Monday, October 22, 2018

November Task

It is hard to believe this is the last task for the 6th Annual Adult Reading Challenge. This year has flown by and it is time to wrap up for the year.

In order to qualify for the prize drawings you must meet the following qualifications for one of the levels:

Book Worm: must have read 15 books that represent 15 different letters of the alphabet (must finish 5 of the monthly tasks)

Book Hound: must have read 30 books, must have one from each letter on the log (must finish 6 of the monthly tasks)

Book Dragon: must have read 60 books, must have one from each letter on the log (must finish 8 of the monthly tasks)

If you are not sure if you have qualified for a level, you can bring your reading log by the Marketing and Outreach office anytime we are here and we will check for you.

Reading logs can be turned in any time after Monday, November 5th. Before turning in your log, make sure your full name and library card number are printed on the log. If we are not in the office when you come by, feel free to slide it under the door. The logs will be returned to you at the Christmas Open House on Thursday, December 6th when we award prizes.

The final task for this year is to read a book about or set during the celebration of one of the holidays that are coming up soon. (Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or New Year).

Thank you to each and every person who accepted our challenge and signed up to participate in the 6th annual Adult Reading Challenge this year. We appreciate you taking part in our reading fun for adults and hope you sign up for the 7th Annual Adult Reading Challenge in January of 2019.

Happy Reading!

Monday, October 1, 2018

October Task

The month of October is going to be another month of change at DPL. If you haven’t heard we are switching our operating system from TLC to Koha. Our go-live day is Monday, October 1st, 2018. Decatur Public Library will be closed for staff training that day and will re-open Tuesday, October 2nd at 10:00 am. When patrons will see a brand new “card catalog” and will notice a few new services. We ask you to please be patient with the changes. Just as things will look different to you, they will look completely different to the staff, as well. We will be working out kinks and  getting used to the new features, just like our patrons. While we are sure there will be a few problems, we will work hard to try to make this as painless as possible.

Some of the new perks with Koha will be that you will be able to put items on hold from our online catalog. And not just items that are currently checked out, you will be able to put holds on books and items that show available. If you see an item you want, you click to put it on hold, and once the staff has pulled it and put your name on it, you will receive an email or text that it is ready to pick up.

Another perk is once we get everything up and running, you can recommend purchases online. The best part about this is you will receive either a confirmation the item will be purchased or a message that we will not be able to purchase the item. No more guessing and hoping your recommendation will be seen.

If you are looking for the October task for the Adult Reading Challenge, you are in luck again. We are so busy with the Koha switch we need the task to be an easy one. This month read a book by your favorite male author. This is your treat for this month. Try out the new catalog while looking for a book for this task and remember we are working hard to make your DPL the best we can.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

September Task

The second River City Read hopes to encourage as many people as possible to read Scottsboro Unmasked: Decatur’s Story by Peggy Allen Towns, the facts of the famous trials as told from the perspective of a Decatur native.  This is the first time a book about the Scottsboro Trials deals with the impact on the local people and the town of Decatur. The River City Read begins on September 6th and lasts through November 6th.  During the Read, participants may check out a copy from the library, purchase their own copy, or get one of the “pass-along” books; the last will be available at Decatur Public Library and Morgan County Archives (while supplies last) and are available to take without a library card.  The idea behind giving away these books – purchased with a grant from TVA and Representative Terri Collins – is that once you read it, you give it to someone else, who reads it and passes it on, with the intention of keeping the book moving from reader to reader.  Each book will contain a bookplate with instructions for how to register that you read it.  Registering is optional, but since the Library staff would like to know how many people read the book, all are encouraged to take a moment and fill out the brief survey.  All who participate are invited to take the short survey, which will be available in paper form at the Library or on Decatur Public Library’s website.  It is hoped that people keep reading the book and passing it on throughout the two months of the River City Read.

We will kick-off the River City Read on the September 6th with the Alabama Humanities Road Scholar program “Pen Strokes of Justice: Judge Horton and the Scottsboro Boys”.  The world was captivated in spring of 1933, by the re-trial in Decatur, Alabama of one of nine black teens previously found guilty of raping two white women on a train. From around the world, people wrote to the judge begging for justice, whatever they deemed justice to be. When the trial was over, and Judge James E. Horton Jr. had lost his judicial career over his decision to overturn the jury’s guilty verdict, Horton took the more than 700 letters, telegrams, resolutions, and newspaper clippings he had received and carefully stored them in a tin lard bucket. For this presentation the lid comes off the bucket and the audience will learn more about this case and its continuing effect on civil rights and the justice system today. This fascinating program will be presented by the Limestone County Archivist Rebekah Davis, starting at 6:30 pm at the Decatur Public Library.

You will be able to pick up a “pass-along” copy of the book at the Library after the program (while supplies last) or starting on the 7th at the Morgan County Archives (while supplies last). If you don’t have someone to pass the book to, please return the copy to the Decatur Public Library or the Morgan County Archives so that another person can pick it up to read also.

On October 4th Peggy Allen Towns will host a discussion on Scottsboro Unmasked: Decatur’s Story at 6:30 pm. There will be copies of the book for sale if patrons want to purchase their own autographed copy.

The River City Read is a bicentennial event, endorsed by ALABAMA 200.  ALABAMA 200 supports, creates, and executes events and activities that commemorate the stories of our people, places and path to statehood.  Between 2017 and 2019, ALABAMA 200 will engage residents and visitors in educational programs, community activities, and statewide initiatives that teach, inspire, and entertain.  For more information about additional programs, and partnerships, visit our website

The September task for the Adult Reading Challenge is to read Scottsboro Unmasked: Decatur’s Story by Peggy Allen Towns. You can get credit for this book in two ways: check out the library copy and save your receipt or take one of the “pass along” copies, fill out the paper survey and turn in the survey to StephRhonda.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

August Task

We don’t know about you, but for us this summer has been very busy and hectic. We finished Summer Reading on the 27th of July with a fun movie extravaganza and are now looking forward to August. While we usually take some time to recuperate in August every year, we still have some awesome programs planned. Youth Services has a couple of great programs for the little kids- Cook’s Pest Control will be in the Library on Thursday, August 2nd to tell us all about bugs. They will also be passing out coloring books about the bugs we learn about in the program. On Tuesday, August 7th Laura Vest from Morgan County Commissioner Chairman Ray Long’s Office will host a special Story Time all about transportation. For all ages we have a super fun night planned for Friday, August 3rd because The Al Keith Band will be doing a FREE concert in the Library. Come sing and dance from 6:00 to 8:00 pm with Al and the Band as they play all your favorites from the 1950’s to modern day hits. Then on Thursday, August 9th, Kevin Alspaugh from the US Space and Rocket Center will present a Space Rocks program for all ages at 5:30 pm. We hope you take some time in August to come in and enjoy a program with us.

For those participating in the 6th Annual Adult Reading Challenge, come in the Library and enjoy a good book. Your task for the month of August is to celebrate Book Lovers Day, observed on Thursday, August 9th by reading a book you love. Can be an old favorite you re-read or something new that you love that hasn’t fit into the Challenge yet.

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 2018

The summer is in full swing at Decatur Public Library and we hope you have had a chance to attend one of our many programs, events, or classes. If you haven’t been in yet, we still have plenty of fun coming up in July. We will close at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, July 3rd and re-open on Thursday, July 5th at 10:00 am. We hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July! We have Book Club for the Adult Reading Challenge on Thursday, July 5th from 12:00-2:00 pm and for the kids we have LEGO® Hour at 4:00 pm. On Monday, July 9th Youth Services will host Dr. Brenda Webb from UNA for a program on geology at 10:30 am and there will be a Lunch & Learn program by Shannon Fuller Keith on Early Native American Life in North Alabama from 12:00-2:00 pm in the community room for adults and older teens. That’s just a taste of the great programming available at DPL in July. Drop by and visit, we’re sure to have something to catch your interest.

For those who are looking for the next thing to read for the Adult Reading Challenge, find a book that is part of an on-going series of books about a character you love. This can be any genre so long as it is not catalogued as a juvenile book at DPL.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 18, 2018

June Task

This summer we have a crazy amount of events going on in the library and there is something for everyone.  So if the summer heat is too much, come down to the air-conditioned Library and have fun in the cool and maybe learn something too. For the kids we have a Wild West Show on Tuesday, June 19th at 10:30 am, we have Book Babies on Wednesday, June 20th, at 10:30 am, we have The Science of Sound on Thursday, June 21st, at 2:00 pm, and we have our Family Movie Extravaganza on Friday, June 22nd at 5:30 pm. The movie will be Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and we will have snacks, activities, a photo op with the seven dwarfs and an appearance by special guests Evie and Mal from Descendants (courtesy of Magical Memories, AL).

For adults we have our Lunch and Learn series: on Monday, June 25th Rickey Butch Walker will be here discussing The Bankhead National Forest and Its People, on Wednesday, June 27th Phil Wirey will discuss the Founding Women of Decatur. Both of these should be great programs and we invite you to join us in the Community Room from 12:00 to 2:00 pm for both. On Thursday, June 28th we will host our Local Author Meet & Greet in the seating area from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. You can find more information about the event and the authors at

And finally, for those reading this blog to find out what the June Task is for the Adult Reading Challenge,  the task is to read a book by any author who has done a program or appeared at one of DPL’s Local Author Meet & Greets. If you need help, check the list here.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

May Task

DPL is gearing up for an action packed summer. We hope you have a chance to join us for some of the awesome and FREE programs we are hosting this summer. June will have over 20 programs for children of all ages. Some of the highlights will be wild animals, a rope trick cowboy, hands-on science programs, a fun-filled movie extravaganza, and much more-and that’s just for the kids. There will be free classes for adults in the Training Center, multiple Lunch and Learn programs, and a great Local Author Meet & Greet, so plan to spend part of your summer in the cool at DPL!

We love a chance to talk books and on May 22nd the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is starting an eight-part series on the best loved books in America. They have compiled a list of 100 books from a survey of over 7000 Americans and are on the search for the best loved novel. We felt this was an excellent idea, so the May task is to read one book from the list. You can find the list of books at or pick up a printed copy outside the Marketing and Outreach office. 
Be sure to vote for your favorite on the list.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April Task

This is National Library Week, a time to celebrate all the ways libraries provide for the communities they serve.  DPL works hard to be a community center that provides educational and entertaining resources and programs to all, regardless of age and economic status. If you enjoy and appreciate all of the resources provided by Decatur Public Library, let someone know. You don’t have to tell us; share what you love about the library with someone who does not use us. Tell them why you take advantage of what we offer and let them know that they too are welcome here.

The National Library Week Honorary Chair is Misty Copeland. She was the first African American to be principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. When not dancing, she writes books and donates her time to be a mentor to young boys and girls to empower them to strive hard to attain their goals.

With Misty in mind, the April task for the Adult Reading Challenge is to read a book focusing on a person who uses their status to influence and help others. There are many celebrities-authors, athletes, actors/actresses - who use their fame and fortune to help someone else climb a little higher. The person may be a fictional character, but the story must center on helping others with his/her influence. Read a book about someone using their power to help others, then think about how you can also be a positive force for the people in your life.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

March Task

March is Women’s History Month and we have a wonderful display titled: Historic Women of Decatur and Morgan County. The display comes from The Schaudies-Banks-Ragland Collection and was put together by Frederick D. Kennedy, James L. Nicholas, Jr., and Wylheme Ragland. There are brief bios and photos of the following women: Leila Seton Wilder Edmundson, Cora Breeding Harris, Mae Jemison, Elder Bertha Polk, Daisy Murphy Nolan, Abbie Robinson Schaudies, Eva Adelaide Young Sterrs, and Grace Elvina Hinds Curzon. If you haven’t been in the Library this month to see the display, it’s worth your time to come by and check it out. While you are here we have lots of books by and about other historic women. We hope to see you soon.

This leads us to the March task for the Adult Reading Challenge. In honor of Women’s History Month read a book by your favorite female author. There are many strong female writers and this will be one of the hardest tasks-deciding on just one.

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 26, 2018

February Task

The month of February is usually depicted with a heart or some version of Valentine’s Day. This year the 14th got here too soon for us. We were laid low by the plague and out of work a lot at the beginning of this month. Because of that, Valentine’s Day was officially postponed until we could get around to it. Well, here we are finally getting to that entry on our to-do list. The blog this month was slated to come out before the 14th and be a Valentine for our patrons.

So here it is: a belated Valentine for all our patrons and Friends. We have the best patrons and Friends, and we want you to know we consider it a privilege to serve this community. We strive to provide the best resources and services at all times, and we just want to make sure we tell you how we feel.
Fox, Love, Heart, Balloon, Mother And Child, CuteSo all this sweet talk leads into the February task for A Book Challenge, which is love. Read any book that is about love in any of its many forms. No, you do not have to read a romance; although this is the perfect opportunity for one. You can read any book where the main theme is love, whether it is love for a child, a pet, family, job, etc.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Physical Changes at DPL

The only thing that never changes is that everything changes…a truth that we at DPL embrace!  We’ve changed a lot over the past couple of years and there may be more coming, but it’s all in an effort to better serve our patrons.  We are always looking for ways to improve. 

The Library building belongs to the city of Decatur and we must get written permission before making any changes to that building.  Recently, we asked the City Council for their consent to make a few changes to our building.  These ideas involve opening up our 6th Avenue entrance by removing the brick wall; moving our historical and genealogical collections from the Alabama Room downstairs to the main level so they are easier to get to for our patrons; and  replacing or repurposing our outdated and damaged display cases. As the City Council approved these ideas, we can now move forward with exploring our options to find the best way to handle each of these projects.

None of these changes have been decided on, nor are they in progress.  Decatur Public Library strives to provide the best service possible for all of our patrons. The proposed changes are being considered because we feel they will make the library easier on our patrons and more inviting.  If you have any questions, please feel free to speak with the Marketing & Outreach department. 

Thanks so much!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

January Task

Decatur Public Library has started 2018 with some major changes. We lost employees and changed the hours we are open, causing us to enact further changes in the way we serve our patrons. Where before there was a circulation and a reference/information desk, there is now just one Public Service Desk. All patron interactions are handled from the one place, allowing us to provide better service with fewer employees. We are cross-training all employees and appreciate the public’s patience as we all adapt to the new way of doing things.

One thing that did not change is the year-long Annual Adult Reading Challenge. Despite bad weather we kicked off the 6th annual challenge on Friday, January 12th. A Book Challenge, as we are calling it this year, is based on the alphabet. If you haven’t signed up yet, please come by the Marketing and Outreach Office and we will be happy to get you started. There will be one task each month released sometime during the month on this blog. The January task is Change.  Read a book that is about a major change in the characters’ lives. Change effects all of us, whether it is a divorce, the birth of a child, the death of a parent, or the loss of a job. So come by the library and see the changes we’ve made, and sign up for the Adult Reading Challenge while you’re here.
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

If you love someone, give them a book...

It’s that time of year again…February 14th looms closer.  Most people associate this date with Valentine’s Day, a time for hearts, Cupid, cards and demonstrations of love; all of which is a big part of the day.  But did you know there’s another holiday held on February 14th?  It’s also International Book Giving Day!

International Book Giving Day aims to insure that books are put into the hands of children, towards the goal of encouraging access to and enthusiasm for books among all children.   According to the website,, it’s easy to celebrate this holiday. 

Three simple ways to celebrate International Book Giving Day, February 14, 2018:

1.      Give a Book to a Friend or Relative.  Celebrate International Book Giving Day by giving a child a new, used or borrowed book.

2.      Leave a Book in a Waiting Room or Lobby. Choose a waiting room where kids are stuck waiting and there are few to no good books available. Purchase a good book, and deposit your book covertly or overtly in your waiting room of choice. The goal here is to spread the love of reading to kids, so choose a fun book, nothing controversial.

3.      Donate a Book.  Wrap up a box of children’s books that your kids have outgrown and get them in the hands of children who could really use a book or two. Donate your books to your local second hand store, library, children’s hospital, or shelter.

We think these are great ways to celebrate!   We also want to remind you about our Friends Used Book Sale Room which can help with all three of the above.   We have a huge and ever-changing selection of books available for purchase (works for #1, #2, or both) and we accept donations anytime the library is open; you can even get a receipt for your taxes! 

We hope you’ll take the opportunity to give someone a book on International Book Giving Day.  And while the purpose is to give books to children (which we wholeheartedly encourage) we also recommend giving books to adults!