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 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!