Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Best Blog Post for Book Addicts

Calling all book nerds: here's a mammoth list of Best Books of the Year lists. In fact, this blog attempts to find ALL best books lists and put them in one long list. Great for browsing, especially if you have a special interest (i.e. art books, inspirational fiction, or middle grade fiction).


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Readers to the Rescue! Children and Teens Raised $1853 for DREAM

Over the summer, children and teens read for fun and for prizes in Flathead County Library System’s Summer Reading Program. As an added component to the program, participants were able to read above and beyond the minimum requirements, with extra hours raising funds for the local organization DREAM, which works to provide opportunities for skiing and other outdoor activities for children and adults with disabilities.

This year, children and teens combined read a total of 12,908 hours over the minimum number of hours required for a prize. Children raised $1 for every 5 hours read, and teens raised $1 for every 10 hours read. On behalf of the youth in the Summer Reading Program and our program funder the Friends of the Flathead County Library, we were thrilled to present a check today for $1853 to DREAM. We wish them well in all of their endeavors!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Many thanks to our volunteers!

We had a delightful picnic on Friday evening to celebrate the contributions of our volunteers. The FCLS staff provided the food and drinks and it was quite a spread. We had a great turnout so the company was good and the conversation lovely.
The FCLS volunteers contributed over 5500 hours throughout our system and do many tasks that help all of us, including shelving, processing new materials, calling customers to let them know that holds have arrived, and helping with our events and the Summer Reading Program. We thank you and value your hard work!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teen Summer Reading Winners!

We have some winners for our grand prize drawings in the Teen Summer Reading Program!

$25 gift cards to Borders
Neva Lunday, Columbia Falls
Callie Ling, Whitefish
Eileen Crusta, Kalispell

Sony Portable DVD Player

Kendra Vogel, Kalispell

Congratulations, and thanks to all the teens who participated and made it a great year for summertime reading!

The Last (We Think) Summer Reading Message

As we are wrapping up everything for the 2010 Summer Reading Program, we want to make sure that we announce the winners of the Session 2 Grand Prize. A drumroll please....
Columbia Falls: Coltin Griffith
Whitefish: Marilla Carlson
Kalispell: Jacob Currier

They have won a gift certificate to Imagination Station and we feel pretty confident that each one will find at least one cool thing to get! !!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We Made A Splash!

The 2010 Summer Reading Program is almost over (all hours have to be turned in by the end of the day on Saturday, Aug. 21) and we want to share some memorable moments! We want to thank everyone who came to our programs! A very special thank you to all of our volunteers who set up craft stations, recorded hours, handed out prizes, and lent a hand in all kinds of ways.

This summer our libraries were a great place to hang out with old friends and even make some new ones. It seemed to go by fast as we heard stories about pirates, sharks, and other creatures that you find around water. We hope that you had as much fun as we did!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Reading Still Going Strong!

We just completed the first half of the 2010 summer reading program and all of the libraries have been jumpin'! We have had 431 children read enough hours to earn a prize. We know these kids love to read because they have reported reading over 4500 hours so far this summer. Keep up the good work, everyone!
We would like to announce the winners of our Session 1 grand prizes! The children won a $10 gift certificate to Imagination Station. Congratulations to all!
Bigfork/Kalispell: Henry McRae
Columbia Falls: Venessa Schmidt
Whitefish: Braya Hobson

Saturday, July 3, 2010

"Boatloads" of Fun

Kids from around the Flathead Valley are hearing some interesting stories and creating some imaginative projects following the theme of "Making A Splash" @ Your Library! During the past week or so kids created some seaworthy sailboats in Kalispell, went fishin' after hearing some "whopper" fish stories in Columbia Falls, and frolicked with undersea creatures, including mermaids, in Whitefish. We even hear some sharks were spotted at the Bigfork library. Things are going "swimmingly" well for us this summer!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Making A Splash" at our libraries

We made a splash at our libraries this week with the launch of our 2010 summer reading program. The kids in Kalispell heard stories about bubbles and a pirate who hijacked a school bus. You never saw so many bubbles when the littlest ones created their own bubble makers. The older kids did a science experiment about water quality.In Columbia Falls the kids used their imaginations to go to the beach, by listening to beach stories, making an ocean in a jar, and creating their own seashell bracelets.The Bigfork kids heard some great stories about frogs and made frog puppets. Our Whitefish kids heard a story about a goofy pirate and looking for buried treasure and cabbages! There were lots of sharks "swimming" around there. Many sharks gave up some of their teeth so that kids could also make shark tooth necklaces. It's only the beginning....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Recently spotted....

Looks like these guys are headed to the Flathead County Libraries for the 2010 Summer Reading Program. We think they heard that this summer was going the perfect time to "Make A Splash" at our Children's programs. Or maybe they discovered that they could "Make Waves" with our teens! Why don't you join all of us for some fun?

Friday, June 4, 2010

check it out! Books

April 30th marked the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, and the end of the Vietnam War. The New York Times Book Review chose the cover of the April 4th issue to review two novels set in that particular time and place--The Lotus Eaters and Matterhorn. The latter is still on my holds list, but I just finished the former, Tatjana Soli's haunting first novel, of a female war photographer's journey through those war years. Helen's "ambition in the larger world had faded until there was only her and the camera and the war." Check it out! a striking first novel.

The Vietnam era was a huge cultural influence for those of us coming of age in the late 60s, early 70s. This fall, the Flathead County Library System will feature Tim O'Brien's classic novel of the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried. Look for a Big Read calendar of events later this summer; and in the meantime, check out these new novels of the Vietnam War.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Reads!

Hey Readers,
Check out NPR's list of summer reads handpicked by independent booksellers!

Stop by or give us a call for more suggestions. We'd also love to show you Novelist Plus, our database of recommended books! Check it out here (link is on the lower right). You'll need an active library card number to log in.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Teen Action


Do you like crafts? Are you interested in helping out the library and some little kids too? Come to our Teen Action event on Thursday for a paper cutting party. We'll eat popcorn, play Rock Band, and prepare craft projects for the library's littlest customers: the preschoolers who come to our storytimes! It'll be a fun time and a great way to relax after school. We'll meet in the Main Library's Meeting Room from 4:00-5:30pm this Thursday, May 20th. This event is open to ages 12-18.

image from flickr user spin spin

Monday, May 3, 2010

check it out! Books

Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life is a wonderful memoir by Kim Severson, the current food writer for the New York Times. As the book jacket describes "it took a series of encounters with female cooks to teach her the life lessons she had forgotten--and many she had never learned in the first place. Some were as small as a spoonful, and others were so big they saved her life. But the best lessons were delivered in the kitchen."
There are chapters on Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl (Garlic and Saphhires), Rachael Ray, Marion Cunningham, Edna Lewis, Leah Chase, Marcella Hazan, and Kim's mother Anne-Marie Zappa Severson. Michael Pollan writes, "Kim Severson has written a spicy, thoroughly delectable memoir about the cooks who changed her life. Her touch is light and humorous, yet by the end she has managed to get at something profound about the meanings of food in our lives."
Check it out!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How Green is an E-reader?

We librarians tend to be quite interested in the e-reader phenomenon, wherein a single, electronic handheld device can store thousands of books. Recently we caught wind of an interesting article analyzing the environmental impacts of both books and e-readers in an attempt the answer this question:

Which option is more environmentally friendly and has fewer human impacts?

It's all very interesting, and happily (for us) the authors end the article this way: "All in all, the most ecologically virtuous way to read a book starts by walking to your local library."

photo from flickr user goXunuReviews.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fiction readers, start (or rev) your engines!

For all the fiction fans out there, next week is BIG in terms of fiction releases. Check out the list of books coming up here, and start placing those holds!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Study: A Third of Americans Use Computers in Libraries

From the March 25th issue of The Daily Interlake, page A13

SEATTLE (AP) — A third of Americans— about 77 million people— use public library computers to look for jobs, connect with friends, do their homework and improve their lives, according to a new study released Thursday.

It confirms what public libraries have been saying as they compete for public dollars to expand their services and high-speed Internet access: library use by the general public is widespread and not just among poor people. But researchers found that those living below the federal poverty line— families of four with a household income of $22,000 or less— had the highest use of library computers. Among those households, 44 percent reported using public library computers and Internet access during the past year.

Among those aged 14 to 24 in poor households, 61 percent used public library computers and Internet for education purposes, though young people were the biggest library computers among all demographic groups.

Nearly half of the nation’s 14- to 18-year-olds— about 11.8 million people— reported using a library last year and a quarter of teens used the library at least once a week. The study was paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted by the University of Washington Information School, which gathered information three ways:

■ A random national telephone survey of 3,176 people from April to August.
■ In-person interviews with library patrons in Baltimore, Fayetteville, Ark., Marshalltown, Iowa, and Oakland, Calif.
■ An online survey that was answered by 45,000 people after they logged on to use a public library computer.

The most common uses for library computers included gaining access to government agencies,
searching for jobs and filling out applications, doing homework, communicating with friends and family, banking, seeking health advice, running a business, completing online courses and seeking financial aid for college.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Press Release

KALISPELL-- The Main Library in Kalispell opened its doors almost an hour late yesterday due to a power outage. A squirrel caused the outage and delays throughout the downtown area. I tracked down a distant cousin of the perpetrator (pictured above) and questioned him as to the motive behind such an event. He stated, "Mmmmm, peanuts good." And there you have it folks.
The real news is that if you would like to learn more about Squirrels Gone Wild, come in to the library and check out what we've got. We will be opening the doors at 10am sharp.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Breaking the rules...

Join us for an evening of Food, Drinks,
and Live Music by The Can’t Hardly Playboys.

For one evening, we're busting out of the norm and getting Loud at the Library.

Thursday, March 18 / 5:30 - 8:00 pm
Flathead County Library / Kalispell

The Flathead County Library Foundation is raising money to help with the Library's unique programs and services. We’ll have dozens of baskets for raffle as well as a special auction of library chairs and tables painted by local artists.

Tickets are just $25 each ($15 tax deductible) and are available at the Main Library Business Office. Call 758-5826 for more info.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another birthday for Dr. Seuss

With games, crafts, and a lot of birthday cake, the Main Library celebrated the 106th birthday of Dr. Seuss. Once again the Cat in the Hat helped us celebrate with special guests,Thing 1 and Thing 2. This joint was jumping!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Silver Roots Musical Performance

The Flathead County Library System hosted two talented musicians last Thursday for a wonderful evening of music . Flutest Shawn Wyckoff and violinist Maria Millar performed classical pieces, Irish, American and folk numbers, as well as their own arrangements.
Approximately 70 enthusiastic audience members participated in the concert by asking questions of the two Julliard graduates, requesting songs, and laughing heartily at the repartee.

If you'd like to see more of this sort of programming at your Flathead County libraries, please let us know. And to learn more about Silver Roots, see their website.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monthly Computer Classes

In the past, we've offered computer classes in blocks and then taken some time off. Basic, free computer classes are now being offered monthly at Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Kalispell (2 classes) and Whitefish. The classes will all be held in the same week and each class will be of a different topic, including- Basic Windows, word processing and spreadsheets, Intro to Internet, Easy Email and how to navigate our catalog and web site. Each class is taught at the beginner level. If you know someone interested, there is no registration. There are events calendars in each library and also online at Call your local library or Brett at 758.5814 for more info.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today would have been the 81st birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Libraries, government offices, some schools, and other agencies will be closed on Monday, January 18th (the official holiday) to commemorate the incredible work he did in his shortened lifetime.
In the words of Corretta Scott King:
We commemorate on this holiday the man of action, who put his life on the line for freedom and justice every day, the man who braved threats and jail and beatings and who ultimately paid the highest price to make democracy a reality for all Americans.
I encourage each of you to get involved in some way over these next few days and to look at each other with understanding and the realization that we are all members of the human race, and all equal. Yes, we all have different viewpoints--political viewpoints, literary viewpoints, religious viewpoints, land-use viewpoints--you name it; we are a diverse country and a diverse world. But it is up to us work together and continue the legacy of Dr. King to make this a better world for all.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Miep Gies, protector of Anne Frank, dies at 100

We caught wind of some sad news yesterday: Miep Gies, Nazi resister and protector of Anne Frank's family died at age 100. Without Gies, Anne Frank's diary would never have been published. She gathered and saved the the strewn papers after the family was arrested. Gies had hoped to give them back to Anne, but instead returned them to Otto Frank, Anne's father.

Read an obituary of Miep Gies here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter Reading

A few of my librarian friends sent their "Seasons Readings" lists out last week, with great lists of books they have read in 2009. Since I don't keep year-long lists, I'll just give a shout to those books read and listened to over my Holiday holiday this year.

Books on CD that burned up the miles between Bigfork, Flesher Pass, Helena, Bozeman and Livingston included David Sedaris's When You are Engulfed in Flames (laugh out loud funny!) and Kaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns (heart wrenching). The novels I read included Dangerous Angels: the Weetzie Bat books (delightful!); Rennie Airth's The Dead of Winter (mystery set in WWII England); and Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played with Fire (nicely reviewed by Joan Smith here).
But the book that had the most profound effect on me these last two weeks was Jon Krakauer's Where Men Win Glory: the odyssey of Pat Tillman. Krakauer is an incredibly compelling writer, especially when the subject is difficult at best. Reading his account of the life and untimely death of Pat Tillman, I learned a lot about the causes of the wars in which we are currently engaged, and even more about the tribulations our soldiers face every day. It was interesting to listen to A Thousand Splendid Suns in conjuction with Where Men Win Glory; both portraits of Afghanistan and its people from wildly different perspectives.

I hope you were able to get some reading and listening in over the holidays. If not, pick up one of these; you won't be disappointed!