Thursday, March 29, 2012

And so the calendar turns...again

     Can you believe it?  April is just a couple of days away!!!  If you're like me, my March is flying by so fast I'm not really finished with it yet.
     But we don't let fast months stop us here at the library.  We're already putting out the April displays.  In fact, these displays are so good that we're showing them for six weeks.  You see, they're baskets!!!
     Lots of people are basket collectors, so I've discovered.  We have several here, too.  When I first decided I wanted something different for the displays this time, I asked around for basket-contributors.  And I found them...Ann, Aileen, Melody, Johnnie, and me, of course.
     The best basket is one donated by Melody...a huge grapevine basket that she filled with springtime flowers, tall flowers, for the center of our foyer table.  There are irises, daisies, roses, daffodils, and all kinds of swirley stuff.
     Around that huge basket, we've placed other baskets filled with books.  And since our color theme for the front lobby displays are yellow and blue, those baskets are filled with colorful books.  If it weren't for Keva and all her hard work, we would never be able to keep all the displays filled for our patrons. 
     Our front counter bookcase showcases the same colors and encourages you to "Read A Springtime Novel."  And again, the same colors are selected for the Friends-Recommend shelf across from the computer center.
     Even our lighted cases have baskets with daffodils, irises and tulips, making the cases burst with blazes of bright yellow.  Those baskets will be a little different from the ones on the foyer table.  They are rather unique.  One is a blond straw sewing basket lined with shiny red material and embroidered on top with flowers and leaves.  There is also an old, faded-color "buttocks" basket that Johnnie said a friend made for her mother. Two baskets have leather trim around their tops.  Three baskets are teeny-tiny and another basket actually has two side pockets.
     When we did our "Bucket List for the Library," one of the suggestions was that we honor one author a month on a display table.  Well, we've done better than that.  We will be honoring some of our favorite authors.  For the month of April we will honor Jan Karon, David Baldacci and Eugenia Price.  On the table you'll find not only their books, but a brochure about each author that will help you select even more of their books to read...and books by read-alike authors.  Thanks to Ann for the author selection and to Aileen for the many brochures.
     Don't forget either to look at the lighted calendar case just off the long, white hallway.  This month we are highlighting author and illustrator Jerry Pinkney.  If you haven't seen his beautiful illustrations, see what we are showing and then visit his website at  Amazing pictures and wonderful books.
     We do all of this for you and hope that your visit to our library is a fantastic trip.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Occasionally we do some "grazing"

     One of the fun things we do here at the library is to have an occasional "grazing day."
     It's not for the public, but we do it anyway.  We do it for ourselves, all of us who work here.
     Of course, we did it last month also, so maybe it wasn't right to say occasional.  We called it last month our "Post-Valentine Get-together" and fixed our food and ate together (as many as could at one time) around one of the library tables in the auditorium.  We had a great time.
     This time, today, was our after-St.-Patrick's-Day get-together.  We called it our "Green Grazing" thing.  The object was to share our favorite green snack or food with green in it.  But if someone couldn't meet that criteria, all they had to do was put whatever they brought in a green bowl.  We're easy to please.  And if they could, they should wear something green, too.
     We had a table full of stuff (food, I should say).  We started putting things on a table in the auditorium when we first walked in the door this morning.  Johnnie brought little smokies (cocktail weiners in bar-b-que sauce; her husband said if it was good, he made it, but if it was bad, Johnnie made it).  She kept them warm in a crock pot that I saw had some green on it.  Cray brought green punch and cups.  Carolyn brought chips and carrots with dip (saw green in that, too).  Aileen brought spinach dip with carrots and celery and corn scoops, and Ann brought green grapes.  Jinx brought bags of Chex mix all stacked up in a big green bowl.  Melody brought Irish green rice krispies.  And Irene brought bags of oat cluster bits with green apples.
     This was a time when we could come in and pick up a few things to "graze" on, go back to work, and  then later on come back again for more.
     When compared to many libraries, we're not considered very big.  It's because of our size that we can be closer in our friendships and form not only good working relationships, but friendships that carry over into our personal lives.  We're the people who care about each other in a personal way.  We're there to help when someone is sick or needs a ride somewhere or has a death in their family.  We provide not only food and financial contributions, but physical support and prayers.
     That's why it's so much fun to work at our library, why it's a joy to come to work among the friendly faces and wonder what surprises are in store for us each day.  Because together, we know we can make the day a good one.
     The "grazing" and "sit-down" days with food, among other enjoyments of talking and laughing together, make us a happy family.  We hope our happiness shows on our faces when you see us.
     Maybe if more people shared their food, or took time to sit down together to eat, they would come to like each other more and the world would be a happier place.
     It's something to think about anyway.  We do it here at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library and it seems to work.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

You can't believe the good stuff going on in the Children's Library

     I mean, it's absolutely great all the things happening in the Children's Library these days.
     On Tuesday there was a great big Dr. Seuss birthday party!  The kids had a big, wild, wonderful time.  And you know, their parents did too!
     Yesterday I had a good chat with the Children's Library Coordinator Michele Croft.  She's lining up all the people for the Summer Reading Program which will begin in June, as well as the programs for the Teens.  Sign-up for Summer Reading will be held all during the month of May, so the kids with their parents just need to come to the Children's Library and get their information.
     (I have to tell you right now, while I'm thinking about it, that the new season for the adult book club will begin also in June - that's the Summer Reading Program for us adults that we decided to make a year-round event.  This current season has been "Novel Destinations" and we read books that took us all over the world - fiction, nonfiction, whatever.  But the new season will be called "Between the Covers" for all months except May and December.  In June "Between the Covers" will meet every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.  Then we'll meet just once a month, the second Tuesday, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.   Meetings are held in the auditorium.  Put it on your calendar now to join us.)
    Michele told me they now have a bunch of new mysteries for children:  Nancy Drew for second and third graders, Pirate School by Brian James, and Ghost Detectors by Dottie Enderle.  She's also added NASCAR Graphic Novels and the Miraculous Magic Trick Series by Mike Lane.
     And this morning Michele told me that another Origami Class will be held in April.  Teacher will be Jeff Kininas.  But I'll have to tell you more about that later.
     Michele said a partnership has been formed with Amerigroup Community Care.  Marketing Account Manager Jocelyn Cooper will be available to give five to ten minute talks here at the library to families about health topics.  Since Jocelyn covers the entire Southwest Georgia area, her visits will be scheduled and publicized early enough for people to sign up.
     One of the most amazing things Michele has done is to contact artist John Rocco to see if he'd be willing to give us a couple of his children's book illustrations.  He did even better!  He obtained about twenty prints by various illustrators and sent them for framing and placement in our library.  Now, if you don't know who Mr. Rocco is, you should visit our library and see his books (or visit his website   In the E R section of the Children's Library, you'll find (if they aren't already checked out) his books Blackout, Fu Finds the Way, Moonpowder, and Wolf! Wolf!  The illustrations are just amazing and enchanting.  And before long you'll get to see all the other illustrators' works he sent, too.  But remember it will take a little time to get them matted and framed.
     What else can I tell you?  Well, Michele is planning a family night in May for the first Prime Time Families group.  She's working on a special program for them.  Watch for more about that.
     And will be here before you know it with more specials about the Children's Library.
     Oh, what excitement!  There's lots of good stuff going on in the Children's Library and I can hardly keep up with it all.  Just hang in there with me.  I'll tell you more as it all comes about.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I told him I'd write about Springtime

     My "doom and gloom" friend walked in the door again yesterday, bright and early in the morning.
     "How come you're not writing your blog anymore?"
     I didn't even turn around, just said, "I am."
     "Well, I haven't seen it lately," he continued.  "When you gonna write again?"
     "Today," I said.  "Today.  I'm going to write about Springtime."
     He turned and went out the door, then turned and opened the door again.
     "Well, 'bout time.  It's been here for a while."
     And he was gone.

     Springtime is here.  When I came to work this morning, I saw all the color-busting azaleas, the dark pink redbud blooms, little yellow jonquils, and coral-flowered quince bushes.  But I knew it was really Springtime because the trees at a certain place on Fifth Avenue were filled with lavender wisteria.  Before you know it, the whole street, from 15th Street to Fifth Street will smell like a perfume factory.
     Our library is fortunate to have a host of groundskeepers from the Colquitt County Correctional Center.  Today as I drove past the front entrance, I saw fellows on mowers, with grass blowers, hedge trimmers, and sidewalk trimmers.  They were not only working around the library, but they were cleaning and clearing Bert Harsh Park, which is adjacent to the library.
     We not only have rose bushes, but pink loropetalum across the front of the building.  And in the Park the crabapple tree will be blooming before long.  We have tons of trees around the library and in the Park, and people have been working in the Community Garden again.
     Our Park is so lovely that a wedding will be held there this evening at 6:30.  (Another reason the groundskeepers are cleaning and clearing today.)
     This past fall, we saw a good many people in the Park picking up pecans.  At all times people are visiting the Park to eat at the picnic tables, and often mothers and babysitters bring little children for snacks and lunch and running around.
     There was a time when I took my Subway sandwich and coke into the Park, sat on the scrolly-iron bench near the sundial, and did a watercolor of what I saw nearby.  That day the tall trees shot up toward a bright blue sky filled with white cotton clouds.  It's a day I remember fondly.
     It's at times like this, in the middle of March, when I want to be outside all the time.  When I want to take a good book and sit in a comfortable chair on the lawn or at the pond and read until I get so drowsy that my eyes close.  It's at times like this when I want to walk the length of Tallokas Road and look at all the flowers in everyone's yards, when I want to park my car near one of the little lakes and just sit and smell the wonderful air.
     It's Springtime, y'all.  And so, Mr. Doom and Gloom, after you read, this you need to take yourself outside and let the Springtime freshness sweep through your hair and brush your cheek and put a lively step in your day.
     Then come back and tell me you read the blog.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Come travel to the Holy Land with us!

     There are so many of us that like to travel...just get in the car and go!  And this is the perfect time to do that.  The weather is wonderful!
     But if you can't get out of town, if you feel the gasoline is too high to fill the tank and head down the road, and if you don't have much time to spare, don't moan about it.  Come travel with us on Tuesday, March 13th, when the Novel Destinations Book Club meets.
     We're going to The Holy Land and everyone is invited to join us.
     Thanks to the help of Richard and Jane Sheldon, we will take "A Visit to The Holy Land" via their experience of traveling to that part of the country.  And there's sure to be loads of pictures to thrill you.
     The time is 6:30 p.m.  The program will last for only about an hour, so be here early for your seat in the library's Willcoxon Auditorium.
     And remember, this is one of the last few programs in the Novel Destinations Book Club.  Come June, we'll begin a whole new series titled "Between the Covers."
     See you on Tuesday, March 13th, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

We're honoring Women's History Month

     Last week I told a friend about our library honoring Women's History Month in March.  She said she wasn't even aware that such a thing was going on. 
     Well, it is...all across America this month.  All the way from major, well known organizations to small, country libraries, the history of women's stuggles and recognition is being honored.
     Our library displays started when three of us were talking about how our mothers used to make our clothes.  From there it went into making a discussion like this as part of our "Home Front" series, with several women sitting around and talking about what their mothers used to do, what they used to do, and how times have changed.  It would be videotaped for local television and for our library archives.
     Encouraged by these memories, we created a display in our front foyer's lighted cabinets of "women's items," such as crocheted doilies, tatted collars, family pictures, old patterns and handicraft books, bonnets and beaded purses, etc.  Our round table in the foyer holds a child's wooden ironing board with an apron on it and a basket of purple and green flowers.
     The books on all our display tables and bookshelves have green covers and are by women authors.  Except for one table...we've included green-covered books by male authors, so as not to leave the guys out.
     On the walls of the long white hallway, we have a display titled "Ladies First: 34 women who dared to push the envelope."  It was from an article by Catherine DiBenedetto.
     And in recognition of the 101st International Women's Day, which is Thursday, March 8th, we have another wall display that presents an article by Sarah Morrison of The Independent newspaper, exploring the best places to be a woman today.
     As Morrison says: "The global gender gap defies simple solutions.  Eighty-five percent of countries have improved conditions for women over the past six years, according to the World Economic Forum, but in economic and political terms, there is still a long way to go."
     Do you know who these women are: Rosalind "Roz" Savage, Sandra "Sandi" Andersen, or Ann Daniels?  No?  Well, they are just a few of the famous women of the past eight years.
     In 2005 Roz Savage quit her corporate job, left her unraveling marriage, and rowed across the Atlantic by herself; quite a feat for anyone.  In 2008 Sandra Andersen, a barista at a Starbucks in Tacoma, Washington, learned that one of her customers needed a kidney to live and gave the woman one of hers; an act of great compassion.  In 2009 navigator Ann Daniels led the Catlin Artic Survey, a 74-day journey from the Artic Ocean to the North Pole to measure the thickness of sea ice; an environmental concern.
     That doesn't say who the important women of 2010 and 2011 are.  Maybe this is something you can check into...see if you can locate the names of those important women.
     And just remember, even in your family there are important women who made history...the history of your family.  Who are those great women in your life?
     Join us all, around the world, in honoring Women's History Month by sharing with someone the stories of the women you know.