Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Hours

Just a reminder that both Christmas & New Year's Eve, we'll be closing down at 5:00pm. We'll also be closed Christmas & New Year's Day. The Flathead County Library staff wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

If you've never been to the Whitefish branch library to see the snowmen and snowwomen, you haven't been living! Annually, the librarians decorate the building with over 200 snowpeople. They will be on the shelves guarding the books until the Whitefish Winter Carnival in February.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It was a busy day in Bigfork today and the fun is not completely over. The Bigfork library branch is a cozy space tucked away downtown. To better display materials, we have installed some slat wall shelving. This cleared space to make a more inviting reading area. Stop in and check it out!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We welcome our newest blogger...

While he is not a new face to the library, he is to the blog. Our all-around man, Tony, will be posting tidbits of interest on local history and other topics. For those of you who have never met Tony- he was recently married to Chrystal, who used to work at all the Flathead County Library locations. Below is a picture that will introduce you to Tony, please welcome him!

This picture cannot be reused or reproduced without the express written consent of the artist!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holds are in the House!

For those of you unfamiliar with "holds", it is something we're very proud of here in Montana! Librarians get very excited by large amounts of books, you know. Sitting at your home computer, you can place a book in Missoula on hold, whether it is sitting on their shelf or checked out already. When that hold becomes available and it's your turn, the book is shipped up economically via the bus (we receive 12-16 crates daily, not to mention our normal crates between branches). You can then be notified via a phone call or email that your hold has arrived. This picture documents our unofficial record number of holds waiting to be picked up at the Main Library in Kalispell. For those of you that use holds, give yourself a pat on the back and happy reading!

Monday, November 17, 2008

teen books: Paranoid Park

I recently read an article by a 13 year old boy about what kinds of books boys want to read, and why the teen books for boys often fall flat. He writes:

"Another giant, oily blemish on the face of teenage literature (that was entirely intentional) is whatever urge compels writers to clumsily smash morals about fairness or honor or other cornball crap onto otherwise fine stories. Do you not think we get enough of that in our parents' and teachers' constant attempts to shove the importance of justice and integrity down our throats? We get it. I assure you, it makes no difference in our behavior at all."

Okay, so I recently read a really great book that would appeal to those who share Max's opinions: Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson. So scary, so real, so devoid of phony moralizing. The unnamed narrator is a skater kid who accidentally gets involved in a fight in which someone dies a rather gruesome death. So begins the most horrible, lonely odyssey of his life. Absolutely shocking, unstoppable page turning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

check it out! movies

This oppressive early darkness and cloud cover (I was reading a novel this week that mentioned "the sky lay like a coffin lid over the city." I can relate!) sends me right to the couch and the DVD player. I've watched two very interesting new releases over the past week: The Edge of Heaven (116 min., in English, German, and Turkish w/ English subtitles, not rated) and The Visitor (104 min., in English, Arabic, and French w/English subtitles, rated R).

The Visitor takes place in New York City and deals with a widowed professor who's life collides with a young couple from Africa, living in the US illegally. It's a poignant film about different cultures, post 9/11 fear, and the power of the human spirit. The Edge of Heaven deals with immigrants also, but this time Turks and Germans living uneasily in today's Europe; and explores the "vagaries of human relationships across all borders, national and personal."

Both films are well worth the watch, bestowing a wonderful distraction from the sudden approach of early winter. And both are available from your Flathead County Library.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Big Read 2008 for Kids

Our storytime kids had a chance this month to participate in their own activities for the Big Read. They learned some facts about the state of Alaska and the animals that live there. In Columbia Falls a dog that has a wolf ancestor came for a visit.The kids in Whitefish made wolf puppets. And in Bigfork several young artists made some beautiful pictures of sled dogs that included sparkly snow! When we talked about the Alaskan Gold Rush in Kalispell, the kids got to practice their gold panning skills and even got to take some special gold treasures home.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

check it out! books

I was recently home sick for several days. The only good thing about the entire ordeal was that I was able to finish three books and a couple of dvds. My friend, Kate, recommends books to me on a regular basis and constantly scolds me for never reading any of them. Well, I finally picked up and read Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, which Kate had left at the house several months ago. I was shocked and angered at some of what I read but at the same time touched by this courageous woman's life story.
From the BOOK JACKET: "In this memoir from the internationally renowned author of The Caged Virgin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West." "One of today's most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following an Islamist's murder of her colleague, Theo van Gogh, with whom she made the movie Submission." "Infidel is the eagerly awaited story of the coming of age of this elegant, distinguished -- and sometimes reviled - political superstar and champion of free speech. Hirsi Ali recounts the evolution of her beliefs, her ironclad will, and her extraordinary resolve to fight injustice done in the name of religion. Raised in a strict Muslim family and extended clan, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings, adolescence as a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four troubled, unstable countries largely ruled by despots. In her early twenties, she escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she earned a college degree in political science, tried to help her tragically depressed sister adjust to the West, and fought for the rights of Muslim immigrant women and the reform of Islam as a member of Parliament. Even though she is under constant threat - demonized by reactionary Islamists and politicians, disowned by her father, and expelled from her family and clan - she refuses to be silenced." "Ultimately a celebration of triumph over adversity, Hirsi Ali's story tells how a bright little girl evolved out of dutiful obedience to become an outspoken, pioneering freedom fighter. As Western governments struggle to balance democratic ideals with religious pressures, no story could be timelier or more significant."

Friday, October 17, 2008

check it out! Downloadable Audio

We went LIVE with downloadable audio 8 days ago. What is downloadable audio? From your home computer (or your laptop on a wireless network) you can download audio books and listen to them on an MP3 player or iPod. All you need is a valid Flathead County Libray card!

Since we linked up to MontanaLibrary2Go on our website 8 days ago (the link resides on the left hand side of the webpage) there have been 66 downloads. They're not exactly flying off the virtual shelves, but our customers have been savvy enough to figure it all out!

Books check out for 14 days, at which time the downloaded file will become unuseable on your computer and the book is available for someone else to download. We have classics, such as Call of the Wild and Moby Dick, as well as contemporary reads like Dear American Airlines, True North, and Tweak--over 2,000 different titles in all!

Get connected and download an audiobook today!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Alcatraz Library

I've been travelling a bit and was fortunate enough to visit Alcatraz and not have an extended stay there. I found the library portion more interesting than I would have before becoming an employee of FCL. My favorite rule in the library section (44) is subrule #5...

5) Handle library books carefully. Many of the worn out books, especially fiction books, can not be replaced since they are out of print. You are cautioned not to loan or exchange books with other inmates or to toss books to other tiers or the flag. Defacement, mutilation or destruction of books will be cause for disciplinary action even to the extent of forfeiture of good time.

Please, please handle books with care so that the Flathead County Library doesn't have to stiffen our policies from 10 cents a day to forfeiture of good time!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hey, Kids (and Parents)!

If you have ever been stuck and can't quite find the right book, check out the website called Book Finder.Just make your choices and see what's out there for you.

If you like to read books in a series, and can't remember what book comes next, try looking at this site. The librarians at the Mid-Continent Public Library, who made this website, are terrific and work really hard to keep everything up-to-date.

Don't forget that you can come to any library and let us to help you pick out the perfect book to read!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Big Read with Doug Peacock

October is an exciting month here in the Flathead; it's The Big Read!!! Throughout the month, the Flathead County Library System is celebrating Jack London's The Call of the Wild with speakers, films and discussions. If you are into wilderness, survival and adventure, this is the month for you! Drop by your area branch and pick up a free copy of the book today (be quick - they're going fast!)

The Big Read will kick off this Sunday with a visit from grizzly bear expert Doug Peacock. Doug is an American naturalist, outdoorsman, and author. He is best known for his book Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness, a memoir of his experiences in the 1970s and 1980s, much of which was spent alone in the wilderness of the western United States observing grizzly bears.

Want an introduction to Doug? Take a look at these sites:

For further reading, check out these books (available via your friendly neighborhood library, of course!):
  • Grizzly Years: in search of the American wilderness, by Doug Peacock - Upon returning from two tours of duty in Vietnam, Doug headed into the woods to find grizzlies and experience the American wilderness.
  • Among Grizzlies: living with wild bears in Alaska, by Timothy Treadwell. Authored by the subject of the film Grizzly Man, this memoir recounts Treadwell's experiences living in close contact with grizzlies.
  • The Lost Grizzlies : a search for survivors in the wilderness of Colorado, by Rick Bass - Doug and Rick Bass search for evidence of surviving grizzlies in the San Juan mountains.
  • Other books by Doug Peacock: The Essential Grizzly:the mingled fates of men and bears and Walking It Off: a veteran's chronicle of war and wilderness
Sunday, October 5, 6pm, Saddlehorn Tower/Bigfork
Doug will be discussing the mingled fates of humans and grizzlies in Montana.

Monday, October 6, 6pm, KM Theatre/Kalispell
Grizzly Man film and discussion, led by Doug

A complete listing of Big Read events is available here. For more information, call 758-5815.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Celebrate your freedom to read!

Pop quiz time!

What do the following books have in common?
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling
  • The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  • Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
  • The Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
If you said that they are some of the most frequently challenged and banned books of the last twenty years, you are correct. Every year, there are hundreds attempts to remove "questionable" books from the shelves of libraries and schools.

September 27-October 4 is the 27th annual Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week celebrates our democratic freedom to express and have access to unpopular and unorthodox opinions. Said U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, "If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."

For lists of the most frequently challenged books, see here, and for information about Banned Books Week, see here. Celebrate your freedom to decide for yourself by reading a banned book this week!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ahoy mateys!

In observation of Talk Like a Pirate Day, we'd like to award Jane Wilkinson the "Thar be scurvy headin' yurrr way" Award. Jane is entitled to first dibs on all leftover cookies and will be heralded on this blog. Hope you didn't miss seeing our newly-crowned lead buccaneer in action!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Our kids and teens deserve a pat on the back!

Readers to the Rescue continues to be a huge motivator in the Summer Reading Program. Readers can read log hours to get a prize for themself. After that quota is met, all hours above and beyond roll over into the Readers to the Rescue program. This summer our kids and teens logged 12,965 extra hours and maxed out the donation of $1,500 to the Flathead County Animal Shelter. Kirsten Holland, director of the shelter, brought in animals and thanked the children for their efforts. The Friends of the Flathead County Library pledged the maximum donation of $1,500 to encourage children to continue reading throughout the summer. You can donate money, books or purchase books from the Friends to help out the cause. Lynn Kelly (L) & Kirsten Holland (R) are in the picture to the right.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Summer Reading 2008 @ your library

The 2008 summer reading program is now in the history books. A lot of kids, tweens, and teens visited all of our libraries and boy, did they ever read! We are still are adding up all of the hours read and it looks like we might break some records. Well done! Many thanks to Park Side Federal Credit Union for underwriting our summer reading program and volunteering at our branches to help our program run smoothly.

Our grand prize winners have been awarded their prizes and are probably enjoying them right now. Winners of the Imagination Station gift certificates are Eileen Crusta, Dakota Henson, Jack McDaniel, and Timmy Murray. Winners of the iPod Nanos are Shantay Carr, Natalie Harding, and J.J. Harris. Congratulations to all!!

There were lots of extra hours read for Readers to the Rescue. We will be donating $1500 to the Flathead County Animal Shelter, which will be used to help all of the animals there. Many thanks to all who kept reading after getting their own prizes. Keep up the good work. We would like to thank our Friends of the Flathead County Library System for contributing the money for this part of the program.

Next year's theme has been announced. For kids the theme is Be Creative @ Your Library for kids. The teen theme is Express Yourself @ Your Library. Start getting those creative juices flowing and we'll see you @ your library!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thanks to Lisa Kean

The Flathead County Library would like to thank Lisa Kean for her help in her positon as Assistant Director while she was here. She helped out tremendously in establishing better relations with the branches, connecting with volunteers and growing the program. Thank you Lisa for working on special projects and helping out with a variety of duties. You will be missed and we hope that you and your family enjoy Colorado!

Monday, August 25, 2008

For historical fiction fans in our midst...

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Here is one of those books that I couldn't put down and was sad to finish reading. This is the story of the only place in Britain that was occupied by the Nazis in WWII. Guernsey, located in the Channel Islands between England and France, is the location of this lovely story about survival and the human spirit. Written as a series of letters, this is a story within a story. Though it might be suited more for women than men, it doesn't gloss over the deprivation and hardship of this time. There is an uplifting ending that is poignant because you know what the people went through to get there. Think about adding this one to that pile on the coffee table or nightstand!

Friday, August 22, 2008

check it out! busy libraries!

As many of you may have noticed, the libraries have been busy recently. Our FY 08 checkout statistics went up 7.66% systemwide over the previous year. That's a big jump. We checked out nearly half a million items last year. In FY 08 our customers took home 478,429 books, CDs, and DVDs. Wow!!

And this year (which started on July 1st) is even busier. Our checkouts in July were up 22% over last year. TWENTY-TWO PERCENT! That is an incredible increase. We owe this to our dedicated customers, our friendly staff, and our weeded collections. Our libraries are looking better than they ever did, and our staff are working harder and smarter to accomodate this surge in business. Kudos to the staff of the Flathead County Library System!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Parade Slide Show

By popular demand, Lynn created a slide show of the parade fun- the library bookcart drill team is available for hire at private parties...

Flathead County Library System was proud to sponsor the 2008 Bookcart Drill Team in the Northwest Montana Fair Parade on Friday. The team featured Miss Piggy, a farmer to keep everyone in line, the pigs with straw, stick and brick houses, and the Big Bad Wolf. We even had the Little Bad Wolf! Hmmm...do you suppose he is in training?We hope that everyone who watched the parade had as much fun as those who marched!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

We have experienced a record-setting string of Wi-Fi usage here in the Main library in Kalispell. Approximately 25 people per day have taken advantage of free wireless access this week, simply by bringing in their laptops and connecting. Public libraries as a whole are pleased to offer this service- so check us out, whether on vacation or saving gas money by staying home!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Reading

If you are like me, summertime brings lots and lots of company, hiking, rodeos, kayaking, dinner parties and picnics, swimming, road trips and, did I mention, lots and lots of company. All of this squeezed into a week that includes work (if you are lucky like me, the work is stimulating and fun!), laundry, gardening, and cleaning the house. So when do you find time to read?

After four days of a 30-people family reunion, I took a Sunday all to myself. It was heaven! And for the first time in forever, I read an entire book. Beautiful Boy: a father's journey through his son's addiction is humorous, heavy, and a darned good read. Susan Cheever says, "This story of parental love is a masterpiece of description and feeling. Sheff portrays addiction and its confusion in a way that is immediate, informative, and heartbreaking. His quest for healing is a riveting suspense story that will enlighten and compel anyone who has ever dealt with addiction, and anyone who has ever raised a child."

So if you find yourself with time to read, check out David Sheff's Beautiful Boy. You don't have to read it all in one day like I did, but I bet you'll find it hard to put down.

Friday, July 25, 2008

And the winner is....

Hard to believe but we just passed the halfway point of our summer reading program. Many children have been to all of our libraries and have been busy investigating bugs. We have seen beetles, butterflies, ladybugs and many other types of insects and arachnids. If you haven't had a chance to come in and hear a bug story or work on a bug project, it's not too late!

The winners of our first grand prize drawing were Chuni Goodson, Matthew Kahn, Libby Goldhirsch, and Ella Cady. Lots of kids have been keeping track of their reading hours on a reading log and getting prizes. We just got some new prizes like these, which we think kids will like.

Kids can still register to keep track of their reading or listening to stories. We will have another grand prize drawing on August 25. Also don't forget that extra hours will go to helping the animals at the Flathead County Animal Shelter. So join us and Catch the Reading Bug @ your library!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Being The Best

Have you ever thought about what makes your experience in a library special? We all have expectations. Some people expect to be able to walk into a library to grab a book or movie like you would run into the grocery store to get a gallon of milk. Others like the technology aspect of using a library which could mean using a computer to look at a digital photo of a friend’s trip to Rome, playing an online game, looking up information to conduct genealogy research. Of course, the library might be the only place a person can send or receive email. Some of the youngest library users like to come and hear stories and maybe do a craft project.

A recent article that I read was talking about how make an experience for a library user the best possible. The author states that “people want a unique experience in which they are recognized and treated with a personal touch.”
He goes on to say “libraries need to keep their services basic and to the point, so that librarians can spend more time creating relationships with [library users]”, which will be “more meaningful in the long run than lots of databases and technology options.”

What are your expectations when you enter any Flathead County Library System branch? It’s something to think about as we move farther into the 21st century and see how libraries will change to provide the best experience possible for you, our library users.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Did you know...

that we had bugs for lunch today in the Children's Area? On the menu were spiders, ants, ladybugs,and even worms in some dirt! Who knew these critters could be so tasty?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Celtic Dancing In Kalispell

You might have thought the Children's Department in Kalispell was a lovely Scottish glade or an Irish meadow today. We were all treated to authentic music and dance performed by the Miles City Caledonian Society Dancers. These energetic and talented dancers have been on tour throughout Montana during the past few weeks. In between dances the dancers told us about the origins of the different tartan kilts they were wearing, the significance of each dance movement, and some Celtic customs. A few kids got to try playing the bagpipes and found out how hard it can be! One of my favorite parts of this event was listening to Amazing Grace being played on the bagpipes...it soothes the soul.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Book Reviews

Congratulations to our volunteer book reviewer, Joan Smith, of Whitefish. She recently published a book of her reviews entitled Books Worth a Look!. We have added some new reviews to our web site http://www.flatheadcountylibrary.org/reviews.htm. If you have never accessed this portion of our web site, click on Adults and then on Book Reviews and you can easily view a number of reviews.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Having a baby soon?

One of the most overwhelming aspects of pregnancy has got to be the decisions to be made about baby gear. What do I need to buy? When should I buy it? Do I need a baby bathtub? What's the best kind of car seat? Enter Heather Maclean and Hollie Schultz, authors of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide. This book is a veritable encyclopedia of baby gear. Rather than recommend specific brands, the authors explain the differences between types of baby contraptions (activity gyms vs. activity centers, for example). Extremely helpful for first time parents made dizzy by all the options out there for strollers, infant carriers, slings, and swings.

Things are buggy around here!

The 2008 Summer Reading Program is off to a great start! So far, over 600 kids have signed up to keep track of their reading to earn some prizes. If they read any extra hours, they can be part of Readers to the Rescue, which is helping the Flathead County Animal Shelter this year.

We have discovered facts about butterflies, ladybugs, ants, beetles and spiders. During the next few weeks you can visit us and learn about bees, worms, and even bugs that you can eat!!!

One of the most interesting things that we have in our branches are the space age ant colonies. NASA engineers figured out how send ants into space safely and we have an example of the kind of colony they used. Come and see how these fascinating creatures have built their tunnels in the special gel. It's pretty awesome!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Whitefish Branch is 10 years old!

Please join us in saying "Happy 10-year Birthday!" to the Whitefish Branch Library building. Well over 10 years ago, a group of community-minded citizens came together with a vision to create a first class library space for the town of Whitefish. Today we laud their efforts that have resulted in the beautiful building that serves today as the centerpiece of the community. The Flathead County Library staff also deserve a big round of applause for making the Whitefish Branch a welcoming and vibrant environment for all who pass through its doors. We are grateful to the incredible core of volunteers who are dedicated to helping us to serve our public well. We especially appreciate the gracious efforts of our branch librarian, Joey Kositzky, who for over 20 years has seen the library through struggles and good times. Kudos to all!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Taste of Life in a Public Library

Ever wonder what life in a public library is REALLY like? Try reading Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert. Borchert works in a public library in southern California and offers a fresh perspective on the sometimes funny, sometimes poignant life that is the public library. With many anecdotes Borchert shows that a library is not just a collection of materials but it is the people who come to use all of its resources and the staff who work so hard behind the scenes to make it possible.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We're BUSY!

Our libraries were busy places yesterday. At the Main Library in Kalispell, 1,008 people walked through our doors between 10 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. At our Whitefish Branch, 437 people visited between noon and 8 p.m., and 209 ventured into the Columbia Falls Branch. (Bigfork and Marion are closed on Monday.) Mondays typically bring the most customers to those facilities that are open, and with the beginning of the summer season and not-so-nice weather yesterday, we broke an attendance record at the Main Library. WOW! over 1,000 people in one day.

As I've said before, we consider our libraries the living rooms of our communities. To continue the metaphor, all the relatives and friends were visiting yesterday, and the living rooms were packed. Keep in mind the positive effect that the presence of a library has on the community--economically, socially, and recreationally--we're the happenin' place!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Stef Johnson

We'd like to say thank you to Stef Johnson for her 7 years of serving the public and helping staff. Many patrons and staff have shared their gratitude because of her wit, knowledge and enthusiasm to help out. We'll miss you and wish you the best of luck at the Butte Silver Bow Public Library and also, in the completion of obtaining your master's degree. Stop by and say hello to her when you're cruising I-90 & I-15. Feared by computers and appreciated by everyone, Stef- thanks for the memories!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Great Bird Debate

While I was hiking, I was fortunate enough to come across this good looking bird. I had a few ideas what it could be and because of a couple good librarians, the mystery was solved. Of course, we have wonderful bird identification books in the Flathead County Library.

So, what kind of bird is it? Comment away and we'll unveil the answer next week.

Blue Grouse is the winner, to avoid copyright issues, I'll not post pics but you can do a Google Image search and find some great shots...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Honoring Local Authors

Yesterday the Whitefish Branch Library hosted an open house to honor many of our local authors...lots of wonderful refreshments and great conversation! These authors have written about so many different things, it would be hard to describe them all here. Many authors had their books and magazine articles available to look through. One of most interesting parts of the afternoon was hearing about their inspiration, whether they were writing fiction or nonfiction. There are quite a few books and articles coming out this year, too. We definitely have an energetic and prolific group of writers in our midst!

Monday, May 12, 2008

A tent in the library?

Thaaaaaat's right, it's storytime- Wednesday at 11 am in Kalispell, there will be a tent set up. We had a great time today and hope to see you at the library soon. You might just be surprised what you find where you least expect it!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Comfy FUF chairs!

Hey teens, come and hang out in the comfy new FUF chairs in the Main Library's teen lounge! We have lots of books & magazines for your perusal. Or, you can bring your laptop, phone, mp3 player, homework, best pal, etc., and just chill. Open M-Th until 8, Saturday 11-5.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

check it out: movies!

Roger Ebert calls it "a superior ghost story" while Claudia Puig calls it "a terrifying horror thriller well worth seeing." The Orphanage (El Orfanato), in Spanish with English subtitles, is not really that terrifying, but it is worth seeing. It has all the trappings of a ghost story: the creepy old house in the middle of nowhere, a lovely little child with an uncertain future, a mom who loves him, and old crones that wander in and out of the story.

It's not scary, scary like the Exorcist, and it's not really violent and funny like Severance (how I love that movie!), but it is, as Ebert says, a superior ghost story and I really enjoyed it. Rated R for some disturbing content. For more reviews on this and other films, check out the Movie Review Query Engine.

check it out: books!

Can you remember, or guess, what the 5 films were that were nominated for the best picture Oscar in 1967? Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the new Hollywood by Mark Harris, will give you the answer and a lot more. A brilliant storyteller, Harris captures the upheaval in the big Studio System in Hollywood in '67 and '68, as well as the racial and cultural upheaval of the US in general. I found this book at once fascinating and shocking; luckily, we've come so far from the racism and sexism of that era.
The movies he follows for several years until they were finally released in 1967 are: Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, and Dr. Dolittle. "Based on unprecedented access to the actors, directors, screenwriters, producers, and executives whose movies defined the era, as well as a wealth of previously unexplored archival material, Pictures at a Revolution is an utterly original, revealing, and entertaining history of a true cultural watershed." --book jacket

Friday, April 25, 2008

New Computer

We installed a new computer this morning in the Main Library in Kalispell. It is upstairs, on the north side and has 6 stations running off of it. Come test it out for us and let us know what you think. As always, computer usage and internet access (wireless, too) is free and limited to one hour per person per day. Happy Surfing!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Teddy Bears in Kalispell

Earlier in April the Friends of the Library sponsored the annual Teddy Bears' Picnic at the Main Library in Kalispell. Not only did we have teddy bears, but we had some dogs, cats, and tigers, too. Everyone listened to some stories about teddy bears, had a picnic with all of the animals, and made bear puppets. We hope you enjoy the pictures taken at this year's picnic! Until next year...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

book recommendation: Bound by Sally Gunning

Bound is the story of Alice, an English girl who was sold into servitude when she arrived in the colonies in the 1750s. Alice enjoys a fairly comfortable life until the age of 15, when she is given to her master's daughter, Nabby, as a wedding gift. What seems to be a good start almost immediately sours, and Alice finds herself in a horrific and dangerous situation. Though she defies the law and escapes her new master, Alice's trials are far from over.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in historical themes, women's issues, or just a good story. Mature teen readers will appreciate Alice's pluck and resolve, as well as her strength to survive many injustices.

A vivid and spellbinding page-turner!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Readers to the Rescue

Readers to the Rescue!

Last year we had tremendous support for the Readers to the Rescue portion of our summer reading program and we thought that you would like to see some of the kids from “our” school in Batangi, Pakistan. We partnered with Montana Library Association and the Central Asia Institute to raise money for Batangi School. We just received these photos this week and are delighted to share them with you. This is the first time that most of these children, especially the girls, have had an opportunity to attend school.

We have been working very hard on the preparations for summer reading 2008, “Catch the Reading Bug @ Your Library” which is for children from birth to 10 years old. Kids who are 11-17 years old will be able to participate in “Metamorphosis@ Your Library.” Check the Kids or Teens link on the Flathead County Library home page later to get more information about all of the fun activities we have planned. Go Readers!!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

April Fool's

We want you to tell us what else needs to be in our new addition of the library!

What was the best joke ever played on/by you?

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libraries and all that JAZZ!

While in Minneapolis last week for the Public Library Association conference, we were able to visit the new dowtown Minneapolis Central Library. It's a beautiful space with an interactive Children's area, cool Teen Zone, meeting space, and floors of lovely furniture and stacks literally hoppin' with people. The library serves as an anchor in the downtown and will be very close to the yet-to-be-built Twins baseball stadium. As both of these icons are family destinations the city is using an overage in ballpark revenue to open library doors on Sunday at 18 branches including the new Central Library.

We were also treated to the unveiling of the new master plan for New Orleans Public Library. Irvin Mayfield, Cultural Ambassador to the City of New Orleans, world renowned jazz musician, and president of the NOPL Library Board, talked about the themes of Jazz and how they relate to libraries, especially the NOPL. Jazz is all about trancendence and flexibility; it's about improvisatation (improve and create); it's about the Blues and American optimism; and it's about swing--"it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing." Libraries embody all of these Jazz themes, by transcending the buildings in which they are housed and becoming the true heart of the community.