Posted by: HouPE | 09/04/2013

MVP Ambassadors & Speakers

Perry Public Library’s Mature & Valuable Patrons (MVP) have great things in store for our community during the months of September and October.


September 13th @ 11:00

We are thrilled to be invited to share library services with the Senior Group meeting September 13th. We want everyone to be aware of the wide variety of materials available from the library. Would you like to take your grandkids to the zoo? How about doing it for free by checking out the Atlanta Zoo DVD. How about a trip to Go Fish or other area attractions? Did you know the library is about more than books? We are! Come on out to Rozar Park to learn more.


October 4th @ 10:30

Houston Health Care will teach us about Healthy Aging on October 4th @ 10:30. The class will be lead by a nurse educator who will deliver a broad introduction to healthy aging. Nutrition, activity, and much more will be covered. Take-a-way materials will be provided as well as refreshments. This event has been facilitated by our members.

Our MVPs are a group of volunteers who serve on the Perry Public Library’s advisory board. We consider the advisory board a buffet in which patrons can sample from a variety of service opportunities within the library. MVPs can then become involved in their favorite area and leave the other items for someone else. Our 4 areas of service are: volunteering, programming, advisory, and advocacy. The MVPs meet monthly, usually on the first Friday of each month at 10:30 am at Perry Public Library.

Posted by: HOUCV | 08/28/2013

A Good Book = The Best Travel Guide


Earlier this month, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit a place like no other. I can safely say that it was the most amazing vacation of my life, and it was full of experiences I’ll never forget. And what sort of place can hold such value while still being a part of the U.S.? Why Hawaii, of course!

Now, before I delve too far into my tropical vacation, I’ve got to mention that I had one of the best guides a girl could ask for: a good library book. Months before boarding our 9780307929273flight to the islands, I requested Fodor’s 2013 Hawai’i from a participating PINES library, and let me tell you, I’m sure glad I did! It led me to some of the most exciting things to do and see during our 5-day adventure.

Although this book covers a wide array of activities, accommodations, and restaurants available at each island, I focused on the offerings in Oahu, where we stayed. One of the first eye-catching things mentioned in the book was hiking to a waterfall – we chose Manoa falls. 6 public transport busses and 1 short cab ride later (don’t ask…), we finally made it to the site of several Jurassic Park scenes and filming of the show Lost. Oh, and not to mention one of the tallest waterfalls in the world! It was a treacherous hike up there, but it was totally worth it.

Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls

The book also covers basic words and dialect you may encounter while in Hawaii, but I definitely wasn’t prepared for the real thing. Honestly, they pretty much speak a different language. Their linguistics are rooted in Polynesian, so most of them speak both English as well as their more “native” tongue (although English is considered official).   I became very acquainted with aloha (which means “hello” or “sending love”) and mahalo (“thank you”).  I also learned that Pua’a means “pig” (thanks to the luau we had the good fortune of attending). And I don’t know what Kamehameha means (go ahead, take your time with that one), but it’s the name of the road where the Dole Plantation is located. The trip was worth it for that place….seriously. That pineapple ice cream is better than anything we can get our hands on here on the mainland!

download (1)

Hawaiian Sweet Potatoe

Speaking of food, everything there was…well, different. Sweet potatoes look funny, but taste amazing. Dragon fruits are exotic, and petty yummy. And, of course, the pineapples are out of this world. Less acidic + Hawaiian grown = the perfect recipe for pineapple perfection! The Fodor’s guide also recommended several popular restaurants made famous by the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. We visited one such restaurant – Nico’s Pier 38 – and it was a wonderful experience!  But of course, not everything was nice to my buds. For example, there’s “poi” which is a Polynesian staple food made from ground taro root. Think baby food… ‘cause that’s what it looks and tastes like, folks. Yuck!

And I could go on and on (and on…) about what we saw and experienced while there. I could mention scuba diving with sea turtles and wading on the

Polynesian poi

Polynesian poi

Wakiki beach, but I just don’t have enough blog space for that. I could digress on each and every shopping experience and all the exotic seaweeds featured at the Hawaiian farmer’s market, but I just don’t have the space here. This vacation has made me so much more appreciative of my library and how a good book can be one of the best tour guides!

So tell us – have you ever checked out one of our library’s travel books? Did it help you plan your vacation?

Posted by: kdo78 | 08/23/2013

Thank you for a great summer!

Well, summer is over and the school year has started. The Vacation Reading Program was a great success and the Houston County Libraries had a blast during this time. We enjoyed seeing the kids exploding through our doors with excitement and anticipation, wanting to sign up for the program, turn in hours, attend programs, or to just check out books. We’re not entirely sure what they were fed in the morning, but they sure were happy to be at the library. It was wonderful to see!blog photo we ride

Now that Summer Reading is finished, we would like share with our readers the results of program. The Houston County Library System signed up a total of 3,395 children and teens over the summer and this group read an amazing 50,510 books. Wow! Talk about dedicated reading. These are great numbers and are an increase of last year’s amount. We are so proud of our kids for doing such a fantastic job!

However, it would be remiss of us to take all the credit. We had great community support from our local businesses and sponsors. Monetary donations were given that allowed us to fund great performers and crafts. Eatery coupons were also provided that was a terrific source of incentives for the children to read just one more book. And then we had our guest speakers and performers that provided marvelous educational entertainment for the kids. When you add all these elements together, it is the perfect formula for a great, quality program.

We love creating excitement in our kids about reading, and with the assistance of local businesses and benefactors, we feel we were able to do that this summer. So if you go to any of the following places, be sure to thank them for supporting your library’s Vacation Reading Program.              

VRP sponsored by flier

Posted by: HouPE | 08/21/2013

Pausing for a Moment of Gratitude

National Public Radio (NPR) has offered a summer series on public libraries. These stories have covered multiple perspectives. It can be quite entertaining to learn how other libraries operate. Some of their services are inspiring. Of course, some of their challenges make us grateful for the benefits that we enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Denver Public Library

Photo courtesy of Denver Public Library

Gabriel Spitzer highlighted the Books on Bikes program in Seattle. This program has librarians attending community events throughout the city. What makes this interesting is that the librarians are on bikes outfitted with trailers. The trailers are filled with books! This allows the libraries to serve members of the community who are not actively visiting the library. Working singles in their 20s are frequently considered underserved. This is an interesting solution to provide service to individuals in a physical space that is convenient to them.

fishing pole

Image not of the actual poles that were checked out to patrons but a close replica.

In Beyond Books: Libraries Lend Fishing Poles, Pans & People  Elizabeth Blair introduces us to some new lending practices. Libraries throughout the country are lending items such as baking pans & fishing poles. Though I am relatively new to Perry Public Library, I’m told there was a time that we actually checked out fishing poles. We still have the poles to prove it. One practice that Houston County has not participated in is the checking out of people.  Providence Community Library in Rhode Island offers Human Books, people available to check out for conversation. Their goal is to help bridge differences through open and honest conversation amongst individuals from different walks of life.

Small public library that benefits greatly from local & state support.

Small public library that benefits greatly from local & state support.

Our dose of gratitude is inspired by Neda Ulaby’s story For You To Borrow, Some Libraries Have To Go Begging. She contrasts the methods of funding libraries from state to state. Some, such as Georgia, have statewide library services that receive significant assistance from state funds. Not all library systems are this fortunate. Vermont is highlighted in the article as one of the locales that funds libraries purely through local funds. This is a significant challenge for rural systems that have very little local revenue. The article states that over 2 dozen libraries in the small state lack internet connections.  This statistic is significant when considered against our state of Georgia, which is highly rural. Our computers here at Perry Library allow our patrons to attend distance education, apply for employment, and file other necessary government paperwork. If internet were unavailable free of charge at the library, where would that leave the members of our community to perform these vital activities? Thankfully, here in Houston County, we don’t have to worry about this! We have experienced generous support from both state and local resources!

National Public Radio has certainly provided some Public Library love this summer. Their coverage of public libraries and their services throughout the country has offered some perspective for all of us. We are thankful to them for their great library coverage. We are thankful to our local and state governments as well as our Houston County Friends of the Library, who make it possible for us to maintain our level of service. And last but not least, we are thankful to our patrons who visit frequently and provide us with neverending inspiration to improve library offerings.

Posted by: HOUCV | 08/19/2013

Summer Reading: Not Just For Kids

Most of you probably identify the library’s summer reading program as solely for kids. Yes, this is true in large part – all of the Houston County Public Libraries work very hard to ensure your child has lots of activities to keep them busy and reading all summer. This does 2 things: 1) it keeps you the parent from having to hear the constant “I’m bored” and “mom, mom, mom…!” routine since the library has wonderful kid’s programming all summer long, and 2) it helps your child learn to appreciate reading and stay on track for the coming school year. But we don’t want to leave out our adults, because… well, we know you like reading too!


All those bright green slips displayed at the Centerville Library are our wonderful adult patrons who love to read and don’t mind letting the whole world know about it! They have registered for our adult summer reading program and have been submitting reviews. Each time a review is turned in, they get to put their name in a drawing for fun prizes at the conclusion of the program.

9780316211222_p0_v2_s260x420These reviews are a great way for you to get an advanced 411 on what could possibly be your next great read. Other folk’s reading experiences can let you know, “hmm… that sounds interesting,” or “well…that’s not really my style.” One of our books that have been reviewed multiple times so far is Second Honeymoon by James Patterson. Amazon provides a pretty promising review: “A newlywed couple steps into the sauna in their deluxe honeymoon suite–and never steps out again. When another couple is killed while boarding their honeymoon flight to Rome, it becomes clear that someone is targeting honeymooners, and it’s anyone’s guess which happy couple is next on the list. FBI Agent John O’Hara is deep into solving the case, while Special Agent Sarah Brubaker is hunting another ingenious serial killer, whose victims all have one chilling thing in common. Second Honeymoon is James Patterson’s most mesmerizing, most exciting, and most surprising thriller ever.” However, our reviewers have the overall opinion that the book “wasn’t bad,” but “wasn’t as good as the first one either.” Have you read this book? What did you think? Maybe you should come check it out and decide it’s quality for yourself!

0743496760But not all reviews are negative – some of our patrons have thoroughly enjoyed what they’ve read so far. One such reader wrote about the book The Baby Trail by Sinead Moriarty. According to Amazon, “Emma and James try everything [to conceive], from ovulation kits to in-vitro, but all their carefully laid plans seem to go south — in direct proportion to Emma’s plummeting self-esteem. And just when Emma feels she’s alienated everyone in her life …events take a ninety-degree turn that will have unforeseen consequences for everyone. With this book, Moriarty brings a wicked sense of humor to a subject of fevered concern for women today…” Our reviewer described the main character Emma as “the Irish version of Charlotte from Sex and the City, but with a little more fire!” She said that the book was “very funny” and made her “sympathize with Emma till the very end. Well done!”

Haven’t joined our adult summer reading program yet? Drop by the Centerville Library and start reading! Program runs through August 31.

Sometimes I feel as if I take for granted the fact that I live in the 21st Century. Think about it – back in the day, there were Civil Rights issues, suffrage disputes, and all sorts of serious debates about the rights of the people. Now, just look how far we’ve come? I was born and raised in a society where this was all the norm; everyone coexists in an equal society, regardless of race or gender. I know there are modern rights issues even today, but…can you imagine what it must have been like living during the World War II era and before?


The Centerville Public Library and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust wants to take you back to that historical time when racial equality issues were at their peak. I’m sure all of us remember from our history classes that the Holocaust was the brutal persecution and execution of millions of Jews. Basically, the Germans saw them as “racially inferior,” and were an alien threat to the “superior” German community. Many of us will also remember that World War II was going on during this time, and that African Americans were being treated as inferior to Caucasian Americans as well. This exhibit brings together these persecutions into one very informative and emotionally moving display of history. The “Witness to the Holocaust” exhibit is a photographic essay of one of Atalnta’s leading African-American Citizens, William Alexander “W.A.” Scott III, whose father founded the first black-owned daily newspaper in the United States. Like so many of his generation, W.A.’s dreams for the future were postponed when the US entered World War II. W.A. fought valiantly, even though things weren’t really “separate but equal” within the Army at the time. Nevertheless, many of the black soldiers rightly felt that, by fighting alongside all the other soldiers for democracy, surely the US would see and recognize similar issues within their own country. As we all know, it was definitely recognized.

While fighting in Germany, W.A. could hardly overlook the irony of his own status in an army that considered them inferiors, even as they fought to defeat the Nazi army which carried the banner of racial supremacy. With his camera, W.A. documented the atrocities for which the Nazis were responsible against the Jews at Buchenwald. It is many of these photos that are now owned by the Georgia Commission of the Holocaust and serve as realistic depictions of our history.


As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” Even W.A. himself recognized that you can’t fight hate with hate. He quietly photographed his experiences in Germany and fought with our US Army, helping to pave the road for equality. Scott himself was a member of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust and died in 1992 at the age of 69.

W.A.’s photographic essays will be on display at the Centerville Public Library from August 12-23. You may drop by anytime during our regular business hours to view the exhibit.

Posted by: HouPE | 08/13/2013

The return of storytime @ Perry Library!

Summer reading is over!

The school kids are back to their lessons!

Perry Public Library is revving back up for another great year of fantastic storytimes!

Pinky dinky dooJust like always, Ms. Yolanda has lots of fun planned for families. Her storytimes are always full of literacy building fun such as: songs, stories and age appropriate activities. These things remain the same.

So what might be a bit different? Well, one of the items we’re most excited about is the addition of the Lapsit Lounge. Last year, our Lapsit families expressed an interest in more social time. This year following our Lapsit storytime, we are inviting parents and children to enjoy some social time in the storytime space.  This time will give children, and parents, more opportunity outside of the storytime to make friends and enjoy one another. We hope you are as excited about it as we are!

There has also been some shifting of times and age groups. Please take a moment to locate your age group.


10:15   Toddlers (ages 2 – 3 years)

11:15   Lapsit (ages 12 – 24 months)
11:45 – 12:30   Lapsit Lounge


2d Tuesday of each month: 6:00 Special Programs for All Ages
August 13 @ 6pm
Superheroes Storytime
School age children are invited to come in costume for a fun evening of superhero stories.

4th Tuesday of each month: 6:00 Teen Programs
August 27 @ 6pm
Teen Scrabble
Those between 13 – 17 are invited to join us for an evening of fun and games.
Please RSVP to reserve your spot.


10:15   PreK (ages 4 – 5 years)

11:15   Homeschool Activity each week will alternate between:
Homeschool Primary Word Play (ages 5 – 8)
Homeschool Teens & Tweens (ages 9 – 17)

The modification to the Homeschool activity schedule is another item that we are excited about. Homeschool parents have expressed an interest in developing more age specific activities. Our young patrons still fully developing their literacy skills were anxious to begin homeschool activities of their own. And all homeschool families have often stated how difficult it is to always commit to ANOTHER weekly activity on top of all else that they do. We are happy to answer these concerns. Ms. Yolanda has developed an alternating homeschool schedule.  Our 5 – 8 year olds will meet for fun word play to support their developing literacy skills. Our 9 – 17 year olds will continue in their activities to support honing of writing and research skills. Just like last year, your family knows that Perry Library will be full of homeschool families on Thursdays at 11:15. Whether its social time or an organized library activity, Thursdays at 11:15 is the place & time for homeschoolers!

We are looking forward to another great year of literacy building and fun!
Thank you for your continual input and participation.

Posted by: kdo78 | 08/09/2013

Here it is as promised!

We visited the Nola Brantley renovations and it’s beautiful! Some members of the Library Board and Friends of the Library, plus the whole Nola Brantley library staff had their walk through of the newly renovated Nola Brantley Memorial Library last Friday.

library entrance

Wow! What a change! Walls were in places that they weren’t before, openings were in new locations, and hallways led to totally new areas. In fact, it was so different, that it was easy to get turned around!

library lost

There are some great additions to the building. We now have an official Teen Room that looks absolutely wonderful! Everybody gave a big “Oooohhh!” when they saw it. But don’t worry adults; there are features just for you, too. Plenty of reading space and areas dedicated to just fiction and non-fiction. And for the history buffs, I do believe the Local History Room has also been expanded some.  But just to give you an idea of the layout, here is a picture of the library from the circulation desk (my personal favorite feature):

library outline

Children’s has also been overhauled. In fact, it has been moved to the other side of the building! But it too looks great. There’s plenty of space – and to my delight, they even made a storytime area!

library Childrens

Well, you really can’t see it from the picture, so just take my word for it, it’s there! Now, onto the subject near and dear to my heart: the Circulation Desk. I absolutely love what the Circ. Desk looks like. Maybe it’s the inner Trekkie in me, but I find myself absolutely mesmerized by it. What do you think? Isn’t it great!

library CC


Posted by: HouPE | 07/31/2013

A Teen POV of Perry Library

As a frequent reader of our blog, you are probably aware that Perry Public Library has a new face in the stacks. Dajia is our teen library assistant. As a teen she offers a unique view of the library and our services. We’ve asked her to share her thoughts on the library experience as a teen.


What have you thought of working at the library this summer?

D: Working at the library this summer has been an amazing experience. I think that working here is almost what I expected; but there are many things about the library that I didn’t know about. When I first started visiting the library as a patron, I only thought of the library as calm, and a soothing environment. Since this is a public library, I knew there would be some kinds of programs to keep the community engaged and active this summer. I found that there were many more services and items available that I did not know about.

What were some of the services or activities that were new to you?

Many teens do not think of the library as a place that provides opportunities for their age group, but there are actually a lot of things that teens can do at the library. Before coming to work here, I thought of the library just as a place where I could read and check out books, study for tests and quizzes, and get my work done for school.

What would you share with other teens about the teen activities?

Out of all of the teen programs I was able to assist with, there are 2 that were my all time favorites. The psychological illusionist Sean Waters was my favorite program. He was able to guess how many friends I hang out with and actually was able to guess my best friend’s name. How awesome was that!! I really enjoyed myself at the one. There is another recent program that I enjoyed, and that was the teen villains program was great. I had a chance to participate in the debates on which villain is the best villain of all time. At the beginning of the program, I was surprised at how much I actually knew about villains. At least it was more than I thought I knew.

I have also had a chance to interact with one of the teen volunteers. She goes to the same school as I do. One day, I came in from my break and she needed reassurance on a shelf location, I was proud to be able to help her.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know about the library?

I feel that the library also provides things that are beneficial and have many useful resources. By using the computers provided, you can get information for anything you need. I think our staff is the friendliest library staff. The Perry branch welcomes all patrons with welcome arms and we hope to see you soon.

Well, I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Posted by: HOUCV | 07/29/2013

Back to School at the Centerville Library!

Here at the Centerville Public Library, we would like to be here for you as the new school year approaches. I know, this time of year can be hard and hectic; your child is just entering kindergarten, or your grade school son is a reluctant reader. You may even be a teacher longing to find just the perfect book for your classroom, or trying to find something fun to do with your kids in the evenings. Well, good news – we’ve got you covered on all bases!

back to school display at Centerville Library

back to school display at Centerville Library

KindergartenFirst of all, we’ve made a fun back-to-school display in our kids section where we’ve placed some fun works all about this time of year. Welcome to Kindergarten by Anne Rockwell is one such book. It talks about a boy’s first day at school and how this makes him very nervous. After he enters the classroom, however, he realizes that it’s “just the right size for me to learn.” He talks about all the different centers within the room, such as the math center where “I learn to measure and count,” and the weather corner where “it will show whether it’s rainy or sunny, hot or cold, and when it’s my turn to be the weather boy.” It also introduces kids to the idea of calendars and following the days of the week. By the end of the day, the boy realizes that the room really is “the right size for me!” We also own some really fun and educational books about school safety and following rules appropriately.

If you’re a little further into your education, you may be thinking about how strange school truly is. That’s what Louis Sachar’s book Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger is all about! The inside cover gives the following synopsis: “After closing for 242 days to get rid of the cows (don’t ask), everyone’s favorite thirty-story school is finally back in session.  But all is not well at the school with no nineteenth floor. Mrs. Jewls, the best teacher at Wayside, is having a baby, and that can mean only one thing – substitute teachers (queue music of doom)!… Wayside School may seem like a pretty strange place already, but now it has to get a little stranger.” A 165-page chapter book, this work is sure to entertain even the most reluctant grade school reader!

And that’s not all, folks… really, that is just a small sampling of the back-to-school books we have to offer at the Centerville Public Library. We have other works on Schoolgraduation, science fairs, and the first 100 days of school. Oh, and our children’s books aren’t just for kids… we are available for teachers too! If you can’t find that specific book in the school library that you really need for your class, come visit us. Chances are, we can either locate it for you or put it on hold from another state public library. We also try very hard to make sure we’re here for your kids during the school year by 1) finding books for all their project needs, and 2) by offering some all-ages evening programs. Just check our monthly calendar for activities! Oh, and we are also here for your morning commute to and from school – check out some CDs from our audio book section (yes, we even have those for kids!).  So, well wishes and happy back-to-school, everyone!

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