Friday, April 29, 2011

DVDs @ Your Library

Among the many items that may be checked out at your Library, DVDs have proven to be among the most popular. We began adding donated DVDs about a year and a half ago, but last year we received a grant to build our collection.* Where possible, we have acquired Blue-ray versions, but most are regular DVDs.

In creating our collection, we started from the ground up. We first obtained some of the most popular titles from the video format, such as the Roots television series and the Ken Burns The Civil War series. Next, we added movies that were filmed in Natchez and the surrounding area, like Horse Soldiers, Huckleberry Finn, and Cross Roads. We also acquired the complete set of the popular local Angels on the Bluff performance series, filmed in our own historic City Cemetery. From there, we started building a classic movie section, including titles such as North by Northwest, The Thin Man, and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

For children, we have math and science shows, such as The Magic School Bus. Fire safety and "stranger danger" DVDs are popular. Of course, we couldn't leave out the Disney animated classics, like Snow White, Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, and Fantasia.

Among the educational selections is the Visions of Europe travel series, including Italy, France, Austria, and Greece. This series provides stunningly beautiful aerial photography shot from helicopters with terrific musical backgrounds. Another standout is the Blue Planet series with spectacular nature scenes.

Of course, we do have a general assortment of family entertainment movies and always welcome suggestions for future purchases, as funds allow.

We continue to gratefully accept donations of DVDs in good condition, so look through your collection to see if you have any you would like to share.

Stop in and see our growing collection of DVDs which we have tailored for our Natchez patrons. DVDs and VHS tapes can only be checked out by adults. They check out for two days, with a limit of two per card.

*Grant funding for the DVD collection was provided as a competitive Focused Development Grant under the Federal Library Services and Technology Act administered by the Mississippi Library Commission for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Children's Book Festival

Today I am heading to Hattiesburg to attend the much anticipated 44th Annual Fay B Kaigler Children's Book Festival. The Festival was founded in 1968 and is sponsored by the University of Southern Mississippi. What started out as a conference for those interested in writing, illustrating, and publishing of children's books grew to include talks by award winning authors and illustrators, as well as seminars for library science students and professional librarians from both schools and public libraries.

Although I have been working here at the Armstrong Library for nearly eight years, I was always under the impression the Book Festival was strictly for children's librarians and didn't think there would be much for a teen services librarian. However, I went last year, and boy, was I wrong! I had the most wonderful time meeting other librarians, listening to inspirational keynote speakers, and most importantly, meeting the actual authors and illustrators of BOTH children and teen books! And of course, there is nothing more fun than shopping for new books for the Library collection.

I waited in long lines for several hours just to get my books signed and a picture with the author. I was so excited to meet Richard Peck, who happened to be an author I loved from my days as a teenager, that afterwards I had to go back to my hotel room and rest.

Sharon Draper, an African American author whose books are always flying off my shelves, delivered an inspiring message about putting the right book into the hands of children and watching them bloom into lifetime readers.

My bags are packed, hotel reservations made, and I am armed with my schedule and comfy shoes ready to endure the long lines to meet this years Southern Medallion winner T A Barron, author of The Last Years of Merlin Trilogy. I'll give you a report when I get back.