Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What do you have in your collection?

     At the beginning of March, we loaded up our two lighted glass cases in the foyer of the main library with collections provided by our library staff.  It's become so interesting to the public that we've decided to leave it up a little longer.
     It's really amazing what people like to collect, and our group here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library is no different than most people.  We collect what we love.
     If you haven't had a chance to stop by and take a look at these collections, you're missing some interesting pieces of history...history as collected by the library staff.
     The salt and pepper shakers collected by Johnnie come from all over the east coast...from New York to Florida and North Carolina in between.  She's collected bears, Santas, seashells, bunnies, kittens, outhouses, pots and pans, ducks, and small milk bottles, just to name a few.
     Monique has an elegant bent to her collection.  She collects gloves and allowed us to place just a few in the case, such as her red kid gloves, along with knitted gloves of white, grey, pink, black, and fushia.  She collects scarves also and those might be in our next show.
     If you like music boxes, you should see the ones Irene brought for "show and tell."  She has one shaped like a birdhouse, birds, flowers and all.  Another is a fox sitting in an old tree stump with a little fox on the ground below.  And she has a bunny, as well as sunflowers and butterflies.  Plus...take a look at part of her collection of cameos made into necklaces and earrings.
     Keva's unique collection is about ticket stubs.  She has them from not only movies and ballgames, but from the Sam Shortline, the Universoul Circus, and the Holy Land Experience, as well as many others.
     Those interesting pieces of history include the matchbox collection from Aileen.  Some are small, decorated boxes showing flowers and birds, as well as a dragon, a lady's head, a fox and an owl.  Others are larger and made from cast iron, brass, tin, porcelain, and steel. 
     One of the cutest collections is Sheila's panda bears.  Those little black and white bears that everyone loves so much.  They are procelain and standing or sitting in various poses.
     And, of course, we have several of Melody's favorite frogs.  She has a pretty good size collection of frogs, since everyone seems to add to her collection during birthdays and Christmas.
     Ann's collection of dolls and tiny tea sets are well known to the library staff.  She has so many that we could place only a few choice ones in the lighted case.  But most little girls will love to see both dolls and tea sets.
     Jinx is a collector of sea shells.  She has a rather large collection also, so only a few are in the case, but they are truly things of beauty.
     There's also a small portion of Norma's collection of M&M characters and only one of her fabulous owl collection.  Someday we're going to have nothing but Norma's owl collection.
     And we can't forget Elois's gourd collection.  Once again, she has a large collection also, so only a small part of her gourds are in the case.
     I've discovered most people have a collection of some type.  Whether it's salt and pepper shakers, frogs, or tea sets, we all usually have something. 
     Oh, I forgot, a good many of us have a large collection of books also.  I suppose I could put myself in that category.  But not as large as the collection we have here at the library.  And we have not only new books, but some of the older books that other libraries get rid of.  Those are the interesting ones to check out.
     So.  Have you thought about it?  What do you have in your collection?  Matchbook covers, necklaces, keychains, shot glasses?  Bet you have something.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Does your teen have Facebook depression?

     Did you hear that on the news this morning?  I did.  And, I must admit, it caught me off guard and I had to laugh a little.  Geez!  Another kind of depression identified.  I suppose next it will be Twitter or Tweets depression.
     Even on the way to work this morning, I kept thinking about Facebook depression.  By the time I reached work, I felt a memoir coming on.
     What kind of depression did my age-group have when we were growing up?  Surely, we had depression also.  I mean, it seems every generation had some kind of named depression.
     Did we have comic book depression or hide-and-seek depression?  Did we have bicycle depression or roller skate depression? 
     I remember when my Daddy brought home our first television, a console black and white jobby.  Looked pretty good to us, but I don't remember getting depressed when my Mother said that I couldn't watch it until I got my homework or cleaned my room.  And I don't remember getting depressed if I watched it too much.  Actually, my Mother would not have let me watch it too much!
     I also remember the first time I had to use a computer.  A group of us took lessons at the local high school and WordPerfect was all the rage.  I know we've come a long way and that I wasn't a teenager when I first learned to use one, but if I had been a teen, would I have had computer depression if I couldn't use it OR if I used it all the time (and I mean ALL the time)?
     Sooo, thinking back to my teenage years, I don't remember having time to be depressed about something.  Maybe that was just me or whatever was going on in my family or with my friends.  But I seem to remember being extremely busy with school work, the science club, the concert choir, going to movies, riding our bikes, and even roller skating with friends on the concrete streets.  And it didn't matter if we were teenagers, we still liked to play hide-and-seek in the neighborhood and go to the teen center on Friday evenings and dance.
     Of course, there's always been a library in my life.  When I was growing up, we didn't have to worry about going to the library to use the computers or check out the audio books.  There weren't any.  But we went to all the programs at the library for both the little kids (where we helped), for the teens (special ones for us), and for the adults (which were geared to include the teens, too).  There were tons of books we could check out, and places to sit and do homework, even with our friends, if we were quiet.  Often there would be a movie night, maybe a travel show or a documentary of some type.  But there was always something going on at the library.
     I suppose what I'm realizing is that we were social networking in the flesh.  We didn't have our faces and fingers stuck to some keyboard as we sat in one place or as we walked with our heads down and our eyes concentrating on a small screen held in our hands.  We were people-oriented in the flesh.  And we were so busy with a great many things in our lives that had nothing to do with a wonderful invention like Facebook.
     I have nothing against Facebook or any other modern device that helps us communicate.  It's just a shame that there's now such a thing as Facebook depression for our teens.  What are we doing to ourselves?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring cleaning

     I suppose there's no getting away from it.  Spring is here and with it comes that hated chore of spring cleaning.
     Today when I came to work Mitchell, our janitor, was buffing the long, white-wall hallway.  Yesterday he had the spray and dust cloth and was cleaning the dust off the tops of the lighted cases in the front foyer.  The library ladies have been straightening the many stacks of donated magazines and Keva is always shelving the returned books.  I must admit, she does some cleaning as she puts away the children's books...she wipes them all down with a special book cleaner, removing all those sticky little fingerprints.
     Just when I thought I might work in the office and get the April calendar ready to post on the lighted bulletin board outside the door, I decided to take a quick peak in one of the old Good Housekeeping magazines I'd brought back to the office.  Should not have done that!
     What to my wandering eyes should appear, but a whole page titled "Light Housekeeping."  Ugh!  Spring cleaning again!  But there was some inspiration.  Such as this little poem from Rhoda Pellor:
         Shower Power
     I know just how to make it rain,
     And never even tax my brain.
     I don't use magic from afar,
     Just simply start to wax my car.

And then there's the poem by May Richstone:
          Spring Cleaning
     That cluttered attic of ours
     Is hopeless when we see
     Every bit of clutter
     As a precious memory!

But the one that really inspires spring cleaning is by Rosemarie Williamson:
          Ode to the Outdoors
     When Nature features
          GREEN-UP time -
     It's human creatures'
          CLEAN-UP time!

     What can I say?  Now that I've looked around this office, I see I have a job to do.  Mitchell is still buffing the floor.  That must be my inspiration to get this office cleaned up enough to let him clean the floor also.  Then maybe my spring cleaning will be finished!
(Source:  Good Housekeeping, April 1988)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How old is your library card?

     I've been sitting here for a while thinking about someone I saw in the library the other day.  He was a very dapperly (is that a word?) looking man in a dark blue suit, nice shirt and tie, hair combed just so, and carried a nice cane.  He'd come to the library with his daughter.  He was just visiting, he said.
     Mr. Stephen B. Hudgins (they call him Steve) used to live here in Moultrie on 3rd Street Southeast.  He's now living in Ocala, Florida, and he's now 91 years young.  His mother and father were Harold and Hortense Hudgins; his dad was a salesman and his mother a housewife.
     The impressive thing I saw as I watched from a short distance was that Mr. Hudgins had his library card with him.  Not one of our current plastic things, but one of those peach-colored cardboard ones that were given out so long ago.  The really impressive thing was that Mr. Hudgins' had received his library card back in 1928!!!  And probably more impressive was that he still carried it!
     Well, that got me to long had I had my library card?  Let's see...since I arrived here in Moultrie in 1996.  It's one of those plastic things, like all my credit cards (all two of them).  Then I began to wonder how many library cards I'd had in my lifetime.  More than I can remember!  But I do know that everywhere I've lived, I have had a library card.
     Just think about it yourself.  How old is your library card?  And what do you do with it?  Keep it in your desk at home or carry it in your wallet or purse?  And how often do you use it?  If you don't use it on a regular basis, you're sure spending a lot of money buying stuff you could get for FREE here at your hometown library.
     And you never know, if you've moved off to somewhere else and you still carry that card in your pocket, you'll have it available when you come back to Moultrie and need to check out a book to read while you're visiting family or friends.  Or need to use a computer because yours is at home.
    A library card is a wonderful thing...whether it's plastic or tin or even  peach-colored cardboard.  Use it.  Don't lose it.  It's your passport to a world full of knowledge and imagination.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Have I got a deal for you at Zoo Atlanta!

      Do you know that Georgia families can now check out free excursions to Zoo Atlanta, just by owning a library card?  Did you hear what I said?  JUST BY OWNING A LIBRARY CARD!
     A new partnership between Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Public Library Service allows adults with valid library cards access to the Zoo Atlanta Family Pass at any participating public library branch throughout the state of Georgia.
     Dr. Lamar Veatch, Georgia's State Librarian, said, "This wonderful collaboration between Zoo Atlanta and Georgia's public libraries brings a new dimention to our service.  We're very pleased to play a role in bringing this Georgia treasure to all corners of our state."
     One Zoo Atlanta Family Pass is available for checkout in each participating public library.  The pass may be checked out once per year, per card, per household, and is valid for two adults and up to two children, ages 3 to 11.  The pass is not valid for fee-based events or programs and may not be combined with other discounts or promotions.  Standard general admission will apply to families with additional children; children must be accompanied by an adult.
     So, you can check out the Zoo Atlanta DVD from our library and upon return, a library staff member will issue you a receipt you must present, with your library card, to gain free admittance to the Zoo.  Be sure to save the receipt; it is required for Zoo admission.  The pass is valid for 7 days from the date of the receipt showing the return of the DVD.
     There are so many amazing things you can do with your library card.  And this is one of them.  Plan your trip today and enjoy a vacation right here in Georgia. 
     If you'd like more information about Zoo Atlanta, visit

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Who should attend? Those who need grant money!

     If you're part of a Georgia school system, college, library, historical society, museum, cultural organization, or government agency, then this workshop is probably one you'll be interested in. 
     It's a grant writing workshop, conducted by the Georgia Humanities Council and sponsored by the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System.  It will be held Saturday, March 26th, 1 to 3:30 p.m., right here in the library at 204 5th Street Southeast, Moultrie, Georgia.
     The workshop will be led by Arden Williams, Program Officer for the Georgia Humanities Council.  She's also the state coordinator for Georgia tours of traveling Smithsonian exhibits.  Arden previously worked for the National Archives Southeast Region, presenting educational programs within the community, working with genealogists and directing the student interns.  And she's been an adjunct professor at Clayton State University, teaching Introduction to Public History.  (A busy lady, huh?)
     What Arden wants to let you know is that grant guidelines have changed.  And because of that, organizations interested in applying for grants from the Georgia Humanities Council are encouraged to have staff members or volunteers attend this FREE (YES!  I said FREE!) training workshop.
     It's not hard to register (and registration is requested).  Just call the library at 229-985-6540 or email us right here at  I understand we already have twelve people signed up and we're a week-and-a-half away from the event.
     Hear ye!  Hear ye!  FREE grant writing workshop!   For those who need grant money!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We have little visitors again

     The little people are visiting again.  Yesterday I watched a group of about 20 children walk toward the Children's Library, and I decided to see what they would be I followed.
     They were very orderly, but excited, even if they were three-to-five year olds.  I mean, after all, that's what they're supposed to be...excited.  They came with three mothers and one dad.  (It was wonderful to see that dad in the group.)  Everyone was from Heritage Church.  They all filed into the Reading Garden and sat on the carpet, except for the moms and pop who sat in strategically placed chairs.
     Now, we have one of the best children's storytellers in the whole state and the minute she begins to quiet everyone down for her program, excitement just fills the air like static.
    Miss Norma has been the storyteller for a good number of years and her helper is the Library Mouse.  Of course, he attends all the children's programs and often has a special song sung about him.
     Today Miss Norma took the kids on a trip around the world.  Books were involved and as she raised each book, something special appeared.  For Scotland, it was the Loch Ness Monster (a small colorful toy), which caused the kids to squeal with delight.  For America, Miss Norma waved the American flag, and the kids all cheered.  For China, there was the panda bear, and the trip went on for at least three more books.
     After talking about each country and showing an appropriate toy or flag, Miss Norma encouarged everyone to stand while they marched in place, then turned around, and sat back down.  They sang a little tune as they marched (helps keep the figets away).
     When Miss Norma told about Mexico, she brought out a very small sombrero. "And who does this hat fit?" she asked the kids.  Everyone knew.  Everyone shouted, "LIBRARY MOUSE!"  And there he was!  And when Miss Norma put the sombrero on Library Mouse's head, the room was filled with laughter and shouts.
     Well, the story about Mexico and the sombrero was the lead-in to Miss Norma's story, "Manana Iguana" by Ann Whitford Paul and illustrated by Ethan Long.  The story is about Iguana planning a party.  Her friends (the Rabbit, the Tortoise, and the Snake) all want to come, but will they help?  This is a version of "The Little Red Hen" with a glossary of Spanish words.
     Need I say more?  Can't you just see Miss Norma standing in front of the kids and acting out the parts (voices and all) of the iguana, the rabbit, the turtle, and the snake?  And the kids?  Well, they had the hardest time sitting on that carpet, when all they wanted to do was jump up and help Miss Norma with the story.
     Believe me, I love going to the Children's Library to listen to Miss Norma's stories.  But the best part is watching all the little people who come to visit.  Just fills my heart with delight!
     If you're an organization with little people, why not call the library and see how you can set up a storytime for your group.  It's easy.  And you'll have a wonderful time.  The phone number is 229-985-6540. 
     And's another free service of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How important is your library to you?

     Someone passed me an interesting article to read the other day.  It was by Scott Turow, a brilliant author and the president of the Authors Guild.  He wrote about libraries, just one sector of the many public agencies that are being slowly relieved of funding to keep them afloat, not to mention running in the black with a budget.
     Mr. Turow's article was titled "Let-Them-Eat-Cake-Attitude Threatens to Destroy a Network of Public Assets."  You need to read the entire article, because he speaks for many of us who work in the libraries also.
     I want to quote a few of his choice sentences:
     "While our economy seems to be slowly staggering back to its feet...governments are cutting everywhere they can and public libraries nationwide have been one of the biggest and least deserved losers in the process."  That includes us!  Less funds for books and magazines and a few other things that our public either needs or enjoys.  Does that sound like what you're going through at home also?
     "...Libraries seem to be losing out in the funding battles, due, in part, to the mistaken belief that they are somehow anachronistic in an age when so many Americans have instant computer access to information through the Internet."  So...if you don't have a computer at home and you have to come to the library where, with just the show of your library card, you can use a free computer and access to the Internet...what's going to happen to your free access at the library when we lose more funding to keep us open?
     "Millions of Americans simply cannot afford to replace what libraries have traditionally offered for free...."   Have you thought about what you get free at the library with your library card?  How about free access to those new and upcoming books you can no longer afford to buy, the computers and all the research assistance that goes along with it, those free DVDs?  How about the newspaper you can't afford at home, but can read for free at the library, especially if you're looking in the want ads for a job?  Using the newspapers and the computers for jobs that are slowly being cut out of the workforce?  Catch-22?
     Mr. Turow called libraries "first responders" and I like that.  He said libraries "function as crucial technology hubs."  I like that, too.  He said libraries "are the only safe place where thousands and thousands of American kids can go to study, a haven free from the dangers of street or the numbing temptations of television."  And "for the elderly, libraries are often important community centers that help them escape the loneliness of old age."
     My gosh, but this man can write!!!  And he speaks of libraries, not just our library, but all libraries.
     He said, "Most important of all, perhaps, a library within a community stands as a testimonial to its values, its belief in universal access to literature and knowledge."  And I REALLY like that!
     Mr. Turow said more, much more, but it would be good if you could read it for yourself.  And when you get to the end of his article, be sure you read all those comments people from all over the nation have made.  Outstanding!!!
     The link is below.  And important is your library to you?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March is Women's History Month

     March is loaded with various observances, all the way from Dr. Seuss's birthday to whatever happens on March 31st (I can't seem to see that far ahead!).  March covers special events such as Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter, as well as special days for nutrition, cancer, vision, spiritual awareness, kites, crafts, and a thousand other things.
     However, I'd like to point out that March also observes Women's History Month.
     Gerda Lerner, Women and History (1986; 1993) said, "When I started working on women's history about thirty years ago, the field did not exist.  People didn't think that women had a history worth knowing."
     Well, times have changed.  Women have changed.  And so has the history of women's history.
     Women's History Month and the publication of women's history in this country began in 1978 as "Women's History Week."  It began in Sonoma County, California, and the week including March 8, "International Women's Day," was selected.  In fact, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women's History Week.  In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women's History Month.
     In honor of Women's History Month, we have a small wall display in our long, white hallway.  A brochure titled "Our HISTORY is Our Strength" is surrounded by pictures of famous women:  Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Mary Church Terrell, Elizabeth Blackwell, Babe Didrikson, Louisa May Alcott, and Clara Barton.  If you don't know who some of these women are, we have information right here in our library to enlighten you.
     Also, in the adult reading area, along the top of the low bookshelf near the Fiction section, you'll see books about famous literary women...books you can check out.  Some of these women are:  Maya Angelou, Pearl S. Buck, Willa Cather, Joan Didion, Anne Frank, Zora Neal Hurston, Barbara Kingsolver, Harper Lee, Alice Munro, Annie Proulx, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anne Tyler, Alice Walker, and Mary Wollstonecraft.
     Learn more about women's history.  Visit The National Women's History Project (NWHP) web site at  It provides information about women's history, Women's History Month in March, Women's Equality Day in August, and related women's history resources and materials.
     The stories of women's achievements are integral to the fabric of our history.  Learning about women's tenacity, courage, and creativity throughout the centuries is a tremandous source of strength.
     Visit the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and the Odom Genealogical Library for more information.  We have loads of information.