Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Whitefish welcomes new snowpersons!

The newest snowpeeps have made their way from the cold, lonely store shelves to the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the Whitefish branch library. All snowpeople afficianados are encouraged to come in to admire them. You may register your guess on how many snowpeople are in the library from Jan. 4th to Feb. 5th, the kickoff of the Whitefish Winter Carnival.

Oh yeah, we have books, DVD's, downloadable books and other goodies there, too- check it out!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Busting the doors down to get books!

Over the weekend, we had a minor incident at the Main Library in Kalispell. We have not confirmed that the perpetrator was indeed a library patron needing their book fix, although that is a rumor that I just started. In the future, please enter the building during library hours only. Fortunately, there was no vandalism inside of the library, so come on in and make a run on literature!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

If you like to follow Joan Smith's Book Reviews, I have added 7 new reviews this morning here. Don't forget to stop by to get some books, movies and music for the holidays.
All branches of the Flathead County Library will close at 5 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. All locations will be closed on Christmas and New Year's Day. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Teen Action and ROCK BAND!

On Thursday, local teens ages 12-18 are invited to come and play Rock Band on the big screen and help us plan events and choose new books, movies, and music. This event is free and there will be free food!

Rock Band and Teen Action
Thurs, Dec 17th
ages 12-18
Basement Meeting Room
Main Library, Kalispell

For more information, contact Martha at 758-5713 or mfurman@flathead.mt.gov.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Whitefish Library Teen Event

The Whitefish Library invites teens ages 12-18 to an anime club meeting on Tuesday, December 15th from 4-5 pm. The anime show Moon Phase will be screened, and popcorn and other refreshments will be available. This is a free event and no registration is required. If you are unfamiliar with anime and you're just looking for something fun to do, come on over!

For more information, contact the Whitefish Library at 862-6657, or Teen Services Librarian Martha Furman at 758-5713.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Congratulations, Rita Shaw!

Our Bigfork Branch Manager, Rita Shaw, will be retiring December 5th. Rita has given 25 years of wonderful service to the residents of and visitors to the Bigfork community. Please join me in thanking Rita for all of her work on behalf of Flathead County residents and wishing her the very best in her retirement!

Yesterday at the Flathead County Library Board meeting the trustees recognized Rita with the following resolution:

WHEREAS, It has been brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees of the Flathead County Library System that Rita Shaw will retire from the Library on December 5th, 2009; and,

WHEREAS, Rita Shaw has devoted 25 years of dedicated and loyal service to the Flathead County Library System and the citizens of Flathead County, specifically at the Bigfork Branch Library; and,

WHEREAS, Rita has recommended thousands of books to her loyal customers in Bigfork, and has touched the lives of countless co-workers and customers during her tenure at the Flathead County Library System:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED That the Board of Trustees of the Flathead County Library System does hereby congratulate Rita Shaw on her years of service to the Flathead County Library System and expresses publicly its sincere appreciation for that service and offers its best wishes for retirement.

Monday, November 9, 2009

check it out! books

I am just finishing a dazzling first novel, Under this Unbroken Sky, by Shandi Mitchell. Set in the 1930s, the story is of a Ukrainian immigrant family and their struggle to survive on the brutal plains of Alberta. Mitchell beautifully captures the hopes and fears of all the family members while painting a vivid portait of the landscapes that hold them.

“This stunning first novel is powerful, tragic and utterly gripping.” —The Times (UK)

“Beautifully drawn characters, flawless descriptions of an unrelenting landscape and the intricate plot add to this harrowing, breathtaking novel... Not to be missed. —She (UK)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Those in the know are already aware of this, but zombies are the new vampires. Goodbye Edward and Angel, hello brain-munchers. With Halloween just around the corner, it is the perfect time to catch up and check out some zombie books and movies.

In Marvel Zombies, all of the Earth’s superpowered beings are infected with a virus that changes them into flesh-eating zombies. Captain America, Spiderman, the Hulk, Wolverine – all out for brains.

The acclaimed graphic novel series, The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, stars Rick, a police officer from Kentucky who bands together with others to find a secure home in a world newly overrun by zombies.

You may be a Pride and Prejudice devotee, but have you ever stopped and thought that maybe it would be improved upon by the addition of some zombies? Maybe it would be a better story if Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy were brought together because they were both highly skilled killers? If so, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is the book for you.

When it comes to zombies, you can’t overlook movies. Night of the Living Dead (1968) changed horror movies forever and was the first major zombie movie. Its sequel, Dawn of the Dead (1978) might be even better; many zombie aficionados consider it the best zombie flick ever. For something more recent, try the darkly funny Shaun of the Dead or perhaps 28 Days later - a personal favorite of mine, directed by Slumdog Millionaire’s Danny Boyle (who said zombies move slow?)

What to do if a zombie uprising starts here in the Flathead? Try The Zombie Survival Guide series, by Max Brooks. It gives plans for defense and attacks against zombies, and tells what to consider when on the run. Brooks also wrote the popular novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, which tells the history of zombie wars through interviews with those who lived through them.

This is all good and fine for those uninfected, but if the worst case scenario happens, you’ll surely need Zombies for Zombies: advice and etiquette for the living dead. Chapters like “The 14 Habits of Highly Effective Zombies” and “You Are Who You Eat” will prevent you from committing any embarrassing faux pas.

All of these (and more!) available from FCLS.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Best Wishes to Sidney Johnson

On Thursday, October 22nd, the Flathead County Library Board of Trustees honored Sidney Johnson with the following resolution:

WHEREAS, It has been brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees of the Flathead County Library System that Sidney Johnson will retire from the Library on October 27, 2009; and,

WHEREAS, Sidney Johnson has devoted 33 years of dedicated, loyal, and outstanding service to the Flathead County Library System and the citizens of Flathead County; and,

WHEREAS, She has cataloged thousands of library materials, made many contributions to the library profession, and has touched the lives of countless co-workers and customers during her tenure at the Flathead County Library System:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED That the Board of Trustees of the Flathead County Library System does hereby congratulate Sidney Johnson on her years of service to the Flathead County Library System and expresses publicly its sincere appreciation for that service and offers its best wishes for retirement.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Teen Read Week begins!

Teens across Flathead County are invited celebrate reading for the fun of it this week. Stop by your local library and pick up a good book! You can also register yourself to win a $10 gift card to Borders, just by telling us your favorite recent read. Teen Read Week is a national event and is sponsored by the American Library Association. Read more about it at ALA's site.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Readers to the Rescue

Today was a special day for all of us as we presented our Readers to the Rescue donation to Human Therapy on Horseback. Remember all of that extra reading the kids and teens did this past summer? By reading an extra 16,000 hours, our children and teens were able to donate $2000 to this very worthy and helpful organization. We would like to thank our Friends of the Flathead County Library System for pledging the money for this project. Many thanks to all of you awesome readers out there!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Big Read Film: Prom Night in Mississippi

In 1997, Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for the senior prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi under one condition: the prom had to be racially integrated. His offer was ignored. In 2008, Freeman offered again. This time the school board accepted, and history was made. For more information, visit the film’s website.

Join us for an exclusive free screening of this award winning film tomorrow evening, October 8, at 7pm. The screening will take place in the Community Room of the Arts & Technology Building at FVCC.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Banned Books Week Begins

This week, Flathead County Library System joins libraries across the country in celebrating intellectual freedom and our freedom to read. Stop in to any of our libraries this week and check out a banned or challenged book. Many thanks to the volunteers pictured above (Carly, Sara, Andrea, Cambrianna, and Amanda) who created the display at the Main Library. For more information about banned and challenged books, visit the American Library Association's website.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Harper Lee Biographer to visit FCLS on Thursday

We are excited to welcome author Charles Shields to the Flathead as part of the Library's Big Read celebration.

While writing the New York Times bestselling Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, Charles J. Shields spent four years interviewing the reclusive Harper Lee’s neighbors, friends, and classmates. As a result of Shields’ research, information never before known came to light about the Pulitzer prize-winning author. In this presentation, Charles Shields will tell why he chose to write a biography of the enigmatic author, the surprises he encountered along the way (including her efforts to discourage friends from speaking with him), the parallels between To Kill a Mockingbird and Ms. Lee's life, and the reasons why she never published a second book.

Mr. Shields' presentation will be this Thursday, September 24 at 7pm, in the meeting room of the Main Library in Kalispell. The event is free and all are invited.

For a more information on this and other Big Read events, see here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The BIG READ: To Kill A Mockingbird

The Big Read is upon us and we invite you all to read (or re-read) Harper Lee's 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning, To Kill A Mockingbird. Told from the point of view of eight-year-old Scout, this coming of age novel addresses race, class and gender issues with warmth and humor. Atticus Finch, father to Scout and Jem, has become a moral hero and model of integrity to readers worldwide.

We'll also be screening the Gregory Peck-as-Atticus film in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, and Kalispell; as well as other films and lectures over the next two months. Please see the complete calendar of events on the library webpage.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another summer reading program behind us!

The summer reading program for 2009 came to an end on August 22. Children and teens at all of our libraries had a lot of fun "being creative" and "expressing themselves" with clay, paint, paper, yoga, and even food. The Children's Department staff would like to share this video with you that shows some of the projects and activities that our kids did. Those creative juices were really flowing!

We are almost finished counting up the hours spent reading. It sure looks like some records may set..It is great to see so many kids excited about books of all kinds! Well done, everyone!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Newspaper Index

The Newspaper Index is back up on the web site under the Database and Resources link. For those of you that didn't know it was there or didn't miss it, the Whitefish Pilot is indexed for easier searching, thanks to dedicated volunteers Larry and Buddie Rooney. There are also some years of the Daily Interlake indexed. The direct link is http://fclnewsindex.silverbow.org/

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Reviews

Thanks to the work of our volunteer, Joan Smith, we have a new batch of book reviews that we've added to our web site. Take a peek at http://flatheadcountylibrary.org/reviews.htm and keep an eye on the blog when more reviews are posted.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Three days of Peace and Music

Forty years ago today, early in the morning, Jimi Hendrix was headlining Woodstock. 400,000 muddy concert-goers celebrated one of the defining moments of a generation and one of the most important events in music history.

To celebrate this anniversary, there is a new crop of Woodstock books showing up on the shelves at FCLS. Check out these new ones:

Elliot Tibor had no idea what he was in for when he convinced his parents and neighbors in the quiet town of Woodstock, NY that they could drum up some business for the community by hosting a weekend-long music festival. Taking Woodstock is his account of what happened. A movie version of this tale, directed by Ang Lee, is hitting the big screen at the end of the month.

The Road to Woodstock, by Michael Lang, with Holly George-Warren. Woodstock coproducer and copromoter Lang gives a behind-the-scenes look at what went in to making the festival happen - everything from port-a-potties to Pete Townshend.

Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock, by author and DJ Pete Fornatale, includes original interviews with Roger Daltry, David Crosby, and dozens of headliners, organizers, and fans.

Also at FCLS, on DVD: Woodstock - 3 days of peace and music. The classic concert film has been re-released for the 4oth anniversary with extra songs and new footage. Or check out a music CD by Jimi Hendrix, The Who, CSNY, Grateful Dead, or many of the other Woodstock rockers.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Babcocks to visit the library

Former Montana Governor Tim Babcock and his wife Betty will be visiting FCLS this Friday afternoon for a book signing. Their biography, Challenges: Above and Beyond, co-authored by Linda Grosskopf, tells of their personal and public lives. The book covers the governor’s years in office, experiences at the Battle of the Bulge, his involvement in Watergate and business successes and failures.

The signing will take place on Friday, July 31st at 3pm at the Main Library in Kalispell.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Men on the Moon

The artwork on Google's homepage today just reminded me that it is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I am sure it is no coincidence that a couple of new books on the topic have been published this summer.

Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon, by Craig Nelson, is the tale of events leading up to the Apollo landing. Nelson introduces the astronauts, the turmoil the mission caused for the their families, and how it would change their lives forever. The book tells of the greater politics surrounding the mission (this was dead in the midst of the American-Soviet space race, remember), and also the harrowing details surrounding how, with only minutes of fuel left, the astronauts frantically rushed to find a place on the moon to land.

The other side of the journey is told in Buzz Aldrin's Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon. A more intimate account than than Rocket Men, this memoir is an account of Aldrin's life upon return to earth. Suddenly a celebrity and unable to maintain a regular career, Aldrin struggled with depression and alcoholism. This is the story of his journey towards finding love, direction for his life and satisfaction in becoming the space advocate he is today.

If you are a fan of these topics and want more to read, head to the nonfiction shelves in your library and browse from 520-524 (astronomy) and 629.4 (space travel).

check it out! books

I took some much needed relaxation this weekend and finished a graphic novel, picked up on Friday because I liked the cover images. Tamara Drew is a beautifully drawn fiction about a writer's retreat in the British countryside. As the Scotsman wrote, "Anyone who still thinks that comic books aren't for grownups should have a look at Tamara Drewe. Tamara Drewe might be easy to read but it is a rich, complex work that commands full attention." If you haven't yet delved into the world of graphic novels, this would be a great starting point. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Reading!

Kira Shanks playing the violin at the Instrument Petting Zoo Storytime in Columbia Falls.

Don't forget that the Summer Reading Program is in full swing at the Flathead County Library System! The theme this year is BE CREATIVE, so we have been doing all sorts of art, theater, music (see above!), and other creative activities. See here for the full scoop on all of the summer's festivities.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Most Requested Youth Fiction for Summer 2009 (so far)

We have had a LOT of kids coming into all of the Flathead County Libraries this summer asking for all kinds of books. Here is an interesting list of our most requested (in no particular order):

1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
2. Warriors series by Erin Hunter
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
4. Hank the Cowdog series by John Erickson
5. Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
6. Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park

Are there any other favorites being read in the Flathead this summer? Let us know!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another round of computer grads

Please share with us the most important/interesting thing you learned throughout the course of the classes. Is there anything we missed or should have covered more in depth? Thanks again for your interest and attendance!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stroller Central

School's out and Summer Reading Program activities are in full gear. Check out our kids' page for all the latest events, resources, games and more. We've switched our activities calendar to an embedded Google calendar for easier viewing.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Working Smarter

Main Library Circulation staff, Julie, Joann, Sharon, Lisa, and Kat gather around their hero Mr. Brett. Brett has configured the automated library system to print out hold slips for self-service holds. We used to handwrite each slip, which was time consuming and sometimes not so tidy. Now, the self-service holds have easy-to-read labels for our customers. "Circ loves Brett!" is the rousing cheer.
After Brett worked his magic, Kat streamlined processes in the backroom so that all holds immediately go to the self-service shelf, making it easier for our customers to quickly get requested materials. Theses are just two examples of our fantastic Flathead County Library staff members working smarter to benefit our communities.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Oprah's Summer Reading Calendar

Need help finding some good reads for the summer? Check out the summer reading calendar on Oprah's website. She even has a bookmark checklist you can print out to keep track of what you've read.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Six days and counting....

Summer vacation is right around the corner for a lot of the kids and teens in the valley and that means we are getting ready to launch the 2009 Summer Reading Program. You can visit any of our libraries to register, beginning next Monday, June 15. If you have any creative juices flowing, this summer's program will be perfect for you! "Be Creative @ your library" is the theme for children and the teen theme is "Express Yourself @ your library." After you read enough to get a prize, extra hours will go toward our Readers to the Rescue program. This year we will be supporting an organization in the valley called "Human Therapy on Horseback" .

In addition to tracking the amount of reading you do, we will also offer many programs this summer. You can pick up a schedule at your library or check out the summer reading link on our website. Just go to the Kids page of the library website, click on "Summer Reading", and then click on the "Programs" or "Teens" link. In addition to activities like painting, dancing, and playing with clay, we will have a program about a form of storytelling from Japan called kamishibai. There will be some special guests popping in once in a while, too. Teens will get a chance to practice their origami skills or see who is the Guitar Hero champion! There will be lots of things going for kids of all ages so please join us!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Digital Camera Class

Day after Father's Day Camera Extravaganza! Come to our digital camera class on June 22nd at 6:00 pm in the basement meeting room of the Main Library in Kalispell. We will go over helpful tips and necessary knowledge. This will be a hands-on class, please bring your camera with you. If you don't have one yet but want to learn more about them- this class is for you, as well!

We are also teaching another round of computer classes- sign up or send a friend. Any questions can be posted here or contact Brett directly at 758.5814.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bringing home the hardware!

Two of our most dedicated volunteers, Jenni and Dennis, recently came home with a combined 5 medals from the Special Olympics Montana 2009 State Summer Games. Jenni competed in swimming events and Dennis competed in bicycling events.

We thank them for all their efforts in the library and congratulate them on their athletic achievements! Keep up the great work!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We have added a Return on Investment Calculator on our home page that allows patrons to calculate the value of the library to them individually. The library receives $1.49 per capita per month to operate. With increasing economic difficulties, it just makes sense to borrow instead of buy books, movies and electronic resources. C'mon in, our computers and wifi are free.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Summer Book Calendar

It's not too early to start planning for your summer reading! Check out USA Today's Summer Book Calendar to see new books that are coming out soon, and then start placing those holds . . .

photo by Ellen Munro on flickr.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

check it out! Montana Book Awards

Last Thursday evening saw the Montana Books Awards reception at the Flathead County Library. (The Flathead Beacon did a nice photo slideshow to document this exciting event.) The award winner, Full-Court Quest by Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith, documents "the girls from Fort Shaw Indian School, basketball champions of the world." The time was the turn of the last century, and the girls from Fort Shaw travelled Montana playing basketball and then changing into costume for dramatic renditions and musical performances. They were all multi-talented. In 1904 they were invited to attend the World's Fair in St. Louis, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, where they spent several months playing basketball (and winning every time) and performing. Peavy and Smith bring these girls to life through their extensive research and collaboration with the girls' descendents.
At the reception last Thursday Young Grey Horse, a drumming and singing group from Browning, honored the book with several songs. And several generations of Emma Sansaver's family (she was called "little one" by her teammates) were also on hand to honor their grandmother.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Here's A Good One...

One of funniest books I have read recently is by Bill Bryson, usually known for writing travelogues. Life and Times of the The Thunderbolt Kid is Bryson's memoir about his childhood in Iowa. This book is as much about a time and place as it is about Bryson's quirky family. As you read this book, you might be reminded of Jean Shepard (In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash) or David Sedearis (Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim)By the way, the title comes from Bryson's childhood alter ego, a superhero who has the power to vaporize all adults who interfere and annoy children. Prepare to laugh out loud!

Monday, April 13, 2009

FCLS--Responding to the Economic Downturn

During this tough economic time, residents are turning to their local library for assistance. Our libraries are busier than ever these days. In March alone, Flathead County Library staff checked out 54,515 items to our users. This represents a nearly 23% increase in business over March 2007. People are borrowing, not buying, books and DVDs. Libraries have always been "green" in this respect--recylcing books and other materials by allowing them to be used over and over again.

Traffic is up in all of our facilities also. Last month alone, over 40,000 people visited our Main Library and Branches; and to date (July '08 to March '09) we've had 273,299 people walk through our doors! Our Bigfork Branch has the highest percentage increase at 21% over last fiscal year.

Flathead County citizens are using their libraries to access the Internet using either library computers or their own laptops on the libraries' wireless networks. People are looking for jobs, completing job applications and resumes, and taking our free computer classes to help them better navigate the tough job market. And well trained staff are always available to help!

Storytime visits are also up across the board. Flathead County Libraries offer 5 storyhours each week to pre-schoolers from every corner of the valley. Our storytimes include early literacy skill development so that children will be prepared to read once they reach kindergarden and first grade.

Has the library been a help to you lately? If so we'd love to hear your story. Send an email to kcrowley@flathead.mt.gov and let us know how the library has helped you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

special display: Created Equal

The Flathead County Library System received a "Created Equal" Bookshelf Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The grant included 21 books for display and checkout from our libraries.

As the program's website states, "The “Created Equal” Bookshelf provides opportunities for young people to explore what the Revolutionary generation meant when it declared that “all men are created equal.” What challenges has America faced, and where has it shown progress, in its efforts to live up to the ideal of universal human equality? How did Abraham Lincoln, whose bicentennial we celebrate in 2009, contribute to the idea and the reality of human equality in America?"

Books will be on display at all FCLS libraries until May 15th. Come and check it out!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

check it out! movies

Not wanting to venture too far out into the lingering winter this weekend, I stayed in and watched a few videos. One, KENNY, was delightful! It's probably not for everyone (nothing ever is) and you might want to view it with the subtitles turned on because it takes place in Australia and the english can be hard to decifer at times. Kenny Smyth delivers porta-potties to events all over Melbourne and this is his story.
From the DVD case: "Hailed by critics as 'The Citizen Kane of romantic comedies about sewage'..., KENNY lifts the lid on one of Australia's roughest diamonds as he juggles family tensions, fatherhood and sewage with charm, humor and unflinching dignity. Part philosopher, part comedian and all heart, Kenny is living proof that in sewage, like life, the best will always rise to the top." One can't help but love this oversized "knight in shining overalls."

Columbia Falls Branch Library is going to the dogs!

Columbia Falls Branch Library is expecting some special storytime guests during the next two weeks! Puppies! Come on out on April 1st and 8th and meet them.

Preschool Storytime at the Flathead County Library System is always a good time, and you never know who is going to
show up! If you have a preschooler in your life, we hope you'll join us for one soon.

Bigfork: Wednesdays @ 10:00am

Columbia Falls: Wednesdays @ 10:30am

Kalispell: Tuesdays @ 11:00am

Wednesdays @ 11:00am

Marion: Wednesdays @ 3:30pm

Whitefish: Thursdays @ 1:00pm

Friday, March 27, 2009

Need computer help, call these guys...

Starting the week of March 30th, we will have the largest group ever to finish the sessions of computer classes that we offer at the library. We have had an amazing turnout. The purpose of these classes is to familiarize beginner users with some basic programs and functions of the computer. We had a great group this time around!

For you graduates, your homework during the last class is to post the most important thing you learned and any other comments or concerns. You don't need to include your name.


Monday, March 16, 2009

New Book Reviews

Thanks to our volunteer, Joan Smith, we have some more book reviews available on our website. Take a few minutes to check out what you may have missed!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Columbia Falls Library Association Gardening Workshop

The Columbia Falls Library Association hosted a Gardening Workshop last night to an audience of 45 people at the Columbia Falls Branch Library. Local gardeners presented on worm composting, growing heirloom corn, soil amendments and growing herbs. Participants had lots of questions about the red wiggler worms and home ground cornmeal that were passed around.

It was great to see beginning gardeners come together with experts to get some tips on how to grow food on their own.