Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November Task

It’s hard to believe, the end of the 2019 Adult Reading Challenge is looming in less than a month’s time. This blog will have the last task for the year, but first let’s go over some details.

Monday, December 2nd is the last day to turn in your reading logs.  You have until the Library closes at 7 pm to turn your reading logs into the Marketing and Outreach office. All entries must be in ink and legible to be eligible for the drawings for prizes. You must have read 15 books and completed 5 monthly tasks to qualify for the Attorney General level. You must have read 30 books and completed 7 monthly tasks to qualify for the Lt. Governor level. The level of Governor requires 60 books and 9 of the monthly tasks.

Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the December Book Club at 4 pm on Thursday, December 5th.  You can turn your reading logs in anytime starting today. If we are not in our office, you can slide your reading log under the door of the Marketing and Outreach office. If you have questions about any of the titles on your log, please make sure a phone number is written on the log for us to contact you.

The final task for this year is Christmas. Any book that is set at Christmas will work for this task. Alabama was the first state in the Union to declare Christmas a legal holiday, all the way back in 1836. The federal government waited until 1870 to declare December 25th a public holiday.

Thank you to everyone who signed up and participated in the 7th annual Adult Reading Challenge-Bama Fact & Fiction this year. We hope you enjoyed the challenge and the books you read to complete each task. We also hope you learned something new about the 22nd state of the United States as we celebrated the Bicentennial of our home.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

October Task

You can’t tell it from the weather, but it is officially fall. This is a favorite time of the year due to the scary stories, cooler weather, beautifully colored leaves, and a holiday where you get free candy. While the weather is not cooler and drought may mean less than impressive fall colors this year, there will be scary stories and free Halloween candy at your Decatur Public Library.  DPL is kicking off the inaugural year of the Halloween Gothic Gala and we have something planned for everyone. Kids of all ages can trick-or-treat from 12-5 pm at the Public Services Desk, Youth Services, and any of the offices that have a trick-or-treat sign outside the door. In addition to candy there will be a “Reading Raven” scavenger hunt, puzzles of all kinds, card games, a Gothic coloring banner, a kids fishing game, assorted crafts for kids and adults, themed trivia (starting at 3 pm in the Training Center) and a Gothic photo opportunity. At 5 pm, award-winning author Betty Bolte will be here to discuss writing Gothic fiction. At 5:30 pm the “Fiends” of the Library will set up a refreshment and spooky treats spread on the plug-in bar. At 6 pm there will be a costume contest for all ages. The finale will be at 7 pm when Mr. Rufus Wilmot Griswold (nemesis of Edgar Allan Poe, portrayed by Joshua Dickson) will present the winning story in each age category from DPL’s Story Contest. Make plans to be at DPL for a load of scary fun on Thursday, October 31st!

To get you in the mood for a Halloween party, the task this month is to read a book that is about or set around Halloween.

Scary Reading!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

September Task

Since 1987, September has been Library Card Sign-Up month. In the past, DPL was hampered by the software we use when it came time to celebrate this event. We could only issue cards from inside the building, and most people coming into the Library already had a card or were entering the building to get one. We needed to be able to go out of the building, ask people “Do you have a Decatur Public Library card?”, and if they said no, sign them up and get one in their hands right then. Finally, we have that ability! So don’t be surprised if you see the Marketing and Outreach department in the community in September signing people up for the best card to carry in your wallet. As a matter of fact, check our Facebook page to find out where we are and come by and say hello. If you don’t have a DPL card, we would love to issue you one of your own. We will even show you how to access all of the online resources and digital goodies you are entitled to for FREE with a Decatur Public Library card.

The September task for the Adult Reading Challenge is to read a book with a Psychic as one of the characters. Alabama has hosted several famous psychics. The most famous being Edgar Cayce who lived in Selma for 12 years before moving to Virginia Beach to found the Association for Research and Enlightenment. Rena Teel was known as the ‘Seer of Millerville’ and read the grounds left in coffee cups. “The Sleeping Preacher of North Alabama”, Constantine Sanders of Limestone County, went into trances and made predictions about the future. Finally, we learned a lot about Miss Daisy Nolan, Decatur’s own psychic, this year in a DPL summer series program.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

August Task

This August, Decatur Public Library has programs for the adults while the kids go back to school. We have the Al Keith Band scheduled for Friday, August 9th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. While dancing is not required, it is encouraged when Al plays. Come out and enjoy a fun-filled night of music at the Library!

The DPL Summer Series will present 5 more adult programs this month. Learn about the Tennessee River, Andrew Jackson, James Longstreet, John Dersham’s My Alabama, and watch a movie and participate in a panel discussion about travel for Blacks in the Jim Crow south. If any of this sounds like something you would enjoy, please check here for more information on these programs. All programs are free to the public and we invite you come out and learn with us.

If you are looking for the August task for the Adult Reading Challenge, you are in the right place. The task this month is to read a book set in prison. Being in prison is definitely the wrong place to find yourself, especially in the state of Alabama. The prison system in our state is one of the most dangerous and overcrowded in the United States. The U. S. Department of Justice has warned that changes have to be made or Alabama will face a federal lawsuit, with the potential for the state’s prison system to be put in the hands of a judge. Unfortunately, this is one of the things Alabama is known for that needs to be addressed and changed.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

July Task

The month of July in the Library world means that Summer Reading is half over. To the rest of this country it means fireworks, grilling, celebrating Independence, and hot weather. Whatever this month means for you, think about spending part of it in the air conditioned library or at one of the events out in the community we will be attending.  There will be programs for kids to learn about Alabama scientists, civil rights, Native Americans, Outer Space, and wild animals. For adults we will have a book club meeting, a program on the Apollo Space Program, and the Friends Luncheon (tickets on sale now).

We hope you can join us for one of the programs or just come out and support the library at the Summer Showcase at the Decatur Mall on Thursday, July 18th from 2:00 to 5:00 pm or at 3rd Friday downtown in Casa Grande Park on Friday, July 19th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

For the Adult Reading Challenge the task this month is Freedom. Celebrate your freedom to read. This task is open to any book you choose to read. If you have a book you wanted to use on the challenge but couldn’t make it fit anywhere or there is a book you want to read but haven’t because you didn’t know if it would fill a task- here it is.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 17, 2019

June Task

As most of you know, 2019 is the 200th anniversary for the state of Alabama. We are promoting this fact for adults through programming such as the Adult Reading Challenge and the DPL Summer Series, and for children through the Summer Reading Program. We are also using our social media to highlight events in the community and fun places to visit in our state.  Don’t forget when you are in the Library to go by the Youth Services desk and vote in the Alabama Madness contest on the bulletin board to the right as you enter the Youth Services department.

We also have a display about Alabama Trails in the display case on the Cherry Street side of the Main area. We started the display to promote the Alabama Literary Trail, books and authors being near and dear to our hearts, but found there are a lot of types of trails in Alabama. When we started looking at the Literary Map of Alabama, we found some of our favorite Alabama authors were not represented. You will find some local favorites were added.  So check out the display and see if you think we should add anyone else.

There is also an Alabama Literary Quiz you can take. The questions are posted on top of the display case, as well as the answer sheets and the box in which to drop them. If you get all 16 questions correct you will be entered in a drawing to win a DPL swag bag with a $5.00 gift card for the Friends Used Book Sale Room!  Here’s a hint: all of the answers for the questions can be found in the display.

The June task for the Adult Reading Challenge it is to read one of the authors who was here for the Readers and Writers Jubilee on June 8th. The list of eligible authors:  Linda Howard, Linda Winstead Jones, Bambi Lynn, Betty Bolte, Bonnie Gardner, Carolyn Price, John Davis, TJ Penn, Carla Swafford, Kay Cagle, Greg Richter, Nancee Cain, Gayle Young, Laura Hunter, Marilyn Baxter, Peggy Towns, Wheeler Pounds, MJ Bosher, Cindy Shaneyfelt, Alicia Hunter Pace, and Leslie Scott.

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 6, 2019

May Task

While most people think of the summer as a great time to take a break and schedule a vacation, at the Library we are gearing up for our busiest time. We jam as much fun and reading into June and July as we possibly can to help your children avoid the summer slide. So don’t forget when you make plans to keep your school-age kids busy, we have FREE programs that will keep them engaged. We have 18 events ranging from wildlife, frontier skills, story times, characters from favorite movies, hands on building fun, book clubs, movie extravaganzas, fossils and much more. And that is just in the month of June. Kids who sign up for summer reading and turn in reading logs can qualify for incentive parties and prizes.

We will also have programs and activities for teens and adults. From the Readers and Writers Jubilee on June 8th and a program on Indian henna, to the history of Morgan County courthouses, and the life of Ms. Daisy Nolan, our summer programs will cover all kinds of topics and interests.

If you want more solitary entertainment, try out our new electronic resource hoopla. Now you can download eBooks, eAudioBooks, comics, music, movies and television shows with your DPL card.

If you are taking the Adult Reading Challenge this year, the task for May is an island. Read a book that uses an island for the setting. If you get a chance to go to the Gulf this summer, check out all of the cool things to do on Dauphin Island, the barrier island that is part of the state of Alabama.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

April Task

In April, DPL has a few book based activities for your enjoyment.

If you enjoy eBooks try the Big Library Read (going on April 1st-15th), through Overdrive. Read Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung. As part of the Big Library Read, you can join an online discussion of the book, listen to author interviews and enter for a chance to win a Kobu Aura H2O from Overdrive. Over 19,000 libraries around the world are participating in this digital book club. And yes, the book does count for the immigrant/refugee task for the Adult Reading Challenge.

If you are in the mood to be crafty with books, mark your calendar for April 11th and 18th, when our resident artist Librarian Heather will be teaching a book folding craft class. In the April 11th class you will create a decorative vase shape by folding pages in a book. In the April 18th class you will use pages from recycled books to make flowers and leaves to adorn the vase you created the week earlier. Free and open to all patrons aged 12 and up, you must take the part one to participate in part two.

On April 26th author Daniel Wallace will receive the 2019 Harper Lee Award given by the Alabama Writers Symposium.  The award is given to “a living, nationally recognized Alabama writer who has made a significant contribution to Alabama letters.” Wallace has written 6 novels, with Big Fish being his best known. Join us at DPL on the 26th to watch the movie of his best known novel at 6pm. Free movie night is for patrons 16+ and the doors open at 5:30 pm.

While we are talking about Alabama paying homage to great writing, did you know the state is home to one of the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the world? The Alabama Shakespeare Festival is in Montgomery and typically does three plays by Shakespeare; the other works usually focus on the Southern experience. To celebrate Shakespeare’s 455th birthday on April 23rd, the task for April is to read a play or book of sonnets by William Shakespeare.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

March Task

March in Alabama is always an adventure weather wise. One day it may be warm, with blue skies and beautiful budding and greening all around and the next day may bring an ice storm. You never know what you might wake up to.

Here at Decatur Public Library, regardless of the weather we have lots of entertainment and fun planned for the month. If you are a fan of live music, the Vulcan Eejits will be performing Thursday, March 14th at 6:30 pm. The concert is free and everyone is welcome to attend. If it’s not raining on the 18th of the month we will be celebrating Spring Break at A. C. Banks Park from 10:00 am until 12:30 pm with story time, a visit with Rapunzel, free books, snacks and more.  Finally on Friday, the 22nd of the month we will be showing an Alabama themed movie for patrons 16 and older. The movie and the popcorn is free, doors open at 5:30 pm, and the movie starts at 6 pm. We hope you can join us for one or more of these free events this month.

In 1987, March was designated as National Women’s History Month. It is meant to celebrate women and the ways they make the world a better place for all.  When we started looking at the history of women in Alabama we found many that have done just that; made the world a better place for everyone, not just other women. Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Condoleeza Rice, Lilly Ledbetter, Coretta Scott King and many more women from Alabama serve as role models for people regardless of sex, race or religion. To learn more about these and other outstanding Alabama women try these links: https://styleblueprint.com/birmingham/everyday/remarkable-alabama-women/ or http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/s-129.

The other thing we found when researching women from Alabama history was another kind of woman. These women were not the type of person to model your behavior on. They were known as black widows. They married and killed multiple partners and even other family members. Most of them used poison and watched their victims die slow and painful deaths. Five of the most shocking can be found on this list https://www.al.com/living/2016/04/5_infamous_alabama_females_who.html

Which leads to the task this month for the Adult Reading Challenge, read a book about a female serial killer. Since this year's Reading Challenge already includes lots of upstanding women, this month's clue requires you to read about a more sinister and notorious type of woman.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Black History Month Reading List

February has gotten away from us, but we still want to post a reading list for Black History Month.  Since it will not be possible to read all of these in what remains of this month, we remind you that the contributions of Black people (African-Americans and Blacks from all over the world) to science, culture, history and math can be celebrated year-round, not just confined to a celebration month.
We’ve had a Black Fiction brochure for several years now, but we’ve stopped updating it because it has become impossible to fit all the authors in a brochure format…and that’s just the fiction writers!  With the conversion to our new catalog system, we are working on a way to do author lists within the catalog.  Currently we can only list by book title, which is how our Black History Reading List is laid out.   

Fiction is definitely included in our Black History Month Reading List because stories can capture truth, but non-fiction and biography are also important.  We’ve put together our reading list from several sources.  We started with several internet lists and added some titles of our own.   These lists contain fiction and non-fiction, scholarly and easy reads, and books for all ages.  Some of the books on these lists didn’t make ours because they are not in our collection; if you see something you’d like to read or that you think we should have, let us know!   

We hope you will find at least one book from our list that makes its way to your list.    

CLICK HERE to check out our recommendations.   

Some of the lists we consulted are linked below.  Happy reading!

Monday, February 4, 2019

February Task

This year the Adult Reading Challenge is Bama: fact & fiction. While reading for the challenge we will be celebrating our state and learning about people, places and matters that make Alabama famous and notorious.

One of Alabama’s nicknames is Heart of Dixie and since this is the month to celebrate love we wanted to point out some of the things Alabama has in connection to the heart.
Did you know the first American physician to perform a successful surgical repair on a wounded heart was from the state of Alabama? Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill Jr. was from Montgomery and in 1902 he successfully operated on the heart of Henry Myrick. For more information about this visit http://alabama200.org/discover/alabama-legacy-moments/ .

Another tie to the heart for Alabama is the fact that heart disease is the single leading cause of death in the state. Data from 2013 showed that the national rate of death was 18.98%, while in Alabama the rate was 25.78%. For more information on this disease try this link https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/cardio/index.html.

The saying “I heart you/dogs/cupcakes/etc. means you love or really like something.  Here at DPL we heart all things bookish and reading. For this month’s task read a book about something you heart.

Happy Reading!

Monday, January 14, 2019

2019 Adult Reading Challenge

Please join us Friday to discover the theme for the 2019 Adult Reading Challenge!