Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Movies!

Chance spent the morning today putting new movies on the shelf!

There are new Christmas movies for the whole family, new Captain America and X-Men movies, and several new releases such as Jersey Boys, 22 Jump Street, Planes : Fire & Rescue and If I Stay.

I plan on taking a couple home myself!  Come on in and see what we have.  We are now checking out movies for 7 days.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Brain Teasers

I recently put a brain teaser on the desk above my computer for patrons to work on. 

It is simply a spiky ball in a cage and the object is to remove the ball from the cage.  Friday afternoon, the Minter family came in after school and got to competing over who could be the youngest person to complete the puzzle.

First, Erik (13) finished the puzzle.  Then Ben (11) was able to complete it.

Since they finished the first puzzle, I gave them a second one.  The object of this one is to get the wooden square inside the hollow square by sliding the pieces around without lifting anything up.  While the boys were trying to figure it out, I noticed that their little sister Alea (8) was watching everything intently.  (I'm sorry if I spelled your name wrong!)  I asked her if she wanted to try the spiky ball puzzle and she nodded.  Everyone was astounded when she finished it in record time, officially becoming the youngest person to complete it!  So, we let her try the wooden puzzle, and again she beat her older brothers all to pieces, finishing in record time! 



I had a third puzzle, a cube with a maze on all sides, but none of the kids were able to figure it out. 

The puzzles were given to me by my mom, who buys them for us at Christmas time to figure out on Christmas day.  Since we had so much fun with the puzzles, over the weekend I asked her if she had any more.  Well, of course she did!  So now I have 5 more puzzles that I know how to do, and 6 that I don't.  There are a variety of difficulty levels 

If you are looking for a challenge, come on by.  You can be the first person to solve all the brain teasers! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I Opened a Book

I Opened a Book
I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I've left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.
I'm wearing the cloak, I've slipped on the ring,
I've swallowed the magic potion.
I've fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.
I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.
I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.
--Julia Donaldson

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Julie's Journal : The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, I saw several recommendations for good ghost stories.  Now, I'm not normally a big reader of ghost stories, but I kept seeing The Haunting of Hill House come up as a must read - a classic of the genre.  After reading several reviews and discovering that it has been adapted for film twice since its publication in 1959, I decided to give it a try. 

The story centers around Eleanor Vance.  A woman of 32, she has spent the last eleven years of her life caring for her mother.  After her mother passes away, she is at loose ends and jumps at an invitation to spend a few days at Hill House seeking out psychic phenomena.  After an idyllic drive, Eleanor arrives at the house and is immediately repulsed.  She feels an overwhelming urge to flee, but decides she is simply being a scaredy-cat and makes herself stay.  When she meets the other female guest, Theodora, she feels more comfortable.  With the arrival of the doctor researching the house, and Luke, a member of the family that owns the house, their party is complete. 

The horror of the story is that the reader never really knows the nature of the evil in the house.  There is no question that there is something evil there, but whether the evil is the house itself or something residing inside is a mystery.  The house itself becomes a malevolent character in the story.  Told from Eleanor's point of view, the reader is forced to follow along as the house (or its supernatural resident) drives her, rather quickly, into madness.  Maybe her years of isolation with her mother made her more susceptible than the others?  Maybe she was already precariously close to madness, and the house just helped her along?  I think both factors contributed to her inability to resist the forces of Hill House.

I enjoyed The Haunting of Hill House.  It was not what I was expecting from a book labeled "horror".  There was an overriding sense of doom, but it wasn't so dark as to give me nightmares.  I found myself thinking about Eleanor long after I had finished the book.  Her motivations are never completely clear, which fuels in part the speculation about why she descended into insanity so easily. 

Jackson wrote several novels and short stories.  Her other well-known story is the short story The Lottery.  It is commonly read by high school students and I remember reading it myself.  Both The Haunting of Hill House and The Lottery are worth taking the time to read. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Just for fun!

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I had the news on in the background and they were talking about a bus that has been fitted with a jet engine and can reach speeds up to 350 miles per hour.  Then they showed the bus racing an airplane!  Paul Stender of Indy Boys, Inc. is the builder and driver of the bus.  He said that he wanted to encourage kids to get out and tinker with machines and experiment and see what worked and what didn't.  He also has a "Jets are Hot, Drugs are Not!" slogan painted on his bus.  The video below is the airplane vs. bus race.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Marvelous Mondays! : Sand Art

Yesterday was another Marvelous Monday here at the library.  My mom, Ellen Eggleston, donated colored sand and bottles for sand art.  The kids had fun making different patterns of colored sand in their bottles.

The finished products turned out really well.
Hailey Kirkman and Trinity Bogue
Max Lester
Seth Smithey
Hannah Smithey's bottle in progress.
Even the table was pretty after everybody was done!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Chance found a friend at Trick or Treat on the Square

Most of the library staff dressed up today as librarians!  Exciting right? 

Chance decided to be different though.  He dressed up as one of the Hamsters from the Kia Soul commercials!

Chance even presented Tom Wilkinson (of our Tom's Two Cents column) with a copy of his book as a hamster!

Now it just remains to be seen if Chance can function while wearing the hamster head!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chance's Corner: Read or Treat!

I was browsing through my Tumblr, just another social networking blog site one can get sucked into, and one of the book enthusiast blogs I follow is all geared up for Halloween. Today, they posted a story about What If Your Favorite Books Were Halloween Candy? That's certainly an odd thing to think about, but what if?

Well, here's the results:

One of the commenters on the post suggested Crime and Junior Mints. I certainly got a chuckle out of this. I hope you did too!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Word Wall

Earlier this year, a kind patron, who wishes to remain anonymous, donated the funds for some new furniture in the meeting room upstairs.  We loved the end results, but realized that in rearranging furniture we were left with a blank wall. 
Lisa decided that it was the perfect spot for a Word Wall.  We scoured the internet for the perfect quote and finally settled on this one from Caitlin Moran.
"A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination."
It took several hours of work - in fact Lisa was here until 10:00 one night - to get the quote up on the wall.

I think it turned out great!  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Reading Habits Survey

I recently found an online survey about reading and reading habits.   I thought it was fun, so I pared down the original 55 questions to 25 and gave it to all the library staff.  I won't bore you with the whole thing, but you might enjoy some of the highlights.

Favorite Childhood Book:

  • Lisa - We Like Kindergarten - She said her mother used to read her this book before she was big enough to go to Kindergarten and she couldn't wait to go.
  • Julie - The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein - I had a hard time picking a favorite!
  • Chance - The Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey and the Akiko Series by Mark Crilley
  • Debbie - Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss
What do you have checked out of the library right now?
  • Lisa - I Work at a Public Library, by Gina Sheridan
  • Julie - The World of Turner, Labor Day, by Joyce Maynard, and Forget Me, by K.A. Harrington
  • Chance - Strangers on a Train
  • Debbie - Fifteen Minutes, by Karen Kingsbury
Where is your favorite place to read?
  • Lisa - "My big comfy chair."
  • Julie - "My spot on the couch in my living room."
  • Chance - "In bed, under a dim light."
  • Debbie - "On the front porch."
Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
  • Lisa - Several, I always am reading one and listening to another
  • Julie - I like to have one fiction and one non-fiction going at once
  • Chance - One at a time
  • Debbie - One at a time
Least favorite book you read this year
  • Lisa - I'll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
  • Julie - Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
  • Chance - Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Debbie - Paleo for Beginners

Other questions included "Do you have an e-reader?"  We all answered yes to that one.  Chance and I both mentioned Robert Frost as a favorite poet.  The question about a favorite reading snack brought out strong responses from Lisa and Chance who believe strongly that it is improper to read and snack.  Chance said he didn't want to get crumbs on his books! 

Reading everyone's answers was fun.  Maybe I need to do a survey of our patrons.  What do you think?

I found the original survey at An Armchair By the Sea.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Julie's Journal : Unspoken by Dee Henderson

I think it is clear by now that I read voraciously in a variety of genres.  I enjoy bestsellers, classics, mysteries, science fiction, juvenile and young adult fiction, and nonfiction. 

One of our most popular sections here at Franklin County Library is the Inspirational Fiction section.  These books are written from a Christian point of view and are usually light escapist romances.  They are great reading for a cold, rainy, dreary day!

Inspirational Books cover both sides of this shelf!

However, occasionally, I find an author who's works are deeper and more intriguing than the norm for the genre.  Lately, I have been thoroughly enjoying everything by Dee Henderson, especially her more recent books.  Of her three more recent titles, Full Disclosure, Unspoken, and Undetected, I think Unspoken is my favorite. 

It begins with businessman Bryce Bishop closing up shop at the end of a long day.  He is the owner of an exclusive coin shop, dealing in rare and valuable coins.  He is reflecting on the success of his business and the fact that he is bored at work.  As he leaves, an intriguing woman introduces herself as Charlotte Graham and invites him into the shop next door.  She has set up a coin store rivaling his in every way.  She offers him an ultimatum - either he buys her out, or she opens up as a competitor.  Feeling as though he has no choice, Bryce agrees to buy her out.  Charlotte tells him that she has another group of coins that she will offer him for purchase in a few weeks and disappears.

Over the next months, Bryce gets to know the mysterious woman and finds out that she was once at the center of the most famous kidnapping case in Chicago's recent history.  She has changed her name and moved on with her life, but disposing of an inheritance, of which the coins are only part, has brought her back to Chicago.  Bryce finds himself intrigued both by Charlotte herself and the many secrets she holds close to the vest.  He is certainly not bored anymore!

I enjoy Ms. Henderson's style of writing.  She researches her books well, so that every scenario is believable.  Her characters have deep backgrounds that are slowly revealed.  At the end of each book, I feel like the characters still have depths left unplumbed.  Many of her books deal with members of the police, FBI or military, particularly the Navy. 

I highly recommend any of her books.  I hope she puts out something new soon!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Did you know? : TV Series

Did you know that Franklin County Library has TV series available for checkout?  If you've heard everyone you know raving about Justified, Criminal Minds, or Downton Abbey, but haven't seen any of them, we can catch you up.   

Series available at FCL are:
  • Criminal Minds
  • Duck Dynasty
  • Downton Abbey
  • Firefly
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Justified
  • Longmire
  • NCIS
  • Once Upon a Time
Come on in and check them out!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Catching Up!

You may have noticed that there hasn't been much activity on the blog lately.  I'm going to try and remedy that over the next few weeks.  Now that computer classes have ended for the fall, I'll have a little more time to catch  up on a few projects.....including updating this blog.

Speaking of computer classes, we had a great turnout for our fall series.  The library hosted excel, social media, app, and photo editing classes in September and October.

We also gave away a wreath this fall at CountryFest!  Marcia Cargile won the beautiful wreath that Lisa made.

Don't forget to stop in and get your chance to win the Christmas wreath Lisa has made.  Tickets are $1.00 or 6 for $5.00.  Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Franklin County Library.
Marvelous Mondays have also been going on all fall.  I didn't get any pictures, but this week we used fire to suck a hard-boiled egg into a jar.  The kids were fascinated, and I was excited that it was a success!

Hopefully, in the coming days and weeks, I'll have a few interesting things here on the blog.  I hope to have some book and movie reviews, and perhaps a recipe or two for the holidays.  I'm always needing good ideas for things to put on the blog, so if you have any thoughts let me know.

Have a good day!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Did you know? : Magazines

Did you know that Franklin County Library has magazines available for checkout? 

Upstairs in a little alcove, we have a whole wall of magazines.  Included are titles such as : Better Homes and Gardens, Country, Field and Stream, National Geographic, Poets & Writer's, Reader's Digest, and Taste of Home.  We have 32 titles available.  They are available on a two-week check out, just like books.

Just today, our mailbox was full of new magazines.

Come on in and get your magazine fix, for FREE!