Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's already February in our office

     Sometimes working in our office is kinda scarey.  We have so much going on right now to wrap up January and get ready for February.
     On January 15th we had our Memoirs Writing Workshop, which was funded by a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.  There's still work to be done to finalize all the paperwork and return such to the GHC.
     Our MCCLS Friends started their new year on January 24th with new officers and lots of ideas of what they want to do.  We are available to help them in any way, i.e., activities to help in the library, book reviews recommended by the Friends, fundraising projects, etc.
     A meeting was held today to plan for our "Home Front" event in June, which will allow the community to connect with the people who helped here at home during the many wars where we have been involved.
     The first day or two of February all the displays will be changed from blue and silver for January to red for February.  We'll put away all our blue books and pull out the red books.
     Because February is American Heart Month, we'll have a wall display about high blood pressure being a silent killer, and the nurses from Colquitt Regional Medical Center will do free blood pressure checks on February 8th from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and then again on February 22nd from 1 to 3 p.m.
     February is also Library Lovers Month.  We'll have a display to let people know how they can contribute to the library and promote their library.  There will also be a list of "Best Reads for Romance," just in case anyone is interested in such a thing.
     Friday, February 4th, is National Wear Red Day and we will encourage everyone to wear their red what-evers.  It might be a shirt or pants or even earrings or a hat.  Just watch for the "wearing of the red."
     Of course, February is the month when the library boards meet.  The Odom Genealogical Library Board meets on Monday the 7th and the MCC Library Board meets on Thursday the 10th.
     There are also two FREE to the public and staff Webinars (these are seminars on the Web) during February.  The one on Wednesday the 2nd at 2 p.m. in the auditorium will be "Newspapers: Critical Resources to Complete Your Family Tree."  Then on Wednesday the 16th, also at 2 p.m. in the auditorium, the presentation will be "Chasing Women."  This is nothing risque.  It's about finding female relatives in your family through various's related to genealogy.
     We're also promoting an event to be held on Saturday the 26th.  Dr. Anne Holt will return to present "Are You Ready to Find a Publisher?"  The event will be from noon to 3 p.m. in the library classroom and will cost $30 per person.  Well worth your investment if you've written a novel and want to find a publisher.
     In the midst of all these various events and such, we are working on things like updating the Website, planning our May authors' event and our November Veterans' event, and researching all the other projects we have on our desks.
    Now, just so you don't think this is all work and no play, I have to tell you that we sometimes do find time for a little play.  Today our staff had a Soup Luncheon.  January is National Soup Month and we couldn't pass up this opportunity to share good eats.  We had "Red Curry Lentil Soup," "Potato Soup," and "Friendship Soup."  We also had cornbread, two kinds of crackers, two kinds of cheeses cheeses, pimento cheese sandwiches, and cookies for dessert.  And in February we're going to have a post-Valentine's Day Salad Get-together.
     I'm sure I've missed something we're doing.  It would be easy for another item to be overlooked.  But what do you want to bet it shows up before it's forgotten.
     Like I said earlier, my calendar says it's January 27th, but it's really February in our office of Library Information Services.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Poetry for library lovers

     In preparation for Library Lovers Month (it's just around the corner), I've been looking through some of the old stuff I've used over the last couple of years.  That's when I stumbled across two pieces of poetry I'd like to share with you.  Sometimes reading another person's view of the library makes me appreciate where I work even more.  So...enjoy!

My Library by Varda One
It's only a room with shelves and books,
but it's far more magical than it looks.
It's a jet on which I soar
to lands that exist no more.
Or a key with which I find
answers to questions crowding my mind.
Building my habit of learning and growing,
asking and researching till I reach knowing.
Here, I've been a mermaid and an elf;
I've even learned to be more myself.
I think that I shall never see
a place that's been more useful to me
With encouraging kind friends with wit,
who tell me to dream big and never quit.
It's only a room with shelves and books,
but it's far more magical than it looks.
(Copyright 1999 by Varda One of Hawthorne, CA, who has given library support groups permission to reprint or read aloud at any events on behalf of their library.)

In a Library by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
A precious, mouldering pleasure 'tis
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,
His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.
His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;
What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty.
And Sophocles a man;
When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,
He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true;
He lived where dreams were sown.
His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.

     What delightful reading.  Poetry.  Come visit our library during Library Lovers Month.  That's February and it's just around the corner.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One thing leads to another

     Our Jackie K. Cooper workshop on Saturday, January 15th, was a huge success!  We had about 30 people show up, ready to learn how to write down their memories.  And everyone of them left so inspired!
     It was such a huge success that we're thinking about starting a blog for the participants who attended, a way to allow them to share their memories and continue to inspire each other.  We want to help this "writing community" join together, encourage each other, and become better friends.
     That workshop led me to think of a bunch of memories I just put into print.
     Over the past few years, I've given up sending Christmas gifts.  With all my family of youngsters and a host of friends living in other states, I decided to save the Christmas gift money, plus mailing expenses, and dedicate myself to being really creative for their birthdays.  No one seemed to mind not receiving Christmas gifts and, I feel, the birthday giving has become something really special to all of us. 
     But between Christmas 2010 and New Year's Day 2011, I sent all those loved ones a large bubble-wrapped envelope.  And inside were two handmade (crocheted) potholders and a 16-page cookbook I'd been working on all year.
     Over the past few years, some of my children had asked for certain recipes I'd used when they were growing up.  That's when I pulled out all those old recipes, opened up MS Publisher, and created my little cookbook. 
     But the special thing about each recipe was that I included my memories about whatever recipe was on that page.  For instance, my sister-in-law had the best tartar sauce for all those fish fries we used to have.  My brother would heat big bubbling pots of cooking oil just inside his garage doors (the doors were open, of course) and cook all kinds of fish for us to enjoy.  But one of the best things with that fish was Laura's tartar sauce.  So, that went into the cookbook.
     Of course, I had to give everyone my Mama's Stew recipe and tell how she came about to make it.  And I told about my friend Mona, the home-ec teacher, who taught me how to make fresh peach pie.  And my Aunt Lou Etta's bar-b-que sauce, the good stuff that went over all that deer meat after the guys went hunting.  I had to tell how we used to go visit her in the country and end up having a big sauce and all.
     Well, this morning I realized how one thing leads to another and what I have to do next.  (Of course, you know how all these things I think of come right back around to the library.)
     For a couple of years now, I've been collecting recipes from the library ladies.  We usually have several "eating" events during the year for the staff here at the library and I've managed to store copies of their receipes in a secret place.  But now it's time to bring them out.  It's time to get with each person and have them tell me the story behind their recipe, bring out those memories and write them up in a cookbook.
     See how one things leads to another?  Jackie's workshop has made me want to continue what I learned in his class about memories.  I didn't realize how I'd actually started until I took his class.  And now I want all of us library ladies to continue sharing our memories, not only with family but with friends.
     So, I have my work cut out for me.  Wonder what memories will come from the library ladies?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's time for armchair traveling

     It's cold outside!  But the sun is shining!  And that makes me want to get in my car and go traveling...somewhere, anywhere.  About this time of year I get the wanderlust.  My dictionary says that's a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.  Yep!  That's me!
     If you get the same wanderlust, there are several ways you can travel if you don't have the pocket money or stamina to get in your car and head off into the wild, blue yonder.
     My first way to travel is the television, of course.  I love to watch the Travel Channel, even if they do take me to some cold countries.  Two of my favorite shows are Rudy Maxa's world and Rick Steves' travels.  The other night I visited Scotland with Rudy and the night before it was Ireland with Rick.  Can't beat that kind of traveling.
     Your computer is also a good way to "rove about."  I just spent some time doing a virtual tour provided by Armchair Travel, an online company that lets you visit the world through 360 panoramas, music, movies, games and more.  I took a few minutes to tour part of the Taj Mahal in India, the Kew Gardens in London, as well as St. Paul's Cathedral, and did a quick visit of Oman on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula.  You can take the same trips by visiting
     There's also another fun trip to take by visiting Joe McMichael's Globe Genie (just Google that one).  I played around with it long enough to find 4th Street South in Cordele, Georgia.  You can visit not only places in North America, but Europe, Africa, Asia and other parts of the world.  But beware! it's a random travel and more fun that way.
     There are many of us who like to listen to the radio to travel.  That's where NPR (National Public Radio) comes in.  Nancy Pearl is a librarian for NPR and once-upon-a-time in 2007 she had a column filled with books for armchair travel and adventure.  She suggested In Trouble Again: A Journey Between Orinoco and the Amazon; Travels in West Africa by Mary Henrietta Kingsby, a Victorian lady traveler who wrote about her adventures; Emily Eden's Up the Country and Susanna Moore's One Last Look, both books about India; and many other books about Canada, King Solomon's Mines, Baghdad, etc.  All good reading.  You can visit for more information.
      Of course, I love to sit in my soft rocker in the sunlight with a cup of hot tea and enjoy a good book.  When I checked our Pines System about travel, I found there are 567 items.  This includes print books, audio books, DVDs and videos.  The ones I found interesting are Riding the Iron Rooster by Train through China; The Kingdom by Sea: a Journey Around Great Britian; A Life on the Road with Charles Kuralt; Travel Photography, a Time-Life book; To Jerusalem and Back, a Personal Account; A Book of Travellers' Tales, and A Guide to the Georgia Coast.
     And you don't want to forget to look for DVDs and videos that will take you on wonderful adventures.
     There are two books, however, I've decided to check out.  One is Find Waldo Now and the other is I Should Have Stayed Home: the Worst Trips of Great Writers.
     Looks like I don't really need to get in my car and go anywhere.  There's plenty to do by staying home and traveling on my magic carpet.
     Now, what are you going to do about your wanderlust?  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What about those resolutions?

     Did I ask you earlier if you made any new year's resolutions?  Well, I did.  But I'm wondering if I should have.  I mean, after all, aren't they made to be broken?  (Someone said that to me one time.)
     I have considered some things that I'd really like to have as resolutions.
     For instance, I would like to resolve to read more classics this year.  I've read Gone with the Wind and The Lord of the Rings.  We had to read War and Peace in school.  But I haven't read Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe.  So, maybe that should be one of my classics to read this year.  I must admit I tried to read Deliverance by James Dickey, but just could not finish it.  Maybe something else by Mr. Dickey would be more interesting to me.
     Another resolution I've considered is reading more non-fiction books.  For the past few years, I've been hung up on these fun little cozy mysteries.  In previous years I enjoyed biographies of famous people.  But I think it's time for me to get serious this year about a few non-fiction books.  And just thinking about that makes me curious as to what I might find here at our library.
     I've also resolved to clean out my bookcases at home.  Do you have books that you're holding onto for some reason...don't know the reason, but just keeping them?  Well, why not find another home for those books, so they can enrich some other person's life?  If they're in good condition, clean, no torn pages, etc., consider passing them on to the library.  If they're in poor condition, find another home for them or trash them.  But move them along.  You'd be surprised how much room in your bookshelves you can open up for other great books to read (then pass on also).
     My best resolution for 2011 is is too short; read all you can as fast as you can and enjoy a good book!!!
     By the way, we've got plenty of them here at our library.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jackie Cooper is coming!!!

     If you've gotten this far, then I know you've been on our home page and you've seen the information about Jackie Cooper coming to the library.
     Jackie is a wonderful human being who just happens to be an author, critic of films and books, a columnist, and speaker for various events.  He's known in middle Georgia as the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews run in several newspapers and are shown on television. 
     His short stories have been heard on Georgia Public Radio and his books are the type of "homey memories" that we all love to hear.  If I didn't know better, I'd think Jackie and Bailey White are related. 
     Jackie's current books are Journey of a Gentle Southern Man, Chances and Choices, Halfway Home, The Bookbinder and The Sunrise Remembers.  And you can be sure another one is on the way as you read this.
     Well, back to him coming to the library.
     On Saturday, January 15th, Jackie is going to give a memoirs-writing workshop, 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the library auditorium.  Our address is 204 5th Street, S.E., only a few blocks away from the courthouse in the center of town.
     The event is sponsored by the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System and Sunbelt Writers.  It's supported by the Georgia Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly.  The workshop will show people who are interested in sharing their memories how to write them before they are lost and give future generations a sense of connection to their relatives.
     Jackie's no beginner at this sort of workshop.  He's taught his course at the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta; the South Carolina Book Festival; the South Carolina Writers Workshop; Yawn's Bookshop in Canton, Georgia; the Red Clay Writers Workshop in Kennesaw, Georgia; and at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.
     The course is divided into eleven segments, which will open the class for lively discussions as well as specific instructions.  Jackie will use his own writing to illustrate various methods of capturing a reading audience.  He'll also review books he's critiqued and admired, as well as those he's found lacking.  Basic foundations of writing and methods to use the unique skills of the individual writer will be discussed.
     If your kids have been bugging you to tell them what it was like when you grew up, or if you have memories you want to just put on paper for yourself, or if you're a fan of Jackie's and his wonderful books, come join us.  Sign up now for a great time of being blessed through the knowledge and friendliness of one great writer...Jackie K. Cooper, the nicest, gentle Southern man I know.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Well, happy new year to you!

    You know, I feel I've been gone so long that I could hardly remember my password to the blog!
     How's your new year going?  If it's going like mine, it's already fast and furious.  The faster I try to go, the behinder I get.  There's been so much for all of us to do this first week back at work.  But you know what?  We're sure glad to be back.
     I did a lot of reading while I was off work.  And friends gave me a few books also.  In fact, one of them I want to tell you about. 
     It's called "50 Things to Do with a Book. (Now That Reading Is Dead)."  Isn't that a great title?  It's by Bruce McCall with a copyright of 2009.  Of course, it says right in the front of the book "No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews."  So, consider this a "review," but it's not necessarily critical.
     This little book, only about a 100 pages, will give you ideas what to do with all the books you happen to have if you're not going to read them.
     For instance, McCall says you can cut a circular baseball-sized hole in the center of a thick book, add two to four catgut strings across the hole and make a bookjo!  (Take off on banjo.)  Just imagine, you could have your own bookjo band.
     How about this?  Pull the spine of a fat book apart so that you have two or three hundred loose pages.  Throw the pages in the air, then reassemble the book without looking at the page numbers.  You could create a whole new literary work and possibly win a prize in some contest.
     There are lots of things McCall suggests you can build.  Such as...gluing 50 identical copies of the same thinnish hardcover book to a wall as a decoration; pile up unwanted or damaged books to build your own personal stairway to paradise; build your own individual "Bookhenge" in your backyard using stacks of books; or stack books side to side across a wide open landscape and make your own miniature Great Wall of China.
     You could fling a copy of "To Kill a Mockingbird" at a mouthy little bird.  How about setting up a whole line of "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" books across the top of a bookcase and creating a domino effect as the books fall into a heap on the floor?
     Well, you get the idea.  This is a clever and funny little book.  It won't take you long to read it and will help make your 2011 a little more laughable as you struggle to get your act together here in the first month of the year.
     McCall has written and illustrated satire in the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and other major publications.  He has published two books of humor, as well as a memoir.  And he's published a children's book, Marveltown.  "50 Things..." is published by HarperCollins and is considered a book of humor.