Thursday, June 28, 2012

We're bringing the beach to you

     For a person who lives this close to several beaches, I don't get to go as often as I'd like.  In my home I've created my "beach" environment.  I have beachy furniture, lots of seashells, and bright colors.  Most of the time I feel I'm at my beach cottage, enjoying all the pleasures of my favorite place...the beach.
     Now, we're bringing the beach to you, right here at our library.  We've set up seven displays to invite you to join us with some beach time.
     As you come into the front foyer, you'll see all kinds of seashells in the two large lighted cases, so many I couldn't begin to name them all right here.  The shells are from our Odom Genealogical Library's collection, provided by local residents.  A small collection in one corner of the case is provided by Ann, who works here at the library.  She's included some pictures of her family at the beach.
     Our foyer table is covered with books in bright colors of sea blue, hibiscus pink, sunshine yellow, lime green, and mango orange.  The table sign encourages you to "Hang out with the Summer Readers."
     Next to the circulation counter in the foyer bookshelf, you'll find books to "Chill Out With Summer Reading."  Keva has made special effort to find all these colorful books of the greatest interest that have to do with summer and the beach.
     On the long table in the aisle heading to the Children's Library, you'll find books by three of our favorite authors.  We are highlighting Nicholas Sparks, James Michener, and Carson McCullers.  We're also including books by their "read-alikes," Karen Kingsbury, Leon Uris and Ken Follett, Kaye Gibbons and Richard Wright.
     Heading back to the circulation counter, you'll see on the bookshelf just past it, the "Between the Covers Recommendations" shelf.  This time we've reviewed "Rusty Nail" by J. A. Konrath, "Murder Walks the Plank" by Carolyn Hart, "Key West" by Stella Cameron, and "Pelikan" by David Lozell Martin.  I read those reviews and I have to say, they all look like good beach reads to me.  Take a peek at them next time you come in.
     As you walk down our long, white hallway, be sure to look at the wall display.  June is Audiobook Month.  If you're looking for a great summer read for the beach, the car, or the plane, come check out our great reads - hand-held books or audiobooks.  You can even download audiobooks to your MP3 player with our latest resource OneClickdigital from Recorded Books.  These are downloadable audiobooks - all mobile device compatible and easy to access - 24 hours/7 days a week!  See our website or one of our staff members for more details.
     Right around the corner from the wall display, in the lighted glass case, we are highlighting another of our favorite author-illustrators.  This time it is Allen Say, an Asian-American, with amazing talents.  His children's books are wonderful stories from his history and culture.  You're sure to enjoy each book displayed, which we have in our library, and especially if you have a child to read them to.
     We didn't put displays just in the public library.  In the Odom Genealogical Library, you'll see on an easel the painting "John Biglin in a Single Scull, c.1873" by Thomas Eakins [1844 - 1916].  This is a watercolor picture of a summer's day of boating, one of summertime's favorite enjoyments.  The picture includes several questions about the painting that you'll find interesting and informational.
     With July 4th coming next week, it's easy to understand if you're not able to get to your favorite beach.  If that's true, just stop by our place, the Moultrie-Colquitt Library, and check out our beach finds.  We have them here just for you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


     If you watch any television at all, you've probably seen the commercial where the guy is walking all over town, saying on his cell phone, "Do you hear me now?"
     And if you've been in a library, any library, or elevator, restaurant, theater, or physician's waiting room, just to name a few places, you've probably had to listen to someone's cell phone conversation.
     When I went home for lunch today, I browsed through an old magazine that had been donated to our library and there to my amazement was an article about "mobile manners."  The article was by Dorothea Johnson, the founder and chair of The Protocol School of Washington.  She is an etiquette expert.  As usual, I found something to share with people who frequent libraries.
     All of us who work in libraries have the same problem as others who oversee the "quietness" of their establishment.  We have a difficult time in helping patrons understand that not everyone wants to hear their cell phone conversations, not everyone wants their quiet time interrupted, but most everyone feels that rude people should be cast out of the establishment for not abiding by the library rules.  And all libraries have some sort of rule about cell phone use.
     Ms. Johnson had some suggestions about cell phone etiquette that I had not read about or heard of.  And so I thought I might share them with you.  Maybe you have heard of them, but if you haven't, this would be a good time to consider them, especially if you are a cell phone user.
     Ms. Johnson had this suggestion for public places:
     * Don't talk in elevators, libraries, museums, restaurants, funerals, cemeteries, theaters, physicians' waiting rooms, places of worship, auditoriums, or other enclosed public spaces, such as hospital emergency rooms or buses.  (Well!  We know that suggestion is ignored!)
     * Respect the signs that state, "Cell Phone Use Not Allowed."
     We've tried to be really nice about cell phone users in our library; we've politely asked them to take their calls away from the computer area (that's usually where they are when their cell phones ring), preferably in the genealogy foyer where we have nice, padded benches for them to sit on.  We've posted the cutest signs all around the library showing a turkey with tail feathers that are cell phones.  The signs say "Don't be a cell phone turkey.  Turn it off in the library."  And when people would hide in the book stacks (between the bookcases), we had to post signs on bright lime-green paper that said, "No cell phone use area."  So, we've tried to be really nice about it all.
     Ms. Johnson also had these suggestions for public places other than the ones above:
     * Keep conversations brief and to the point.
     * Maintain at least a 10-foot "talk-free" zone from others while using your cell phone.
     * Remember your public conversation is not private.
     * Don't have emotional conversations in public.
     * Don't use loud and annoying ring tones.
     * Don't "multitask" by making calls while shopping, banking, waiting in line, or conducting other personal business.  
     It's rather hard to maintain a 10-foot "talk-free" zone when you're in Walmart or the doctor's office.  A couple of weeks ago while at my doctor's office, I was privileged to listen to three cell phone conversations all at the same time.  One was to a friend, just chatting about all kinds of personal stuff.  One was to a business, while the caller was also working on her laptop.  And the other, well, it was a 10-year-old talking to a little friend.  None were brief and to the point.
     Then there was my visit to Walmart last Friday, when I saw a lady bent over, pushing her basket, and chatting on her cell phone.  Since she was looking down as she concentrated on her conversation, I was glad I was looking as she pushed into my path.  I said, "Sorry," but she just kept talking on her phone.  And frowned at me, like I was in her way.
     Ms. Johnson said she was someone who wanted to build a more humane attitude and reclaim civil behavior, especially when it comes to cell phones.  She urged everyone to practice electronic protocols.  She urged everyone to become diplomats for civility.
     I guess the next thing is for everyone to look up the word "civility" in their dictionary...pardon me, their electronic dictionary.
     As for ring tones, I don't believe there are any that are not loud.  Have you heard the ones of a horn honking or dogs barking or a baby crying?  Those fall into the annoying tones.
     Ms. Johnson said technology and manners can be compatible - if we make an effort.
     I'm all for it.  How about you?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Check out our OneClickdigital audiobooks

     Did you notice something new added to our website's home page?  No?  Well, look again.
     There's a young lady's face, eyes closed, a nice smile, headphones over her ears.  She's listening to something really great!
     She's totally into an audiobook and you, too, can discover the world of audiobooks through this new resource.  There are all kinds of goodies waiting for you...action, adventure, mystery, fantasy, sports, and much more.  You can unleash the power of your imagination with recorded books.
     Your ultimate audiobook listening pleasure is just "OneClickdigital" away. 
     The OneClickdigital Audiobook collection, provided by Recorded Books, offers both fiction and nonfiction titles.  New titles will be added quarterly.  You can browse, checkout, download, and listen through your PC or transfer to a portable device.
     Use the Advanced Search or find titles by browsing the Newly Added, Featured, or What's Popular sections.  You can save your book searches, rate titles, and share what you're listening to through Facebook and Twitter.  iPhone and Android apps will soon be available for easier downloading.
     There are thousands of titles and there are no frustrating holds on popular titles.
     Look for these, and many more, best-selling authors:  Rita Mae Brown, Cormac McCarthy, Beverly Lewis, Lisa Scottoline, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Nevada Barr, Alexander McCall Smith, Anne Tyler, Carl Weber, etc.
     The easiest thing will be clicking on the "click here" where the smiling girl is on our website's home page.  Read and listen to the instructions.
     It's just one of the best things the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library can offer you.  Great stories come in all kinds of packages!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Life in the fast lane

     Well, I made it back from vacation.  It feels like I've gone from driving in the slow lane to driving in the fast lane. 
     My vacation was a time of relaxing with a good book, sitting on the front porch in the evening with a nice glass of iced tea, and spending time with my daughter, who came for a two-week visit.  We usually see each other only once a year, so we make the best of it when she's here.
     When I think about what I really like to do (on vacation), there are lots of fun things...simple things, like reading.  She knitted socks for both of us, I crocheted potholders for a friend in Maine; we read books for self-improvement (her) and mysteries (me), ate out occasionally, and did a little traveling to a couple of nearby towns.  Nothing really big like going to a beach house for a week or traveling to the mountain retreats.  Simple things, where we had plenty of time to talk about life and work and friends and family.  It was like driving in the slow lane.
     But Tuesday I came back to work.  And WOW!  There was the fast lane.
     There was our retiring director's staff luncheon at noon, the July displays to start planning, the July 4th signs to design and print (we always close on July 4th) and place around the library, the staff newsletter to finish and print for payday envelopes, the sign-up sheets and staff instructions for the August Janisse Ray writing workshop...well! you get the idea.  There was more, but I won't bore you.
     Everyone has the same problem when they come back from a vacation.  All of our staff here has the same problem.  We have to prepare before we leave and we have to jump right in when we return.  Same thing the world over, I imagine.
     So, today's blog is a short one.  Soon I'll tell you about our new director.  Soon I'll tell you about Janisse Ray's new book and her author's event here at the library.  Soon I'll tell you about our new "OneClickdigital Audiobooks."  Soon I'll tell you how our Summer Reading Program has been bringing in children of all ages. 
     Oh!  There's lots to tell you about.  But that's another blog.