Thursday, December 17, 2020

8th Annual Adult Reading Challenge Wrap-Up


Thank you to everyone who signed up for Notes on Reading Challenge this  year. Check back in January for the kick-off date for the 9th Annual Adult Reading Challenge!
Until then have a happy and safe holiday! The holiday hours for DPL are below.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

November "Notes on Reading" Blog


When we kicked off the 8th Annual Adult Reading Challenge on January 17th, we had no idea that 2020 would be a pandemic year with quarantines, stay-at-home orders, library closures and no book club meetings. So if you have stuck with us for the 8th Annual Adult Reading Challenge, we applaud your perseverance!

This is the last task of the year and will finish the Notes on Reading Challenge. We wanted this to be a treat not a trick so are releasing this task earlier than usual. The last task is to read a book where the title of the book is also the title of a song. The titles have to match the song title exactly. The exception is if it is a Non-Fiction title, the words before the colon must match exactly, and what comes after the colon does not matter. You can find a list of eligible books in the DPL catalog labeled “November Task for 2020 ARC”.  We have also printed the list and put a copy in the notebook outside our office door. These lists are suggestions to help you, but are not the only books that will work. You may find books we did not list. When you fill in the November task on your reading log please list book title, author and the singer or group who recorded the song.

Since this is the last task, as you finish the challenge you may turn in your reading logs. The last day to turn them in is Thursday, December 3, 2020. This is a different date than what is listed on the brochure you received when you signed up for the challenge, but a lot has changed this year! The winners will be announced on this blog and our website on Thursday, December 10, 2020.

You may drop off reading logs to the Marketing and Outreach office (now located across from Youth Services department) anytime the library is open.  If we are not in our office, please make sure your name and the phone number where we can contact you is written on the front of your reading log then slide it under the door. We will contact the winners by phone and post the list for everyone to see.

Thank you for playing along this year, we hope you read some great books and will sign up for the 2021 Challenge in January.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

October "Notes on Reading" Blog


Starting this Saturday, (October 3rd) DPL will be open from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm. On this first Saturday we are open since March, the Friends of the Library will be hosting a Book Donation Drive from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. If you have books, magazines, or media materials you have been wanting to donate to the library, drive through the circular drive on Cherry Street to drop off your donation. Friends members will be on hand to unload your donations, so you won’t even have to get out of your vehicle. All proceeds will benefit the Decatur Public Library.

October also brings the 39th Annual Quilt Show, so be sure to come into the Library and see it. There are 32 quilts hanging in the library now through October 30th. There are voting slips on the table beside the New Arrivals bookshelf, so vote for your favorite quilt before we close on Wednesday, October 21st. Ribbons will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for Viewer’s Choice and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the pictorial category; ribbons for both categories will be posted on Thursday, October 22nd.

This year has been a crash course in strange and different. If you had told us last year that 2020 was going to be a year of quarantine, stay-at-home orders, and mandatory face masks in public, we would not have believed you. At the end of 2019, that scenario would have sounded like something out of Hollywood. Cue the opening music, because 2020 has one more moviesque moment for us. Remember Footloose?   A real life town in Missouri has banned dancing. This inspired the October task-read a book where dancing is part of the story.

We hope you are still reading and working on the Adult Reading Challenge. If you’re finished and ready to turn in your reading log, you can drop it off in the Marketing and Outreach office now through Monday, November 30th.


Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

September "Notes on Reading" Blog


We have been really depressed about the lack of programs to push in the blog each month of this never-ending, pandemic-ridden year. However, good news - finally! Decatur Public Library will be hosting the 39th annual Quilt Show this year in October. You can call the Marketing and Outreach office at 256-340-5780 to reserve a space (limit 2 quilts per person) and you must have the quilts turned in to us by Wednesday, September 23rd by 3:00 pm.  They will be on display October 1st through October 30th.  Voting for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place “Viewer’s Choice” ribbons will be open October 1st through October 21st.  Be sure to come in and vote for your favorite!

As this is being written, we still have no word on when we might plan for a Book Club Meeting. We are not giving up, though. We are hopeful we can start planning small programs sometime this fall. If limited attendance is a condition of  hosting Book Club, we might have to schedule a couple of meetings with limited registration for each one. We would of course take notes on all books discussed and post the information in the Adult Reading Challenge binder outside our office to keep everyone up to date. 

For the September task for the Adult Reading Challenge, read a book that has the word “Music” in the title. The book does not have to be about music, just has to have the word "music" in the title. There are several in the physical collection, and CamelliaNet, and hoopla both have titles that will work as well.

We miss all of you!

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

August "Notes on Reading" Blog

Can you believe it’s August already??!! This year has somehow managed to move along at both an agonizingly slow and a ridiculously fast pace.  This Thursday (August 6th) would have been our August Book Club meeting.  While we are sad this cannot happen due to COVID-19 restrictions, we plan to send out the first ARC Newsletter via email to all participants of this year’s Adult Reading Challenge by end of day on Thursday.  

Unfortunately, a lot of people did not give us an email address when they signed up, so if you do not get the e-newsletter in your inbox, then we do not have an email address for you.  You can email to request your copy of the e-newsletter and we will add your email address to our 2020 Adult Reading Challenge participant list.  We will also have a printed copy of the newsletter in the book outside our office if you prefer to look at it that way.

When we requested books you have read for the challenge to share with others in the newsletter, two of you sent us the same video of the Rock Bottom Remainders. We have shared it on our Facebook page, but if you didn’t see it click here.

Which brings us to this month’s task for the Adult Reading Challenge:  Read a book by one of the members of the Rock Bottom Remainders. Please verify the author you choose to read is listed on the website or Facebook page for the band.  Please note that the band members have changed through the years, but if they are listed as band members on the above links then you can count them.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

July "Notes on Reading" Blog

We have had a lot of questions this past month about when the ARC Book Club will meet again. We wish we could say tomorrow at our normal (pre Covid-19) time. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen. We have no idea when we will be able to schedule a program in the Library due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, we are going to put out a Book Club Newsletter and we need your help. Many of you have come by our office to let us know you are still reading and to ask about meetings. Now we need you to come by and let us know what you have read, what clues and tasks the books counted for on the challenge, and did you enjoy the book enough to recommend it to someone else. We will compile this information (along with other information about the Challenge) and then send it out to the people who are signed up for the challenge that regularly attend the book club.

This leads to the discussion of when is the best time to come to our office. In the month of July we will be doing some regular outreach with our friends at Decatur Youth Services. This month the best day to drop in will be Friday.  Call us at 256-340-5780 the day before to set up a time to make sure we will be available. You can also just give us the information over the phone! We look forward to talking to each of you.

This leads to the task for the month of July. We felt March was a bad time for this task (and now may not be a better time) but it feels relevant to us. Read a book where the world is changed by a major catastrophe. It could be a virus, a solar storm (shout out to Linda Howard/Linda Winstead Jones), or any other major natural disaster that affects events worldwide.  

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

June "Notes on Reading" Blog

In the same way that everyday life has changed to accommodate new safety precautions against the spread of Coronavirus, so too has our approach to summer reading. This year our program is called Summer Reads and it has a category for every age from 0 to 99+. It is mostly virtual and we are using READsquared to manage reading logs and activities toward completing the program. Go to to sign up and get started earning electronic badges.

To go with READsquared, we have launched a YouTube channel,, where we are posting virtual story times with Mrs. Mary and Mrs. Anna, Story Times with Special Guests like Elizabeth Thompson from the Morgan County/Decatur Farmers Market, Kerrie Hoffner, a professional story teller, Rapunzel, (courtesy of Magical Memories, AL), and others. There will also be programs with Ranger Daphne from Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and the Alabama Department of Archives and History. All of the details about Summer Reads and READsquared can be found at

If you are participating in the Adult Reading Challenge, you may be wondering what kind of effect the Summer Reads will have on the ARC. The answer is none. The Adult Reading Challenge remains the same. If you are signed up for our yearly challenge, you do not have to register for the READsquared app since you already have your reading log. If you are interested, however, you are welcome to do both. You can sign up for an account as an adult and post the same books you are reading for the ARC to READsquared. It is what we call being doubly blessed. You get two reading challenges, one for the summer and one that lasts all year long.

Which brings us to our task for the month of June. Since our theme this year is music, and we now have two challenges for adults, the June task is to read a book with a duo as the main characters. The characters can be coworkers, friends, or super heroes such as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Hap and Leonard, or Batman and Robin to name just a few.    
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Themed Book Recommendations from DPL

The theme this week is libraries.  There is a suggestion for kids, teens, and adults. Lola at the Library is on Tumblebook Library, while the other two are available on hoopla.

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 24, 2020

May “Notes on Reading” Blog

As we are writing this blog, we have no answers to when Decatur Public Library will re-open. We do know that even if Governor Ivey announces the stay at home order is lifted on April 30th, DPL will not be able to open the doors and go back to business as usual right away.  Programs will not be restarted until we can be sure it is safe for both patrons and staff. That means the monthly book club meeting that was scheduled for May 7th will not happen. We will post any updates on our status to the website as soon as we have information to share.

While you are at home and cannot physically travel or go to a concert, take a virtual trip to New Orleans.  The link will take you to a lot of the main attractions. It will also allow you to hear the music that has made the Big Easy a favorite destination for so many.  Here’s a link to a list of the best virtual music concerts, available from New Orleans straight to your home during the COVID19 pandemic.
If there is another spot on the globe you are longing to visit, find a book to take you there with our eBook collection. Don't forget to check both Camellia Net and hoopla. April is poetry month and as Emily Dickinson said

“There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away”.

This is your May task for the Adult Reading Challenge, to read a book that takes you to a place you would like to visit, but cannot while we are all staying safely home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  

We might read a book set in a library, as that is the  place we hope we can all visit soon.
Happy and (Safe) Reading!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Themed Book Recommendations from DPL

Decatur Public Library has partnered with Decatur Parks and Recreation to provide a themed book recommendation each week."Parks" is the theme this week and we have a recommendation for kids, teens, and adults. Each of these books can be checked out from hoopla with your DPL library card.  You can find out more about Decatur's many parks here

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April “Notes on Reading” Blog

Decatur Public Library has been closed to the public since Monday, March 16th and we don’t know when we will be able to re-open. To say the month of March has been distressing and disruptive is a major understatement. But while the physical library building is closed, we want you to know that DPL is still ready and able to serve you. We have multiple electronic platforms available with eBooks, eAudioBooks, albums, television shows, movies and more to provide you with reading and watching materials. We also have online databases to assist with school work and newspaper access to help you stay informed. If you need Wi-Fi connection, that is available 24/7 from our parking lot. All you need is a device and the password (fun2read). All of our online resources can be accessed from

The administration team is working from home to update our webpage and keep social media current with ideas for ways to keep your entire family entertained and educated while COVID19 forces us to practice social distancing. We are looking into additional electronic resources and purchasing more titles for all ages to offer our patrons the best service possible in this trying time.

If you have questions for us or suggestions please feel free to contact us at

Because this past month has been so stressing and we don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel just yet, the April task for the Adult Reading Challenge is to read any book that makes you happy.  Hoopla has added over 1000 titles that don’t count against your check out limits and that made us happy so we want to pass that feeling along in the Challenge. We hope you will choose to read a book that relieves some of the stress we are all living under right now.

Stay Safe and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Sunday, March 1, 2020

March "Note's on Reading" Blog

Some of the staff of Decatur Public Library spent the last few days in Nashville at the Public Library Association Conference. We were able to attend thanks to the generous support of our Friends. 

We spent 4 days and 3 nights in Nashville learning everything we could from the programs, other attendees, vendors, panel discussions and author signings.  We walked miles and miles, met authors, had wonderful lunches where we met other librarians from around the country, and learned new ideas for programming, policies, and library growth.

We are back to work now and eager to implement some of the new things we learned. We had so much fun while we were there, we decided the task for the Adult Reading Challenge for March to be-read a book set in Nashville.

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 3, 2020

February "Notes on Reading" Blog

The 8th Annual Adult Reading Challenge has just gotten started. If you haven’t gotten by the Library to sign up yet, join us Thursday, February 6th in the Community Room from  12 noon until 2 pm. We will be going over tasks, rules and all kinds of books.  Anything you have checked out of the library and read since January 1, 2020 will count for this challenge, so stop by and tell us what you’ve read so far this year.  We would love to have you join us.

This year we are calling the Challenge- “Notes on Reading” and the theme is music. All of the tasks and clues have a tie to music in some form. This does not mean you must read books about music. All books in Young Adult and Adult sections of the Library count as well as any digital books you read from CamelliaNet, Hoopla, and Romance Book Cloud. So if you are looking for a challenge; join us the first Thursday of each month for Book Club and see if you have what it takes to be a Reading Legend in 2020.

On February 3, 1959 a plane crashed in a snowy field outside of Clear Lake, Iowa taking the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J P “The Big Bopper” Richardson Jr. At the time of their deaths they were all well respected musicians, on their way to being superstars in the world of music. Twelve years after the crash, Don McLean wrote the single “American Pie” that called that fateful February 3rd “the day the music died”. Lots of other musical heroes have died in plane or helicopter crashes including Patsy Cline, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Otis Redding, Ricky Nelson, John Denver, Ronnie van Zant, and Jim Croce to name a few. The clue for this month is to read a book that involves a plane crash. While you're reading a book inspired by this clue, you can listen to the music these artists left behind with the Hoopla app for free.

Happy Reading and Listening!