Wednesday, July 18, 2012


     Did you read that?  The Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System closes!
     Did that make you wonder if it went bankrupt?  Or that there was a fire or a sale or some other catastrophy that made it close?
     Well, if it made you wonder, then I'm glad.  And the reason I'm glad is because maybe it made you stop and think...what you might have to do if the public library in your community actually closed its doors for good.
     If you're a frequent visitor to your public library and it closed, where would you get your "free" books to read, your "free" audiobooks to listen to, your "free" DVDs and VHS movies to watch?  Where would you be able to use a "free" computer to job search or email family and friends?  Where would you go (other than McDonald's or Hardee's or someplace like that) where you could sit in the air conditioning on a hot day?  Where would you pick up the latest newspaper ("free") and sit for a little read?  Where would you take your children for storyhour or to check out 10 books to take home and look at?  And if you couldn't get to the public library, how would you be able to get those interesting books you love to read if the Bookmobile didn't come by your house on a regular route?
     Of course, we're not just a public library.  We're also a genealogical library, the Odom Genealogical Library, where you can research your family tree, find pictures of Grandma and Aunt Susie, where you can look in the archival tapes at old community newspapers, where you can learn about the Veterans History Project, and where you can use "free" computers for your research.
     Also, there's the Children's Library, where every summer you can bring your children for the Summer Reading Programs and special events by entertainers, where there are puzzles to do and coloring pages to work on and toys to play with, where the Children's Librarian goes to the schools and visits in the classrooms, and helps teachers and mothers find certain books for their children.
     And don't forget our branch library in Doerun.  If we were to close the libraries here in Moultrie, stop the Bookmobile routes, and turn out the lights and lock the doors in Doerun, where would you go?  How far away would you have to go to get to another library?
     OK, now.  Back to the MCCL System closing.  That's right, we are going to close.  But you're in luck.  It's only going to be for a little while.
     Beginning Monday, July 30, we will close our library system to do our annual inventory through Friday, August 3.  This is when we clean from top to bottom, when our force of janitors clean the ceiling fans and change the light bulbs, mop and wax and wipe down everything.  This is when all the books are inventoried, as well as the computers.  This is when old items, worn items, torn items, and displaced items are taken care of.  This is when we make sure our "home" is nice and clean and ready for you when we open again on Saturday, August 4, at 8:30 a.m.
     Now, isn't it wonderful to know that we'll be closed for only five days, that we will not be closed forever, and that you'll have the opportunity again to come back to a great library right here in your community.
     We'll be glad to see you also.  After all, you are what we're here for.  You are why we open our doors.  We're your community libraries.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

You can learn something new every day at our library

     As long as I've been working here, I've never checked out a video!  But today I surprised myself.
     In the past, I've donated my old VHS movies and even some of my DVDs.  I guess I thought I'd never need to check out one.  Today I got curious about just what we have "in stock" and went to the PINES catalog to look.
     When the main screen came up, I clicked on video recordings (where you find title, author, etc.) and then for the name typed in "all."  The whole list came up.  There was lots to choose from.
     Under VC for video cassettes, I found Dumbo (the Disney version), Starring Pluto and Fifi (another Disney), The Berenstain Bears, Dora the Explorer, and lots more fun movies.
     However, since I no longer have my VHS, I had to look at the DVDs and here's what I found:
Hugo (fantastic movie), The Three Stooges (4 episodes), The Decades Collection (from the TV History Channel), Holy Grail in America (from the TV A&E Channel), The Bucket List, Steven Spielberg's War Horse, Water for Elephants (great book, too), and Dancing at Lughnasa with Meryl Streep.
     Well, being new at this, I thought I'd get first-hand instruction and asked Johnnie, who was at the front desk, just how to go about getting the DVD with Meryl Streep.  She said I needed to have the "call number." 
     To find the "call number," select the DVD/VHS you want and click on it.  The screen will come up with all that movie's information.  Look for the "call number" at the bottom of the screen.  It will say DVD or VC.  Once you have the "call number," go to the video files located in the library's main foyer next to the large, lighted cases, find the "call number" on the plastic sleeve and remove the index card in the sleeve's front pocket.  If there's not an index card there, that means the movie has been checked out.  Of course, you can find that also by looking at the PINES screen.
     Take the index card to the front check-out counter and give it to a staff member.  That person will retrieve the movie (DVD or VHS) and check it out to you.  You can have the movie for a week.
     Now...isn't that easy.  Of course, if my instructions were as clear as mud, our staff will be glad to take you through the process and make it easier.
     Oh, yes, be sure you bring your library card with you.  And while you're at the front desk, pick up one of our brochures titled "Video and DVD Checkout Policy."
     It was so easy, I'm sure I'm going to select something for the next several weekends and enjoy my hot summer inside, in front of the television, watching good movies from the library.
     See there.  You can learn something new every day at our library!!!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How about a big Georgia book festival?

     The 14th annual 2012 Georgia Literary Festival will be held November 9-10 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.  Free author programs will be held on Saturday with additional special events Friday and Saturday at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.  The event is sponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book with funding from the Georgia Humanities Council and local sponsors.
     The festival celebrates writers and writing in a different part of the state each year.
     The 2012 event of more than 30 authors includes Georgia's own Pulitzer Prize winning poet Natasha Trethewey, an American poet who was appointed United States Poet Laureate in June 2012 and begins her official duties in September.  She won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her 2006 collection Native Guard and is also the Poet Laureate of Mississippi.  She holds the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry at Emory University and is the Louis D. Rubin Writer-in-Residence for 2012 at Hollins University in Virginia.
     Also at the Literary Festival will be Judson Mitcham, Georgia's new Poet Laureate, and environmentalist and author Janisse Ray, who will be reading and signing her new book, "The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food" at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library on Friday, August 10, 2012 (more information to come on this blog).
     Other authors at the Jekyll Island event include:  Hugh Acheson, Mary Kay Andrews, Tina McElroy Ansa, Daniel Black, Doraine Bennett, Steve Berry, Stacy Cordery, Stephen Corey, Janice Daugharty, Nathalie Dupree, Damon Lee Fowler, Alice Friman, Jane Garvey, Cynthia Graubart, Gail Karwoski, Daisy King, Brenden Martin, June McCash, Jack McDevitt, Pamela Bauer Mueller, Crystall Ball O'Connor, Joe Randall, William Rawlings, Michele Ross, Lola Schaefer, Danny Schnitzlein, Charles Seabrook, Jeffrey Small, Jesse Tullos, Anita Zalenski Weinraub, and Jane Wood.
     Now why would you want to miss a free event like that?  From my house to Jekyll, it's about a three and a half hour drive.  Why not consider car-pooling?  Take the gang and enjoy the event.  It only comes once a year.
     But be sure to watch for more information about our Janisse Ray book event AND her next-day writing workshop.  It's coming soon!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

We' reading-proof about reading books

     When we began the reading club for adults here at the library, we wondered how it would go.  I mean, there are a few other book clubs here in town.  What would make ours any different?  We're not going to be meeting in the comfort of a cozy home.  We're not going to be serving wine with books or even a pot-luck meal.  So, what could we do to make our book club different?
     That was the question our group leader, Aileen, took to heart.
     The first year (last year), she planned an interesting program for nearly every meeting.  The entire year (exceptions were May, a graduation month, and December, Christmas events) was titled Novel Destinations.  Reading suggestions were books that took us to foreign countries, but also allowed us to read about our own country, i.e., the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, etc.  Program presenters ranged from local travel agents to people in our group who were willing to share their travels to exciting places with the rest of us.
     At one point sixteen people were present.  Aileen distributed gifts at the first meeting that related to travel, which probably bumped up the attendance.  But we soon found, like with most groups, the people who make books a priority in their lives are the ones who stay interested and will return.
     When you read about how to start a book club, most authors say try to stay with about ten people; makes for easier discussions, gives everyone time to talk, etc.  So, we accomplished that goal.
     Well, here we are now in our second year, which is called Between the Covers.  These are titles suggested by the American Library Association, and they provide items you can promote your book club with, such as bookmarks, book bags, cups, pencils, pens, etc.
     The group from last year's club met this past April and decided how they would like the Between the Covers club to operate...staying with the same day and time, bringing snacks to munch on, and serving coffee or lemonade.  And giving out gifts at the second meeting.  They also decided upon a suggested genre for each month.  The ALA had provided suggestions for that also.  They agreed the topic for June would be Books That Keep You Up All Night, and they had a couple of months to read books in the genre of Thrillers & Survival.
     When the June meeting arrived, eight people attended, not only to discuss books, but to learn about a new library resource called  OneClickdigital.  The library director, Melody Jenkins, gave a visual presentation about downloadable audiobooks, now available to all with a library card.  We were given the opportunity to expand our reading, especially while driving, in a plane, or washing dishes.
     After the presentation and a serving of munchies, we got down to the serious business of discussing what we'd been reading.
     We are readers of a great selection of authors.  Look at this list we discussed:
     *  John Grisham's The Litigators and The Brethern
     *  Steve Berry's The Jefferson Key
     *  Patricia Cornwell's Body of Evidence
     *  John Jakes' Savannah, or also called A Gift for Mr. Lincoln
     *  Chris Pavone's The Expats
     *  Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor
     *  Cameron Wright's Letters for Emily,  and
     *  Lee Child's Without Fail.
Needless to say, we had a lively discussion about Thrillers and Survival.
     And then Aileen gave us another genre for July!  Books About Books was the suggested genre.  These are books in which authors or books feature prominently in the plot, including literary agents, book sellers and publishers, and book store owners.
     Sooo, when this Tuesday arrives, we should all be ready to share our latest reads.
     We meet the second Tuesday of each month (except for May and December) at 6:30 p.m., right here in the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library's auditorium.  We each bring a little plate or bowl of something edible to share, and we bring what we've been reading.  We stay for about an hour.  And boy! do we have a good time.  We don't all read the same book, but for each month we read in the same genre.  Book selection is your decision.  Not all of us like the same book or same author.  It's good to have control over what we like to read.  That's one thing that makes our book club different from others.
     If you're a lover of books, a lover of reading, come join us.  Men and women alike are welcome.  And by the way, Between the Covers means between the covers of books!  It's about what we're reading.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

MCCLS has a new director

     No, Melody Jenkins has not left the building.  But she has retired from the directorship of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System.  You can find her desk now near the area of the public computers, next to our InterLibrary Loan guru, Johnnie.  She will continue to work at the library about 17 hours a week, helping out at the front desk and in many other ways, such as mentoring our new director, Holly Phillips.
     Most people in the community will undoubtedly wonder who Holly is and how she came about being part of this great library system.  But lots of people will already know that Holly is really a hometown girl.  Well, hometown of Pelham, Georgia.
     It was Melody who actually "found" Holly and was impressed with her from when Holly first worked at the Doerun Library, an MCCLS branch.  Melody said when she asked Holly about getting her library science degree, she knew that when Holly graduated, she (Melody) would retire and hand the directorship over to her.  Melody said she knew Holly was the one; all the signs were there.
     In the meantime, Holly not only worked at the Doerun Library, but the Dougherty County Public Library and with the MCCLS Bookmobile.  All the time going to Valdosta State University, where she graduated in May of this year with a master's degree in library and information science.  Her bachelor's degree from VSU is in English (journalism track), since she had planned to become a journalist.
     Melody has spent 37 years at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.  She's felt the success of the system has been because of continuity in the directors.  Her predecessors held their positions for many years, as well.
     There are way too many accomplishments to list here about Melody Jenkins.  She first became a teacher, holding a bachelor of science degree in education with a major concentration in mathematics and special education from Western Carolina University.  But after a year of teaching, she went back to school and obtained her master of science degree in library science, with a concentration in children's library services and a certification as a medical librarian from the University of Kentucky. 
     She says she's still a teacher and her heart is here, here in the library that has become a second home to her.  So, you will continue to see her in the building.
     As for Holly, well, you can look for her in the library's Georgia Room, which is the director's office.  She has lots of room in there to fill up with "her stuff."  And she has lots of room in the shoes she will be filling.  Holly said she has big dreams for the library, even though some of those dreams come with high costs and dwindling budgets for public libraries.
     Look for them both when you come to our library.  The continuity of care and dedication is evident when you talk to both of these women.  Not many libraries have the privilege of having such knowledge in place all at one time.  For both of them will focus on what the library currently provides and still continue to plan for the future needs of their patrons.
     Congratulations, Melody and Holly.  Your staff looks forward to the future with you.