Wednesday, October 24, 2012


     This is the second year that our library has had an adult reading club, or adult book club as it is sometimes called.  And it's great that it's still "tooling" along.
     So far, we are a group of women, but fellows are invited to attend the meetings, too.  I imagine that if more of them realized we serve refreshments at the meetings, they would be more willing to show up.
     Occasionally, our members receive gifts.  When we first started a year ago, we had several great gifts, rather costly ones, we thought.  They were given in a drawing during the first meeting.  But that really didn't work.  The people who won the gifts came only once or twice more and then didn't make it again.
     This year our gifts have been given out at different meetings and that seems to work better.  For instance, during one of our first meetings this year we gave really nice midnight blue coffee cups with the printed logo "Between the Covers" (meaning book covers, of course) and an open book on one side.  We've also given our Amazing Black Book Bags (huge pocket, waterproof, side pocket, wide comfy straps), MCCLS pens, note pads, journals, bookmarks, and a few other things.  And we are already planning what we're going to give next year in June when we begin our third season called "Groundbreaking Reads."
     Our topics change for each month, which makes reading even more interesting.  In June we had "Books That Keep You Up All Night"; those were thrillers and survival stories.  July we read "Books About Books," August "Tall Tales" that were biographies and memoirs, and September we had "Night Time Adventures" about mysteries and detectives.  We just finished October's meeting where the topic was "Moon Madness" and our books had the word "moon" in the titles.
     At the October meeting we learned that our November topic is called "An Evening Concert."  We will read books which will use threater and drama as backdrops to the story; maybe some will have stories about concerts during the holidays.
     In fact, Aileen, who makes our brochures to hand out, has selected several books for the brochure to help readers decide what they'd like to read.  Look at these:
  • Exit Music [sound recording] by Ian Rankin (2008 CD Fiction, Rankin). 
  • Shadow Music: A Novel is by Julie Garwood (2007 F Garwood)
  • A Distant Music by B. J. Hoff (2006 F Hoff)
  • Trunk Music by Michael Connelly (1997 Mystery Connelly)
  • Evening Class is by Maeve Binchy (1996 F Binchy)
  • Beach Music by Pat Conroy (1995 F Conroy) (also LP and Audio)
  • The Butcher's Theater is by Jonathan Kellerman (1988 F Kellerman)
  • Murder at the Mimosa Inn by Joan Hess (1987 M Hess)
  • First Hit of the Season by Jane Dentinger (1984 M Dentinger)
  • And if you're not a big fiction reader, the back of the brochure gives you some nonfiction.
     You can find four of these books on the eye-level shelf next to the circulation desk...look for "Books Recommended by Between the Covers."  The rest are in the stacks at the end of the adult reading area.  You'll also find copies of our November brochure.
     And if you're interested in our little book club, we meet the second Tuesday of every month, except December (too many other holiday events) and May (lots of school events).  The time is at 6:30 p.m. in the library auditorium.  All you need to do is bring a small plate of snacks to share and show up.  Coffee (mainly decaf) is provided by the library.
     Come join us.  We already know that for the January meeting we're going to be talking about books by Georgia writers.  You have plenty of time to read a bunch of books before then.  And if you don't know any Georgia writers to choose from, here's a short list:  Terry Kay, Jimmy Carter, Pat Conroy, Janet Daugharty, Melissa Fay Greene, Lewis Grizzard, Frances Mayes, Carson McCullers, Eugenia Price, Janisse Ray, Ferrol Sams, Anne Rivers Siddons, Alice Walker, and Bailey White.
     Oh, and while I'm talking to you, I need to let you know this blog will be down for two weeks while we do a little R&R with family.  I'll see you again about the middle of November.
     Good reading, y'all.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


     I think I better tell you right now that the interest in grant writing is a big thing in our area.
     The first workshop we had here in our auditorium was in August of 2010 when Dr. Anne Holt presented the program "Introduction to Grant Writing."
     Then she came back in October of the same year to give "Improve Your Grant Proposal."  Both times the auditorium was filled with people interested in learning more about this difficult job of writing a really good grant proposal.  What with funding getting tighter and tighter over the past few years, people are looking for ways to help pay for their projects and programs.  And Dr. Holt says the funds are out there.
     Dr. Holt switched gears a little when she came back in February of 2011 to teach a class called "Are You Ready to Find a Publisher?"  The workshop helped people with writing, editing, querying and pitching.  And even though the workshop was more for a writer looking to be published, it also helped people with writing anything, including a grant.  
     Like I said, there's a big interest in grant writing now days.  Dr. Holt came back in September of 2011 to give another grant writing workshop and although not quite as many people showed up, the classroom was filled. 
     So, we've brought her back again.  Her timely workshop "Introduction to Grant Writing" will be held Saturday, November 3, from noon to 3 p.m. in the library auditorium.  Once again the topics will include grant writing guidelines, model narrative budget information, the Georgia funders list, writing do's and don'ts, and tips on finding matching funds.
     The cost is $40 per person and will be well worth it.  A pre-registration fee of $10 is required, nonrefundable, basically to hold your seat.  The remaining $30 is payable at the door.
     And if you're wondering who Dr. Anne Holt is, she is not only a grant writer, but a writer of novels and a speaker.  She has served as president and fundraiser-grant writer for the Tallahassee Writers Association, Inc., served on the "Art in the Court Committee" of the Florida Supreme Court, and is grant writer for the Tallahassee Film Society, Inc.
     Dr. Holt is an active member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, The Florida Library Association, and ALAN.  She has completed several novels, a dissertation, and a book of poetry.
    We are already signing people up for the November 3rd workshop.  All you have to do is come by the library, 204 Fifth Street SE in Moultrie, or mail in your pre-registration fee and information.  And if you need more information, you can call us at 229-985-6540 or email
     It's time to sign up now!  Grant writing is big business!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


     It's been a long time ago, but I remember what we used to do for Halloween.
     I lived in a small community in Texas and had a group of friends that I ran around with in the neighborhood.
     It was at a time in life when kids always dressed up for Halloween in various frightening (well, we thought so) costumes.  There was no fear of receiving candy laced with razor blades or needles or dis-tasteful tastes.  There was no fear about someone hauling us off, away from our homes and families.  It was just a time for good, clean fun.  We didn't TP houses and bushes and trees.  We didn't "egg" windows or cars.  We just had fun.
     My brother, three years younger than me, and I would always go to the houses in our neighborhood for maybe three or four blocks in each direction.  We knew everyone for blocks around and they knew us.  One year we both dressed up as pirates, one year Indians, and one year hobos, faces with black shoe-polish beards, some of Daddy's old work clothes and boots, and sticks carrying our knap-sacks on the end.  We often carried a medium-sized bag or plastic pumpkin that had a handle.  But most of the time it was just a paper sack. 
     There were no teenagers with pillow cases pushing us aside for the hand-out treats.  Halloween was for kids younger than teenagers. There were no mothers or fathers going along with us.  The whole neighborhood was safe.  In fact, most of the time, us older kids took the hands of the little kids in the neighborhood and watched over them like they were our own brothers and sisters.
     We would go from house to house over that three or four block range and then go home.  Our trip around the neighborhood would be from the beginning of dark, usually about 7 p.m., until we'd walked the entire area.  It usually brought us home about 9 p.m.  Remember, we had the tiny ones with us also.  But once we went home, we didn't go back out again to collect more treats.  There was moderation even in collecting the goodies to eat; no stuffing pillow cases and then going out again for more.  And our parents were definitely watching for us to return also.
     Here in Moultrie now days there are various activities that go on for Halloween.  The Downtown Merchants usually have a "trick or treat" thing going on around the Square.  Many churches hold events inside their churches.  Some organizations have special events for the little ones.  Lots of these events are held during the daylight hours.
     And that brings us to the library.
     This year on Tuesday, October 30th, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library will hold a "Kid's Halloween Draw and Fold" event.
     We're inviting students in the first through third grades to the library for a fun program of folding Halloween origami and drawing some Halloween objects.  There will be time to enjoy a Halloween story and just have a good time.
     But there's something you have to do in order to have all this fun.  Since space is limited to 25 students, you need to call 229-985-6540 to register your child.  Ask for Michele Croft, the Children's Librarian.  Or email her at  It's as easy as that.  Sorry it couldn't be for more, but 25 kids, all in one place, will be a lot of kids.  And of course, parents are invited to stay for the event, too.
     Plan now to bring your kids to the library for a safe and happy's a place they should always come to for special children's programs. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


     It's here again!  The River of Words!  And we are so glad to be hosting a portion of the traveling River of Words exhibit.
     I just took a tour of the exhibit, which is in our reading area.  There is a back and front to the exhibit, so be sure that you look at both sides.
     The Environmental Poetry and  Art Project 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.  Students in grades 1 through 12 are invited to create visual art or poetry that shows an understanding and appreciation of their natural environment, and specifically their own watershed.
     During my tour of the exhibit I noticed pictures and poetry from mostly "up-state" in the areas of Cumming, Duluth, Marietta, Lilburn, Gainesville, Woodstock, Roswell, Atlanta and Conyers.  However, I did see one entry from Monticello! 
    The entries cover grades 1 through 12 with a variety in their pictures:  a red fox, white wolf, green crab, blue egret,white polar bear, blue-black octopus, multi-colored gecko, greenish alligator, and purple jellyfish, along with beaver, deer, and trees.  The water side of pictures covered waterfalls, ponds, seasides, lakes and savannahs.  I saw pictures of children playing at the beach, floating on rivers and ponds with their inner tubes, and just having fun in the water.
     The pictures were made up of collages, acrylics, photography, markers and pencils, pastels and plain chalk, and tempera.  The poetry covered four lines to thirty lines.  Children as young as six years old were writing little poems about the water.
     All these children were State Winners!  All had expressed themselves to the fullest, whether they'd painted a picture, taken a photo, or written a poem about something water-related.
      More than 150,000 entries have been submitted since the program begin in 1997.  Thousands of students have participated in Georgia; more than 2,000 entries in three grade categories were received in 2009 alone!  Entries were judged on a state and national level.  Georgia has had several National Grand Prize Winners in recent years.
     You can visit the winners Galleries on  And you can learn more about River of Words at their website: or view the Georgia State Winners of poetry and art at our library, 204 Fifth Street, Southeast, in Moultrie.
    The exhibit will be here through October 20, during the library's open hours.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


     We put this year's Banned Books display right where people going to the nonfiction and fiction bookshelves, and to the Children's Library, would see it.  It's right where you go past it on the way to the restrooms.  It's right next to the audiobooks carousels.  Doesn't that sound like you can't miss it? Unless you go in the other direction, of course.
     Most everyone has heard of Banned Books Week, celebrated this year from September 30th to October 6th.  And libraries across the country, as well as booksellers, bookstores, and practically everywhere books are a big deal, will have some kind of display.  There's even a contest in libraries for the best Banned Books Week display.
     The reason we promote Banned Books Week is because this freedom, not only to choose what we read, but also to select from a full array of possibilities, is firmly rooted in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press.  And we feel we must remain vigilant to ensure that access to this material is preserved; would-be censors who continue to threaten the freedom to read come from all quarters and all political persuasions.  Even if well intentioned, censors try to limit the freedom of others to choose what they read, see, or hear.
     Book banning efforts were alive and well in 2011.  The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) received 326 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.
     The top ten most frequently challenged books of 2011 include the following titles; each title is followed by the reasons given for challenging the book: [a challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness]:
1) ttyl; ttfn; 18r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle - offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
2) The Color of Earth (series) by Kim Dong Hwa - nudity; sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
3) The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins - anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
4) My Mom's Having a Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy by Dori Hillestad Butler - nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
5) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
6) Alice (series) by Phillis Reynolds Naylor - nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
7) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
8) What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones - nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
9) Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar - drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
10) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - offensive language; racism.
     Of course there are many others that we've heard of and read, such as Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; The Awakening by Kate Chopin; Pat Conroy's Lords of Discipline; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey; The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver; The Giver by Lois Lowry; All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy; Beloved by Toni Morrison and The Bluest Eye, as well as Song of Solomon; the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling; The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain; As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner; Joseph Heller's Catch 22; and how could we forget Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury!
     It should be noted that this bibliography is incomplete because many prohibitions against free speech and expression remain undocumented.  Surveys indicate that approximately 85 percent of the challenges to library materials receive no media attention and remain unreported.  Moreover, this list is limited to books and does not include challenges to magazines, newspapers, films, broadcasts, plays, performances, electronic publications, or exhibits.
     Take action and protect your right to read.  The rights and protections of the First Amendment extend to children and teens as well as adults.  While parents have the right - and the responsibility - to guide their own children's reading, that right does not extend to other people's children.  Similarly, each adult has the right to choose their own reading materials, along with the responsibility to acknowledge and respect the right of others to do the same.
     When we speak up to protect the right to read, we not only defend our individual right to free expression, we demonstrate tolerance and respect for opposing points of view.  And when we take action to preserve our precious freedoms, we become participants in the ongoing evolution of our democratic society.
(Information provided by the American Library Association.  Banned Books Week sponsored by American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, ALA, Association of American Publishers, Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, National Association of College Stores, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, and PEN American Center.)