Monday, July 30, 2012

Meet the Staff Monday- Ashley

It's Meet the Staff Monday! This is Ashley, one of our fabulous pages. She has worked at the library for over 5 years, and graduated from SIUE last winter with a bachelor's degree in Biology. Ashley is now going to school to be a certified professional dog trainer with a dream of eventually opening her own dog boarding and training business. She likes reading fiction books with action, adventure, mystery, and romance and she is currently reading the Legacy Trilogy by Cayla Kluver. Ashley also enjoys the Sookie Stackhouse books from Charlaine Harris, the Vampire Diaries series, and many more. Be sure to say hi to Ashley the next time you see her in the stacks!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Collinsville Secrets

Started by Frank Warren in January 2005, PostSecret is an ongoing art project where strangers are invited to anonymously submit a secret on one side of a homemade postcard. Over half a million secrets later, PostSecret ( has grown to become one of the most popular blogs on the Internet, and Warren has published five books featuring the secrets that strangers have submitted.

Inspired by the blog's success, we've started our own version of PostSecret at the library - Collinsville Secrets! Since May, our patrons have been submitting their own secrets by decorating postcards and dropping them in an anonymous drop box at the front desk. The secrets that our patrons have entrusted with us have been astonishing. Be sure to stop by the display case on the Main Floor to read the secrets and submit your own!

Posted by Jed Robbins, Library Assistant.

Monday, July 23, 2012

International Fiction Book Club Meeting (July 18, 2012) - "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

         The International Fiction Book Club met on the evening of July 18th to discuss The Shadow of the Wind by the Spanish author, Carlos Ruiz Zafón.  The temperature outside was 105 but inside the Blum House it was a cool 77.   There were a few regular participants absent because of vacations and unknown reasons.  Those in attendance, however, were eager to chat about this marvelous novel.  We came away from the discussion liking the book even more than we did while reading it.

         In an interview with the BBC’s World Book Club, the author was asked if he had any plans to turn the book into a movie.  “Over my dead body” was his answer.  He further elaborated, “the best film version that you’re ever going to see of The Shadow of the Wind is playing in the theater  of your mind in Dolby stereo when you’re reading”.  Ruiz Zafón feels he owes it to the readers to preserve the book as it is and not sell it as a piece of merchandise that will be turned into “a piece of crap” by the Hollywood film industry.   It is no mere coincidence that the story of this novel revolves around books, their preservation and the recovery of memory from the ashes of civil war.

         Their are two time frames, two love stories, mysteries, gothic overtones, coming of age dramas and detective style intrigues all set against the backdrop of the Franco dictatorship.  The book opens in 1945.  The proprietor of a bookshop has decided it was time to take his son to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books.  It is a depository of rare books and each visitor is asked to adopt one book from the labyrinth of shelves and to promise to keep the book alive.  Daniel, the son, picks a book by the author, Julian Carax, entitled “The Shadow of the Wind”.  He is so inspired by the book that he becomes possessed by its author whose life in Barcelona and Paris is gradually revealed in the course of the novel through the use of flashbacks and detective work by Daniel and his tragic, yet picaresque, sidekick Fermin.  As Daniel engages further into the life of Carax, his life events mirror those of the mysterious man whose books are being systemically burned by a character who appears to have emerged from the pages of the novel Daniel has promised to keep alive.

         The horrors of the Spanish Civil War appear through the lives of the secondary characters, Fermin, who has been turned into a homeless beggar by his defeated status, and the opportunistic, ruthless devil Fumero, who switched sides during the War, depending on which side was winning, but ended up on the side of the Fascists.  His quest to extract revenge upon those who humiliated him at school knows no bounds.  Ruiz Zafón brilliantly weaves a tale of suspense that is never hard to follow but which always serves to both reveal clues to solving a mystery while at the same time creating a new dilemma. that turns in upon itself.  A tour de force of multi-genre dimensions.  On page 428, Nuria Monfort is writing to Daniel to try and explain her love affair with Carax and explains, “Nothing feeds forgetfulness better than war”.  Through the penetration of the various levels of this book we witness the painful reflection and re-emerging of the memory of a guilt ridden Barcelona.

         We next meet at The Blum House at 6:30 p.m. on August 15th to discuss, A Star Called Henry by the Irish author, Roddy Doyle.  You may pick up a copy of the book at the front desk of the library.  All are welcome.

Posted by Jim Krapf, Library Clerk

Meet the Staff Monday - Alison

It’s Meet the Staff Monday!  Today we are introducing our Children’s Librarian, Alison Donnelly.  Alison has worked at the library for seven years, and thinks she has the best job in the whole District!  She loves hosting pre-school story time, arts and crafts, cataloging, buying all of the materials for the Children’s Library, and generally having fun with all of our young visitors.  Alison is a voracious reader who enjoys literary fiction, non-fiction, and memoirs.  In her spare time she reviews books for School Library Journal, and is on the steering committee for the Monarch Book Award.  Alison and her daughter Felicity read together every day, and they have read 100 books this summer!  Here she is at one of our library programs getting acquainted with a snake!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Books & Movies Club Under New Management

A leadership change has taken place in the Books and Movies Club here at the Collinsville Memorial Library Center. Founder Jed A. Robbins bowed out of his directorship after the club’s July meeting in order to devote more time to his numerous other library projects. Although, he was reluctant to do so stating, "it was a hard decision. I’ve had such a great time and made some really wonderful memories, but I am confident the club is in good hands." Those hands belong to Library Clerk Grahm W. Underwood, whose first selection High Fidelity by Nick Hornby will be discussed on August 8th at 6pm. Copies are available at the front desk, and all are welcome to attend. 

Posted by Grahm W. Underwood, Library Clerk

Monday, July 16, 2012

Meet the Staff Monday - Abby

It's Meet the Staff Monday! Over the nest few months we will be introducing our wonderful staff. This is Abby Jacobs, one of our pages. Abby started working with us in March of 2012. Outside of work she loves to dance! She takes lessons at Gracefully Yours Dance Academy and have been dancing since she was two.
Besides dancing, Abby sings all the time and spends most of her time with friends and her youth group. Jodi Picoult, Simone Elkeles and Ellen Hopkins are some of Abby's favorite authors, but she will read just about anything! Say hello to Abby next time you stop by!