Friday, September 3, 2021

September's "Cast of Characters" Blog


We looked at the calendar and could not believe that it’s September! Where did the summer go? Why are we still dealing with rising numbers of COVID cases and deaths? We had such high hopes for life going back to normal this fall, and those hopes included in-person programs for all ages in the Library.  Unfortunately, that will have to wait a little while longer. In place of programs that call for patrons to be in the same space at the same time, we are trying something different.

For children, the Youth Services department has come up with daily reading-at-home suggestions that pair with take & make crafts.  We hope to make it easier for parents and other adult caregivers to add early literacy training, which is critical for the younger ones. The calendars can be picked up from the Youth Services department or printed from here. A different craft will be available for pick-up in the Youth Services department each week.

For adults, DPL is hosting September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed the World, a poster exhibition from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.  Fourteen posters – covering the events of the day, the origin of the attack, the effects afterward, and 20 years later – will be on display through September 29th.   We have a reading list in the DPL catalog, a guest book to sign, activities for the kids to make and turn in to be part of the display, and postcards for adults to record memories or thoughts about 9/11/2001. There are many online resources available to learn more about the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the victims and the survivors (linked from or directly at

Finally, if you are in the Library on Friday, September 10, 2021 or Saturday, September 11, 2021 there will be a film playing near the display that is geared toward educating younger generations about September 11th, but is appropriate for all ages. Stop and watch a portion or all of the film if you are visiting the Library those days.   Please take the time when you come into the Library to view the exhibition and sign the guest book. We will be providing feedback on how the display impacted our patrons to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and we need your thoughts to do this.

For all of the tragedy and death that happened that day there was an abundance of heroism and love that followed. One of the main reasons to commemorate 9/11 is to remember the victims, and all of the amazing everyday heroes who gave their lives to save others. Some were first responders and some were just people who went to work like normal in the twin towers and Pentagon, or boarded a flight then found themselves in the middle of a terrorist attack. Most of them did what they could to help their coworkers and random strangers evacuate or take down a plane. For the September task, read a book about a hero. We all need more heroes in this crazy world.

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 30, 2021

August's "Cast of Characters" Blog


We have made it to the end of another year of Summer Reads.  We wish to extend a sincere “Thank You” to all of this year’s sponsors and presenters. While most of the events were virtual and can still be found on our YouTube channel, we were also able to do some Pop-Up Story Times thanks to Decatur Parks and Recreation and the Morgan County-Decatur Farmers Market. We hope everyone who participated from the youngest to the oldest read some wonderful books and had a lot of fun doing it. We look forward to a more normal Summer Reads program in 2022.

If you are participating in the Adult Reading Challenge that runs all year at DPL, you still have four months to finish your chosen level for the year. Don’t forget you are not just trying to read the overall number of books, you have to finish a certain number of tasks that are released on this blog as well as the preprinted clues on the reading log. With the release of this task, you can be finished with the first two levels of the challenge if you have read a book for all 7 tasks so far and have read at least 30 books total.

The task for this month is to read a book with an athlete as the main character. The 2020 Olympics kicked off Friday, July 23rd and will run through Sunday, August 8th in Japan. The governing board of the Olympics added 4 new sports this year and some new disciplines in other sports. The athlete you read about does not have to participate in an Olympic sport, but does have to be recognized as an athlete, not just a business man who plays a round of golf or a game of tennis.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

July's "Cast of Characters" Blog


The month of July means we are midway finished with Summer Reads. If you have not signed up to participate this year, there is still time. Follow the link to learn more about this year’s program.  You can see the virtual programs on our YouTube channel, even if you are not signed up for the program.

It’s not too late to sign up for the 9th Annual Adult Reading Challenge either. The challenge runs through November 30, 2021 and has multiple levels to make it easier for busy adults to participate.  If you are interested in taking the Challenge, you can find more information at or call the Marketing and Outreach office at 256-340-5780.

While browsing the National Day calendar, we found that July 24th this year is National Day of the Cowboy. The fourth Saturday in July is set aside to celebrate hardworking cowboys and cowgirls and the contributions they have made to American culture and heritage. Since the cowboy is an iconic character in literature that did not make it on the reading log, the July task is to read a book with a Cowboy/Cowgirl as the main character.

Happy Reading, Pardners!

Friday, June 4, 2021

June's "Cast of Characters" Blog


At Decatur Public Library we try to stay updated on all national days. It gives us ideas for social media posts, programs and trivia. For instance, today, June 4th is National Donut Day, National Cheese Day, and National Hug Your Cat Day, to name a few. Of course, this meant we ordered donuts. We were also trying to mark items off our to-do list as quickly as possible, because Summer Reads kicked off on Tuesday. While Summer Reads is always a lot of fun; it always puts us behind on the day-to-day tasks of our jobs.

If you haven’t thought about signing up for Summer Reads please go to   to find out about our programs this year. There is a program for everyone in the family, no matter your age or reading ability. So make it a family goal to read more this summer and get everyone to participate.

Most people check this blog to find the monthly tasks for our annual year-long Adult Reading Challenge, and the national day list actually gave us the idea for this month’s task. June 4th is also Old Maid’s Day, established in 1948 to celebrate the contributions of Old Maids to their families and communities. In honor of that, read a book with an Old Maid or spinster character. The definition of an Old Maid, according to The American Heritage College Dictionary, is “A woman who has remained single beyond the conventional age for marrying.” By the way, it also says this is offensive. This is not meant offensively, it is simply a character that appears in many books across genres.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

May “Cast of Characters” Blog

Decatur Public Library is gearing up for our Summer Reads program this summer. The program will run on the READsquared app and offers something for everyone ages 0 to 99+. While our Summer Reads Program events will be virtual, we still want everyone to be able to visit the library safely. For that reason we still have a mask policy in effect.  We are also still offering curbside delivery to those who can’t or prefer not to come into the building. The Kick-off for this year’s Summer Reads: Tales and Tails will be Tuesday, June 1, 2021 with a Drive-Up event on the Cherry Street side of the Library from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Pull through the circle drive to pick up your goodie bags for Babies, Toddlers, and Children up to 12, with all of the information about this year’s program. While there is no goodie bag for teens and adults, there will be staff available to assist with sign-up in the READsquared app and to answer your questions about the Summer Reads program.  We hope to see you there.

The May task for the Adult Reading Challenge is to read a book about a main character that is missing.  This will be about a character that is not physically present but the emphasis of the book is on finding them. They could have voluntarily or involuntarily disappeared.  Regardless of the cause or outcome, the book is centered on them and what caused their disappearance.

Watch your email for upcoming news about the Adult Reading Challenge newsletter and book club.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

April "Cast of Characters" Blog


We are so happy to have been able to take one step toward normal by launching the 9th Annual Adult Reading Challenge. While we were a little later in the year with the launch, we feel it has gotten off to a good start. If you come into the Library to sign up for the Challenge, please remember to wear a mask. While the state and city mask mandates have ended, the Decatur Public Library Board – which governs what happens here in the library – has extended our mask mandate until further notice. For the health and safety of our patrons and staff, we will require a mask to be worn when you are in the library building. We thank you for your cooperation and hope this is only for a little while longer.

For those already signed up we hope you are meeting some great characters. If you are, spread the word about the books you are reading and which clue/task they work for by sending us a book review. You can fill out the book review form by hand and drop it off at our office or go to and click on the Book Club button. This will take you to the page with the online book review form. Fill in the information and click submit to let us know about the books you would like to recommend to your fellow challenge-takers.  We are ready to put out our first newsletter but we need you to send us your reviews to make that happen.

April is National Multiple Birth Awareness Month, so this month’s task is to read a book where the characters are twins, triplets or any other form of multiple birth. The character has to be a human being; animals, aliens, etc. do not work for this task.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

March "Cast of Characters" Blog


The 9th Annual Adult Reading Challenge got started a little later than normal this year, but is now in progress.  If you haven’t taken the Challenge before or just haven’t gotten by the Library to sign up yet this year, please join us as we read and meet a cast of characters. More information about the challenge can be found at .  If you are interested in participating, you can stop by the Marketing and Outreach department, call us at 256-340-5780 or email us at

The March task is to read a book with a main character that is Irish. This can be someone who lives in Ireland or someone who is defined as being Irish while living anywhere else.

Happy Reading!