Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Library cozies up in the month of January!

Decatur Public Library has a long history with quilts.  This past October we held our 34th annual quilt show, continuing the tradition of “decking our halls” with cozy, quilted art.   Beginning on January 2nd we will take our love of quilts to another level: a show AND SALE!

Ordinarily our quilt shows are just that: displays of quilts submitted by numerous artists.  The first ever Quilt Show & Sale will be different in a couple of ways.  For this show, all quilts have been crafted by one artist, Annette Byrd, who will be offering the quilts for sale.  This time, if you see a quilt you love you will have the opportunity to purchase it! 

Annette has been quilting for over forty years, resulting in an abundance of exquisitely crafted works of fabric art.  She has displayed her quilts in our October shows and in other quilt shows across the country, and has won awards.  One of Annette’s quilts is even in the permanent collection of the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville!

Since she was a librarian at the William Bradford Huie Library in Hartselle for many years, Annette has a lifelong devotion to libraries.  We also consider her part of our library family, since she worked at the Hartselle Library when it was a part of the Wheeler Basin Regional Library system.  In addition to showing her quilts and offering them for sale, Annette will donate 10% of the proceeds from the sale to Decatur Public Library.

We hope you will stop by during the month of January to see the amazing quilts.  We combed Annette’s quilt inventory to find a selection of different styles, sizes and techniques to display.  We think you’ll be enchanted by the fabrics, colors and artistry of Annette’s work!  


Detail of "Monet's Garden"

Detail of "Baltimore-South"

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Caught Reading During Banned Books Week

Awww, I should have put some bunny ears on....

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


THE QUILTS  for this year's annual show are going up today and will be on display in the library throughout the month of October!  We are proudly showing off the work of many talented local quiltmakers!

After enjoying the quilt exhibit, be sure to check out our NONFICTION books about quilting (Dewey Number 746.46) or go upstairs to the FICTION section to find some of the Elm Creek Quilts series of novels by Jennifer Chaiverini.

I have sewn a few quilts over the years, but have yet to finish one to display in the library's show. For instance, the star block here is from a baby quilt  I was designing for my grandson Desmond; I started it before he was born, and he is 3 years old now, and the quilt is still in pieces!   The photo to the left is a project I have been working on the past few months, and no it isn't done yet either!

I do have an antique (circa 1890's) velvet crazy quilt top in the library display cases (along with other vintage quilts).  I purchased the quilt from an antique shop in the late 1990's-- with the intention to embroider the top and finish the quilt, which is yet another unfinished project!  I took the quilt top to be appraised at Antiques Roadshow last year in Knoxville, TN; they verified the date but my pretty quilt isn't worth much more than the 100$ I paid for it. Still, as I said,  it is a pretty thing.

 Despite all my own procrastination and lack of productivity, I do  love having the quilt show in the library. I am always so impressed and inspired by the creativity of our local artists! It makes the library all that more inviting and colorful and cozy.

And, all these quilts do make me quite nostalgic-- for NAPTIME!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Favorite Banned Book in Alabama

MY favorite "banned book" is the children's picture book THE RABBITS' WEDDING, written and illustrated by Garth Williams. (He also, notably, illustrated  two other of my childhood favorites, STUART LITTLE and CHARLOTTE"S WEB.) 

Illustration from The Rabbits'Wedding by Garth Williams
In our library collection at E WILLIAMS

WHY was this book BANNED?

Montgomery Home News, Feb 1959

TIME June 1, 1959

This book about civil rights can be found in out Alabama Room Collection at ALA 027.4761 GRA.
It contains a chapter on  "Librarians and the Civil Right Movement, 1955-1965" with a significant portion devoted to Emily Wheelock Reed and the Rabbits' Wedding Controversy.

Link to Los Angeles Times Obituary for Emily Wheelock Reed: 

There is even a stage play, called ALABAMA STORY, about the controversy over the book.
Synopsis: Recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, Alabama Story tells the story of state librarian Emily Wheelock Reed, who orders a seemingly innocuous children's book called The Rabbits Wedding and ignites a state senator's segregationist ire in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama. A finalist for the 2014 National Playwrights' Conference, Alabama Story is a gentle fact-based drama that unfolds at a pivotal time in American history.

includes a 25 pg except of the playscript.

Thursday, September 11, 2014



This will be a day to celebrate and raise awareness for reading on digital devices. Readers around the world are encouraged to take part in the largest digital reading event by choosing from millions of free eBooks from their local library or purchasing an eBook from a retailer online.

Throughout the day on September 18, OverDrive will be celebrating the holiday by giving away tablets and devices every hour on www.readanebookday.com and through social media to readers who tell their story of what eBooks mean to them. Readers can use the hashtag #eBookDay on Facebook or Twitter to tell their story, or comment directly at http://readanebookday.com/


If you are new to eBooks, be sure check out http://help.overdrive.com/ and learn about borrowing, downloading and syncing eBooks. You can also access information via the EBOOKS tab and links on our library homepage.

To make your digital reading even more convenient, OverDrive will be releasing a NEW APP for Android, iOS, and Windows  (to be released Sept. 15, 2014)! The new version will make setting up your device even easier and no longer require authorization from Adobe. Another feature of the new app will allow Epub formatted books to be returned early before their due date.

This is all good news for tech savvy patrons who want to get the most from all the digital resources DPL has to offer.

 Now, for your amusement...CONFESSIONS OF A LOW-TECH LUDDITE:
I'm an old school kind of gal when it comes to reading; I like hard copy, “real” books.  I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the eBook revolution, and mostly because my job in the library required me to become familiar with the evolving technology. It's thanks to our patrons, I've been introduced to the wild world of of eBook downloads and apps for Kindle, Nook, and Android.

I finally gave in and purchased a NOOK e-reader for myself about a year ago. I've read maybe a dozen eBooks since then. Of that number, I checked out most of them via our digital collection in CameliiaNet, and bought a couple others online from Barnes & Noble. (Just so,you know where my loyalties still lie, In comparison, I've read over 100 print books during the same time frame.)

However, giving credit where it is due, there are some positive things I have to say about my limited eBook experience:

--The first eBook I purchased to read was a 1500 page biography, and I readily admit it was so much easier to handle my Nook and not have to tote a physical book of that size around with me.
--During my lunch break from the library, I often like to go walk at Delano Park. I have on occasion used my Nook to multi-task and read while I walk. The e-reader is less cumbersome than holding and flipping pages in a print book would be during exercise. (and since Delano offers a mile path to circle around on, I'm not too much of a danger to myself or others while reading on the move.)
--There are some books available in our library catalog which we have available ONLY in eBook format; so this is the only way to read them and not miss out.
--I do like the GloLight feature on my Nook; it makes reading in the dark or dim light possible.
--I’ve worn glasses since a very early age, and my eyes aren’t getting any better as I get older. I've noticed that sometimes font size or style in print will give me issues with readability. My e-reader has the capability to easily enlarge the print, and without the added bulk of a hard copy Large Print volume.

Even an old print diehard like me can see that there are positive aspects and advantages to digital!

So, celebrate  International Read An eBook Day on Sept. 18th!!! I'll even fire up my Nook and join you.  But please come to the library any day and check out what’s in the stacks as well.  :)

Friday, September 5, 2014



I'm thinking the above should be my new profile pic, at least for September to promote....

OUTSIDE THE LINES is a weeklong celebration 

Sept. 14-20, 2014 

 to reconnect you with the creativity, technology, discovery, 

and all the fun and unexpected experiences 

happening in libraries today.

Btw, yours truly is facilitating the craft sessions for Ribbonwork Flowers and Origami Cranes! I'll provide more information about these workshops soon. :)


Although I write here about library topics which interest me and often from a somewhat personal point of view, this is not simply “MY” blog.

Neither is it totally accurate to say "it's the Decatur Public Library's blog".  (Actually, the library staff produce two blogs; this one and one from the Children's Department.) This is a blog by and about the library, and is part of of our social media outreach, but...

 It really belongs to YOU.  Together, we are all “River City Readers”.

I read recently that a successful blog should be updated at least 2-3 times per week, and that it doesn't reach "critical mass" until about 50 entries have been posted. At that point, the blogger is in the groove of writing, and  there is enough steady content to make a discernible online presence to potential readers.

I'm going to make that commitment, to do my part, to step it up and post enough to reach that positive tipping point.

One of the characteristic aims of a blog is to create an online community around content (in this case the library and all the cool stuff we offer), and comments help make that happen by providing the opportunity to turn an exchange of information into a conversation.

So, let's start talking! I need your help. What would River City Readers like to see and read here? What information do you need or want? What interests you?

Here are some ideas for what this blog's offerings could include:

Lists of  recent additions to library collection.

Notices of upcoming library events.

Book reviews.

Read-A-Like lists.

Online book club.

Showcase DPL’s services and  update resources.

Online Suggestion Box and Feedback.

Educational pieces about library related topics.

Slice of library life essays.

Web Links.

Photographs and images.

So, what can I do for you? And, remember, COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I am employed here at Decatur Public Library as a Reference Assistant. Part of my job is writing this River City Readers blog. I love to read books, especially Science Fiction. I am left-handed and am an identical twin. I have a lot of tattoos. Halloween is my favorite holiday. Sloths are my favorite animal. Walking and running are the types of exercise I enjoy most. I eat a mainly vegetarian diet but also like to bake fancy cakes. I also spend a lot of time here in Alabama happily sewing and doing crafts.

Instead of using words, if I were to describe myself using the Dewey Decimal System (and books available in our library’s nonfiction collection) I would be:

025.52 MAN
028.9019 NEL
J 152.3 LIN
303.48 ROS
391.65 GIL
394.2646 SKA
J 599.313 GUI
641.5 SRO
641.865 NIL
796.42 MCD
746.44 CHA
809.3876 LEG

Who are you? Come find yourself at Decatur Public Library!

Books Referenced:
The truth about reference librarians / by Will Manley. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c1996.
025.52 MAN
Lost in a book : the psychology of reading for pleasure / Victor Nell.New Haven : Yale University Press, c1988.
028.9019 NEL
The language of the night : essays on fantasy and science fiction / by Ursula K. Le Guin ; edited and with introductions by Susan Wood. New York : Putnam, c1979.
809.3876 LEG
Tattoo history : a source book / by Steve Gilbert. New York : Juno Books, 2000.
391.65 GIL
Death makes a holiday : a cultural history of Halloween / David J. Skal. New York : Bloomsbury, 2002.
394.2646 SKA
Born to run : a hidden tribe, superathletes, and the greatest race the world has never seen / Christopher McDougall. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
796.42 MCD
Sloths = Perezosos / by Julie Guidone.Pleasantville, NY : Weekly Reader, 2009.
J 599.313 GUI
Forks over knives : the cookbook : over 300 recipes for plant-based eating all through the year / Del Sroufe ; with desserts by Isa Chandra Moskowitz ; and with recipe contributions by Julieanna Hever, Judy Micklewright, and Darshana ThackerNew York : The Experiment, 2012.
641.5 SRO
Complete cake decorating : techniques, basic recipes and beuatiful cake projects for all occasions / Angela Nilsen & Sarah Maxwell. New York : Lorenz Books, 2002.
641.865 NIL
Say everything : how blogging began, what it's becoming, and why it matters / Scott Rosenberg. New York : Crown, c2009.
303.48 ROS
Alabama stitch book : projects and stories celebrating hand-sewing, quilting, and embroidery for contemporary sustainable style / Natalie Chanin with Stacie Stukin ; photography by Robert Rausch New York : Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008.
746.44 CHA
The left-handed book / by Rae Lindsay. New York : F. Watts, 1980.
J 152.3 LIN 76-87180
Double take : the story of twins / Dainel Jussim. New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 2001
J 306.875 JUS