Thursday, May 31, 2012

This Summer, Teens Own The Night

The theme for this years teen summer library program is Own the Night, and the Armstrong Library Teen Zone is getting ready to provide local area teens with fun and educational programming.  Programs will be held in the Teen Zone on Tuesdays starting June 19 and running through July 10 from 3:00 - 4:30 pm.  We will have book discussions, guest speakers, games, and snacks.  Teens can read and compete for prizes and coupons from local fast food restaurants.  Local area teens in grades 7 - 12 are invited to come in and sign up, with their registration they will receive a cool Teen Zone backpack, glow in the dark key chain, and iron tee shirt transfers. So come join the fun.

June 19: Dream the Night Away! Discover what your dreams mean and create your own Dream Journals.

June 26: Dare to Dream Big! A special guest from the Institute of Higher Learning is coming to talk about preparing for a college education. It's never too early to start.

July 3: Crime and Death! Learn about epitaphs, tombstones, and mummify a hot dog! Test your detective skills with the Minute Mystery Challenge.

July 10: What Goes on in the Nighttime? Crafts and critters will abound in the Teen Zone as teens create their own star charts and make Glow Jars filled with stars. Our special guests will slither and fly their way into the Teen Zone to talk about living the nocturnal life.

For more information, check out the Teen Zone on our website or facebook page.

Summer is the one time a librarian can get kids to read "for fun"! Put down the AR book and pick a book for the shear pleasure of reading a good story. This year I challenge local teens to step out of their comfort zone and read something different, try something new...

Dare to Own the Night!

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Books for May

Here are the new books your Library has acquired this month. Do you need one for the Memorial Day holiday?


Deadlock by Charlaine Harris.  The telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse investigates a murder that has more to do with her than she imagines.

The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King.  A new entry in the Dark Tower epic western-fantasy series; this novel, Kings says, is "Dark Tower 4.5".

The Innocent by David Baldacci.  A hitman who has become a target of the government rescues a teenage girl whose parents have been murdered and who may be at the center of a dangerous conspiracy.

Robert B Parker's Lullaby by Ace Atkins.  Spencer helps a girl investigate her mother's murder; a continuation of the series by Parker, who died in 2010.

The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark.  A biblical scholar who made an amazing discovery is murdered.

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani.  Childhood sweethearts in turn of the 20th century Italy meet again in America.

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

The Reverend's Wife by Kimberla Lawson Roby.  The Rev Curtis Black and his wife, Charlotte, are on the brink of divorce.

Born of Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  Darling battles the resistance and vows to regain the throne his uncle stole; a League novel.

The Limpopo Academy of  Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith.  the 13th novel in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.


Natural Companions by Ken Druse.  The garden lover's guide to plant combinations.

Back to Baking by Anna Olson. Two hundred timeless recipes to bake, share, and enjoy.

Big Book of Salads by CookingLight.  Over 150 smart salad recipes.  Starters, sides and easy weeknight dinners.

Fabric by Fabric by Rebecca Yaker.  One yard wonders.  Cottons, knits, voiles, corduroy, fleece, flannel, home dec, oilcloth, wool, and beyond.  One hundred and one sewing projects.


Gone by Lisa McMann.  While Janie ponders her future with Cabe, knowing that her abilities as a dream catcher means eventual blindness and crippling, the father she never knew is hospitalized with brain trauma and seems to need her help.

Sailor Moon 5 by Naoka Takeuchi.  Chibi Usa gets sucked into the far reaches of space time and vanishes!  It's up to Tuxedo Mask to reach her and get her back safely while Sailor Moon and the others must escape Nemesis and the evil clutches of Wiseman and his cronies.  But as Tuxedo Mask travels through the space time storm, he encounters an ominous woman claiming to be his daughter!
Who is this strange woman?  Is she really Chibi Usa?


Clifford Sees America by Norman Bridwell.  Clifford takes a long overdue vacation to America.

Curious George Colors Eggs by H A Rey.  Curious George is off to dye eggs with his friends.  But can a curious monkey explore the wonderful world of color without getting messy?

Fancy Nancy Hair Dos and Hair Don'ts, by Jane O'Connor.  Preparing for picture day at school by choosing just the right outfit, Nancy wonders how she should style her hair and considers pigtails, a bun, and long ringlets before formulating a plan that has her reaching for the scissors.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Time Again for Adult Summer Fun @ Your Library

It's hard to believe, but summer reading programs at the Library will be starting before we know it.

The theme for Adults this year is Between the Covers, and as you can see from the picture, program planners have not lost their sense of humor! There are plenty of tee shirts, bags, mugs, and other merchandise adorned with this catchy theme that we'll be giving away as prizes for our patrons. Just fill out one entry form for each book you read starting June 4. Your entry will go into our weekly drawings.

If you fill out a book review form to post on our bulletin board, you'll receive a Between the Covers recycling bag which will hold lots of books, groceries, or anything else.

Programs for adults will be on Thursdays at 3 pm starting June 7 and ending on July 12 with a fun ice cream social.

On June 7, we will watch the 2011 hit Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows starringRobert Downey, Jr and Jude Law. A rousing start, I think! We'll be serving popcorn and soft drinks.

The following week (June 14) we will explore the quest for a good night's sleep with a bedroom makeover for maximum relaxation and tips for improving your sleep experience. We will also be decorating our own dream journals. The library will provide materials for this program.

In the following weeks, we'll have a variety of programs and movies, ending on July 12 with one of summer's great pleasures, an ice cream social! Check our website for program descriptions.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Making Your Library Beautiful

We want you to be proud of your Library building. Currently, the exterior is quite ugly since it has had little to no maintenance. However, the Friends of the Library embarked on an ambitious fundraising drive to raise the necessary funds for the renovations. Based on prior estimates, we set $30,000 as our goal - and we want the work finished by October 2012 when the Mississippi Library Association comes to Natchez.

We have more than achieved our goal! An anonymous donor offered us a challenge grant. If we could raise $15,000, they would match it. The Krewe of Fat Mamas partnered with the Friends and raised $4400. The Rotary Club of Natchez donated $5000. The Adopt a Shutter and Buy Your Library a Can of Paint raised $10,500. Along with some general donations (a couple as large as $500), we have raised a total of $19,760. Add that to the $15,000 from the challenge grant, and we have $34,760.

Although the Friends of the Library will be paying the bills, the City of Natchez must find and select the contractors. The City Inspector, who is in charge of this project, has told us it will cost far more than the $30,000 we originally estimated. (It seems these projects always seem to cost more than you expect!) So we are continuing to raise money. However, we have asked the City to proceed with awarding the contract and beginning the work. Hopefully, you will soon see people at work on the renovations!

As you may be able to tell from this picture (you can click on it to make it larger), we have two "parents" for each shutter. However, two donors wish to remain anonymous, so we have room for two more. But hurry, because they will be adopted soon!

We have raised $1,675 toward the $2,000 goal of paint donors, and we would love to add your name to the board.

Both of these boards are on display in the lobby of the Library, and we urge you to come see the names of all the members in our community who have contributed to make our Library beautiful again. We are overwhelmed by the awesome response!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Libraries and ebooks  . . .

Does our library offer ebooks? I’m sorry, no – at least not just yet!

Everybody has an iPad, Nook, Kindle, or other ereader device, right? Well, not really, at least not here in Adams County, MS. As the popularity of these devices increases, public libraries are being pressured – from both the publishing industry and our patrons to provide free downloads!

If you have a Kindle, you know it is relatively simple to purchase a title from Amazon and have it “magically” appear on your device. I have the Kindle app on my iPad and that’s how it works for me. I’m not familiar with downloading directly from iTunes to the iPad, or downloading to a Nook or another ereader, but I imagine the process is similar.
Simple, right? WRONG!
So, why can’t you do it at the library? Well, think about it – if you have an ereader device, you have an account somewhere (with the device maker or with a third party, which provides the service) that allows you to purchase and download your books. The connection is just between you and them.

Enter the library. You have a library card, which you present when you check books out, correct? Checking a print book out from the library and downloading a virtual book to your device are similar in that they both require that you have a library card in order to check out the book. The GETTING the book is where the difference comes in. With a printed book, you come in to the library, select a title, take it off the shelf, and bring it to the circulation desk where the clerk scans your library card and the barcode on the book, gives you a printed receipt, hands you the book, and says, “Thank you, this book is due back in two weeks!” You walk out the door. Easy! But, back to downloading a book…

The library has to buy the book (which we have to do for printed books, as well!) – but, back to THIS subject later – and make it available. We don’t actually physically HAVE the book, but we have to still pay money for the titles we think our patrons would like to read. So, how do you know what titles we have purchased? We buy the right to access titles from a supplier, much like Amazon, or another source. Again, back to this subject later.
Ok, you have a library card and an ereader device and want to download a title you have found in our catalog. How does it get from our virtual shelf to your device? Well, that’s the tricky part. The LIBRARY has to pay for the interface to accomplish this. Think of the circulation clerk at the desk as the interface to check out a print book. The interface which allows you to download (check out) access to the title you have chosen to your ereader device (hardware) from our catalog (software) is another piece of software. The library has to purchase software to allow your ereader device to communicate with our catalog in order to download the title.

Remember that subject I said we would get back to? Well, here it is. The software the library has to purchase is not cheap! There are two major software vendors that provide this interface. One is Overdrive ( and the other is 3M Cloud Library ( The ANNUAL cost of the interface for our area (based on our population and circulation statistics) is between $3,000 and $5,000 – yes, that is THOUSAND, annually! Before we buy access to any titles – another subject to address! We also have to purchase (a one time cost) a protocol (some invisible access allowance somethingie!!!) to allow the vendor to get the titles into our catalog so you can find them!
So, now the library has paid for the “protocol” and paid for the software interface. How do we pay for the books. Well, the software vendor has taken care of that for us. We pay them for access to the titles.

Have you noticed that I keep using that word – ACCESS? We don’t actually OWN the virtual book. We just have the right to pass access to the title on to you, one at a time. So, if we purchase access to one copy of the newest Greg Iles title, it’s just like having one print copy on the shelf. Only ONE PERSON AT A TIME can check out that print copy – and only one person at a time can have access to the downloaded title.
Now, the good part is that you can’t lose or damage it (and have to pay the library for it), and it won’t go overdue (so you rack up those huge overdue fines!) – the download just disappears from your device! But, if you weren’t quite finished reading it, you are out of luck. No keeping it just a few more days until you finish it. You might be able to renew it (if someone else is on the request list for it, the title is not renewable!) and finish it, but if the title is not renewable, you have to get back on the request list for it!
On to that last subject I was going to get back to – the cost, and availability of – purchasing access to titles. Some publishers of best-selling titles just won’t sell to public libraries. At all. And, some publishers of best-selling titles have tripled the cost of purchasing access to their titles to public libraries. And, one publisher has actually changed their policy to state that a public library can download a title twenty-six (26) times, and then it has to be repurchased!

There are several different formats for titles to be downloaded.  The most common are .epub, .pdf, ibooks (for the iPhone and iPad), and .azw and .kf8 (for Kindle). There are many other and some formats are specific to the actual device.
If you have made it through to here, the end of this article, you can understand that offering ebooks is not a simple or inexpensive service. I have attended conferences, webinars and workshops on the subject, only to be more convinced than ever that the world of ebooks is as not ready for us as we are for it.

Delegating one-fourth to one-fifth of the library’s book budget for the small segment of our users that have requested ebooks is just not fiscally responsible. And – until the publishing industry settles on fair treatment and pricing for public libraries – not acceptable! When that happens, perhaps we can revisit the justification of the cost of the service!
Thank you!