Friday, December 21, 2012

Favorite Reads 2012: Loves Carolyn Haines

A native of Mississippi, Carolyn Haines is the author of over fifty books in multiple genres. She was named the 2010 recipient of the Harper Lee Award and is the recipient of the 2009 Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence.

Bonefire of the Vanities is my 12th book in the Carolyn Haines Bones series. Why do I continue reading every one of these books? Well...when they are so well written and more than interesting...how could I not continue reading them. This latest in the Sarah Booth Delaney Mysteries was no exception.

Sarah Booth Delaney and her BFF Tinkey (and partner PI) have been requested by Madam Tomeeka aka Tammy to guard Marjorie Littlefield from harm. It appears Marjorie is staying with the Westins, Brandy & Sherry, at an estate, Heart's Desire. Heart's Desire has a long history and most of it is quite dark and only getting darker. Sarah Booth and Tinkin set out under the guise of being maids for Marjorie.  How long being a maid will last with Tinkie...your guess is as good as mine!

Despite the wishes of her overprotective fiance, Sarah Booth Delaney can't give up her detective work, no matter how dangerous it becomes. It's too much a part of her. On this case, avoiding danger might be impossible--she's on the trail of a porn-star-turned-psychic operating from a haunted estate on the edge on town. Medium Sherry Cameron promises to reunite grieving family members with their dearly departed, but it seems vaguely suspicious that Sherry will only accept emotionally vulnerable and tremendously wealthy clients.  Aging billionaire Marjorie Littlefield fits the profile perfectly--her daughter died in a tragic accident as a young girl, she's been estranged from her son for decades, and she's planning to leave her considerable inheritance to her cat.

Convinced she's uncovered a scheme to separate a lonely woman from her fortune, Sarah Booth talks her way onto the estate as a maid, where she finds Marjorie and several other wealthy eccentrics ready to commune with the dead. Between chores, Sarah Booth explores the estate, mingles with the other staff...and finds a few dead bodies. But which guest or staff member might be the killer? Even Jitty, Sarah Booth's personal haunt, won't tell until Sarah Booth has uncovered all of Sherry's well-kept secrets.

With spooks and charlatans around every corner, Sarah Booth is the only PI in the southlands who can put an end to this elaborate scam in Bonefire of the Vanities, the charming twelfth entry in Carolyn Haines's sparkling series.

I love going back to Dahlia House and going on another journey with Sarah Booth and Tinkie.  Love this series and appreciate the author taking the time to write such an interesting story with substance rather than churning out one shallow book after another in short order.  Well worth the wait.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Favorite Reads 2012: A Fascinating Historical "What If"

One of my favorite reads of 2012 was a novel based on a fictionalized John F Kennedy being sent on a secret spy mission by FDR, just as Hitler's forces were spreading over the map of Europe like a dark, spilled potion.

Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews hooked me right from the beginning. I was immediately intrigued by the notion of Harvard senior JFK setting off on a "research" trip around Europe. That alone would have been fascinating; and, indeed, he did actually travel to all the places described in the novel at those times. But even more fascinating was the idea of FDR summoning the young, sickly student to his private train coach deep beneath the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and confiding to him that he could not trust anyone around him, particularly FBI Director J Edgar Hoover. Now, the United States had no real secret service in 1939. "Spies" were often diplomats and trusted citizens living abroad. It's hard to imagine such a situation living in today's high tech surveillance world.

FDR had decided to use JFK's tour of Europe, gathering historical information for his senior thesis, as a convenient cover to gather intelligence on Hitler's plan to buy off American presidential candidates in order to unseat FDR, insuring America's neutrality. He mentions suitcases full of cash coming into the country. The fact that young Jack was considered a wild, undisciplined, and completely inexperienced "weak link" in the Kennedy clan does not seem to concern FDR at all. His confidence convinces Jack to give it a try. There is no way for him to anticipate the perilous situations in which he will find himself traveling through European countries in the throes of being marched upon by the Nazis. He encounters helpers along the way and even has to learn to send and receive messages in code.

I got a whole new perspective on JFK from this book. Even though it is fiction, it is clear that the author did quite a bit of research on him and his family. I knew that he had been ill much of his life, but had no idea how baffled doctors were as to what repeatedly nearly killed him. He was eventually diagnosed with a hormonal deficiency, but the treatment in 1939 was almost as horrific as the attacks he suffered. I knew that he had lived in the shadow of his brother Joe, who was the heir apparent to the Kennedy fortune and who carried the hopes of patriarch Joseph P Kennedy for ultimate political power, but did not fully realize that Jack was considered almost a throwaway by his father. But in the world of fiction, what Jack uncovers during his harrowing trip will change that dynamic forever.

Of course, there are vivid descriptions of other members of the Kennedy clan. The relationships among the older siblings, and the very young Teddy, belonging to another generation, almost. There is romance, of course: the mysterious Diana whose allegiances are never quite certain. And murder: many of them! Carried out by a Nazi assassin whose mark is a spider carved into the victim.

Hooked yet? This genre is not one I usually am drawn to; the subject of JFK is what attracted me. It sparks a lot of speculation about what historical secrets may still be out there, and how some things in the power struggle of politics never change.

Jack 1939 may be found in the "new" section at the library.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our wonderful patrons!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Library Has a Baby!

Right after he was born


The Library has a baby! I know, you didn't even know we were expecting. That's because we didn't actually deliver it ourselves. That honor belongs to our children's librarian, Eboni Perryman.

Karion Jermaine Watson was born on Tuesday, December 4 at 3:52 pm. He weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 21" long. The mother and the baby are doing fine and hope to be home today.

When he woke up
As you can see from the pictures, he's adorable. Eboni says he is a really good baby and rarely cries. The nurses say he likes everybody and loves to cuddle. The only trouble was he didn't seem to know how to nurse, although he liked his bottle. Eboni was wondering if something was wrong with her or her milk. Fortunately, one of the mothers in our Tuesday morning story time came to the rescue. She has lots of experience nursing babies and was able to show Eboni how to do it. Now the baby seems to be nursing just fine, and the amount in the supplemental bottle is decreasing.

Now he's socializing
We tried to get a picture of the mommie with her baby, but she was being camera shy. She promises one soon.

Eboni will be on Family Medical Leave for six weeks, but in the meantime, we'll keep you updated on the Library Baby on facebook.

PS: Don't tell Eboni this is the Library Baby - she thinks he's hers!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Annual Friends of the Library Christmas Tour of Homes

Christmas is right around the corner - well, really right here already, it seems - and what's the best way to get into the Christmas decorating spirit? Seeing how other people are decorating their homes, of course! This Sunday is the Annual Friends of the Library Christmas Tour of Homes. Where else can you get to tour four beautifully decorated homes and a historic church - and munch on refreshments - for a mere $15 per ticket ($25 for two tickets)??? In Natchez, of course!

Each year library supporters open their homes for our Tour. The homeowners must plan - and decorate - early to be ready for this event. The Tour of Homes is the only major fundraiser the Friends of the Library hold each year, and it is through the generosity of these homeowners - and the supporters that buy tickets and tour the homes - that the Friends are able to provide the many little "extras" the Library can offer.

This year, the Armstrong Library began offering Ebooks for check-out. The Friends have donated the funds for this project. The Friends also sponsored the National Library Week Open House and participated in the BIG Adopt a Needy Shutter project to help raise funds for the exterior repairs and renovations! A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to everyone that made a donation! We know that if something comes up that we have not budgeted for, we simply ask the Friends, and - through your donations and memberships - they provide!

We've got several projects planned for the coming year and your membership in the Friends and participation in their programs help make these a success. After Christmas, we'll resume our monthly Afternoon Movie event. The Teen Room has events planned, as well. The Library has a new web site address, so make certain you have it bookmarked, so you don't miss out on any news: http://www.ArmstrongLibrary.org.

So, make your plans to spend Sunday afternoon with some good Friends! Come steal decorating ideas, enjoy munchies, get in the Christmas spirit, and know you are supporting a great cause - your local library! We thank you!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Happenings in the Teen Zone


This Fall the Teen Zone has been busy with students working on their Reading Fair projects, studying for tests, and checking out the latest crop of new books.  Halloween slipped by, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so now is the time to think about Christmas!

Local teens in grades 7 through 12 are invited to come to the Teen Zone every Thursday from November 29 through December 13 from 4:00 - 5:30. We have much planned: we will be making ornaments, christmas candy, and gifts for your friends.  We will also use this time to decorate the Teen Zone for the holidays.

Thursday, December 20 the Teen Zone will be open all day for gaming with the Wii, watching holiday movies, and to put any finishing touches to the room decorations.  Popcorn, cookies and drinks will be provided by the library. Bring a friend and get into the Spirit of Christmas! To be sure we have enough materials for everyone, registration is requested. Stop by the library or call 601-445-8862 for more information.

Friday, November 9, 2012

New Books for November

FICTION

The Racketeer by John Grisham.  Malcolm Bannister, an imprisoned ex-lawyer, knows who murdered a federal judge.  And he concocts a scheme to exchange this information for his freedom.

The Panther by Nelson DeMille.  The antiterrorist task force agent John Corey and his wife, an FBI agent, pursue a high ranking Qaeda operative.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.  The sudden death of a parish councilman reveals bitter social divisions in a idyllic English town; a novel for adults by the creator of Harry Potter.

Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe.  A Cuban American cop is a hero turned pariah in Miami, where ethnic and class tensions threaten to explode.

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury.  The destruction of a beloved bookstore offers the shop's supporters second chances on love and leases.

The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell.  A paleontologist's disappearance in Canada turns out to be connected to crimes much closer to home for the chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta; the 20th Scarpetta book.

Angels at the Table by Debbie Macomber.  Angels cook up a plan to reunite a young couple.

Winter of the world by Ken Follett.  Members of five interrelated families from five countries grapple with the historical events of the years 1939-49.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.  A British actress searches for secrets in her 90 year old mother's past.

The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith. Edinburgh's Isabel Dalhousie attempts to recover a stolen painting.

NONFICTION

American Again by Stephen Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello, Barry Julien, Tom Purcell et al. The mock pundit of Comedy Central's Colbert Report tells how to bring America back from the brink.

Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. The host of  The O'Reilly Factor recounts the events surrounding the assassination of John F Kennedy.

Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. The host of The O'Reilly Factor recounts the events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

TEENS

Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia. When Ethan wakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, his one goal is to return to Lena and his loved ones. Meanwhile back in Gatlin, Lena vows to do  whatever it takes to bring Ethan home--even trusting old enemies and risking the lives of those Ethan left to protect.

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick. Nora and Patch must hide their relationship in order to end the war between the fallen angels and the Nephilim.

Beastly by Alex Flinn. Presents a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form.

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land--Greece itself--to find the Doors of Death.

CHILDREN

Corduroy Goes to the Library by Don Freeman. Corduroy has so many fun things to do at the library.

Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers by Dav Pilkey. After being sent to jail for the rest of their lives, George and Harold are taken on a trip back in time by Tippy Tinkletrousers back to their Kindergarten days where they must deal with their bully without the help of Captain Underpants.

D W, Go to Your Room!, by Marc Brown. When D W is sent to her room as punishment for making baby Kate cry, it is Kate who finally makes her feel better.

Dork Diaries 5:  Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All by Rachel Renee Russell. When Miss Know-It-All's inbox overflows with pleas for guidance, Nikki Maxwell, the school newspaper advice columnist, turns to her best friends for help. 


 

 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Phenomenon of Downton Abby

I have been a fan of Masterpiece Theatre on PBS for a very long time. I recall the popularity of the original Upstairs, Downstairs series (which was a very long time ago indeed).

However, I have not witnessed anything approaching the phenomenon of Downton Abby. It first aired in the US in January of 2011, and the surge in popularity quickly followed. By the time the last episode of Season Two aired in late spring of 2012, fans were already asking when Season Three would be available. The series, created and co-written by Julian Fellowes, has won multiple industry awards, including at least eight Emmys. It has been generally credited with bringing new life and popularity back to Masterpiece Theatre and British programming in general.

This most unlikely smash hit will return for Season Three on PBS on Sunday, January 6, 2013.

To make the wait a little easier, I propose:

A Downton Abby Tea!
Thursday, November 15 at tea-time: 4:30-6:30.

We will show the final episode of Season Two, and the TV Special featuring the real-life Downton Abby, Highclere Hall. All of this while sipping some Earl Grey and munching some lovely scones.

To prepare, one can check out Seasons One and Two from the Library. (The Downton Abby DVD's have been extraordinarily popular.)

Hope to see you on November 15th! Cheerio!



Friday, October 26, 2012

What's the Scariest Book You've Ever Read?

In honor of Halloween, I thought it would be fun to ask this question, and I hope you'll respond. I'll get the ball rolling by answering it myself.

Sometime in the 1980's, I was in a hotel room alone in Columbus OH. I always read when I go to bed, and on this occasion, I was reading Rosemary's Baby. Do you remember this book? It was one of the first modern horror novels to become a national bestseller. It was extremely well written and was having its intended effect on me.

As I lay there reading, I noticed that the picture on the wall in front of me was swaying, but I thought I was tired and my eyesight was just blurry. Then I noticed that the armoire next to my bed was shaking. Now I was starting to get a little worried. Next, my bed started shaking. Pretty soon, everything in the room was shaking vigorously. Now I'm not only worried but scared to death.

I had been in a couple of minor earthquakes, and I decided that must be what was happening. So I got up and opened the door. If this was an earthquake, there would be people in the hallways, talking and escaping. However, my hallway was totally empty and quiet. Total fear now!

I thought about calling the desk, but I was afraid I was imagining all this and I would sound like a weirdo. In my mind, it was better to die in an earthquake or be possessed by the devil than appear like an idiot. (Vanity can definitely get you in trouble.)

By now, the shaking had stopped. I wanted to go to sleep but I was too petrified. I realized I would not be able to sleep until I had found a satisfactory answer for what had happened. I finally came up with the idea that the room next to mine was a utility room which contained a laundry - and the shaking was caused by a washing machine that was overloaded. After all, hotels have bedspreads and blankets to wash, and they are very heavy. I guess I was really sleepy, because I convinced myself this was true and finally fell asleep.

The next morning I dressed quickly, packed up my stuff, and went downstairs. I wanted to get out of that room as soon as possible! On the way, I noticed a room number on the supposed utility room, but I imagined they didn't want people to know it was a utility room. I went in the restaurant to have breakfast, and I noticed the newspapers people were reading had huge headlines. "Earthquake Hits Columbus!" Such a relief! I was not crazy after all nor had I been possessed by the devil.

Then I heard everyone talking about the earthquake. Apparently, the hotel had been evacuated. Why did I not know about it? Why didn't I see or hear people in the hallway? When checking out, I asked the people behind the desk. They were horrified! Apparently, I was the only person staying on my floor, and they forgot about me! I pretended that I slept through the whole thing - I wasn't about to confess what I had really been doing. (There's that vanity again!)

By the way, I left my copy of Rosemary's Baby in the hotel room and never finished reading the book. I also have never read another horror book - I'm not taking any chances. So it remains the scariest book I've ever read.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Shutters! And Librarians!

What do the two have in common? Not much, except that Librarians from around the State will be in town next week, and they are all gonna come by to see our new Shutters!

First things first... About the Shutters...

It's been a long time coming! At least it seems to me that way. Way back in 2008 we asked the City of Natchez to find the funds necessary to get the Library building painted and the shutters repaired (replaced) and painted. There were no funds available for the Library at that time. Another request was made. Still no funds.

Finally, last spring, we came up with the idea of the Friends of the Library raising the necessary funds and getting the City to get the work done.  Great idea! We asked the City and they agreed to this arrangement. This is not new news! You've heard this story before.

Well, we raised nearly $37,000 and were shocked to find that wasn't enough! The shutters and exterior were in much worse shape than we realized. But, the City agreed to pay the balance! Yea!!!!! Be sure to thank Mayor Butch Brown and the Board of Alderman.

So, the painting is completed (and looks great by itself) - and this week the shutters are being hung! They are Be-U-Ti-Full!!! If you haven't driven by the Library this week, make a special trip! I posted a picture on my Facebook page and got comments and "likes"  from all over the country - from some of the many people that made donations to the project. The shutters are really beautiful, and it is amazing the difference they make to the building. Our new paint scheme and the new shutters makes this nearly fifty-years-old building look practically brand new!

Among the celebrations the City of Natchez is preparing for (along with the three-hundred years anniversary celebration) is a not-yet-mentioned one. The Judge George W Armstrong Library will celebrate its 50th anniversary in June of 2015! We should have a party - and maybe we will!

And, now to the Librarians...

Bet you thought I forgot about them! They'll be back in town next week. There will be librarians from all around the State! school librarians; public librarians; university, community and junior college librarians; even special librarians. Now, you're probably thinking, "that's rude - aren't they all special"? Well, yes, but "special libraries" are those other than school, public, or college-level. The MS Department of Archives Library would be considered a "special library" - the library at a medical school would be a "special library" - a large attorney firm might have a law library that we would refer to as a "special library."

Anyway, the 500 member Mississippi Library Association will hold its Annual Conference in Natchez next week. Remember, they were here in 2004 and again in 2008 - and they're planning to come back  again in 2015. Hey, another party! Librarians love to come to Natchez, and we are all looking forward to their visit. They'll be here Tuesday - Friday. But, don't expect to be "shushed" - they'll be here having a good time.

And, they'll come by the Armstrong Library to see our new "look" - we'll be so proud! And so should you be. Thanks, one more time, to all that made a donation to the project! Come by and see the results of your generosity!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy (and Safe) Halloween

When it comes to their child's safety, parents lay the ground rules early: No wandering the neighborhood unsupervised; no trespassing on to other peoples property; and absolutely, positively NO taking candy from strangers. But on one special night, there's always something spooky in the air. Could it be that witches and warlocks are lurking in the bushes, and ghosts are rising from their graves? Or is it that kids across the country will be out after dark, knocking on strangers' doors, and cramming candy by the pillowcase full?

As scary as it may sound, keep in mind that Halloween heebie jeebies have always given parents a cause to pause. And because Halloween may present many opportunities for kids to use poor judgement, it also gives parents to chance to teach important lessons about responsibility and safety. What exactly can you do to keep kids safe without scaring them silly, you ask? The answer to that is simple -- just use the same rules that you talk about the rest of the year!

I know, I know...You're thinking, "You can't have both safety AND Halloween!" But contrary to popular belief, the two aren't at all mutually exclusive. Here are some tips to stay safe on Halloween while having fun doing it!

  • Small children should ALWAYS have an adult with them while trick-or-treating. This is true whether it is daytime or dark. But, the LAST thing kids want to be haunted by is a boring (or down right bored) adult escort. The presence of said adult does not, however, need to get in the way of fun. Just look at it as an opportunity for the adult to recapture some of that old youthful Halloween glee.
  • More mature children can go trick-or-treating without adult supervision (in a group of course) as long as they stick to a familiar, trusted route that is not completely abandoned. For older children, a curfew on Halloween shouldn't be a matter of debate. You should expect your kid(s) to be back by a specific agreed upon time, no if's, and's, or "but mooooommm"s!
  • If your neighborhood has few or no trick-or-treaters, or is just generally unsafe, you can drive a carload of kids to other neighborhoods that are safer. Also, there are Halloween carnivals and haunted houses in just about every community. Local newspapers and radio stations tend to have information about them leading up to Halloween. These events provide safe activites in a safe enviornment where kids can hang out with friends and make new ones, too!
  • Make sure your kids can see AND breath through their masks. If you too will be wearing a costume, whatever costume you wear, make sure you can keep up with the children! (It wouldn't hurt to bring a flashlight along either.)
  • As a general rule, you shouldn't let your children eat their candy before you've had a chance to see that it hasn't been tampered with. There is nothing wrong with telling children who will be unescorted that they cannot eat their candy until they get home (try giving them candy before they leave home -- it may help temptation).
  • Have your child carry glow sticks so that cars can see something (but it is best to caution them to stay out of the street!)
With all this being said, you just want to remind your children (and yourself) that the laws (state, federal, and the ones that you just now made up in your head) don't take a break during Halloween. So, have a safe and spooky Halloween!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Searchasaurus: The Dinosaur with All the Answers

I'm not sure about anybody else out there, but I remember learning my letters and colors and numbers when I started kindergarten. Now I had the gist of how it all worked, but it was Mrs Malhew who taught me the fine art of smooth round little a's and straight pointy capital A's.  Today the kids are learning these things long before they see the traditional classroom.  And kids in elementary school are expected to do much more detailed reports with pictures included.

As I noted in my last blog post,  I was really impressed with the Reference database CREDO. So I just had to look for more great nuggets of knowledge. This time I went to the EBSCO Database and found 45 database titles that covered Academic Journals, Business Journals, Health and Nursing,Teacher Reference Center, Humanities, Hospitality and Tourism and much more. I have used a few of these on a regular basis helping high school and college students find sources for their research papers.

This time I wanted something for the little people and sure enough there it was, Searchasaurus.  Searchasaurus is an exciting and easy way for young students to experience online searching.  It is an animated interface with a dinosaur theme that encourages students to enhance and develop basic searching skills.  Students will be riveted by the colorful animation, complete with erupting volcanoes and a dinosaur guide, as they gather information on a wide range of topics.  Searchasaurus offers reading level limiters making it easy for students to read and research appropriately challenging materials.  Searchasaurus has a Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Pictures, Biographies and Teacher Resources.  Searchasaurus offers a tutorial to help parents and students navigate their way through the site and make research a pleasant endeavour rather than a task.

Did you know earth is not the only planet where lightening can be seen?  Scientists think that lightening can also be found on Venus, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune! Go check out Searchasaurus and other useful databases through MAGNOLIA which is totally free through your Library.

Happy Hunting!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

New Books for September

FICTION

A Wanted Man by Lee Child. A carload of people involved in a conspiracy pick up a disheveled hitchhiker, Child’s vigilante hero Jack Reacher.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. A woman disappears on her fifth anniversary -- is her husband a killer?

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. A fable about the inventor of the world’s first clock, who returns to our world after centuries of banishment; from the author of Tuesdays with Morrie.

Delusion in Death by J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts, writing pseudonymously).  Lt Eve Dallas investigates a mass delusion at a bar her husband owns.

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon. Fathers and sons in Berkeley and Oakland, California.

Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. A young biologist warns world leaders about the reasons for escalating animal attacks on cities.

Frozen Heat by Richard Castle.  The NYPD homicide detective Nikki Heat investigates the case of a woman whose body is found in a freezer.

The Tombs by Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry. Sam and Remi Fargo, a husband-and-wife treasure hunting team, search for the tomb of Attila the Hun.

Robert B Parker’s Fool Me Twice  by Michael Brandman. Jesse Stone, the chief of police in Paradise, Massachusetts,, deals with the arrest of a troubled movie star. A continuation of the series by Parker, who died in 2010.

Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen. The detective Jane Rizzoli and the medical examiner Maura Isles protect a boy whose family and foster family have all been murdered.

NONFICTION

The Price of Politics by Bob Woodward. Inside the debt ceiling negotations of 2011 with the Washington Post journalist.
 
Michael Douglas: A Biography by Marc Eliot. A groundbreaking portrait of one of Hollywoods’s most successful stars, from the critically acclaimed and bestselling biographer.

The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin.  Presents an insider's account of the ideological war between the John Roberts Supreme Court and the Obama administration, tracing several landmark cases and the strong views that will be shaping the Court of the near future.

TEENS
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. For three years, seventeen year old Cas Lowood has carried on his father's work of dispatching the murderous dead, traveling with his kitchen witch mother and their spirit sniffing cat, but everything changes when he meets Anna, a girl unlike any ghost he has faced before.

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. Months after Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell and sacrificed herself for seventeen year old ghost hunter Cas Lowood, persistent visions of Anna being tortured cause Cas to decide to save her as she once saved him.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Though she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent's only gift seems to be that she makes other people's talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own--and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.

Abandon by Meg Cabot. A near death experience, a horrible incident at school, and a move from Connecticut to Florida have turned seventeen year old Pierce upside down, but when she needs him most, John Hayden is always there, helping but reminding her of her visit to the Underworld.

CHILDREN

If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff. Chaos might ensue if you were to give a dog a donut.

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff. Taking a mouse to the movies can lead to letting him do other things, such as making a snowman, listening to Christmas carols, and decorating the Christmas tree.

How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills.  A little yellow bird teaches Rocket the dog how to read by first introducing him to the "wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet."

Friday, September 21, 2012

Another Year with Good Friends

A Friends party always has a bar
A rainy evening did not deter over 75 true blue Friends of the Library from enjoying an Open House showcasing our new logo and celebrating other good news last Monday.

When the Friends of the Library Annual Gathering comes around each September, it is a reminder for members to renew their memberships and for anyone interested to find out more about joining the Friends group. It is always a fun gathering, and this year it was held at the Library. There was staff on hand in every department of the Library to "show and tell" our many services. We had lots of news to share and to show our Friends and the public.

First, we have a sleek new logo to go with our new name: Judge George Armstrong Library. (The Wilkinson County libraries will now be a separate system. See our previous blog post.) Our other big news is the addition of ebooks to our catalog. Director Susan Cassagne demonstrated the ebook feature and another new addition, Rocket Languages. If you've ever wanted to learn a foreign language, Rocket Languages provides an online program that is FREE for library patrons.

There was a special Friends Book Sale during the open house to show off the new Better Books section of new condition hardbacks and paperbacks. The book sale is regularly held on the first Tuesday of every month 11 am - 2 pm and the third Saturday10 am - 12 pm.

Just a sample of the homemade goodies
Friends President Maria Bowser thanked everyone who had contributed to purchasing paint and repairing shutters on the building. She expressed gratitude to the Library staff for being "Johnny on the spot" and all the Friends members who had brought delicious homemade goodies which were enthusiastically enjoyed by all!

If you are not a member of the Friends of the Library, it's easy to join. Just stop by and fill out a membership form, or print it out from our website. Individual memberships are only $10, Family memberships are $15 and Contributor memberships are anything over $25.

Next stop for the Friends: Christmas Tour of Homes, Sunday December 2, 2-5 pm.

We love our Friends - a Library can never have too many!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Significant Changes at the Library

Changes are never easy, but sometimes necessary. Our patrons know us as the Judge George W Armstrong Library, but we also have served as the headquarters of the Natchez Adams Wilkinson Library Service (formerly the Homochitto Valley Library Service) and often referred to as NAWLS. Both are equal mouthfuls! Since 1979, the Armstrong Library has managed the public libraries in Wilkinson County: the Kevin Poole Van Cleave Memorial Library in Centreville and the Woodville--Wilkinson County Public Library in Woodville.

Among the numerous services provided to these two libraries are the selection, purchasing, and cataloging of all materials (books, dvds, cds, etc.); network maintenance; payroll and bookkeeping; all record-keeping; the filing of all taxes, reports, statistics, etc.; applying and filing for Universal Services discounts (telephone and internet costs); inventory control; and the library's automation system (card catalog and patron database). Providing these services meant weekly visits to each of the two libraries.

Funding for these services has never been completely dependable and this has created problems for the Armstrong Library. At no time have Natchez taxpayers financially supported the Wilkinson County libraries, but there have been times when the funding situation became critical. There have been discussions by the Library Administrative Board of Trustees for several years about these funding concerns.

The final straw, so to speak, for the Board, was the mechanical problems with the Armstrong Library-owned station wagon. This vehicle was purchased thirteen years ago, simply to make the weekly trip to Wilkinson County and back. When mechanical problems developed, it was determined that the cost of the repairs nearly equalled the blue book value of the vehicle. We took it as a sign of what needed to be done.

The contract between the Armstrong Library and the Wilkinson County libraries allowed that either party could decide to not renew the contract and simply had to provide  sixty days written notice to the other party. That notice was given, and changes are taking place.

As of October 1, 2012, there will be no Natchez Adams Wilkinson Library Service. We will simply be the Judge George W Armstrong Library. Of course, that means that each and every reference to the Natchez Adams Wilkinson Library Service must be changed!

Did you ever wonder why our web addtess was www.naw.lib.ms.us? Think about it - naw (Natchez Adams Wilkinson) dot lib (library) dot ms (Mississippi) dot us (United States). So, of course, our email addresses followed that guide. And, if you think that is a hard to repeat to someone, try www.homochitto.lib.ms.us, which used to be our name! We would lose people at "h o m o c h - what???" 

You'll be happy to know that beginning October 1 (the beginning of our new fiscal year), our new web address will be www.armstronglibrary.org. Email addresses, likewise, (firstname@armstronglibrary.org) will be much more simple. We also have a new logo, created by local designer, Timothy Givens - and we really like it!

We feel this change is a good one, even though it will take us some time to make all the adjustments.  There may be some bumps, but we are looking forward to our new look and hope you agree. However, every reference to NAWLS will need to be changed: policy manuals, documents, vendor contacts, name tags, etc.
 
So, please bear with us during this transition. The results will be worth it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Annual Gathering of Friends

Every September, the Friends of the Library gather together to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and announce the goals for the upcoming year. Usually we meet at the home of a member, but this year we decided to have an Open House at the Library to show it off to the community.

So please join us on Monday, September 17, 5:30 - 7 pm for this special Open House @ your Library, 220 South Commerce Street. Refreshments will be served. It is free and open to the public, although we hope you will become a member of the Friends of the Library. Be sure to bring your children - no one benefits more from a Library than children.

Most people have NO idea of all the services the Library provides. What better way to find out than to visit and see for yourself. Staff will be available to demonstrate all services and answer any questions. Here's a sample of what you may see:

  • Of course, we have books! And magazines, newspapers, audio books, DVDs. It's all listed in our online catalog which you can access from anywhere - to search, renew, request materials. And if we don't have what you're looking for, we can probably get it for you.
  • You can find out almost anything at your Library. Ask our Reference Librarian and she'll either answer your question or tell you how to find it. Although we have a large assortment of printed reference materials, most resources are online now. Many of these expensive resources are available for free through your Library.
  • One of the most valuable resources is Learning Express Library, which has over 770 practice tests and tutorials for ACT/SAT, GRE, certification and licensing exams, and just about anything you need. We also have a special online course to learn a new language.
  • We have lots of computers - including 3 that are just for young children, 2 just for teens, and 2 that are designed for reading newspapers online. We have copying and fax machines. We even have a typewriter!
  • We have a genealogy and local history section that people from all over the country come to visit, including our microfilm collection and free access to expensive genealogy databases.
  • The Children's section is wonderful and includes furniture and other fixtures designed for kids. There's a special section just for the very young child with a much used rocking chair. Of course, we have unbelievable programs for kids.
  • Teens have their very own room that just has to be seen. Take a teen in there, and she may never leave!
  • We also want to show off all the renovations. Our HVAC renovation is complete, so for the first time in years, we can guarantee it will be comfortable in the Library. You can see the progress of the exterior renovations, which is being funded by contributions from the community.
  • Of course, there is much more, but you really have to come and see it for yourself. Even long time library users find stuff they never knew we had.
All you need to access all this is an absolutely free Library Card - and we'll happily give you one at the Open House.

See you @ your Library on Monday, September 17, 5:30 - 7 pm!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Creatures of Habit

Last night after work I plopped myself down exhausted from a long day at work, and there were my two dogs sitting in front of me staring, waiting anxiously for me to take them on their daily run. I told them I was tired and there would be no run today. The 90 pound shepherd put her big paw on my arm and looked at me with those big brown eyes as if to say,"but we do this EVERY day, same time, same place!" My little terrier just kept jumping up and down trying to get me up out of my chair. I was determined to stand my ground. I was tired and didn't want to go for a walk. I was prepared to just give them their dinner and go take a bath. I opened the back door to get their food, and zoom, out the door they flew. They were going for their run regardless of how I felt about it. But I fooled them. I went straight for their food dishes, and they just looked at me with confusion. Then I added a little gravy to the dry chunks of food. They slowly returned to the house with their heads hanging. But once they tasted the gravy laden chunks, they were happy dogs, wolfing down their dinner. The daily run was forgotten. They are creatures of habit, they have a routine, and they don't like change, even if that change might provide a tastier outcome.

We are all creatures of habit. I remember a few years back when students came to the library to do internet research, they went immediately to Wikipedia. Now it's Google. Sure, its easy to search these sites, but how reliable are they? Who put these sources out there? How credible are they really? I must admit I am guilty as well of rushing to these sites when I'm in a hurry or need a quick answer. However, when it comes to research or term papers, it's my job as a reference librarian, to provide students and patrons with good reliable sources.

There are so many reference databases available that it can be overwhelming. I love Ebsco. I eagerly send college students to Academic Search Premier for journal articles. I send high school students to Masterfile for general interest articles, and I run to Novelist for readers advisory to help someone find the perfect book to read. All of these are available through MAGNOLIA, an extensive online research tool provided to public libraries by our State Legislature. When school started this month, I went back into MAGNOLIA to refresh my memory and see what's new in this HUGE database. I caught myself heading right back to the old tried and true Ebsco. However, I looked just below and saw Credo. I knew it was a reference database but never really spent much time in there. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. After seeing what it had to offer. All I can say is WOW, I never knew!

Now, this may not be something a reference librarian should be admitting, but I am a creature of habit and don't like stepping out of my comfort zone. But I did, and I found a great source that I plan to use and recommend to my students as another resource tool to help them succeed in school. So let me tell you a bit about what I found.

CredoReference provides an online reference collection that includes hundreds of encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, biographies, quotations,and even a crossword solver. All information is provided by reputable associations and research libraries, and it's easy to use. There are over 3 million full text entries in 601 reference books. You can search for images as well. The best part of all; Credo also provides proper online database citation for all the major formats. These are just a few of the tidbits of exciting information I was able to glean in the short time I spent in CredoReference.

Well, I certainly learned my lesson, and I intend to step out of my comfort zone and be less of a creature of habit and enjoy the tasty rewards it provides. If you would like to know more about Credo, Ebsco, or the other useful research tools found in MAGNOLIA stop by the library and ask for the new and improved reference librarian.

By the way, my dogs still got to run, after my bath!

Friday, August 17, 2012

New Books for August

FICTION

Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz.  Odd Thomas, who can communicate with the dead, explores the mysteries of an old estate now owned by a billionaire.

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin.  A woman's successful life is disrupted by the appearance of an 18-year-old girl with a link to her past.

Friends Forever by Danielle Steel.  Three boys and two girls who meet in kindergarten maintain their bonds as they grow to adulthood.

Black List by Brad Thor.  If the counter terrorism operative Scot Harvath can discover who targeted him for death, he can prevent a terrorist attack.

The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva.  Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and occasional spy for the Israeli secret service, discovers a global criminal enterprise behind a murder at the Vatican.

I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson.  A New York detective takes refuge with his 10 children in an upstate cabin.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness.  An Oxford scholar/witch and a vampire geneticist pursue history, secrets and each other in Elizabethan London.

Broken Harbor by Tana French.  A Dublin murder squad detective's investigation of a crime in a seaside town evokes memories of his hard childhood there.

Creole Belle by James Lee Burke.  The Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux hunts for a missing Cajun singer.

Haven by Kay Hooper.  The FBI agent Noah Bishop and his special crimes unit help two sisters probe the secrets of a North Carolina town.

Judgement Call by J A Jance.  Joanna Brady, an Arizona sheriff, must function as both a law officer and a mother when her daughter's high school principal is murdered.

NONFICTION

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz.  Draws on the iconic culinary figure's personal diaries and letters to present a one hundredth birthday commemoration that offers insight into her  role in shaping women's views and influencing American approaches to cooking.

Double Cross: The True Story of the D Day Spies by Ben MacIntyre.  Traces the sophisticated D Day operation through which extraordinary spies deceived the Nazis about the location of the Allied attack, profiling the successful Double Cross System and the remarkable individuals who used the program to save thousands of lives.

War on the Waters: the Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 by James McPherson.  Recounts the naval campaigns of the Civil War, discussing the daring and innovation of the Confederate navy in sinking Union shops, and the Union navy's blockade of the Confederate coast and victories in some of the war's most strategic battles.

TEEN

Fever by Lauren Destefano.  In a future where genetic engineering has cured humanity of all diseases and defects but has also produced a virus that kills all females by age twenty and all males by the age twenty-five, teen aged Rhine escapes her forced marriage and journeys back to New York to find her twin brother.

The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer.  Teenage genius Artemis Fowl and his arch rival Opal battle to the last in this eighth and final book in series.

Bloodrose: A Nightshade Novel by Andrea Cremer.  Calla Tor, the alpha member of her shape shifting wolf pack, must decide if her illicit love for the human Shay is worth the ultimate sacrifice.

Divergent by Veronica Roth.  In a future Chicago, Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she does not fit into any one group.

CHILDREN

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin Gets an A by Kirsten Mayer.  When the chipmunks have to write a school report on what they did on their summer vacation, Alvin is having trouble writing his, until his teacher suggests he present his report differently.

The Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems.  Pigeon is very angry when the duckling gets a cookie just by asking politely.

Dixie and the School Trip by Grace Gilman.  Sneaking onto the school bus when her human companion Emma embarks on a class trip to a dinosaur museum, Dixie the dog learns all about how real dinosaurs lived before accidentally mistaking dinosaur bones for doggie treats.

Jack and the Giant Barbecue by Eric Kimmel.  When Jack's mother tells him how his father died when a giant stole his barbecue recipes, Jack vows to find the giant and retrieve the book.

Come by your Library and check these out! 




Friday, August 10, 2012

Movie Lovers Unite!

I'm excited that our adult programs have enjoyed increased attendance and interest this summer, especially our movie events. We dreamed of Paris with Midnight in Paris, went on a great adventure with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and made ourselves really hungry watching the great Julie & Julia. Many people have asked me what is next. I have some movies in mind, but I would like to ask you what movies you would like.

Keep in mind that our movie license (yes, a license is required even for a nonprofit charging no admission!) is based on a list of titles on their website. Not every suggestion will pass the list test.

I really would like to hear from all you movie lovers out there:
  • What days/times would work best for you?
  • What genres?
  • Does anyone have suggestions for programs related to movies?
  • Do we want monthly movies? (I say yes!)
  • Do you have specific titles to request?
  • How about foreign films? Or do we want to stick with American-made films?
Later this month, Hunger Games will be released on DVD, and we'll be scheduling a movie event showcasing this very popular movie based on Suzanne Collins' best seller trilogy. These books
have been popular with our teen and adult patrons alike.

A really delightful film I saw in Baton Rouge will be out on DVD soon: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, and an outstanding supporting cast, it is a heartfelt romp by some of the greatest British actors of our time. I hope lots of you will join us at the Library for this outstanding film.

We'll be letting everyone know dates and times for these events, and expect to present movies roughly once a month.

Please let me hear from you! Email or call at 601.445.8862 - or just drop by and see us.

See you at the movies!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Natchez Student Wins State Writing Award

The Armstrong Library wants to congratulate Courtney Sims, a 12th grade student from Natchez, who has taken top honors for this year’s Letters About Literature writing contest. Judges selected Sims’s letter to Romona “Sapphire” Fulton, author of Push, as the first place winner in the Level III competition for students in grades 9 though 12 in Mississippi. Sims’s winning letter advanced for national competition, where it made it to the national semifinals.
“I never imagined how my persona would be affected by Push,” wrote the seventeen year old reader. “This novel has shown me that I am blessed to be in the position I am in.”
Approximately 59,000 young readers across the country participated in this year’s Letters About Literature competition, a reading promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, presented in partnership with Target. In Mississippi, 500 students competed across all three competition levels.

To enter, young readers write a personal letter to an author explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves. Readers can select authors from any genre—fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. The program has three competition levels: upper elementary, middle school, and secondary. The contest theme encourages young readers to explore his or her personal response to a book then express that response in a creative, original way.

Courtney graduated from Natchez High School this year and is attending Touglaoo College, majoring in chemistry.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thank One, Thank All!

This years annual Summer Library Program proved to be a blast! All thanks to, well, me of course!! But no, seriously, it all had to do with many wonderful volunteers and special guest speakers from in and around our community!

At first, I was ovewhelmed with all that I (thought) I had to do. All of the phone calls to persons of interest whom I thought would fit perfectly into this years Dream Big-READ! theme. Then days of waiting to hear back from them, and the disappointment that came with being turned down more times than I can count! I just about wanted to throw in the towel (or go run and hide until the whole thing was over - no one could blame me then, right?) But, a miracle happened just weeks before the program kickoff. Volunteers started to appear out of thin air!

My supervisor, Marianne Raley, had planned programs with two wonderful ladies, Kay McNeil and Terri Haynes, from Historic Jefferson College and Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, respectively. She asked me if I'd be interested in having them do a Nocturnal Animal program for me also. Well, of course I would! I emailed them as fast as my fingers would allow and got responses back within minutes; both said YES!

Marianne had also tried to nab Meg Kassabaum, an Anthropology and Archeology PhD student from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Meg was here on a dig assignment over at what was believed to be an Indian burial site in Church Hill. Unfortunately for Marianne, Meg was unavailable on the day of her program. Call me a lucky ducky and watch me dance because guess what? Meg was available for my last open program day!

Natalie Nobel, an Alcorn State alumni and employee called to ask if we had any time available for her program College Knowledge Project. I jumped right on that train! What better way to Dream Big than to dream of a bright future? At least, that's how I took it.

Last, but not at all least, we had return guests of honor from our local arts gallery, ArtsNatchez Inc. They took care of every Tuesday morning program for the preschoolers - and they were fantastic. Hats off to them!!

I'd also like to extend a warm hand of welcome to the parent and high school volunteers. Thank all of you for making this summer a summer to remember!

Go to our website to read all about it and see pictures.

Friday, July 13, 2012

New Books for July

FICTION

Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich. The Salem, Massachusetts pastry chef Lizzy Tucker and her partner, Diesel, take up a murdered Harvard professor's quest for a powerful ancient relic.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. A woman disappears on the day of her fifth anniversary. Is her husband a killer?

Calico Joe by John Grisham. A pitcher beans a promising rookie, ending both their careers. Years later, the pitcher's son brings them together.

The Mission to Paris by Alan Furst. In Paris in 1938, an actor stumbles into the clutches of Nazi conspirators who want to exploit his celebrity.

The Storm by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown. The 10th NUMA files novel.

The Third Gate by Lincoln Child. Professor Jeremy Logan, an "enigmalogist," is called to Egypt to assist at a pharaoh's newly discovered tomb.

Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank. The widow of a New York City firefighter returns to her Lowcountry South Carolina home.

Stolen Prey by John Sandford. When a Minnesota family is murdered, the Minneapolis investigator Lucas Davenport believes a Mexican drug gang is involved.

11th Hour by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. Detective Lindsay Boxer and the Women's Murder Club investigate a possible serial killer.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. A scientist invents a device that allows travel to alternate Earths.

A Blaze of Glory by Jeff Shaara. A re-creation of the Battle of Shiloh in 1862.

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. In this sequel to Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell conspires against Anne Boleyn.

NONFICTION

I Hate Everyone...Starting with Me by Joan Rivers. The comedian's humorous reflections.

Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. The host of  The O'Reilly Factor recounts the events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

It Worked for Me by Colin Powell with Tony Koltz. Rules for effective leadership from the four star general and former Secretary of State.

TEENS

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer. Artemis's mother has contracted a deadly disease --and the only cure lies in the brain fluid of African lemurs. Unfortunately, Artemis himself was responsible for making the lemurs extinct five years ago. Now he must enlist the aid of his fairy friends to travel back in time and save them. Not only that, but he must face his deadliest foe yet . . . his younger self.

Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer. Teenaged criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl must save the underwater fairy metropolis of Atlantis from danger, while battling a psychological affliction known as the Atlantis Complex.

Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Devitt Bell. Thirteen year old Genevieve's summer at a frontier family history camp in Laramie, Wyoming with her parents and brother is filled with surprises, which she reports to friends back home on the cell phone she sneaked in, and which they turn into a blog.

CHILDREN

The Science Fair from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler. Mean Mrs Green says that everyone has to invent something for the school science fair. But everyone would rather invent a way to get out of it! Hubie can't decide on what he's going to do. He thinks all the good inventions have been done already. And all of his friends have figured out what they are going to do.  He tries to decide between cloning himself or building a laugh machine. After a bad dream about cloning, he decides to build a laugh machine. After many tries, he makes himself into a human laugh machine and wins a special prize for Silliest Invention.

Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet by Jane O'Connor. Nancy makes the best of not dancing the lead in her ballet school's Deep-Dances show, but becomes jealous when her best friend gets a better role than hers.

The Mystery on the Underground Railroad by Carole Marsh. Four kids visit the Underground Railroad Museum in Philadelphia and get caught up in a mystery which involves reading a quilt.


Friday, June 29, 2012

The Last Time I Saw Paris

The last time I saw Paris? Well, in my case that was never, but I hope to change that fairly soon. It seems Paris has been on lots of people's minds lately. We've recently discussed The Paris Wife by Paula McClain and watched Midnight in Paris at the Library. It seems just about everyone I know has visited Paris, is there right now, or is going soon.

So when I was planning my Adult Summer Programs, I thought it would be fun and enlightening to invite some Paris travel veterans to share their experiences.

So far, regular patron and intrepid traveler Bill Slatter has agreed. I am planning to enlist the services of others, so if you would like to participate or know someone who might like to, please have them contact me.

We are planning this program for Thursday, July 12 from 3-5 pm. It will be a Paris "show and tell," and participants will be able to share ideas, bargains, and valuable tips.

In the meantime, allow me to recommend some recent Paris reading, all of which are available at the Library.

  • The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay (2012)
  • Sacre Bleu: a Comedy d'art by Christopher Moore (2012)
  • The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy (latest edition 2007)
  • Mission to Paris by Alan Furst (2012)
  • An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi (2012)
  • Crime Fraiche by Alexander Campion (2011)
  • Paris in Love: a memoir by Eloisa James (2012)

I'd love to hear from you if you have stories to share or would just like to come and dream along with me. (Anne White 601.445.8862  awhite@naw.lib.ms.us)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Apprendre une Langue Gratuitement

The title is French for "Learn a Language for Free". Would you like to learn another language? Now you can - without leaving home and totally free.

Your Library now has Rocket Languages available online. Like so many other successful businesses these days, Rocket Languages was started by two students who saw a need. One was taking Spanish at a university, and the other was learning French. They both agreed there must be a better way. So they set out to design a Spanish course that would:
  • be fun to use
  • be easy to follow
  • minimize study time
  • give people confidence to actually speak
Rocket Spanish was an instant online hit and was followed by Rocket French. Rocket Languages now includes Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and even American Sign Language. These courses normally cost $150 each, which is not bad - but you don't pay anything when signed up through your Library.

One of the nice things about Rocket Languages is once you sign up for a language, you have lifetime access. So you can take your time learning and check back for refreshers.

So go ahead and register. All you need is your Library card. Once you've registered, you won't need your card again. You will sign in with your email address and your own password.

Two of my granddaughters (and their parents) live in Austria, where they speak German. I'm going to register to learn German so I can impress my granddaughters. So if you see someone wandering around Natchez mumbling German, it will likely be me. "Ich lerne Deutsch." (I'm learning German.)

If a bunch of us learn a language, we can do translations for tourists!