Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Spring is here! Or so the calendar says…I think Mother Nature is sleeping in late here in the Natchez area, but nonetheless, this is a time to celebrate life, fertility, abundance, and all things new. Trees are budding, flowers are breaking through the soil, and baby animals are taking their first breaths on this beautiful planet. This is a time of year to rejoice, as we awaken from the Winter.

Have you ever wondered why people choose to read books about holidays around the holiday?? I have. I think that it is just silly! It shouldn't matter if you read a Christmas themed book around the Fourth of July or a Easter book around Thanksgiving. All that matters is that you READ!!

So, to mix things up a little here are a few children's books that I picked out to enjoy around Easter along with your other book selections: Books about books, and books about the library!!

That Book Woman by Heather Henson. A moving tale that honors a special part of American history--the Pack Horse Librarians, who helped untold numbers of children see the stories amid the chicken scratch, and thus made them into lifelong readers.

I Know A Librarian Who Chewed on a Word by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton. All librarians love books but have you ever met one who just ate them up...literally? Miss Devine does. In this adaption of "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," one Dewey Decimal Diva has gone on a most unusual eating binge.

READING Makes You Feel Good by Todd Parr. Reading makes you feel good can imagine you are a scary dinosaur or you can make someone feel better when they are sick and you can do it anywhere! Read this book and feel good!

The Return of the Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy. Miss Lotta Scales, a dragon also known as Miss Lotty the Librarian, wants to retire from taking care of the school's library but will not willingly stand by and see her beloved books replaced by computers.

I hope everyone enjoys the Easter holiday! And remember, no matter what type of book you read this weekend, the most important thing is that you read it!

Friday, March 22, 2013

New Books for March


Calculated in Death by J D Robb. Lt Eve Dallas must crunch the numbers as she investigates the death of a successful accountant; by Nora Roberts, writing pseudonymously.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. A New Hampshire baker finds herself in the midst of two Holocaust stories: her grandmother's story of survival, and the confessions of an elderly German man, an SS officer.

Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson. While Alex Cross pursues a Washington serial killer (or killers?), someone is after him.

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy. This final book by Binchy, who died in 2012, is about guests at an inn by the sea on Ireland's west coast.

Red Velvet Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke. Hannah Swensen becomes a suspect when her romantic rival turns up dead; recipes included.

Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman. The Los Angeles psychologist detective Alex Delaware and the detective Milo Sturgis pursue the story of a beautiful nurse.

Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner. An investigator probing the disappearance of a seemingly perfect Boston family must dig beneath the surface.

Bad Blood by Dana Stabenow. Kate Shugak, an Aleut private investigator, must sort out murders motivated by revenge between two Alaska towns.

Private Berlin by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan. A superstar agent at the German headquarters of an investigation firm disappears.


Coolidge by Amity Shlaes. This biography reclaims the 30th president as a conservative hero.

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

Remembering Whitney by Cissy Houston with Lisa Dickey. The gospel singer discusses her daughter Whitney's life.


Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson & Maxine Paestro. Tandy Angel is, along with her brothers, a suspect in their parents' murder but having grown up under Malcolm and Maud Angel's perfectionist demands, Tandy decides she must clear the family name no matter what.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. When seventeen year old orphaned shapechanger Tessa Gray is kidnapped by the villainous Mortmain in his final bid for power, the London Institute rallies to save her, but is beset by betrayal at every turn.

The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna. Taylor Jane Simon, an eighteen year old girl with Asperger's Syndrome, travels to France, as she struggles to become independent of her controlling mother and meets a new mentor.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sanez. Fifteen year old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

In Darkness by Nick Lake. In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen year old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital, and as he grows weaker, he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in 1804.


Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds. The carrots that grow in Crackenhopper Field are the fattest and crispiest around, and Jasper Rabbit cannot resist pulling some to eat each time he passes by, until he begins hearing creepy carrots wherever he goes.

Emeraldalicious by Victoria Kann. When Pinkalicious and Peter decide to visit their favorite park, they find that it's no longer their favorite place--the park is now filled with stinky trash!  So, Pinkalicious decides to make an extraspecial wand out of a stick and some flowers.

Skippyjon Jones Cirque de Ole' by Judy Schachner. Skippyjon Jones, the Siamese cat that thinks he is a Chihuahua dog, wants to perform his high wire act in the circus.

Pete the Cat: Pete's Big Lunch by James Dean. Pete the cat shares his big lunch with his friends.

Pete the Cat: Play Ball! by James Dean. Pete the cat is ready to play baseball!  Pete's team, the Rocks, is playing the Rolls.  But when the game doesn't go Pete's way, what will Pete do?

Friday, March 8, 2013

What Does a Reference Librarian Do?

In addition to being the Teen Services Librarian, I am also the Reference Librarian. You might be wondering just exactly what does a Reference Librarian do. Basically, I answer questions. They come from patrons, either in person, by phone, or through email.

It's always been satisfying helping high school and college students find materials needed to write their research and term papers, using books or through our huge database, MAGNOLIA.

I also answer simple questions, such as finding phone numbers and addresses, facts about states, how to spell or define an obscure word, etc. However, I do receive more challenging questions or requests for research from all over the country - especially from genealogists.

Since moving here from Ohio almost ten years ago, I have decided every person in the United States must have some kind of connection to Natchez. My cup runneth over with requests for obituaries, birth records, any mention of "my great-great grandfather who once owned a store downtown back in 1898." As I rattle my brain looking for informaion or go nearly blind reading old microfilm, I keep telling myself that this is job security.

Just when I want to throw my hands in the air from frustration, I get a gem of a question from one of my local patrons that puts a smile on my face. It reminds me that my job is different every day, and I'm always learning something new, whether I want to or not.

Here are a few questions that came across my desk or were asked of other librarians across the country.
  • Do you have the book,  How to Kill a Mockingbird?
  • Can you help me find a book I checked out several weeks ago? I can't remember the title but the book was blue with gold letters!
  • Can you send me a list of all the local criminal lawyers in town? (Letter sent from inmate at local jail.)
  • I need a photograph of Jesus. No, not a painting or picture, but a photograph!
  • Don't you have any Shakspeare in real English?
  • I'm trying to find the words to a song, if I hum the tune can you figure it out?
Never a dull moment. I love my job!