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!