Friday, March 30, 2012


Natchez is such a great community! We asked for help and are overwhelmed by the response. Let me tell you about it.

As everybody is well aware, the exterior of our Library is in deplorable shape and has been for quite some time. The shutters need to be repaired or replaced, and painted. The brick is in good shape, but all the wood needs to be repaired and painted. The windows and doors are also in poor condition. The Mississippi Library Association is coming to town in October, as they did in 2004 and 2008. How embarrassing it will be for them to see our poor Library still not painted!

The building belongs to the City of Natchez, who is responsible for its maintenance. Unfortunately, the City has no plans to perform the needed repairs. However, the Friends of the Library are riding to the rescue! They have developed a fundraising drive to pay for the restoration of the exterior of your Library. Since it will be a costly project, there are three parts to the drive.
1. The Friends are asking the people of the community to Adopt a Needy SHUTTER. We guessed that it will cost an average of $100 to restore a shutter, and we have 44. There is a mockup in the lobby of the Library showing who has adopted shutters. The donors' names will be inscribed on the shutters they adopted. So if you adopt a shutter, then years from now you can show your grandchildren which shutter was yours.

2. If adopting a shutter is too much for your budget, then you may want to Buy Your Library a Can of PAINT by donating $25. We're hoping to raise $1000 to buy 40 gallons of paint. Also in the Library's lobby is a poster showing our progress toward our goal.

3. Finally, there will be a special fundraising event later in the year. More details to come.

Because of restrictions in the Mississippi code, the Library itself cannot pay for capital improvements, so the City of Natchez must arrange for the work to be done - and the Friends of the Library will just pay the bill. The City has still not given us an estimate on the cost of the work. Based on an estimate we received about four years ago, we're guessing between $25,000 and $30,000 - or more! It sounds like a lot, but the building is in really bad shape.

Obviously, the amount raised through adopting shutters and buying paint ($5400) is only the beginning, and we were hoping to get the rest through our special event. However, someone is really looking out for us!!!

First,  an anonymous local donor has issued a challenge to us. If we can raise $15,000, he will match it with another $15,000. How awesome! Then the Krewe of Fat Mama's, which raises funds for a specific project each year, decided that fixing the exterior of the Library is their project for this year. They are partnering with the Friends to raise at least the $15,000.

We announced our fundraising drive about a week ago, and we have already sold all the shutters! The response from the community has been overwhelming. But we can't turn away the people who keep coming in with money to adopt shutters! So we're adopting a "co-parenting" scheme. Providing the original adoptive parents don't object, we're going to allow each shutter to have two adopters. And of course, we can take donations for paint indefinitely. Together, we can do this!

The staff of the Library, the Board of Trustees, and the Friends of the Library all want to say thank you to this community - you are truly wonderful.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

What could be more basic to our well being than food - its sources and its quality? If you have been contemplating becoming a home farmer, even on a very small scale, the Armstrong Library can help.

For the next few weeks, we will be offering a series of programs to help you make a solid start in growing your own food.

On Saturday, March 17, representatives from the Farmers' Market of Alcorn University will be on hand from 11 am to 1 pm to discuss how to get started.
On Thursday, March 22 at 4pm, the program will feature choosing healthful snacks, and Dr Brad LeMay, heart specialist, will speak on heart health and fresh foods.
More programs will be offered in April on the growing movement to choose foods grown locally. Dates and times will be announced soon.
This is the time to get your garden started, so join us for these informative programs. The Library has a number of books available to help you along the way. We'll all have a bounty of home-grown goodness to share later on! Call us for more information.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The History of Women's History

Adeline Whitney
The public celebration of women's history in this country began in 1978 as Women's History Week in Sonoma County, California. The week including March 8, International Women's Day, was selected. In 1981, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) cosponsored a Joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a national Women's History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women's History Month.
Sybil Ludington
Before 1970, women's history was rarely the subject of serious study. Historian Mary Beth Norton recalls, "only one or two scholars would have identified themselves as women's historians, and no formal doctoral training in the subject was available anywhere in the country." Since then, the field has gone through great change. Today almost every college offers women's history courses and most graduate programs offer doctorial degrees in the field.
Phillis Wheatley
Two significant factors contributed to the emergence of women's history. The women's movement of the sixties caused women to question their invisibility in traditional American textbooks. The movement also raised the aspirations as well as the opportunities of women, and produced a growing number of women historians.
Now that you have read a little about the history of women's history here are just a few of the many women that made a difference in the world:
Maya Lin
In 1882 , Adeline Whitney invented the wooden Alphabet Blocks to help children learn to read.
Sybil Ludington was 16 years old when she joined the American Revolutionary War forces, riding 40 miles on horseback in the dark of night to obtain military reinforcements.
Phillis Wheatley was sold as a slave to a Boston family when she was six years old. She was taught to read and by the time she was 13 she had written her first poem. She was the first black woman to publish poetry in the United States. Her book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was published in 1773.

Chief Wilma Mankiller
Maya Lin is an architect who was born in 1960. When she was only 21, she won a national competition to design and build the now famous Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.
Chief Wilma Mankiller, born in 1945, was a longtime activist for Native American rights. She served as Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1985 - 1995, the first woman in modern history to lead a major Native American Tribe.

Nancy Kassebaum
Nancy Kassebaum, born in 1932, was elected to the Senate from Kansas in 1978. She was the only woman there. She served for 18 years.
There are so many accomplished women both past and preent who have enriched the lives of people all over the world. If you would like to know more about these and other notable women stop in the library and browse our biography collection.

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Best Sellers for March


Private Games by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan. Peter Knight, a member of the Private investigative firm, pursues a murderer who is trying to destroy the London Olympics.

Kill Shot by Vince Flynn. A CIA super agent hunting down perpetrators of the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing finds himself caught in a dangerous trap.

The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice. The making of a modern werewolf.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. A frazzled bride to be creates havoc when she appropriates a cellphone she found in the trash.

11/22/63 by Stephen King. A teacher travels back to 1958 by way of a time portal in a Maine diner.

Home Front by Kristin Hannah. A woman’s husband and children are challenged when she is deployed to Iraq.

Catch Me by Lisa Gardner. A woman asks the Boston detective D D Warren to prevent her being murdered in four days’ time.

The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay. A widow defends her house, which is slated to be torn down during Baron Haussmann’s modernization of Paris in the 1860s.

A Dance With Dragons by George Martin. After a colossal battle, the Seven Kingdoms face new threats; Book 5 of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Taken by Robert Crais. It’s Joe Pike to the rescue when Elvis Cole is seized by human traffickers.

Robert Ludlum’s The Janson Command by Paul Garrison. A former American operative builds a network to help him resolve crises without torture or civilian casualties.

Raylan by Elmore Leonard. A United States marshal sent to Harlan County KY, confronts organ trafficking, strip mining, and bank robberies.

That Woman by Anne Sebba. The life of Wallis Warfield Simpson, for whom Edward VIII gave up his throne.

Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. The heart stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Thinking, Fast And Slow by Daniel Kahneman. The winner of the Nobel in economic science discusses how we make choices in business and personal life and when we can and cannot trust our intuitions.


Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr. The political and romantic tensions that began when Aislinn became Summer Queen threaten to boil over as the Faerie Courts brace against the threat of all out war.

Two Truths and a Lie by Sara Shepard. While her late twin watches from the afterlife, Emma assumes Sutton's identity to solve the mystery of the latter's murder, an investigation that repeatedly implicates the handsome and mysterious Thayer.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island's other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson. Seventeen year old Ginny Blackstone precipitously travels from her home in New Jersey to London when she receives a message from an unknown man telling her he has the letters that were stolen just before she completed a series of mysterious tasks assigned by her now dead aunt, an artist.

Parties &Potions by Sarah Mlynowski. High school sophomore Rachel and her younger sister Miri, both witches, are introduced to a wider community of witches while grappling with the problem of whether or not to reveal their powers to their school friends, father, and stepmother.


New Tricks I Can Do! by Robert Lopshire. Asked to leave the circus because the audiences have seen all his tricks, Spot the dog hopes to show them new tricks by turning different colors and changing the shape of his spots.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. Joey the horse recalls his experiences growing up on an English farm, his struggle for survival as a cavalry horse during World War I, and his reunion with his beloved master.

Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones. After his grandfather dies, Andrew Hope inherits a house and surrounding land in an English village, but things become very complicated when young orphan Aidan shows up and suddenly a host of variously magical townsfolk and interlopers start intruding on their lives.

Pinkalicious: Pinkie Promise by Victoria Kann. After Pinkalicious uses all of Alison's pink paint in class, she wonders how she can repay her best friend.