Tuesday, October 25, 2011

River of Words, a creation of environmental beauty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More news about World Origami Days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Books - we'll never be without them

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

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Did you know October is Family History Month?

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

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A special genealogy program for today's generation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Most little libraries are in the same boat

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A new Shel Silverstein book is out

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