Friends of the Library Fall Newsletter



     Fall Edition                                          2013

Upcoming Calendar Events:

  • Author, Sonia Gensler, will be at the Library on Oct. 11, 2013 at 3:30p.m. She will be here to promote her new young adult book, The Dark Between.  She will do a presentation, meet & greet, and a book signing.   
  • The Youth Creative Writing contest deadline is Sept. 27, 2013.  We really want to see as many entries as possible so please encourage any student in grades 2-12th grade in public, private, or home schooled in Houston County to enter.  The entry form is attached seperately and students can enter multiple entries in any and all categories.  It is a judged contest and there will be prizes awarded to all winners.
  • The Youth Creative Writing Contest Reception for the winners, their families, and the community will be held on October 28, 2013 at 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • The library has applied for a Technology Grant with the Tennessee State Library and Archives.  If the library receives the matching fund grant, the library will purchase two new computers, one Kindle Fire, and one iPad for use at the library.
  • The library now has ornaments on sale for $15. They are commemorative ornaments. This ornament is the first one in a series and it has an image of the old courthouse.
  • “Meet the Artist” will be Natalie Carter on Oct. 23, 2013.  The Houston County Library and the Houston County Arts Council sponsor the Meet the Artist monthly event.
  • “Meet the Artist” will be Joe Adams on November 4, 2013. The Houston County Library and the Houston County Arts Council sponsor the Meet the Artist monthly event.
  • We would like to welcome a new employee, Denise Adams, who will work part time.  She will be helping with story time, as well as assisting patrons at the library, and other clerical duties.
  • The library is always looking for volunteers.  We need volunteers for the following events:  story time for children Thursday at 10:00 a.m., decorate the library for Christmas, refreshments for story time, and set up/clean and refreshments for the monthly Meet the Artist and Authors.
  • Oct. 22, 2013 Geology Class with Melissa Barker.
  • Rene Stawski is at the Library today making a creative display for Banned Books Week, Sept 22-28.

The Library in Review for the Past Several Months:

Wow, this summer was a busy and fun filled summer.  We had an amazing time and can’t wait for the months ahead!

  • The summer reading program had over 150 children between the ages of 3 and 13 signed up to read and learn “Dig Into Reading”. The Summer Reading Program was filled with lots of activities—Animals, chemistry, dancing and singing!
  • Fonda Hancock was the June Artist of Month.
  • Sewing Classes with Shelia Settles
  • Beginner Computer Class presented by Kaitlyn Watson
  • On August 20, the genealogy class resumed.  A large group learned how to use the original Houston County loose records, including wearing white gloves to handle the delicate documents.  Melissa Barker discussed what type-of records are available at the Archives and ways to use them to research the ancestors.
  • Story time resumed on Sept. 5 with a large crowd gathered for the fall story time schedule—Apples were the first discussion.  We will also do pumpkins, honey, and the county fair during September and October.  There will be no story time in October when the schools are on fall break.
  • Artist Linda Green Christensen was the September Artist of the Month.
  • 4-H Judging Group met with Sheila Settles twice a week to prepare for a competition held in Jackson on September 14, 2013.
  • The Houston County Fair was on Sept. 19-21, 2013. The Library did have a booth at the fair.  Thank you to the volunteers that worked it and also to everyone who stopped by.  Katelyn Thornburg was the winner of the book give away at the booth at the fair.  Congrats!
  • We will have the next genealogy class on Sept. 24 at 5 PM.  We will have them each month.  Melissa picks the date for the next one while we are in class with everyone.  We try to check a Tuesday that will suit everyone.
  • The library is still open and operational even though there has been and continues to be road construction in front of the library.  Currently patrons can park in front of the library again.  Thank you to everyone for being so patient while the road was being repaired.



Artwork by: Eric Batchelder
Age: 11

The Friends of the Library is looking for poems, prose, short fiction, and images of artwork to publish in its quarterly newsletter.  If you have something that you would like to submit for possible publication in the newsletter please send a hard copy of any written work to the library or a photo copy of any of your artwork.  If you would like your writing or photo returned please include a self addressed stamped envelope with your work.  Please do not submit your original written work or your only copy.  Also you can send an email attachment to and in the subject line please state writing newsletter submission or artwork newsletter submission. “When you read a great book, you don’t escape from life, you plunge deeper into it.”–Julian Barnes, A Life with Books

Books in Review:

Historical Fiction

Galway Bay by: Mary Pat Kelly


Galway Bay
by: Mary Pat Kelly

In a hidden Ireland where fishermen and tenant farmers find solace in their ancient faith, songs, stories, and communal celebrations, young Honora Keeley and Michael Kelly wed and start a family. Because they and their countrymen must sell both their catch and their crops to pay exorbitant rents, potatoes have become their only staple food.

But when blight destroys the potatoes three times in four years, a callous government and uncaring landlords turn a natural disaster into The Great Starvation that will kill one million. Honora and Michael vow their children will live. The family joins two million other Irish refugees–victims saving themselves–in the emigration from Ireland.

Danger and hardship await them in America. Honora, her unconventional sister Máire, and their seven sons help transform Chicago from a frontier town to the “City of the Century.” The boys go on to fight in the Civil War and enlist in the cause of Ireland’s freedom.

Spanning six generations and filled with joy, sadness, and heroism, GALWAY BAY sheds brilliant light on the ancestors of today’s forty-four million Irish Americans–and is a universal story you will never forget.

—Amazon Review

This book is truly something that everyone in this area would enjoy reading.  With our Irish heritage and Irish Celebration, this book lets the reader know what strength and courage the Irish really had to endure the famine and indignities towards the Irish during its history.

Even when reading about the Civil War, the reader will be interested in the how even this area was included in the book.  It’s a great historical fiction that everyone will enjoy.
–Kay French



A Touch of Greek (Out of Olympus #1)  by: Tina Folsom.


This book is a real page turner. It takes the Greek Gods that you learn about in school and gives them a real naughty side. This book is about one of Poseidon’s son Triton. He gets sent to the mortal world as punishment and has to get a woman to fall in love with him for what’s inside not for his good looks which seems to be challenging I mean he is a god. One of Triton’s friend suggest he gets a blind woman to fall in love with him but that’s easier said than done.
–Crystal Mills


A Discovery of Witches by: Deborah Harkness


A Discovery of Witches
by: Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches is an amazing book about a spell bound witch and a shadowed vampire that get brought together by a century old manuscript found in the Oxford’s Badleian Library. Trying hard to avoid any magic, Diana Bishop, tries to live her life as an average human until Mathew DeClairmont finds her in a secluded part of the Oxford library and sees her magic for himself. Diana deep in her work, calls up the Ashmole manuscript and their journey begins. —Kaity Watson

I was looking for an article that was book or library related when I came across this article on Good Morning America News and thought it was very fitting.  –Sharon Wilson

Banned Books Week’s Top 10 Heroes Revealed

By LIZ FIELDS | Good Morning America – Sun, Sep 22, 2013 7:10 AM EDT

Related Content 


Banned Books Week’s Top 10 Heroes …

You can’t keep a good book down.

That’s the reason why booksellers, librarians, publishers, teachers and a huge community of avid readers around the world gather each year in the last week of September to champion suppressed literature and the freedom to seek and express ideas.

Banned Books Week was first launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries, according to the American Library Association (ALA). Since then, more than 11,300 books have been challenged in libraries or schools.

Even in 2012, the Office of Intellectual Freedom recorded 464 challenges, but the ALA estimates that up to 80 percent are never even reported.

Among the literary works highlighted in this year’s Banned Book Week, held Sept. 22 to 28 in the U.S., a list of top 10 challenged titles were plucked out of a catalogue of submissions from readers or various media reports around the world.

See if you recognize any of the following heroes of this year’s Banned Books fair:

  • “Captain Underpants” (series) by Dav Pilkey
    • Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  • “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie
    • Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  • “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher
    • Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  •  “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E. L. James
    • Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  • “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    • Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  •  “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
    • Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  •  “Looking for Alaska” by John Green
    • Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  •  “Scary Stories” (series) by Alvin Schwartz
    • Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  •  “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls
    • Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  •  “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
    • Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

Articles from Around Town:

Tennessee has a “Social Host” law that provides legal penalties for Hosts that provide alcohol to minors.  The law provides serious penalties for Hosts.  Here is how the law reads… “It is against the law for a host to knowingly allow an underage adult (defined as a person who is at least 18, but less than 21) to consume alcohol on property the host owns or controls.  It is also  illegal for a person to give or buy alcohol to any minor (persons under 18) for any purpose.  A provision of this law states that hosts who allow minors to obtain alcohol or other unlawful substances can be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. “

You can see that this is law that has some teeth in it.  Providing alcohol to persons under the age of 21 has some severe penalties under Tennessee law.

One argument that we hear repeated time and again is that “I know they are going to drink, and I would rather that they do it at home instead of out driving on the roads”.  Really?

As a parent, I understand that you would want to prevent your child from drinking and driving, But I see it as a really bad choice to allow or even encourage your kids to drink at home.  Not only is it illegal, but allowing your kids to drink at home only encourages them to drink at other places as well.  If you let them smoke at home, do you really think that they would refrain from smoking in public or in their car?  As a parent, you have a very strong influence on the lives of your children, and the habits they form and adhere to.  If they know that it’s ok to drink in front of you, do you really believe they won’t be drinking and driving?

Law enforcement will be stepping up efforts to stop social hosting and enforcement of Tennessee’s Social Hosting law.  Breaking this law is a Class A Misdemeanor and will result in you standing before a Judge.  One of the best ways to take care of your kids is to show them that underage drinking is wrong and illegal.

Chris Barker

Houston County Drug Alliance Youth Coordinator / Program Assistant

Writer’s Corner by: Sharon Wilson

Over the next several newsletters I am going include some summaries of workshops that I present as a means to encourage as many people as possible to put on their creative hats and write like crazy.

Session #1  —  What is in your Writer’s Toolbox?

As a writer we get inspired by anything and everything around us, but what is in your writer’s toolbox?  What do I mean by writer’s toolbox?  Well, when you write what do you need to be comfortable and get in a zone to write?

My writer’s toolbox includes:

  • A cup of coffee
  • A blue ink pen
  • A spiral college rule notebook
  • A highlighter
  • A good book
  • Some post it notes
  • Mp3 player/ipad

Some writers need complete silence when they write, but not me. I need music to help me tune out everything else that is going on around me.  The items listed above are items that I like to have with me when I write, but are not always available when inspiration strikes. I will write on anything that I have available at the time.  I always have a small notebook in my purse for moments when I absolutely have to get my thoughts on paper

Every writer and their toolbox are different.

One might wonder why in the world are we discussing a writer’s toolbox, well, simply because I know that there is amazing talent in Houston County and I think that talent needs to be supported and embraced for all ages.  If you only have 5 minutes to write, then use that full 5 minutes to free write and see what wonderful story or idea flows.  I attended the Clarksville Writer’s Conference this past June and met a wonderful Author named Beth Ann and for the last 10 minutes of her session we wrote a poem from a word that she gave us:  the word was… kitchen.  There were no rules; it could be your kitchen currently, a kitchen from your past, or your dream kitchen and we simply had to write a poem in regards to that word.  The results varied from 5 line poems to 2 paged poems and they were all very unique and very touching. Not everyone was comfortable with sharing their poem and that was fine as well.

I would like to now challenge all of you to a similar activity that Beth Ann challenged us with at the Clarksville Writing Conference. There are no rules you can write a poem or a short story based solely on the word provided. The word for this writing challenge is parade.  Anyone who would like to submit their poem or short story to possibly be go in the next newsletter can email it to and in the subject line please put Poem/Story based on word. 

Contact Information:

Houston County Public Library
24 South Spring Street
Erin, TN 37061
931-289-4967 fax


Kay French, Director of Library & Librarian
Kaitlyn Watson, Technology Coordinator/Cataloger
Donna Waldrop, Library Clerk
Denise Adams, Library Clerk

Please check us out on facebook or you can email the library at

The Library is always looking for new friends.  Please tell everyone you know to ask about becoming a friend of the library.  The cost to join the Friends of the Library is only $2 per person for a year or $25 for a life time membership.  All are welcome to attend the Friends of the Library meetings. 


Newsletter written by Sharon Wilson
Sharon’s Writing Corner


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