Wednesday, October 31, 2012

5th Annual Art & Author Holiday Market

Just in time for Holiday gift buying! Buy local, buy original. Meet local authors and artists. Books, art, jewelry, unique finds and more! Join us at the historic Blum House for a festive and fun-filled day at the Collinsville Library's 5th Annual Art & Author Holiday Market on December 1st from 12:00-5:00pm. Hosted in conjunction with the Christmas in Collinsville and the Holiday House Tour. The Holiday Market will be held at the Blum House next door to the library at 414 W. Main St., Collinsville, IL 62234. Please call Jessica at 618-344-1112 for more information.

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian

Monday, October 29, 2012

Meet the Staff Monday - Katie

It's Meet the Staff Monday! Today we are introducing the Fairmont City Library Center's Branch Manager, Katie Heaton! Katie has worked at the Library District since 1997 and she loves programming, cataloging and training staff. Katie may be our sportiest staff member! Katie lives in Collinsville, IL and she was born and raised in Caseyville, IL. She has been married to her husband Craig for 31 years. Katie and Craig have four daughters. Candace, married living in Canada expecting her first child in January. Cara, married, living in St. Louis and has a 7 month old son. Rachael and Kristina are still living at home. Rachael is currently working at Treehouse Wildlife Center in Dow, IL and Kristina is attending CHS. Katie likes to spend time outdoors with her family. They enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking, biking or mountain biking, and watching wildlife. At home she likes to work in her yard and spend time with her family and grandson. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

International Fiction Book Club Meeting (October 17, 2012) - "Star of the Sea" by Joseph O'Connor

         It was a cold, blustery, rainy evening.  No, that’s not the beginning of a novel, just the weather report from the International Fiction Book Club meeting of October 17, 2012.  Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor took center stage.  Even though it was nasty outside, inside we had a pleasant conversation about a most horrible time in Irish history - the Great Famine.  The seeming “present” of the novel takes place on the ship, The Star of the Sea, a freighter that is carrying 5,000 lbs. of mercury for the Alabama Mining  Co. in 1847.  Also on board are hundreds of would-be emigrants fleeing eviction and ruin for the promise of a better life in America.  But the present tense is a misnomer.  As one member commented, this is a sort of meta-fiction with various narrators including an omniscient voice, the Captain’s log, various letters and passages from an unfinished novel by a character aboard the ship.  This character is Grantley Dixon, an American journalist who puts together all of these pieces of the puzzle that make up the final voyage of what becomes a “coffin” ship.  He publishes this novel with the aid of an epilogue that clues in readers to the answers of some of the ship’s mysteries on Easter Sunday, 1916, when he is in his nineties.  So, we have a book within a book just as the ship’s passengers could be said to comprise a microcosm of the Irish cataclysm in the mid nineteenth century.

          Coffin ship, since many die on the voyage.  Puzzle, because as the ship moves closer to its destination we gradually find out more and more about the relationships that haunt the group of passengers to which we become familiar.  David Meredith has been disinherited twice by his father, Lord Meredith, even though the estate has been sold to sheep herders.  David’s position in the House of Lords is no help in this matter and as we discover more about this man we see the embodiment of hypocrisy.  Perhaps he represents English guilt.  Only when he finds out he has six months to live does he attempt to help the sickly.  His first love, Mary Duane, is now his maid and unaware of their true familial bond.  Pius Mulvey, referred to as the “ghost”, because of his habitual lurking about the deck, is the central character that ties together the disintegrating threads of both Irish families and society in general.  He can be said to embody evil but he also absorbs evil.  We know early on that a murder is about to take place.  O’Connor deftly fuses Dickensian style intrigue with parodies of both the Romance novel and Gothic suspense while adhering to the principle espoused by David Meredith, “Everything is in the way the material is composed.”  History of the subject matter is gained through osmosis when the characters are delineated through their passions and fears.   Everyone agreed that the form of this novel fit the subject matter and the epilogue only added to the nineteenth century feel.  Thumbs up unanimously.

         Our next meeting will be November 21st when we will be discussing 13 rue Thérèse by Elena Mauli Shapiro.  Check out a copy at the front desk and come  join us.

Posted by Jim Krapf, Library Clerk

Monday, October 22, 2012

Meet the Staff Monday - Karina

It's Meet the Staff Monday! Today we are introducing Karina Almeida. She was born in Long Beach, California in 1993, and after five years of living there she then moved to Fairmont City, Illinois. Karina lives with her two parents and two sisters, her being the middle child. Karina is Mexican-American, Spanish being the primary language she speaks at home. Some of her favorite activities are going out with friends, dancing, shopping, and horse back riding. She also enjoys her volunteer work at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church with the PSR Program, which she has been doing for the past 6 years. Karina went to Holy Rosary Catholic School and graduated in 2007, then she went to Althoff Catholic High School and graduated in 2011, she is now attending SWIC, she isn't so sure on what career she wants yet. She has been working at the Fairmont City Library Center since August of 2011 and every now and then you will see her beautiful smile at Collinsville too!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Meet the Staff Monday - Jim

It's Meet the Staff Monday! Today, meet our second Jim! Jim Ritter has been working at the Collinsville Library since May 2009. He is an ordained clergyman in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and spent 22 years in parish ministry.  Jim continues to serve the church by filling in for vacationing pastors and by visiting a number of home bound members of his home church.  He is married to Terry and has five children: Tom is a graduate assistant at ULA- Monroe in their media relations department, Andrew is teaching with Americorps in Philadelphia, Mark is a Sophomore at Metro East Lutheran High School, Hannah is in 4th grade at Good Shepherd Lutheran School, and Rebecca is home in heaven after just ten days of life on earth. Jim enjoys walking, is a fan of wildlife art - especially Canada Geese and Ducks, and enjoys discussion religion, theology and conservative politics. Stop by and say hello to Jim next time you see him!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

We Can't Wait! We Can't Wait! For These Very Important Dates!

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first telling of Alice in Wonderland, and we're celebrating the occasion by hosting two weeks of fun events and programs leading up to the Halloween Walk at the library!

From October 15th-19th, we'll be having a Cheshire Cat Smile Contest. You're invited to come up to the Main Desk, put on a cat mask, and give us your best Cheshire grin. We'll take your picture and at the end of the week, staff will vote on a winning smile, whose owner will earn a little prize.

From October 22nd-25th, you're invited to stop by the Main Desk to play a game called "Beat the Queen of Hearts!" If you draw the Queen of Hearts from a deck of cards, you'll win a sweet treat! (If nothing else, you'll get a good chuckle because the staff that's working behind the Main Desk will be wearing playing card costumes all week!)

On Wednesday, October 24th, there will be an Alice in Wonderland Movie Night and Costume Contest in the Community Room. The costume contest will begin at 3:30pm, and the movie will begin at 4pm. The winner of the Costume Contest will get free popcorn and soda at Library Movie Nights for a year!

On Thursday, October 25th from 3-5pm, you are cordially invited to attend a Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Blum House (which is located next door to the library)! Alice, the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, and the White Rabbit will be in attendance as you make a craft, enjoy some tea, and pet real bunnies.

To finish the festivities with a bang, Saturday, October 27th marks our annual Halloween Walk through the library! You're invited to stop in the library between the hours of 11am and 2pm to see the library like you've never seen it before - transformed into the world of Alice in Wonderland! Children are encouraged to dress-up and will receive some sweet treats during this event.

Posted by Jed Robbins, Library Assistant

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Meet the Staff Tuesday - Jim K.

Since we had a day off yesterday, here is your delayed Meet the Staff for the week! Today, meet one of our two Jims! Jim Krapf joined the staff at the Mississippi Valley Library District on September 15, 2009. On that day, he also turned 59 years old and became the 2nd oldest person on the staff. Previous to his employment on the Collinsville staff, Jim worked for the Glen Carbon Centennial Library and the Lewis and Clark Library System. He is most proud of his career at AT&T which ran from 1980 to 2000. Jim enjoys helping people and tries to keep abreast of the latest trends while still finding value in being old fashioned. With a B.A. in English Literature from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and an M.A. in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis, is it any wonder that he moderates the International Fiction Book Club? Some of Jim’s favorite authors include: Thomas Bernhard, Raymond Queneau, Claude Simon, Victor Hugo and Georges Simenon. In his spare time he writes poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction under an assumed name. If you are looking for some literary fiction with a global setting, Jim's definitely a great person to ask!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

If You're Crafty And You Know It...

Attention, DIY mavens: whether you sew, knit, crochet, scrapbook, stamp, embroider, paint, quilt, or bead, bring your crafty creations to share and your works in progress to complete at our new "Yarn, Paper, Scissors Craft Group." All are welcome to attend the meetings, which are every other Monday evening from 5-8pm at the Blum House! For more information, please call Jessica at 618.344.1112.

Posted by Jed Robbins, Library Assistant

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Cookin' Up Some Fun!

Looking to expand your cooking skills?! Then join our delicious and fun-filled cooking classes at the library! These classes will be presented by Certified Culinarian, Kathy Seibel. With Kathy's guidance and expertise you will learn some cooking basics including techniques, skills and some quick and tasty recipes. Registration is required and is in-person only. The cost of each class is $5.00 and is due at the time of registration. Cash only please. The cost of each class covers all food supplies. Please visit the Main Desk to register. All classes will be held in the Community Room kitchen. (Please note: Tuesday classes are from 6-7:30pm. Saturday classes are from 9:30-11am.) Call 618.344.1112 for more information.

October 16 & 20: Apples to Apples - The leaves are changing and fall is in the air. Say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. Learn a fantastic and simple homemade applesauce recipe and finish with a sweet apple treat that is sure to delight everyone!

November 13 & 17: Thanksgiving 101 - Learn the basics of creating a simple and fabulous Thanksgiving for your family and friends. Create a delicious side dish or dessert that will compliment any Thanksgiving feast.

December 11 & 15: Christmas Cheer - Whether it's chestnuts roasting over an open fire or the smell of fresh baked Christmas cookies in the air, it's just not Christmas without delicious smells filling the house. This holiday season we will learn some delicious Christmas cookie recipes and top it off with divine dessert shots.

Posted by Jed Robbins, Library Assistant

Monday, October 01, 2012

Meet the Staff Monday - Jessica

Jessica is our Adult Services Librarian and loves planning programs and events for the library.  She was born and raised in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana and attended Indiana University where she studied English Literature and received her Master’s in Library Science.  Jessica spent four years as a Children’s Librarian working for the Chicago Public Library before joining the wonderful staff of the Collinsville Memorial Library Center.  Some of Jessica’s favorite things are reading, road trips, camping, photography, rare books and knitting.  Jessica loves learning new things and enjoys reading many different genres.  Her favorite books include Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and she is currently reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.