Thursday, July 28, 2011

Top grossing movies based on books

     I went to see the final Harry Potter movie the other night.  I must admit, it was the best of all of them.  And, I must admit, there are a couple of movies coming out pretty soon that I MUST see, both based on books.  One is The Help by Kathryn Stockett and the other is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.  I've read both books and liked both, so I'm wondering how I'll like the movies.
     While reading Yahoo!News the other day, I read about the top grossing movies based on books.  Let me tell you what they are and you can see how many you've watched...either at the theater or at home.
  • 15. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
  • 14. Tarzan (1999) the Disney animation version
  • 13. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) with Johnny Depp
  • 12. How to Train Your Dragon (2010) the Dreamworks animation
  • 11. Jurrasic Park (1993)
  • 10. Sherlock Holmes (2009) with Robert Downey, Jr.
  •  9. The Chronicles of Narnia (3 films, 2005-2010)
  •  8. I Am Legend (2007) with Will Smith
  •  7. War of the Worlds (2005) with Tom Cruise
  •  6. Twilight (3 films, 2008+)
  •  5. Da Vinci Code (2 films, 2006+)
  •  4. Shrek (4 films, 2001+) the Dreamworks animation
  •  3. Harry Potter (7 flims)
  •  2. Lord of the Rings (3 films)
  • AND ta-daaaaaa!  The number one film based on a book...
  •  1. Alice in Wonderland (2010) with Johnny Depp.
     Of course, you may not agree with all of this information, but if you go back and read all of these books, I'm sure you'll agree they are an impressive lot.  And there are even some "classics" in there for all of you people who like old dusty books!
     How many of those books have you read?  Ah, ha!  Well, then, how many of those movies have you seen?  Ahhh, that's good.
     Just remember, your local public library has a treasure trove of good reading for you and summer is not even over yet.  Still time to indulge!
(Source:  Yahoo!News)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We are an exceptional library!

     There was a real nice article in the July 22nd newspaper by Dwain Walden, the editor and publisher of The Moultrie Observer.  In his opinion, he said: "Here in Moultrie we have an exceptional library with both books and computers available to the public.  There is a mountain of works from talented writers in that building."  He also said: "We applaud those who manage and maintain our public library."
    Of course, I've taken Mr. Walden's words out of context.  That's what is usually done in this day and age, isn't it?  Mr. Walden was, in his article, talking about Connie Schultz's column right across from his on the printed page.  Ms. Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio.  Her article concerned the caving-in of Borders bookstores all across the nation and how in the absence of bookstores, people should frequent public libraries more.  She said: "When citizens read, their communities prosper."  That was an interesting sentence.
     And another "of course," The Moultrie Observer has its famous Rants and Raves column, where people can spout off how they feel about things in their community, the nation, and the world.
     One person spouted that they had lived here [in this area] a couple of years and visited the library several times and found old dusty books and a poor selection of magazines, audio books, and movies.  Little does this person realize that the library for the past few years has been operating on slim-pickings.  What with budget cuts in libraries across the nation, the Moultrie library has not been an exception.  Its budget has been cut more than most households, and yet its doors remain open.  It operates with a slim staff, too, the majority of whom are part-timers (you know what that means, don't you?).
     Thanks goodness for the person in Rants and Raves who apparently knows where the new books are shelved.  Maybe the person who ranted about old books has never been shown the new book section, which is to the left of the check-out counter.  Sure we have lots of old books (and free movies with a library card), but how many people know that a good many of our books are donated books?  Book collections by people who can no longer keep their collections; books from generous patrons who buy a book, read it, and then donate it to the library; books from friends of the library who care enough to help us buy books.
     We who work here at the library want to thank the Ranter/Ravers who mentioned "how dangerous it is to produce a generation of non-readers," the "dumbing down of society," and that "our library is a treasure of knowledge and entertainment...[but] we don't have a horde of treasure hunters."
     There is always the possibility of a Fahrenheit 451 in our future.  Or does anyone even remember that book...that movie...that possibility of books being burned?  Which makes me wonder: if you were able to be any book you'd like to be, memorize that book and become that book, what book would you be?  Don't know?  Well, why not come to our library and look at those old dusty books.  You'll find a treasure trove of stories that are older than you to pick from...those books, those stories, called classics.  Wonder how many of our currently published books will be classics someday?  Wonder where they will be housed?  Probably on some e-something, hooked up to the Internet.  Or maybe just a person, when there are no more libraries or e-somethings out there in the future.
     Well, we'll keep working here, managing and maintaining our public library until then.  Please don't let the dusty old books keep you away.  We are SO MUCH MORE.
(Source: The Moultrie Observer, July 22, 2011)

Friday, July 22, 2011

And we have a winner!

     If you remember, I've already talked about the contest we were having here at the library for our staff members called "How do you save money on everyday essentials?"  That was in the July 12th blog.
     Well, we have a winner!
     After three judges looked over all the suggestions, two out of the three picked the suggestion by Keva Williams, a young staffer who does a great amount of shelving books, cleaning books, and helping select books for our displays.  She also works in Genealogy in her spare time.  And I'm sure there are a good many other things she does that I don't know about.
     Keva's suggestion seemed to sum up what all the others had suggested...suggestions about shopping at discount stores, harvesting from your own garden, using a budget, checking websites for the cheapest gasoline, purchasing store brands, bringing lunch from home, and using cash instead of debit or credit cards.
     Keva said, "The way I save money is only spend on the things I really need.  Times are very hard now, but through the grace of God, I will survive."
     That seems to sum it all up, doesn't it?
     So, for Keva's grand prize for the winning suggestion, she was given a canvas box (reusable, you see) filled with essential items she can use at soap, baking soda, white vinegar, mailing tape, dish scrubbers, etc., as well as some comfort things like coconut body cream and peanut-butter crackers; you know, things like that.
     The best part of the contest is that we shared with each other ways we can help save money.  It made us aware of more things we can do to help save our precious money.  After all, times ARE very hard!  And by pinching pennies and putting some away in savings, hopefully we will survive.
     What is one particular thing you do to save money?  Why not share with us right here.  We can certainly learn from each other.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Did you notice? Our adult summer reading club continues.

     If you've gotten this far, then you probably noticed on our home page that the adult summer reading program will continue right on through the year (well, except for December and May).
     Each time we've met, there have been about 14 people.  And each time we've met, we've had a wonderful program.  One time it was about Iceland; another time Italy, and Ireland.  There's no telling where we'll go in the future.  Most everyone wanted to continue the travel theme and that could take us anywhere!
     Tuesday, August 9th, we'll meet for our final summer meeting, before we head into our fall meetings.  We've been promised a great program and it involves cheese.  Plus this will be when a drawing will be held for great grand prizes...different than the ones we've had in previous meetings. 
     Which brings me to this...if you haven't been part of the program, it's not too late.  Just come join us in the auditorium at 6:30 p.m. on August 9th.  We sign in, are handed a ticket for the drawings, and find a seat among other readers.  We have a short program, talk about what we've been reading, and have the drawing.
     It's been a good way to meet others who love to read and a way to see the world through the eyes of  those who travel.  Just another form of "armchair travels."  And we need people to be part of the group who can tell us where they've traveled.  That might be you!
     Plan to join us now and put the date on your calendar.  Let our "Novel Destinations" become a way for you to see the world from your own back yard.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We went to the garden this morning

     That's right!  We did!  Miss Elois and me!
     I'm sure if you've come to the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library you've seen the garden growing at the south edge of the Bert Harsh Park, that park on the library's corner with a black chain fence around it.
     This morning I asked Elois if she'd go to the garden with me and tell me what's growing there.  I had an idea I'd know some of the produce, but not all of it.  And I was right!
     Miss Elois took a pair of scissors with her so she could cut a bunch of zinnias for Irene in the Odom Genealogical Library.  I managed to talk her into cutting lots of zinnias so we could put them in the public library also.
     Well, it didn't take long for Miss Elois to let me know what she saw growing!  Besides the zinnias, there were yellow crook-neck squash, tomatoes, carrots (and Elois says they are sweeeetttt!), butter beans, snap beans, okra (standing tall!), peas, and a few collards (they must go fast!).
     Elois noticed how there were lots of squash and carrots ready for picking.  Before we left the garden, she already had plans to come back and harvest some of the produce.  But in the meantime, she cut enough zinnias for four vases, three of which are now in the front foyer of the public library.
     This is the Community Garden, grown in partnership with the Moultrie Library and the Healthy Colquitt Coalition.  It's carefully tended to by a group of men who live nearby.  And I must say, they do a fine job of weeding, watering, and taking care of the six or seven long raised beds of produce.
     Occasionally, when going home in the afternoon, I see people picking the produce.  Sometimes it's a couple of women, sometimes a mother and her children, once three men pulled carrots and stuffed them into black plastic bags.  And I've been told that occasionally the produce is picked and taken to the Colquitt County Food Bank here in Moultrie.
     I know...all the time you thought the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library was just a place for books and stuff like that.  Well, surprise!  We're more than meets the eye.
     Come check out the Community Garden.  It's lovely!  And it's right here at the Moultrie Library.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What is it we look for in novels?

     A few days ago I read an interesting quote.  But I can't remember where I read it.   Granted I'm taking it out of context, because it caught my attention in just that way.  In fact, I  read it to myself three times as I thought about some of our current events.
     Dick Wald is a professor of Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a former ABC News president.  And I quote: "...We are a society of people who look for novels in our general appreciation of life."   I guess it was the "general appreciation of life" that really caught my attention.
     Lately, we have been in awe of a recently published novel and a television interview.  Jaycee Dugard's novel "A Stolen Life" was part of the recent Diane Sawyer interview.  You can bet a lot of people will rush out to buy Dugard's book, simply because they are curious to know more about her 18 years of captivity.  But do you think they're that interested, as well, about her life now?
     We've also been caught up big time with the Caycee Anthony trial.  Then the verdict came out!  Wow! Doesn't that just make you want to know who is going to write the book about that event?  Will anyone be more interested in what Caycee will be doing from now on, as compared to what happened to her two-year-old daughter?
     There's another ongoing event...the one of Dr. Conrad Murray and the death of Michael Jackson.  How many books do you think will be written about that astounding event?  I can imagine you'll have at least six books to chose from.
     How many novels were written about Scott Peterson, who was convicted of killing his wife, Laci,  and their unborn son, Connor?  How many novels have been written about O.J. Simpson and the death of his wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ron Goldman?
     Goodness!  Is this our "general appreciation of life"?
     I don't know about you, but when I read such novels, the scenes stay in my mind for what seems hundreds of years.  Movies are the same way.  So, I try to pick novels that don't make me wonder who might be "out there" waiting to kidnap me or break into my house and kill me.  I just scare easily!  I know that!  But I am aware of my surroundings and circumstances, and do take precautions like our crime watch organizations suggest.
     Are these novels about Dugard and Murray and Peterson and Simpson considered biographies?  Mysteries?  Crime novels?  Memoirs?  Non-fiction?  Are do they fall into each one of those genres?
     I thought again about my "general appreciation of life."  And I checked our PINES system to see what we have in our library that might be more uplifting and give me a better appreciation of life.
     How about these people?
     Martin Luther King, Jr.
     Margaret Mead
     Grandma Moses
     Harry S. Truman
     Annie Oakley
     Juliette Gordan Low
     Mary Cassatt
     Leonard Bernstein
     Edith Wharton
     Henry Aaron
     Neil Armstrong
     James Herriot
     Amelia Earhart.
Do  you know who all these people are?  Can you go down the line and pick out which person was the baseball player, the writer, the astronaut, the artist, the president...?  Do you know what these people, and people like them, have contributed to our appreciation of life?  So...what do you consider your "general appreciation of life" to be?
     Well, I'd like to encourage you to visit our library and check out the Biography Section.  You'll find novels about these people, as well as many more interesting people.  And yes, you'll find the novels about sinister people, also.  I mean, we can't have the good unless we have the bad, right?
     Check out the Biography Section for a good read and look for ways to encourage your "general appreciation of life."  You might be surprised what a good read you'll find.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ways to save during hard times

     I saw on Yahoo! Financials today that there's a certain day of the week when you can expect to save money more than at other times.  Guess what day it was?  WEDNESDAY!  And I always thought it was Tuesday!
     Wednesday is supposed to be the day you save money on buying groceries, the day when the biggest sales occur.  And if you go about two hours before closing, you might even get some great sales on bakery stuff and meat.
    Wednesday is also the day to guy gasoline at the lowest price, just before the big hike for the weekend.  Wednesday is also the day you can buy online kids' and women's clothes for the cheapest price.  And plane tickets...if you buy about 1 a.m.!
    I tell you all of this because way before Yahoo! came out with their good news, we started a contest here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library for staff members.  The contest was for the best ways to save money.  Each staff member with a suggestion was to write their entry on a slip of paper and post it to the break room door.  And, believe me, we have some good suggestions.  Such as:
  • Shop at discount stores, cut coupons and look in sales papers, limit expensive soft drinks to one per day for each person in the household, buy generic, limit trips to town, limit eating out, limit luxury items and wants.
  • Bring lunch from home, buy clothing on clearance only, use a lot of generics or store brand, use cash instead of debit or charge cards.
  • Buy grocery store brands whenever possible for milk, cereal, oatmeal, etc.  You can save $5 or $6 alone just on two boxes of cereal.  And tastes just as good.
  • Get items from the dollar store that you use regularly (freezer bags, foil, dish soap, etc.), buy nearly-new (sometimes new with the sale tags still on) clothes at Goodwill.
  • Check the following website for current gasoline prices; just enter the zipcode and you will get the current prices for numerous stations in that area, as well as a map showing where the stations are located.
  • One person said: the way I save money is only spend on the things I really need.  Times are very hard now, but through the grace of God, I will survive.
     These were just a few of the suggestions.  But I want to give you one more.  September is National Library Card Sign-up Month.  By signing up for a library card, you can save bundles of money.  With the money you save here at the library on books, DVDs, audio books, magazines, newspapers, computers and a host of other choices, you'll have more money for gasoline, for food and clothing, and maybe even a little money for something special, whether it's a trip to the dentist or a trip to visit grandma.
     Just remember, we're here to help you save during hard times.  We're one of the friendliest places in town and we're always looking for ways to help.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The results of the 2011 Georgia Authors of the Year Awards

     The Georgia Writers Association (GWA) recognizes Georgia's authors of excellence by presenting the Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) each year.  The GAYA honors independently published authors, those whose books are published by traditional publishing houses.
     Over 100 books were nominated for the 2011 Georgia Author of the Year Awards.  The GAYA covers not only the traditional categories of Poetry and Fiction, but also the growing Creative Non-Fiction genre.  The guidelines are revised each year to parallel the changing literary marketplace.
     Terry Kay, whose latest book is "Bogmeadow's Wish," a love story set in Ireland, was this year's recipient of The Lifetime Achievement Award at the GAYA banquet, held in June on the campus of Kennesaw University in Kennesaw, Georgia.
     The author of 11 published novels, Kay is a 2006 inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, and is a 2009 recipient of the Governor's Award in the Humanities.  Other honors include the Townsend Prize, the Lindberg Award, and the Appalachian Heritage Writers Award.  He is also a three-time winner of GWA's Author of the Year Award in Fiction, and has appeared three times on the Twenty-five Books All Georgians Should Read list.  Look at our library's PINES System to see the list of  his books you can check out.
     Other GAYA winners are:
     * Fiction - Joseph A. Skibell for A Curable Romantic
     * First Novel - June Hall McCash for Almost to Eden
     * Poetry - Phillip Lee Williams for The Flower Seeker: An Epic Poem of William Bartram
     * Biography - Larry L. McSwain for Loving Beyond Your Theology: The Life and Ministry of Jimmy Raymond Allen
     * Essay - Peter Augustine Lawler for Modern and American Dignity: Who We Are as Persons, and What that Means for Our Future
     * Inspirational - Justin Spizman and Robyn Spizman for Don't Give Up...Don't Ever Give Up
     * Memoir - D. Craig Rikard for Hidden Epidemic: "Mama, Why Don't You Remember Our Names Anymore?"
     * History - Tony P. Anderson for Tell Them We Are Singing for Jesus: The Original Fisk Jubilee Singers and Christian Reconstruction, 1871 - 1878
     * Specialty Book - John A. Burrison for From Mud to Jug: The Folk Potters and Pottery of Northeast Georgia
     * Children's Picture Book - Grady Thrasher for Tim and Sally's Year in Poems
     * Young Adult Fiction - Ted Dunagan for Secret of the Satilfa
     * Children's Mid-Reader - Peggy Mercer for Peach: When the Well Run Dry.
Congratulations to all the winners!  And good reading to all those who love reading!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A comparison of our library with TV commercials

     Do you have a few television commercials that just drive you nuts?  That's what I asked our staff members in the processing room this morning.  Everyone had at least one commercial that makes them hit the mute button or change the channel.  Our "favorites" are listed here:
     * the coupon saving one where the cashier loudly says, "You could have saved $25" and the buyer groans, "Ohhhh," as she keels over; only to have the cashier say again, "No, $30!" with another groan from the buyer as she faints away...
     * the car dealer commercial that shows the very tall man and the very short woman, who talk about the "short and tall" of their salesmanship...
     * the one where it seems like hundreds of people are screaming, "I want my money now!"...
     * the silly commercials with the phone company's blond spike-haired guy and his weird competitors...
     * the caveman, who feels he's being discriminated against because he "looks" different...
     * the woman who screams loudly while a man uses his shoe to beat a cell phone to death as it shows a huge hairy spider...
     * the commercial where fifty-thousand people are hollaring "Match it!"... and
     * the "Wee, wee, wee!" pig, Maxwell.
     Have you seen any of these commercials?  If you haven't, I'd be surprised.  We've all noticed how the television shows we watch have 5-minute segments and 10-minute commercials.
     So, I'm here to tell you that you'll have none of this kind of harrassment here at our library.
     We don't give away coupons, but we do have loads of savings.  You can check out a $25 book and not have to pay anything (unless you keep it too long and then you have a fine to pay - sorry).  You don't even have to pay the nominal fee for a DVD, like you have to pay at video warehouses.  And you can use one of our 20 Dell computers for free.  Even our library cards are free for the asking!
     The only short and tall we have in our library are the bookshelves.  You'll find some short shelves in the children's library where little fingers can pick their own books to read, and there are some low shelves for the young adult readers, too.  Of course, the tall shelves can be reached with convenient step-stools and we always have staff members to help you reach something on a top shelf.
     We certainly don't bug you about "wanting our money now."  However, if you do want to check out something to take home, then you must bring your account up to date by paying any outstanding fines.
     There are different hair styles here at the library, but we don't have a blond spike-haired guy on the premises.  (Guess I can't say much about us occasionally getting silly, however.)
     We don't get too involved with people looking "different," unless they are sitting at the computers with their backs facing us and their  pants are down too low.  We have occasionally draped a sweater across the back of a chair to help hide a person's somewhat offensive skin that's showing.
     And huge hairy spiders...haven't seen a one.  We have a really great janitor here who is cleaning all day long, so he keeps our library pretty clean.
     Now, as to "match it," we can do it.  If you see a book on television or in a store that you'd like to read, just come to the library and see if we can get it for you.  We'll be glad to try to match any book, audio or physical, and even movies that you'd like to check out.  Don't forget, we have an interlibrary loan system that pulls items from all across the PINES library system.
     OK, there's Maxwell, the pig!   We cannot duplicate his little yell of "Wee, wee, wee," unless it's found in a book in the Children's Library.  BUT...think of this...what fun to take your children to the library and hunt for the little pig books.  Our Children's Library is colorful, entertaining, and a great place to spend some time during the hot summer months.
     And the best part of our crazy commercials interrupting your library time!!!  Come join us.  We're here just for you!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So...what did you do on July 4th?

     One of the fun things I like to do around here is to talk to our staff about certain issues, get their opinions, while finding out more about them.  Today's survey was just so I could find out more about them.  After all, the people who work at libraries are "real" people, too, you know.
     Our library, like libraries all across this nation, was closed for Independence Day, July 4th.  So, today I walked around and asked everybody what they did on July 4th.  It seems we have a small staff here today.  Not necessarily because vacations are still in full swing, but because we have some people out for various other reasons.  But that didn't stop me from asking anyhow.
     Of course, when I asked them my question, I said something (but I don't really remember) about not putting their name on their responses.  This is now my disclaimer...I don't reeeallly remember saying that!
     Ann told me she and her husband went to Home Depot and bought some shelving for their closet and a ceiling fan with a light for their bedroom.  Then they spent the rest of the day getting it all installed.  She didn't even mention stopping to eat.  Bummer!
     Jinx went to the Smokin' Pig Bar-B-Q Restaurant in Valdosta with a friend and stuffed herself, not only then but later for supper with the leftovers!  And she spent the evening reading and watching the July 4th celebrations on television.
     Monique celebrated at the annual First Avenue Block Party.  As usual, the bar-b-que cookouts were lining the streets and there were hundreds of people there to enjoy the festivities.
     Keva said she was at the First Avenue Block Party, too, but she was relaxing on the front porch with her grandparents and watching all the party-ers pass by.
     Carolyn had bar-b-que, too.  Her church, Oak Grove Baptist Church, had a big bar-b-que cookout with all the trimmings, as well as homemade ice cream AND a water slide.  But Carolyn said she didn't do the water slide part.  Can't imagine why?  Would have been a good way to cool off!
     Johnnie and her husband stayed home and grilled.  She said she was so lazy that she just enjoyed eating, reading, and taking two naps!  Now, that is the height of laziness!
     I guess I really felt sorry for Sheila (but then I'd have to feel sorry for Ann and Billy, too), because she said she worked in her yard on the 4th!  Do you know how hot it was out there?  At least 100 in the shade!  Oooooo, Sheila!
     Now, Michele had a good idea.  She celebrated her husband's birthday on the 3rd.  And she said they grilled out and picked blueberries (later in the evening when it was cool, I hope!).  But she said she also read magazines and books, too.
     Irene said it was quiet on her home front; she stayed home and rested and read!  Can't beat that!
     But I guess if we were giving a grand prize for who had the busiest July 4th, it would be Elois.  She went to her pepper patch with her brother and picked bell peppers.  Then she went to her kitchen and made him loads of stuffed peppers!  Can you beat that?  Talk about a lovely lady!  She said she had company all day, but the best part was when some friends asked if they could bring their cooker over and do a fish fry!  Now, that's what good friends are for.
     What did I do for the 4th?  Oh, a little of this and a little of that, plus lots of eating.  I heard people shooting off fireworks in the neighborhood, but I was inside the cool house, just relaxing in my big easy chair, sipping on some cool iced tea, and watching the fireworks on the TV.  And yeah, I did some reading also, right before my eyes closed for a short nap!  Well, it really wasn't short!
     Looks like we all had a good time.  And's time to go back to work.   See ya later....