Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

Thursday Special at Friends Bookstore: The Kingdom by Clive Cussler and Grant Blackwood

August 11, 2011

  When I start my Friends of Libraries Bookstore shift this afternoon at 2, I’m bringing my  copy of  Clive Cussler and Grant Blackwood’s  latest thriller The Kingdom.  This copy is almost new since it has been read one time… by me.  Yours for $5. Come and get it. First come, first served.


Milton Jones Suggests Civil War Naval Museum Follow Library’s Example on Cutting Costs

May 30, 2011

Retired state representative, Columbus attorney, and friend of mine Milton Jones emailed an interesting take on my post about saving the National Civil War Naval Museum.  I’m passing it along to you.

Dick – I tell you often when I agree with you, but I agree with you much more often than I respond.  So, I guess I should tell you when I think you overreach on something.

Such an instance is found in your recent blog about the Civil War Naval Museum: “This discussion also brings up the question of whether tax dollars should be spent on museums.  But then, if you ask that, you would also have ask if tax dollars should fund public education.”
As to the Civil War Naval Museum, yes, it is an asset to our community and I would hate to see it close.  However, it has turned out to be way below the projections for visitors and obviously does not have the appeal necessary to generate funds for its present level of funding and operation.   Perhaps it could continue to function on fewer days per week, as we are seeing with the public libraries.  You can say the same about many other items in our community, some with large constituencies and others with small.
However, there is one thing which, in my humble opinion, is the absolute, Number One by light years responsibility of local government — the public education of our children.  Yes, a trip to the Civil War Naval Museum would be interesting, but to compare that to the tens of thousands of students and teachers engaged daily in public education in Muscogee County does not jive.
As to the economics, I do not profess to know much about that.  However, I do know that the $300,000 the city has been putting into the museum is more than 10% of the total estimated revenue spent by visitors.   The city is not getting that $2,800,000.  Sure, local merchants, hotels, gas stations, etc. do realize it, but I would doubt that the city’s take from sales taxes, hotel occupancy taxes, etc., etc. while significant, would even come close to recouping the $300,000.  The taxpayers are the ones paying most of the bill.  I may be wrong on this, but I stand ready to be corrected by someone who knows more about it if I am.
PS – And I am one of those many  Jaycees who, under the leadership of the late Jim Woodruff, your former boss,  dug the thing [the ironclad “Jackson” whose ruins are on display at the museum] out from under the river bank  behind those coffer dams in the early ’60’s, so I do value it.
Good points.  The museum could probably close a couple of days a week without damaging its viability.  However, with a staff of only 6 paid employees, I don’t think layoffs would be a good idea. Not that Milton suggested that, but drastically cutting funds poses that possibility.  I agree with him about our school system being at the top of the  priority list.  Nothing is more important than public education to the future of the citizens of any city.


April 19, 2011

It looks as  though I will make it to my volunteer job at the Friends of Libraries Bookstore at the Columbus Public Library Thursday.  My hip and leg are pretty sore from the Saturday night fall in the Bill Heard Theater in the River Center; however, the x-rays showed no breaks, so I plan to be there between 2 and 4 p.m., and I hope you’ll drop by and buy a book.  Just don’t ask me to dance.

Non-residents Will No Longer Have Free Memberships to Chattahoochee Valley Libraries

August 9, 2010

Starting in September, if you don't live in the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries' service area, you'll have to pay for a library card that will allow you to use these computers and other library services.


 If don’t live in Muscogee, Marion, Chattahoochee, or Stewart Counties in Georgia, you’re going to have to pay $35 for a Chattahoochee Valley Libraries card staring in September.  

Overdue material fines will increase to 25 cents per day. 

Here’s the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries news release: 


In an effort to increase area residents’ ability to access its materials, the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries will change its overdue fine policy and will implement a new Non-Resident Library Card beginning September 1, 2010.
On this date, fines for overdue materials will be 25 cents per day, per item. The maximum fine of $5.00 per item will remain the same, as will the $50.00 limit on customer accounts.
In addition, patrons who do not reside in the Libraries’ service area (Muscogee, Cusseta-Chattahoochee, Marion, and Stewart Counties) will be able to purchase an annual Non-resident Library Card to check out materials and use computers. The cost will be $35.00. Non-residents from surrounding counties who currently have a library card will be allowed to use it until its expiration date, at which time they may renew by paying the annual fee.
Those non-residents who own property or a business in the service area will be eligible to receive a Resident Library Card, as will students who attend local colleges or universities.
Guest Smart Cards, which allow 7 days of access to the Libraries’ computers for non-residents, may still be purchased for $5.00.
“Reductions in funding mean that we have had to reduce our materials expenditures by 11%,” says Claudya Muller, Director of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries. “We are implementing these policies to ensure that those whose property taxes support our libraries have the best chance to find the materials they need.”
For more information, please visit the Libraries’ website

Libraries Top Sports and Movies in Attendance

July 30, 2010

A computer area at the Columbus Public Library, Columbus, GA


Yes, there is hope for society.  More people go to public libraries than movies or sporting events.







To get the full story, go to this LINK.

Thanks to Chattahoochee Valley Libraries Director Claudya Muller for sending this to me.

Chattahoochee Valley Libraries Honors Five “Volunteers of the Year”

June 10, 2010

By Jim Shehy, Volunteer Coordinator,
Chattahoochee Valley Libraries

Columbus, GA – (CVL news release) The Chattahoochee Valley Libraries have always appreciated their volunteers.  Men and women of all ages give their time and talent to the Library system in order to contribute to their community and assist in making the public Library a vital community resource.  For the past several years one very deserving and very dedicated volunteer is honored with the title “Volunteer of the Year.” 
On Monday, June 14, the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries will commemorate their previous five adult Volunteer of the Year honorees by installing tree dedication plaques in their honor.  Past recipients Paul Argue (2005), Carolyn Smoot (2006), Charles Batastini (2007), Frank and Donna Doyle (2008), and last year’s 2009 recipient Art Halouska will each be recognized with a commemorative inscription and tree dedicated to them along the Columbus Public Library Campus.
“Volunteers give so much to the Library System,” notes Jim Shehy, Volunteer Coordinator.  “They are extremely important men and woman; you can always count on our volunteers to have a smile and lend a hand whenever needed.  I don’t know what we would do without them!”
 All Library volunteers are recognized during National Volunteer Week each spring and the 2010 Volunteer of the Year honoree will be announced at the Libraries’ annual volunteer recognition luncheon held each fall.  Stop by the Columbus Public Library and see just one of the ways Chattahoochee Valley Libraries show their support and appreciation to their volunteers.
If you wish to become a volunteer or for additional information about the volunteer program at the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, please contact Jim Shehy at the Columbus Public Library (706) 243-2674.

Columbus Public Library, Columbus, Georgia

Is Paper for Communicating on the Way Out?

March 29, 2010

It is obvious to me that paper used for communicating is on the way out, but not everyone agrees.

Bobbi Newman, Digital Branch Manager, Chattahoochee Valley Libraries

  Bobbi L. Newman, Digital Branch Manager of Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, is one of those who doesn’t.  Though her job is to provide digital services for the library system, she doesn’t think e-books will edge out paper as the primary medium for storing and disseminating knowledge. 

She does admit, though, that “we will see more of it, but still there are a lot of problems with e-books. For one thing, you can’t pick up an e-book, read it and give it to the Friends of the Library bookstore, or pass it along to someone else.”  Toward the end of our conversation she did say that no one really knows how the media model will change in the future.

Are these on the way out?

While the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries system has about 220 computers for public use, including some laptops, there are no e-readers available. 

Amazon's Kindle e-reader

The library only has two each of Amazon’s Kindle,    Sony’s Reader, AT&T’s Netbook (which is really a small laptop computer), and Apple’s iTouch. Apple’s  iPad, the reader that some call a big iPhone (it’s not, because it won’t be a phone), is not available yet, and Newman isn’t sure about buying even a couple of them because of the library’s budget crunch.  None of the readers they do have is in circulation. It hasn’t been decided yet on how they will be used.

Now, as far as being able to check-out a digital book for your own computer or e-reader, you definitely can.  Over 3,000 titles are available for you to download.  She says about 20 a day are checked out.   These include all types of books, including some new novels. For instance, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol is available online. To learn how to download online books just go to this website and watch the video.

What if the library had thousands of e-readers to loan to patrons?  Would that cause a big shift to e-books? My guess is it would, but that’s just my guess. Sure, people over age 40 resist giving up paper books. They are conditioned to paper books.  They don’t want to read books from a computer screen.  That includes me.  However, it seems to me that young folks have less of a problem reading from computer screens. Besides, the new e-reader screens look more like paper. You don’t get the computer screen backlit effect. Also, you can “turn the pages” by moving a finger across the screen.

Offices are going paperless more and more.  Magazines and newspapers are going paperless more and more. It’s happening.  There will probably always be a niche for paper, but it will grow smaller and smaller, I believe.  I know this has to be unnerving for those who manufacture and sell paper, but change is an inevitable part of life.  There will still be plenty of uses for paper. I don’t forsee anything electronic replacing toilet paper for instance.  And neccessity may inspire paper manufacturers to find new ways of using paper.

Chattahoochee Valley Regional Libraries System Gets a New Bookmobile

March 22, 2010

In about a year,  the Chattahoochee Valley Regional Libraries  will have a new $285,000 bookmobile, thanks to a grant from the John F. and James L. Knight Foundation.  It takes about a year to custom build a bookmobile.  CVRL Marketing Coordinator Linda Hyles tells me that it will serve Chattahoochee, Stewart, and Marian Counties,  which are getting no bookmobile service at the this time. This means money that had been budgeted for that bookmobile before the grant was made can be used to renovate the one that is now serving Muscogee County. 

CVRL Bookmobile now in service (Courtesy: CVRL)

The new bookmobile will have six computer stations and a satellite dish to connect them to the Internet.

This is a correction of yesterday’s post that said Muscogee County has no bookmobile service at this time.  It does.  Stewart, Marian, and Chattahoochee counties are the ones that have no service.


December 28, 2009

You won’t find “yearender” in the dictionary. It’s a term used by broadcasters for reports and documentaries at year’s end to feature the big stories of the year.  That’s what this podcast does, except, being a blog, it get’s personal.

Just click on 2009 YEARENDER

Construction Delay Almost Doubles the Cost of the Mildred Terry Library

May 17, 2009


New Mildred Terry Library,  Veteran's Parkway, Columbus, Georgia

Delaying construction of the new Mildred Terry Library, which opens on June 2nd,  was quite costly, something that voters may think about when it comes time to vote on the new Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for the school system.   Dr. Philip Schley says the new SPLOST will avoid those costly delays for new projects by selling bonds this time.  Projects  listed in the 2003 SPLOST  took so long to complete  because  money could not be spent until taxes were collected.  There will be no need to wait this time since bond money can be spent all at one time.  The bonds will be paid off as taxes are collected. “Hopefully,” he says, “the interest paid will be less than the cost of delaying construction.”  That depends on the economy.  If there is inflation, money is saved by not delaying construction,  but if there is deflation,  waiting would save money.  As is said, timing is everything.

Mildred Terry, the downtown branch of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries system, has a proud history – opening in 1953 as the Fourth Avenue Library,  it was the first public library for blacks in Columbus, because they were not allowed to use the Columbus Public Library – and every library friend that I know supports the new and improved facility, but it really didn’t have to cost $4.7 million dollars.  It could have been  built, some believe,  for the $ 2.5 million provided for in the SPLOST  had it been built in 2003, the year the SPLOST was approved,  and the Library Board would not have had to resort to using reserve funds to finish the project.

Ft. Benning soldiers, volunteers from the 39th AG,  move piano from old Mildred Terry Library to new Mildred Terry Library, Columbus, Georgia

Ft. Benning soldiers, volunteers from the 39th AG, move a piano from the old Mildred Terry Library to the new Mildred Terry Library, Columbus, Georgia

 Dr. Philip Schley, chairman of the Muscogee County School Board,  to which the library board must answer, explained that the Mildred Terry was “pretty far down the priority list.  Critical needs had to be met first.  While the new Mildred Terry Library is larger and nicer,  the old building served the public well so that need was not considered critical.”

Kelly Pridgen, chair of the library board,  said the situation really isn’t as bad as it sounds.  Yes,  the library board has to spend part of the library’s reserves to complete Mildred Terry, but, she added,  “That’s what reserves are for.”   And, yes, next year’s budget will be trimmed, with $100,000 budgeted for book purchases being cut, but that doesn’t mean books won’t be purchased.  Last year’s book budget will remain in place.  The $100,000 would have been an increase.  She says private funds will, hopefully, replinishthe reserve fund.

Friends of the Lbraries Book Store,  Columbus Public Library, Columbus, GA

Friends of the Lbraries Book Store, Columbus Public Library, Columbus, GA

 I am unabashedly a supporter of the library system.  I’m on the Friends of the Libraries board, and I work in the book store at the Columbus Public Library.  I am a friend of the library because the library is my friend.  A library card makes a world of information, entertainment, and art available for everyone, and it’s all free. As Claudya Muller,  executive director of the Chattahoochee Valley Regional Libraries, says, “The library empowers people to achieve their goals in life,  and it is for everyone.  A library will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no library.” 
Because of the recession, the library is getting a lot more use.  And since we are on the subject of economics,  the quality of a public library is one of the first things that industries seeking to locate in a community check out. Thanks to community leaders who know the value of a library, we have one of the best in the state.