance to see it.

     This morning I toured the two-sided display...a dark blue background on a curve of panels with wonderful squares of pictures and poetry by children in grades kindergarten through twelve.  These children are from high schools, elementary schools, middle schools, an art studio, and an academy.  They live in Georgia in the communities of Cumming, Lilburn, Covington, Fayetteville, Roswell, Monroe, Woodstock, Gainesville, Marietta, and a host of other towns.

     The display shows their talent in poetry, photography, watercolor, crayon, acrylic, colored pencils, markers, soft pastel, and oil pastel.  One picture also shows a sculpture of nails, wood, and plastic.  The colors are amazing.  Their talent, beyond amazing.  Their pictures show fish, ducks, birds, frogs, a snail, a tortoise, and a bunny.  The locations are of ponds, streams, and rivers.  When you read the poetry, you'll be surprised at the depth of thought and ability with words that come from even the youngest child.

     River of Words is coordinated in Georgia by the Georgia Center for the Book and Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), a program of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

     River of Words is a national poetry and art competition for students who create visual art or poetry that shows an understanding and appreciation of their natural environment, and specifically of  their own watershed.

      It's our delight to share this event with the community.  Some of the poetry you read and the pictures you see will astound you.  Children...kindergarteners to twelfth graders...our children, children of Georgia who are displaying their finest works.  These are our future generations, showing us how they appreciate their natural environment and hope you'll take the time to do the same also. 

     Be amazed.  Visit the display before it leaves our library.  You have until we close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8th. 

     And watch for the blog that tells you what else will be happening on November 8th!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More news about World Origami Days

     The library will be celebrating World Origami Days October 24 through November 11.

     We are inviting children to come for an Origami program to make cranes that represent peace for children.  These will be put on display in the children's library. 

     Volunteers are needed to help with the hanging of the cranes, because we are aiming to make 1000 cranes!  Mashburn Printing has kindly donated the colorful paper for the project.

     On October 25 at 4:30 p.m., artist Sally Shovar and our Children's Library Coordinator Michele Croft will present a fun and inspiring lesson in Origami for ages 7 to 12 years.  They will teach children how to make the peace cranes that will be displayed.

     Thousand Origami Cranes is a group of 1000 origami paper cranes held together by strings.  An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand Origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury.

     The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creastures (others include the dragon and the tortoise), and is said to live for a thousand years.

     Participants in the program will also be constructing other Origami to be displayed on the Holiday Tree in the children's library for the month of December.

     While at the library, be sure you pick up one of the Origami brochures that will give you the names of several Origami books you can check out.

Tumble Book Library E-books for E-kids coming in November

     There's a new offer coming to our patrons...the chance to try out Tumble Books through the library's 30-day trial.
     During the month of November, anyone can access Tumble Books through the library's website,, when they log on to Tumble Books.
     Parents, teachers, daycares, and grandparents will want to check this out!
     So, what are Tumble Books, you ask?
     Well, Tumble Book Library is an online collection of Tumble Books - animated, talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they will love. 
     Tumble Books are created by adding animation, sound, music and narration to existing picture books in order to produce an electronic picture book which you can read, or have read to you.
     The collection is licensed titles from children's book publishers, such as Simon & Schuster, Chronicle Books, Candlewick Press, Charlesbridge Press, Harcourt, Little Brown, Walter & Company, Lerner Books, and HarperCollins Publishers, amongst others.
     The Tumble Book Library provides enrichment to students, who are reading independently, with a variety of high interest material.  It also provides support to students, who require skill building, with a variety of exercises that can be matched with other areas of the curriculum.  In general, Tumble Books are a great addition to a reading program that can be worked on independently by each student or by the whole class.
     The Tumble Book Library collection can be accessed online from every computer in your child's school or library with Internet connection, or from home through a direct link on your school or library website.
     The Tumble Book Library will give us a link for you to click on and with a password you'll be able to participate in the library's 30-day trial.
     Watch for it!  E-books for E-kids!  It's coming in November!
     For more information or questions, contact Michele Croft, our Children's Library Coordinator at 229-985-6540, the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Put the soup on, Ma. It's time!

     I had my first-of-the-season soup yesterday.  During our October staff luncheon, we were served Weight Watchers Potato Soup and Taco-Chicken Soup.  Both were homemade and yummy!
     Of course, when you get a bunch of people together and they can bring anything they want, the meal is really exciting. 
     We had not only soup, but cracklin' cornbread, sweet potato dumplings, carrot and raisin salad, and a table full of desserts to include pecan pie, pumpkin creme cake, brownies, and candy corn cookie bark.
     This morning when I opened my door to come to work, the temperature was a cool 55 degrees.  Yep!  It's soup time.  And for me, also stew time.
     That's when I said to myself, "Put the soup on, Ma.  It's time!"  Time I headed to the grocery store and bought all the goodies it takes to make my favorite veggie soup, Aileen's potato soup, and Mama's old fashioned stew.
     And, of course, once I reached the library, I thought about finding books with good soup recipes.  How about these:
     *   Campbell's Condensed Soup Back Label Recipes (641.5C).  There are just so many ways you can cook with Campbell's soup, including adding a can of Campbell's to whatever soup you're making to jazz it up.  A winner for sure.
     *   The International Soup Book (641.8F).   It's always interesting to read recipes from other countries.  We have so many things in common with each other, across nationalities and countries, it's no wonder we have soup in common also.
     *   Soup, a Way of Life (641.8K).   Many people think that soup is the starter course for any meal.  Many people like their soup cold.  Many people swear that chicken soup (Mama's, of course) will make your cold all better (well, that's what she told me).  Here's a book to tell you it's a way of life.
     *   The Southern Heritage Soups and Stews Cookbook (641.5S).  Don't go looking for this one, because I'm going to check it out for a while.  You can, however, put it on hold.  I'm sure I'm going to collect a few of these recipes to add to my old fashioned recipes for an additional supply of soup in my freezer.
     And we don't want to forget the kids, too, when we are making our soups and stews.  Teaching those youngsters the awards of a good bowl of soup or stew is passing on a family legacy...we all love Grandma's vegetable-chicken soup and we pass her recipe around the family! 
     Here's a couple of books you can read to the kids while you're making your big pot of soup:
     *   Growing Vegetable Soup (EE).  Lois Ehlert tells the story of a father and a child growing vegetables, and then making their veggie soup.
     *   Stone Soup (J398.2B).  This has always been a favorite of mine.  Marcia Brown tells the folktale of three soldiers who come to a town where all the food has been hidden.  They begin making soup with water and a stone, and invite the townspeople to join them by bringing something to put in the pot.  Love it!
     OK, now you know what to do.  Get your groceries, prepare them for cooking, and make that big pot of soup or stew.  
     The weather will be cool for a while, the weatherman says.  Of course, "we" know that the weather will turn very warm again before long.  But for now, make that soup and enjoy the wonderful cool fall weather.  Keep some soup or stew in the freezer though.  You're going to want it when the weather gets really cool in January and February.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Books - we'll never be without them

     I wasn't going to write anything today, but my coworker told me about a website that really got me excited.  Maybe you already know about it, but if you don't, let me share it with you. 
     It's called  Now, don't let that scare you off.  It's a sight for lovers of books!  That's what it says!  And it's got some of the coolest bookshelves you've ever seen.  Ideas you might even want to use in your house or office.
     In fact, we've even talked about doing a Christmas tree for the library out of our old used books, ones that don't sell and we haven't boxed up to send off somewhere else.
    So, it's definitely a great sight to share with you.
    Of course, once you get started on something great like that, you find yourself following a thread of websites that are also interesting.
     Such as's-most-beautiful-libraries, where you can see absolutely beautiful libraries that you wish you could actually put your foot in and gawk all the way up to the ceiling.  These libraries are also on (you'll have to search for them), but beware! this is not the only topic on this site!  So, don't get too carried away.
     These beautiful libraries are located in Sweden, Italy, England, Switzerland, and other foreign countries.  But I did find three in the United States.  One in Seattle, one in Maryland, and the Jay Walker private library in Connecticut.
    So...if you're having a slow day and want to just play around and see what's out there on the Internet, be sure to check out these websites.
    And remember...we'll never be without books!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Did you know October is Family History Month?

     Well, it least to genealogists and libraries and several other organizations across the United States.  I imagine anyone could go to Google and find out more about it.  But I'd like to give you just a few facts right here.
     Lots of genealogists and family historians know that the census records are an invaluable resource.  The U. S. National Archives and Records Administration makes census records available to the public 72 years after the census is conducted.  Can you figure out what year's census records are due to be released on April 2, 2012?
     The U. S. Census Bureau also collects data on a variety of subjects, including American families, such as:
     * In 1950, there were 39 million families in the U. S.  By 2009 the number had more than doubled to 79 million and the average family size was three people.  What do you think our family size is today in 2011?
     * In 1890, the median age at first marriage was 26 for men and 22 for women.  In 2009, the ages were 28 for men and 26 for women.  Wonder what it is today?  Does getting older mean getting wiser?
     * In 1960, 88 percent of the 63.7 million children under age 18 living in the U. S. lived with both parents...9 percent lived with one parent.  In 2009, 70 percent of all children lived with two parents and 26% lived with one parent.  Does this mean we are slowly becoming single parent families?
     Some of our most famous people have voiced their opinions about families, such as:
     * "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit another city." - George Burns, comedian/actor
     * "A family is a unit composed not only of childen but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold."  - Ogden Nash, poet
     * "If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance."  - George Bernard Shaw, author
     * "Family isn't about whose blood you have.  It's about who you care about."  - Trey Parker and Matt Stone, SouthPark, creators
     Are you interested in your family's history?  Now's the time to visit our Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library.  Our staff will give you tips for finding family members and use of other genealogical sources.
     It's a good time to celebrate Family History Month...and your family!
(Source: Random Salmplings, the official blog of the U.S. Census; The Quotations Page)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A special genealogy program for today's generation

     This morning was an exciting time at our library for three groups of 4th grade gifted students from the Colquitt County School System.

     Approximately 20 to 25 students in each group participated in a program that introduced the children to finding family members through genealogy, as well as learning about the Depression era, world wars, and Georgia history.

     Michele Croft, our Children's Library Coordinator, showed and talked about books she had brought from the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library, one of three libraries in the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System.  The books told about African slaves, captured dancing bears, letters from Georgia's Civil War soldiers, and ancient maps.

     The children saw a display of old items that included a framed letter and a land deed, a leather bomber jacket, an early phone, scrapbooks, newspapers, and more maps.  They also were allowed to hold a heavy piece of shrapnel from D-Day and learned the meaning of that particular time in history.

     Since everyone likes to take something away with them, the handouts were numerous.  There were Family Record sheets; a Scavenger Hunt about Georgia, Moultrie, and Ellen Payne Odom; Pedigree Charts; and family origins, folklore, social and local history.

      The genealogy program offered by Mrs. Croft provides not just a field trip out of school, but an insight into history and family life.  She hopes the program will make each student curious about their own families and how they fit into the world's history...curious enough to want to come back to the Odom Library and delve into their own genealogy.

      Genealogy for children helps us adults pass to our future generations the history of not only family life, but how our country was formed and why, as well as the reasons we continue to fight to keep it free and strong.

      If you'd like to know more about this interesting program and how it could be adapted to your organization, please contact Mrs. Croft at the library, 229-985-6540.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Most little libraries are in the same boat

     Yesterday one of our staff members gave me an article she cut out of the September 25th Parade magazine from the Sunday newspaper.  The article was about "The Little Library That Could," a small library in Parker, Arizona.  Did you see the article, too?
     This little town has no central movie theater or bookstores.  The public library is THE place to go.  It's one of the busiest libraries in the country, but like so many others across the United States, it's struggling to stay alive.  Most little libraries are in the same boat.
     The Parker Public Library in Parker, Arizona is doing the same thing we are here in Moultrie, Georgia.  They're providing free use of computers to their patrons and Internet access to research school work, hunt for jobs, check out their Facebook pages, etc.
     More people are visiting their libraries all across the nation than in previous years.  And although some states have reported closures, others have decided to only reduce hours...for as long as they can.
     Annual budgets have dropped like a rock, book purchases have ceased, hours are being cut, and in many libraries some staff are being cut, too.
     In reading the article about the Parker Public Library, I see they "fell back and regrouped."  They opened their library to also hold free health screenings, lectures, movies, reading groups, and story times.  Anything they could do to bring people in.  Preschoolers are brought there often to enjoy the "pretty things the kids are allowed to touch."  Teens visit the library to check their Facebook and MySpace pages, play games, study, and "slouch on the worn couches."
     Also, their Friends of the Library group increased their membership in order to better help the library.  Organizations in town gave donations.  The town has worked at ways to ensure their library's long-term survival.
     So, here I go again, relating something I've read (this time a small town library) to our Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.  What would the people of Moultrie, and even Colquitt County, do if this library had to shut its doors?
     If our public library closed, the Doerun Municipal Library would close also, as would the Ellen Payne Odom Library.  And our Bookmobile into the county would stop running routes.  We're all in the same library system.  And we're considered by many to be small town libraries.
     Granted we're doing our best to make library-life interesting to the community, in order to keep bringing the people in.  We have 20 computers for free use to our patrons, free WiFi when they bring their laptops, and provide Internet access so they can research school papers, look for jobs, and email their loved ones in the Armed Forces in some foreign country.  We have free blood pressure screenings in February during Heart Month, open our doors to the AARP tax helpers for low income people, hold authors readings and book signings, have a library book club meeting once a month, give preschooler and school-age children story times, and provide reading/research areas where children and adults can study. 
     Our auditorium and classroom is available to the community for educational meetings and programs.  The genealogical library has staff to assist not only our community, but many people traveling from other states and countries.  The Doerun Library provides service Monday through Thursday for any number of patrons using the computers and library facilities.  And our Bookmobile covers miles and miles of roads, taking reading materials to those patrons who are not able to physically visit the city libraries.
     Will it come to the place where our Friends of the Library group will have to solicit donations from local organizations to help the library purchase new books or maybe just to keep the lights on?  Will we eventually have to cut staff and/or hours?  How will our community feel about that?  How many people will it affect?
     We're doing our part to keep our doors open, just like that little Parker Public Library in Arizona.  We're always looking for ways to cut costs and yet still provide the community with high standard service. What else can we do?  If you have a suggestion, please share your comment.  We'd like to hear from you.  We'd like to always be here for you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A new Shel Silverstein book is out

     I've been a lover of Shel Silverstein's books for ages.  Now Silverstein's family has released a new book called Every Thing On It, which includes 145 poems.  Silverstein had elminiated many of them from his earlier books, because they didn't happen to fit in the perfect order he was looking for in a given collection.
     So, who is Shel Silverstein? you ask.  Well, Sheldon Allen "Shel" Silverstein was an American poet, singer-songwriter, musician, composer, cartoonist, screenwriter, and author of children's books.  It's those books that I love.  His books have been translated into 20 languages, his books have sold over 20 million copies.
     Born in Chicago, Silverstein began drawing at age 12.  He attended the Art Institute of Chicago but left after one year.  He was first published in the Roosevelt Torch (a student newspaper at Roosevelt University).   While in the military, his cartoons were published in Pacific Stars and Stripes.  His first book, Take Ten, a compilation of his military Take Ten cartoon series was published by Pacific Stars and Stripes in 1955.  Other cartoons were published by Look, Sports Illustrated and This Week while he was selling hot dogs at Chicago ballparks.
     Silverstein was a songwriter for Tompall Glaser (Put Another Log on the Fire), Loretta Lynn (One's on the Way), The Irish Rovers (The Unicorn), and Johnny Cash (25 Minutes to Go and A Boy Named Sue).  Bobby Bare, Barbi Benton, Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson are among others who sang his many songs.  He also wrote more than 100 one-act plays.
     As for children's books, The Giving Tree has been his biggest seller to date and one of the most successful children's books in years.  It has been selling steadily since it appeared over 50 years ago and has been translated into at least 30 languages.  It tells of a tree and use a man makes of it.  When he is a boy, he plays in the tree's branches and enjoys its lucious fruit.  Later, he courts his love under the tree and uses some of its wood to build a house for his family.  Years pass and find the man is older and alone.  The tree lets him take its trunk to carve a boat from, and the man rows away.  Finally, he returns for the last time to sit and rest on the stump of the tree - that's all that's left of it, but the tree is delighted to have the "boy" with him again.
     The Giving Tree (ES Silverstein) is my favorite book and I have it on my shelf at home.
     The Moultrie-Colquitt County Library has eight of Shel Silverstein's books.
     A Light in the Attic (J811S) is a collection of humorous children's poetry, as is Falling Up (J811.54S), Where the Sidewalk Ends (J811.54S), and My Dog Does My Homework! (J811.008S).
     The Missing Piece (J818S) is about a circle that has difficulty in finding its piece but a has good time looking for it.
     Uncle Shelby's Story of Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back (JF Silverstein) tells of a lion who, after leaving the jungle and joining a circus, teaches himself to be the best shot in the world and the consequences that follow.
     And Runny Babbit: a billy sook (J811.54S) is about a rabbit and his friends who speak a topsy-turvy language.
     It's wonderful that the Silverstein family will be sharing with all of us more of Shel's works.  Silverstein died at his home in Key West, Florida on May 9, 1999 of a heart attack.  To see another book of his wonderful poetry will be a joy to behold.  It's with great hope we will be able to share this book with our patrons in the future.
(Sources:  Yahoo!, Wikipedia)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

We are closing out another month!

     I can't believe September is almost gone!  Are we having fun yet?  Well, we are here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library because we're getting ready for Family History Month.
     Did you know October is Family History Month?  Several cities and states have designated this month as Family History Month, and the U.S. Senate has adopted similar resolutions in the past.  It's estimated that there are over 80 million people researching their family histories.

     The highlight of our displays for Family History Month is in our lighted glass cases in the main foyer.  Thanks to Irene Godwin, the Odom Genealogical Library's genealogist, we are showcasing beautiful (good-sized) framed family photographs.  She's provided pictures of the families of Crozier, Godwin, Engram, and Harvey, as well as a photograph of Confederate grandfathers - Barrs, Manning, and Bell.

     In our circulation counter bookshelf, you'll find books for family reading time, and the long white hallway wall will be covered with ways you can celebrate Family History Month.  Experts say that in the United States, genealogy is now the second most popular hobby next to gardening.

     In the glass-cased lighted calendar, you'll see not only important monthly dates, but also several old family photographs provided by Irene.   And we'll give information about the Genealogy and Children's Book Picks for the Month.

     Other displays around the library will include a wide variety of orange books, our color for the month.  The main foyer table will be filled with different genres of orange books, and the long table near the non-fiction stacks will treat you to orange mysteries under the title of "Mysteries by the Light of the Harvest Moon."  Why not see if you can find the black cat?  I'll give you a hint...he's tiny.

     Oh, and don't forget to look at the Picturing America display in the Odom Library.  It's John Singer Sargent's "Portrait of a Boy," which fits right in with Family History Month.  A  bored-looking little boy is sitting with his mother, who is reading to him (or maybe reading only to herself, which would make me bored, too).   See if you can answer the questions connected to the picture.

     If you're interested in your family's genealogy, why not give the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library a visit.  Irene Godwin and Ann Glass are more than willing to give you a hand in finding that lost grandma and maybe even seeing for the first time a picture of her.

     October is the month to celebrate your family.  What better way to do it than by visiting your local library.  We have lots to offer you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do you wanna be in pictures?

     If you're like me, you might have had your morning cup of coffee with The Moultrie Observer and noticed the article that said Colquitt County wants to be in pictures.
     And because my brain seems to relate everything (well, almost everything!) in my life with the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, I was amazed how our shelver, Keva, was way ahead of that newspaper article.
     The article by Kevin Hall on September 21st noted that "the state of Georgia has become one of the most popular states in the nation for film crews."  And "Colquitt County hopes to take advantage of that through a state-sponsored website that connects the film industry with the kinds of locations they want to shoot."  So, with the help of Chamber of Commerce marketing director Terry Shuler, "Colquitt County was declared camera ready last week" when it met the state requirements.
     Well, that brings me back to my brain relating everything to the library and Keva being way ahead of the newspaper article.
     When September rolled around, Keva put books in the front foyer's bookcase that were all about books turned into movies.  Wasn't she smart!  And you'd be surprised how many books she has on that shelf.  Look at this!
* The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
* The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
* Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
* The Cider House Rules by John Irving
* The African Queen by C. S. Forester
* The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Sparks
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
* The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
* The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
* The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
* Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
* Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flag
* Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford
* A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
* Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
* Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan, and
* My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.
     All of these books, which were made into movies, are right here in our library, ready for you to check out and enjoy.  And if you read The Moultrie Observer's article, you'll see a list of some of the film and TV projects that were shot in Georgia, including The Vampire Diaries, Drop Dead Diva, and The Blind Side.
     We here at the library are soooo with the times, soooo up to date with what goes on around us.  I bet we even have books in our library that sometime in the future will be turned into movies or TV shows.
     What's your favorite book?  Watch out!  It could be filmed right here in Colquitt County!  And you might have an acting part.  Wouldn't that be a sight????  Do you wanna be in pictures?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Want to help your preschooler get ready to read?

     Then join us to learn how.

     The Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and Colquitt County Pre-K will host a workshop for parents and caregivers of young children (under age 5) who want to help children with reading.

     How Can I Help My Preschool Child Get Ready to Learn to Read? is the topic.  The workshop will be held Thursday, September 29th at 10 a.m. in the Library classroom.

     Participants will learn how to:
     * Use environmental print to strengthen reading readiness skills,
     * Make reading aloud with your child an awesome learning     
     * Have meaningful conversations with your child, and
     * Make everyday moments learning opportunities.

Participants will also receive a reading readiness kit with books and many useful tools to help you work with your child.

This workshop will be conducted by Lynn Clark, the Colquitt County School System Elementary Curriculum/Pre-K Director.

For more information, please call Katie Cato at 890-6279.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our silent staff members

     I've thought long and hard about saying this, but I'm going to say it.  We have some silent staff members that many of our patrons don't know about.  And after yesterday, I just felt I had to say something.  Something nice.
     There are men who come to our library and help us keep the place clean, the lights all glowing, the air conditioners working, and the plumbing up to par.  Especially one comes every day.  He cleans the bathrooms (we have more than four...), he mops the floors, he vacuums before and after meetings, he sets up the auditorium and classroom for meetings and programs, and he even goes to the book drop and brings in all the books.  He helps haul books out to the Bookmobile and helps bring them back in. 
     There are things he does for us that I don't even know about.  And he never complains.  He's always willing to do whatever we ask him to do.  And yesterday, when I found the auditorium kitchen full of dirty dishes, the refrigerator full of half-filled bottles, and several bugs I didn't like the looks of, he was there.  He volunteered to wash all those dirty dishes, clean off the dirty counter, and then when the sink leaked, helped clean up after the other silent helpers came and went.
     Sometimes our patrons see these silent staff members (well, I call them that, even though they aren't on our library staff) when they're changing light bulbs or checking the ceilings for leaks after a hard rain.  They try their best to keep our building cool in the summer by working on the air conditioners in the hot weather, and keep our building warm in the winter when many folks from our community just want a warm place to sit.
     I imagine they have lots of skills that, hopefully, will help them get well-earned jobs in the future.  They are carpenters, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, floor and carpet cleaners; they are skilled in a variety of maintenance jobs.
     These silent staff members, these helpers, are the inmates from the Colquitt County Correctional Center and their supervisors.  I know many people would not even want to mention them.  You'll know them when you see them...the inmates are dressed in white, their supervisors in blue.  The large majority of them are extremely polite and well-mannered, always saying to us, "Yes, ma'm." 
     I think I've encountered only one or two who resented the position they were in, but they didn't stay around our library very long at all.  They are black and white, tall and short, thin and gangly.  They are hard workers.  (Well, except for maybe one or two, but like I said they don't stay around very long.)
     So, today, I'm going to say "Thank you, guys!" for all the help you give us.  I know that you're also out there in the community at other facilities like the health department and the labor department and the city hall, etc.  But when you come to our library, I have to say I really appreciate all the help you give us. 
     Of course, I have an ulterior motive in saying some of this.  I realize when you're not here, we are the ones who have to clean the auditorium and classroom for meetings; we are the ones who have to put new toilet paper rolls in the bathrooms; we are the ones who have to stop the water leaks before the maintenance crew gets here or at least try.
    But really, I just felt the need to say thanks.  I appreciate all the help you give us.  There are lots of us who work here who think the same thing.

Monday, September 12, 2011

We're hosting several exciting events

     During the next few months, the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System will host several exciting events we'd like to tell you about.
     If you missed an earlier blog about our Novel Destinations adult book club, let me remind you that Jane Shelton of South Georgia Travel will talk tomorrow evening (Tuesday, September 13th) about her China Adventure.  The event will begin at 6:30 in the library's auditorium.  After her program, we'll sit around and talk about the books we've been reading lately.  The meetings are open to all adults who are interested in exciting foreign lands or have a particular book they'd like to read and share.   Why not join us and meet some new "reading" friends.  Dress is casual and the meetings usually last only an hour.
     On Saturday, September 24th, Dr. Anne Holt will return to give another Introduction to Grant Writing program from noon to 3 p.m. in the library auditorium.  The cost is only $30 per person, payable at the door.  Registration is required since space is limited.  If you're interested in joining us, you can register by calling the library at 229-985-6540 or by emailing
     During Origami Week, October 24 - November 11, we'll be inviting children to come for an origami program to make cranes that represent peace for children.  The cranes will be put on display in the Childen's Library.  Volunteers are needed to help us hang them.  We're aiming for 1,000 cranes!  Our local printer, Mashburn's Printing, has donated the colorful paper for the project.  Participants will also be constructing other origami to be displayed on the Holiday Tree in the Children's Library during the month of December.
     Last year we looked forward to the River of Words display, but it didn't arrive.  This year, we are planning to exhibit the display October 17 - 29.  The event is coordinated in Georgia by the Georgia Center for the Book and Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), a program of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.  River of Words is a national poetry and art competition for students in grades 4-12, who create visual art or poetry that shows an understanding and appreciation of their natural environment, and specifically of their own watershed.  So, now you know why we are looking foward to sharing this event with the community.  I always look to see how many Georgia children are included.  You just might find someone you know.
     As a reader and a writer, I always look foward to a Janisse Ray author event.  In 2010, over 200 people came to hear Janisse read from her books and discuss her passions.  On Tuesday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m., the Library and our Novel Destinations Book Club will host another Janisse Ray event.  This time she will talk about her latest publication, Drifting into Darien, a Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River.  Janisse is a writer, naturalist, activist, organic gardner, seedsaver, tender of farm animals, and slow-food cook, who attempts to live a simple, sustainable life with her husband on their farm in southern Georgia.  People who know her never want to miss one of her programs.
     And I'm sure this is not the last event of the year, but on Tuesday, December 6th, Inspiration from Hats by Moses will be featured during a reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the library auditorium.  The work of 6th grade students from Williams Elementary School, who are taught art by Alisha Montgomery, will be on display.  The hats, made from paper bags, will also be displayed in the library's lighted cases in the main foyer during January 2012.
     As you can see, we plan to be busy with exciting events that the public and our patrons will enjoy.  Be sure to add these treasures to your calendar and show up for a delightful time.  We love sharing these good times with you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Want to win a puppet show for your school?

     You know that September is National Library Card Sign-up Month for public libraries, don't you?  Didn't we talk about that before? 
     Well, our Children's Library Coordinator expanded upon that theme and has introduced "First Cards for First Graders."  And there's a way the first graders can win a puppet show for their school!
     There's no better time of the year than September to sign up for a library card.  Children are going back to school.  The library is available to help with homework research and provide a quiet place to study.  A library card for a child is a passport for opportunities in the area of knowledge, fun, and the joyful experience of learning about a library.
     For all those reasons, Miss Michele and Miss Norma, our children's librarians, invite first graders to sign up for a library card during September AND October.
     It's as simple as this:  When you sign up for a library card, tell the librarian.  Your name, teacher and school will be added to the list to determine by the end of October which teacher has the most children with a library card.
     The winning class will get a puppet show for their school and special recognition for getting a library card.
     If you have a first grader and are reading this message, please get in touch with your child's school and let the teacher know about the opportunity for a puppet show...but most of all about encouraging the first graders obtain their very own library card.
     September and's National Library Card Sign-up time.  Be part of the crowd with the smartest card you can have.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Transition: from summer to fall

     If you've been in the library lately, you've noticed that our display colors have changed.  We are transitioning from summer into fall.  We're using lots of reds, oranges, and yellows.  Our lighted display cases are filled with colorful fall flowers, bright orange pumpkins, and books that showcase pumpkins and the likes.  Even our round foyer table is topped by a large basket of sunflowers; the dark blue table cloth is covered with bright yellow books and bookmarks announcing our upcoming grant writing program.
     Yes, the weather has finally changed.  Yesterday was the first day I was able to walk for 30 minutes outside without feeling like I was in a sauna.  The sky was that brilliant, clear blue, and the white puffy clouds against the tall dark green pine trees made the day just absolutely delightful.  The call was too powerful.  I just had to go for a near-fall walk.
     So, how are you going to handle the transition from summer into fall?
     Right now there are lots of fall demands.  The kids are all going back to school and have new schedules to follow.  The weather has become cool enough for the road crews to start moving our traffic patterns (we have one bridge coming down and not being rebuilt to completion until July 2012, which routes traffic to different avenues and streets for almost a whole year).  We've even had an increase demand at work.  And there are so many projects I want to finish before the end of the year.  Does all this sound familiar to you?
     There's always going to be change and disorder in our lives.  Sorry to say this, but that's the way it's supposed to be.  Nothing stays the same.  Haven't you noticed that before?
     Well, I'm here to tell you that it's important to restore your equilibrium once in a while.  Occasionally you're going to have to remember to put yourself first!  If you don't, you're going to get the crazies!  Don't you know about the crazies?  Haven't you already experienced them?  Well, some of us have.
     So...let me invite you to take some time and come the library where you can check out another great read or DVD.  Reading (or watching a good movie) allows you to have some get-away time from all the demands you face every day.  Fun reading should be something you have in your life every day.
     Why not block out some time to join our Novel Destinations adult book club.  We meet the second Tuesday of each month (except December - for obvious reasons - and May - another obvious reason month) at 6:30 p.m. right here in the library.  In fact, this month, Tuesday, September 13th, would be perfect for you to give yourself some time off and join us.  Jane Shelton from South Georgia Travel will be sharing with us her China Adventure and we'll all talk about what books we're reading now.
     There are other things here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library to help you transition from summer to fall.  Come in and sit yourself on the couch in our reading area, take the time to sit and read the newspaper or a magazine.  Or look over all the good books we have on our sale shelves and tables.  Find out about the new stuff in the genealogy library, or bring your children to the Children's Library and let them play for a while among all the fun stuff.  In fact, you'd be surprised at how much fun you'll have reading a wonderful child's book.
     You can't function effectively without some "me" time.  Make your transition from summer to fall a delightful one.  After all, it's your life and your time.  (Well, part of it is, anyway.)  Why not enjoy the coming of the Great Fall.  Soon it will be all around us!  Yeah!  And we're here to help you in any way we can.  We're your passport to freedom!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guess what September is in our library

     Today is the day I put up a bunch of signs...on the long, white hallway wall; on the ends of the bookshelves (we're not calling them stacks; it's friendlier to say bookshelves); and on a poster board near the front check-out counter (we're not calling it circulation counter; it's friendlier to say check-out counter).
     September at our library is National Library Card Sign-up Month and our displays are throughout the library.
     Do you have a library card?  Do you know it's the smartest card you can have in your pocket?  Look at it this way...
  • Need homework help?  Encourage your child to ask a pro - your librarian.
  • 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 (our library book club is Novel Destinations for adults), storyhours, movies and other free programs for kids and families.
  • Free stuff @ 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.
  • 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.  And remember we have a new website address.  It's
  • 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.
  • Your library card is your key to opportunity!
     September is National Library Card Month.  Make sure you get your card now!  And don't forget that children love to have their very own card too. 
     It's the smartest card you'll ever have!

Friday, August 26, 2011

PINES: Georgia's Statewide Library Card

     So, what is PINES, you ask?   That stands for the Georgia Library Public Information Network for Electronic Services.  It's Georgia's public library automation and lending network for 285 public libraries and affiliated service outlets in 143 counties.  PINES serves patrons in all 159 Georgia counties.
    PINES is an initiative of the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the University System of Georgia.  Fifty percent of Georgia's population and more than 80 percent of Georgia's public library systems rely on the PINES network for their library service.
     PINES creates a statewide "borderless library" that eliminates geographic and socio-economic barriers and provides equal access to information for all Georgians.
     Georgians with PINES cards have access to materials beyond what is available on their local library shelves, and they enjoy the benefits of a shared collection of approximately 10 million books and materials that can be delivered to their home library with no charge to them. do Georgia's citizens benefit from PINES?
     Any resident of Georgia may obtain a free PINES card by visiting any PINES library. (Your Moultrie-Colquitt County Library is a PINES library.)  In addition to browsing and checking out books on the shelves of their local libraries, PINES allows library users to log on to, browse or search the online catalog for books and other library materials, and have their selections delivered to their local library.
     Look at these statistics of PINES by the numbers:
  • 2.4 million PINES library cards are in use.
  • Nearly 1 of 4 Georgians (23.8%) has a PINES card.
  • PINES serves patrons in all 159 Georgia counties.
  • 10 million items (books, tapes, CDs, videos) are available.
  • There were 19.1 million circulations in FY 2010.
     With an annual budget of $1.3 million, the PINES program costs less than 60 cents for each cardholder!
     We're here to help you find any information you need.  Do you have your PINES library card?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There are treasures to find in the Children's Library

     If you haven't been in the Children's Library for a while, you should venture that way.  Even standing at the front check-out counter, you can see the big black and white cow standing in the Children's Library doorway.  There she is, standing on the green grass, under the white fluffy clouds, against the blue background.  And she's holding a sign that says, "READ MORE BOOKS!"
     All around her is a frame filled with book covers that say Moo Who?, Good Thing You're not an Octopus, Captain Duck, Bear with Me, When Dinosaurs Came with probably get the idea...books about animals.
     But this is just where the fun begins!
     There's a treasure hunt for you in the Children's Library.  And even if you don't have children to bring to the library, you should see if you can find:
  • the pirate's chest full of books and beads,
  • the black spider with the straw hat, who holds a library card,
  • the red/yellow/blue/green locking tiles where the puzzles are kept,
  • the yellow school bus filled with pencils and the white mouse who sits atop a stack of papers,
  • the tall tree with the cows hanging from its branches,
  • the "wimpy kid" standing at the end of a bookshelf,
  • the red and blue windsock with a dragonfly (look high for that one), and
  • Owney, the Mail Pouch Pooch.
     The large, colorful room is filled with displays of interesting, exciting book displays, as well as loads of places to sit (for parents, too), and small tables where the little ones can sit and work on their colorbook pictures provided for them.
     "READ MORE BOOKS" is the theme.  Ms. Michele, the Children's Library Coordinator, said she's getting ready for September and the special events she's planning.
     Now's the time to check out all the treasures in the Children's Library.  You won't be sorry!  It's just another step toward September.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Here's a heads-up about a grant writing program

     We've had Dr. Anne Holt give a program at our library three or four times, either on grant writing or how to publish your book.  And it's amazing how many participants attend, because those are topics our public wants.
     Well, here's a heads-up...Dr. Holt is coming again.
     Yep, she's going to teach another "Introduction to Grant Writing."  This is a topic many people are interested in, because we are all looking for ways to help fund the programs and efforts we want to present to our communities.
     Put this date on your calendar now and plan to attend.
     "Introduction to Grant Writing" by Dr. Anne Holt will be Saturday, September 24th, noon to 3 p.m.  The cost is minimal considering the benefits you'll gain from the information she will give you.  For only $30.00 per person, you will learn about grant writing guidelines, a model narrative budget, the GEORGIA funders list, writing do's and don'ts, and tips on finding matching funds.
     It's really necessary for your to register, however, because the space is limited.  And registration is easy.  If you 're in the library, you can register at the front check-out counter.  Or you can call us at 229-985-6540.  Or you can email us at  And if that doesn't work, you can even contact Dr. Holt at 850-977-5110 or email her at
     If you're connected with a business, school, church, or some other organization that needs funds to help you carry out your community programs, then this is the event you need to attend.
     Sign up now.  Once the word gets past this blog and out into the community, the seats will fill up fast.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We have a new website address....

     Tired of that old website address, that long one that was so hard to remember?  Well, that's been fixed!
     We now have our new website!!!!  So short and sweet.  So simple.  Can't beat that one.  So easy to remember, so easy to tell your friends about.
     If you want to email us, you can do that by contacting us at mccls@mccls.orgAnother simple address.
     And in order to help you and your friends, the next time you come into the library look for the fliers we've posted in various places.  These fliers have strips with the website address on them.  You can tear one off and tape it to your computer monitor...right where you can see the next time you want to pull up our website. 
     You can also help your friends and neighbors by sharing this information, and help us, when you post one of our fliers at your church, favorite eating place or business, or in your local community room.
     Share the news!  It's just one more thing the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library has done to better serve you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The McCall old home week!

     "Well, what was it like?"
     When I got home last night, my neighbor met me in the apartment breezeway and asked me that question.  I was returning from the John Clark McCall book event at the library.
     John was invited to talk about his little memoir titled "Tales of a Southern Palazzo," the magnificant mansion on Tallokas Road that served as a backdrop for his story.
     "Oh, hey, you should have been there," I said.  "It was like old home week."
     "What do you mean?"  She stood with her hands on her hips and waited for a reply. 
     I was anxious to get inside and get my shoes off, but I knew this was a golden moment to talk to someone who does not read books, does not attend book events, and hardly ever comes to the library except for a meeting or two.
     "Well, first of all, most everyone who walked through the door knew John McCall.  And most everyone got a big hug and a peck on the cheek or a big handshake.  And believe me, they came pouring through the doors."
     "So, who was there?" she asked.
     "Oh, I wish you could have been there to see everyone.  You probably would have known most of them.  There was Mimi Platter and Katrina McIntosh, Haley Hall Rosenberg and her dad Howard Hall, Joan Holman, Cooka Hillebrand, Carolyn and Jack Chastain, Betty Henrick and Ginger Horkan, as well as Nancy and Jim McGilvray, and Ola Newton.  I can't remember all of them.  But really, it was like old home week."
     I guess my neighbor still wasn't convinced about how good the evening was.
     "What did he talk about?" she asked. 
     Somehow, I wished I could convince her to read the book.  But I'd tried that before.  Couldn't even convince her to see a movie made from a book, like "The Help," the book by Kathryn Stockett, that I just went to see.
     "Well, he talked about the people who have lived in the palazzo, and his family members, and some of his friends.  He explained what prompted him to write the book, and he talked about how much he loves Moultrie.  And he said that he's already started on another book, a collection of short stories that everyone keeps saying he should write down."
     I stood and stared at my neighbor, waiting for something profound, hoping I'd hear that she would attend the next book event at the library because the McCall one sounded so good. 
     When she didn't say anything fast enough, I finally asked, "Sandy, why don't you come to the next book event we have?  Then you can see for yourself how good they are.  I mean, you don't have to read the book first to come to a book event.  And if you like what you hear, you can purchase the book right there and have the author sign the book, too."
     "Humpf."  That was all I heard.
     Well, win some, lose some, I thought.  I slipped out of my shoes right there in the breezeway and started toward my door.
     "When's the next one?" she said.
     Yes!  Contact! I thought.
     "The next author's book event will be in November.  Of course, if you want to learn something about writing grants, you should attend Dr. Anne Holt's September 24th event.  It's from noon to 3 p.m. and will cost you only $30 to learn about guidelines, budget, tips on finding matching funds, and things like that.  But if you want an author's event about a book, that will be November 8th at 6:30 p.m. when Janisse Ray comes again to talk about her new book, "Drifting into Darien."  The last time Janisse came for a book event, we drew well over 100 people.  We had them standing in the doorway and in the hall.  You should plan to come to that one.  That's going to be like old home week, too!"
     I thought I heard "humpf" again, but I wasn't sure.
     "Well," she said, "I might just do that.  You seem to get all hepped up about these things.  Guess I ought to come see what you get so excited about.  I'll let you know when the time comes."
     And with that she turned toward her apartment, waving her hand and saying, "See you tomorrow."
     I watched her walk away and wondered what else I could do to get her interested in reading books.  She is a challenge.  But I love a good challenge.