Website Revamp

It’s been a great day to freshen things up a bit.  I’ve added our new logo here and to our social media accounts.  New pages have been added to reflect our current programming and I’ll be updating it all on a weekly basis.  I started after lunch with what I thought was going to be a half-hour job and it’s turned into Gilligan’s “three-hour tour” but it’s been delightful to see how far we’ve come since I first started this page!  No complaints and a rewarding way to start a holiday weekend!

Stay tuned, there is more to come, including the introduction to our new automated system.  We are ahead of schedule and looking forward to introducing our “new and improved” system of business to our patrons.  Add us to your reading lists and stay tuned!


We’re Upgrading!


The following items are for sale as we have moved to an all-in-one unit for cost efficiency. We want to offer these items to patrons who may be in the market for personal or small-business equipment. You can see a detailed summary on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages or on the posters in our library.  Any additional cartridges go with them.  As is, no refunds, so let us know if you are interested!

Canon ImageRunner 2000 – large copier on stand, B/W Only                 Asking $700.00

HP Color Copier 190 – Color & B/W            Asking $140.00

HP Officejet 4630 – Color & B/W, print, scan, fax, wi-fi ready         Asking $60.00

HP DeskJet 3052A – Color & B/W, print, scan, fax, wi-fi ready             Asking $45.00

Epson WF-2540 printer – Color & B/W, print, scan, fax, wi-fi ready          Asking $130.00


Announcing Browsealoud

We are so excited to be part of the Browsealoud family as furnished by the Arkansas State Library.  This extension or tool, translates most sites into other language, even with an audio option.  Come on in for a demonstration!  For an “official” introduction, here is the official notice from the Arkansas State Library.

To help ensure that people with various access challenges can use our services, the library is offering Browsealoud, a multifunctional web accessibility tool, to the public. It includes text-to-speech screen reading, text magnification, screen masking, and translation for 99 languages (40 of which it can also speak). These tools will allow the library to extend services to patrons experiencing a variety of access challenges such as low literacy, vision impairment, language barriers, and attention and focus disorders.
Browsealoud is available to anyone visiting the library’s website. It can also be used on any of the library’s public access computers with virtually any online content, including PDFs. Those who have difficulty using the internet due to access challenges are encouraged to visit the library to see how Browsealoud can help.
Browsealoud was provided to the library free of charge by the Arkansas State Library and made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The product was developed by Texthelp, a company that has been creating accessibility tools for over 20 years, and supplied by Library Market, a web development and marketing firm for libraries based out of Jonesboro, Arkansas.


Time has flown!

Can you believe it’s almost December? I didn’t realize it had been so long since I posted. We still have the survey link up if you want to participate. We are finishing up Mister Rogers’ Sweater Drive, as details are available on our Programs page. I made my word count goal of 50,000 with 57606 for National Novel Writing Month. It’s more of a memoir that won’t ever see the light of day, but it needed to be written and I’m ready for my next project! Success is sweet!

This month we are doing two workshops. One on making a book page wreath and the other on bullet journals. I hope you’ll stop in for both. I’ve made two wreaths of book pages, but not one like we will do then. I’ve been a bullet journal junkie for the last year. It’s been the only way I’ve managed to journal this whole crazy year! We are having a Christmas Open House as part of Hamburg Holidays. Join us for a few sweet treats and see what we have that may be of interest to you! Please use that survey to tell us what you’d like and next time you’re in town, come see us!

Data Driven

Coming from the education world, the phrase “data driven” is part of my vocabulary.  Everything we did there and even what do in our personal lives is based on data.  Your grocery lists depends on what your family does and does not like – that’s data.  In the spirit of likes and not-likes, would you please complete this short, very short, like only 7 questions survey?  It will give me some much-needed data to see the library through YOUR eyes.  Every little bit of data will help us make the Ashley County Library a better place.  So, click here to start!



Here We Are!!!

The journey to this bright blue “library person” trash can began about a month ago.  Yes, a month.  What a story it has been!  When I first started at the library, this trash can was in this spot on the corner.  It had been painted by Boy Scouts nearly 10 years ago.  The paint was faded and chipping and nothing library related.  I decided to do something about that!

I moved it to the back, placed it on a drop cloth, and proceeded to spray it (and myself) blue.  I wore blue over spray on my hands and feet for nearly 4 days, the time it took me to use two cans of paint, consisting of four coats.  The blue was finally done!  Now for the library person!

This is where it gets hilarious, time consuming, and laugh worthy.  Mrs. Shirley made me a nice big library person outline on the copier.  I thought to cut him out and use him as a stencil, painting the outline with white spray paint for a nice crisp image.  Well, that sounded great!  I painstakingly cut out 3 people.  When I put them to the contact paper for the stencil, I discovered I would have a three-piece stencil and that simply would not work.  There was NO WAY I could get it lined up and semi-straight working over the bumps and curves of the dented can.  The answer came to me about 2:30 one morning.  Just use the whole outline and make the outline silhouette you see above.  Bingo! Presto! Mystery solved!

The next morning I took my trusty x-acto knife and painstakingly cut out three whole stencils…spacing enough to avoid over spray and tape to help hold if necessary and I was so proud!  Well, the clear contact paper I was using to create my stencil wouldn’t stick to the can.  Not at all.  Not even a little bit.  Not even with tape holding it.  I threw it all into my OTHER trash can, and shaking my head came back inside.  Mrs. Gursta and Mrs. Shirley (who were probably watching me from the window and laughing) and I had a good laugh about it and I decided to just take a breather and some time to concoct Plan C.

A few days later, I decided to trace the image lightly and just paint it in with a brush the good old-fashioned way.  Then I forgot to add paint to my shopping list for like 3 trips to the paint-buying-place.  Yay!  Then I was out, or going to be out or wearing a dress or any number of reasons I couldn’t take brush and paint to can.  Well, today, wearing black dress pants of all things, I decided no more waiting.  Even if it looked like it was going to pour rain at any moment.  Today was THE day!  So, I traced around my library person, applied two coats of white paint (dripping not one drop on my black pants), then two coats of clear coat and voila!  We have a library person trash-can on the corner right by our front door!

Mrs. Gursta and Mrs. Shirley said they think it’s the brightest thing in town.  It probably is.  But, now there is NO excuse to not stop by the library.   Everyone knows exactly where we are.  And, please, use the can for good and not evil.  Help us keep our sidewalks clean!

Banned Book Week


September 25-October 1 is Banned Book Week, Celebrating the Freedom to Read.  We may not think much about banned books.  It seems rather old-fashioned in this tolerant society to even consider banning a book.  However, books are challenged and banned every day.  As a library media specialist (LMS), I keep up with the list and am proud to say I’ve read most of the top 100.  If you check out the list, you will see that many are classics.  Many of them are books you have read and may have read to your children.  They are part of the Advanced Placement reading lists for high schools across the nation.  They are award winners and Nobel winners and although some may not be to my personal taste (or even standards) they are stories the an author felt the need to tell.  Many of them contained content I did not agree with from a moral or ethical standpoint.  Many of them contained subject matter about which I did not want to read.  However, I feel it is important to expose myself to a variety of thoughts and ideas and viewpoints in order to be a well-rounded person, and a well-read LMS.  The list is quite frightening, to see that students, and sometimes the general public, are denied access to a delightful story simply because it offended one person.  In many book challenge cases, the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” and it is very unfortunate.  Imagine if YOU had been denied access to these books:

big-woods     huck-finn-book-bushwick-400x575

Both of these titles were banned for being racially offensive.


This was banned for being pornographic.  (As a refresher to your high school English required reading, there is no sexual content AT ALL in the book, just a “mysterious” pregnancy and even it was handled with the sensibilities of the 19th century.)


I personally feel this should be required reading, and in many schools and states it is.  It was banned for “conflicting with community values.”


Harriet was banned because she “talked back to her parents.”  Wow.


Frankenstein was banned for being obscene and indecent.


Poor Anne.  She was banned for being too depressing.


And Alice and talking animals.  Yep, talking animals got Alice pulled from shelves.


I saved my favorite (and in my opinion most ridiculous) for last.  The good Dr. and his Green Eggs and Ham were banned for promoting a Marxist agenda.

So, before you decide to challenge a book or even censor the exposure of a title to your children, students, friends, do what I always taught my students.  Read it.  (Not just excerpts and not just fanning through it looking for “dirty” words or scenes.)  Read it.  Ask yourself these questions:

Why did the author tell this story?  (Is it the story of a minority people/group/idea that may speak to even one person?  Is this a story someone you know could relate to on a personal level?  Did this story open your eyes to how someone else may view the world or themselves?)

Why did the author use that word choice?  (Could it have been changed?  Probably.  However, they chose it for a reason. What does it reveal about the character who spoke it? Is it helping them express their anger or frustration or showing them to be the bad guy? And no, we never repeat them on the playground!)

What did you learn about yourself from this story?  (Sadly enough, I’ve been made aware of my own prejudices and judgments and sometimes shallow view points.)

One of the scariest and most exhilarating things about books is they expose us for who we are, and as I’ve discovered, sometimes it’s not a person I like very much.  So read.  Read, read, and read a bit more.  Allow the stories and characters and experiences we have through books to move us and change us and make us better people.  I had this poster printed and framed for my “old” library and I need to find a place to hang it in my new one.  It is the Rights of the Reader.

Having said all I have about banning books, we still have the right to read.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.