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Sharing Some Library Love

McD first library
This was the first library in my home town of McDonough. I don’t know when it was built, but vaguely remember visiting it when I was really small — dim lighting, creaky wide plank floors, the musty smell of books. At that time the librarian was one of my great-great aunts on my mom’s side of the family. Today it’s in Heritage Park on the outskirts of town with several other historic county buildings.

I saw on a list of February holidays and observances that this is Library Lovers Month! Yay, I love libraries because they have all those books! And people who know how to help you find just what you’re looking for instead of wading through a zillion search results on Google.

My mom used to take my sister and me to the local library on a weekly basis, sometimes even more in the summer. I loved walking into that hushed place full of stories just waiting to be discovered.

So, in honor of Library Lovers Month, here are a few important dates that got Georgia’s libraries off the ground and moving toward where they are today.

  • 1809 – Savannah Library Society opens a subscription library where members of the society pay a fee for use of the library. The fees collected go toward the operation and maintenance of the library.
  • 1837 – The General Assembly establishes the Georgia State Library from the Georgia Supreme Court’s collection of books
  • 1874-1882 – Subscription libraries open in Macon, Valdosta, Americus, and Brooks County
  • 1889 – The Mary Willis Free Library – the first free public library in Georgia – opens in Washington. It’s funded by Dr. Francis T. Willis and named for his only daughter.
  • 1893-1917 – Andrew Carnegie, through his library program, donates funds to build free public library buildings across the United States. Carnegie libraries were built in many Georgia cities during this time, including Atlanta, Albany, Columbus, Dublin, Montezuma, Moultrie, Newnan, Pelham, Savannah, Cordele, Americus, Dawson and Fitzgerald.
  • 1897 – The General Assembly establishes the Georgia Library Commission to oversee all libraries in the state. Georgia was the first Southern state to act on their citizens’ need for free public library service.
    1924-1925 – The Georgia Library Commission conducts a Vacation Reading Club for rural children from first grade through high school. Was this the first Summer Reading Program like I loved so much (and had my kids do for years)?
    1938 – The first bookmobile service is introduced in Thomas County as a WPA (Works Projects Administration) demonstration project.
probate court
A new McDonough library opened in 1973, and it’s the one I remember from my growing-up years. Today it houses the county probate court offices.

There are lots of other steps along the way to where our libraries are now, but I won’t get into all of those here. 🙂 The latest statistics I found for Georgia libraries were from 2008, which included:

 

  • Georgia currently has 59 library systems serving all 159 counties with 385 service outlets and 20 bookmobiles.
  • We have 33 regional library systems providing library service to 133 counties, and 26 single-county library systems.
  • 48 library systems with 275 service outlets are part of the PINES network (which began in 2004), providing a borderless library for Georgians with a free PINES library card.
McD library today
The McDonough library (and county administrative offices) today. Some of the books I loved as a kid are still on the shelves!

So, maybe we can all try to visit a library in the next couple of weeks to celebrate Library Lovers Month. I’m sure they would appreciate it!

Your turn: What do you love most about libraries? What was your favorite thing about visiting the library as a child? Or, what do you enjoy about going there as an adult?

 

 

 

 

 

Scripture Saturday: Matthew 11:28

Matthew 11 28

This guy was trudging up a sand dune near our condo when we visited the beach last fall. He kept going until he got to a burrowed-out spot, then backed into it and settled down. There are lots of days when I could use some of his determination to keep going, or learn how to let someone else help carry some of the load. How about you?

 

Thankful for the Truth Tellers

Tell the truth. It’s something we’re taught from such a young age we don’t remember when we first heard it. We’re told that the truth is always best, and it is – but that doesn’t mean it never hurts along the way.

I think we’ve all had times when the truth hurt so much that we wanted to run and hide from the world and never come back out. Surely if we just stayed curled up under the covers and went to sleep long enough, when we woke up everything would be back to the way it was just a little while ago.

thankful truth in loveUnfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. And the thing is, being the one who has to tell someone an unpleasant truth can be just as hard as being the one who hears it.

Granted, there might be times when we’re so hurt or frustrated or angry ourselves that we just blurt out the words without letting them pass through our “how are they going to take this?” filter.

Paul talks in his letter to the Ephesians about speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). He’s just talked about how Christ helps different people (pastors, teachers, and others) work together to build each other (and the church) up. As we grow together, we learn how to discern the truth of things and not be so easily deceived, “blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” We speak the truth in love to each other so we can build and support each other as we all keep trying to figure things out.

It can be a delicate balance, walking the fine line of speaking the truth without destroying the other person – especially when that person doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. It’s something never to be taken lightly and always to be taken with prayer. Because without prayer, without asking God to block my own stupid words and replace them with His perfect ones, I don’t stand a chance.

Hopefully, God will give us those words so we can get past our fear and say what needs to be said. Hopefully, we have a close enough relationship with the other person that she knows what we say comes from our heart and our love, not a desire to hurt.

My hat goes off today to those people around me who are brave enough to speak the truth in love to whoever they believe needs to hear it. I just pray that I can say the same thing about myself when God puts me in that situation.

Your turn: Author Flannery O’Conner once said, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” Which do you think is harder most of the time – hearing the truth from someone you care about, or speaking the truth in love?

Casting Crowns has been one of my favorite Christian groups since their first CD released in 2003 (wow, has it really been that long?). I thought you might enjoy the video of their song “Love You With the Truth” from their CD Thrive.

New Historical Fiction for February

It’s the first week of February, so let’s take a look at some of the historical fiction titles that will be hitting the shelves sometime this month.

From authors who are part of American Christian Fiction Writers:

ProphetessThe Prophetess: Deborah’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith — Outspoken and fearless, Deborah has faith in God but struggles to see the potential her own life holds. As an Israelite woman, she’ll marry, have a family, and seek to teach her children about Adonai – and those tasks seem to be more than enough to occupy her time. But God has another plan for her. Israel has been under the near constant terror of Canaan’s armies for twenty years, and now God has called Deborah to deliver her people from this oppression. Will her family understand? Will her people even believe God’s calling on her life? And can the menace of Canaan be stopped? (Biblical from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Love Is Patient Romance Collection by Janet Lee Barton, Frances Devine, Lena Nelson Dooley, Vickie McDonough, Darlene Franklin, Jill Stengl, Connie Stevens, and Erica Vetsch — Enjoy the slow dance through the courtship of nine historical couples in the American west, including the territories of Arizona and Wyoming. Just at a time in life when they have nearly given up on finding love, romance enters their lives. But will it be true love, and will it be worth the wait? Find out in this delightful collection written by eight bestselling authors of inspirational romances. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Sweet MisfortuneA Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan — Rachel Matthews isn’t one to rely on others to take care of her. Destitute and alone, she still wants to make her own way and her own money – even if she’s forced into the life of a dance hall girl. Horrified by her circumstances, Rachel’s brother sends a friend – the widely admired cattle baron John McIntyre – to rescue her, then sets off to earn enough money to buy back the family ranch. But when months pass without her brother’s return, Rachel isn’t sure she can take one more day in John McIntyre’s home – especially once she discovers that he’s the one who holds the deed to her family’s ranch. (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Spy DevotionA Spy’s Devotion by Melanie Dickerson — Langdon returns home to heal from a battlefield injury — and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary. At a ball hosted by the powerful Whilhelm family, Langdon meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Honoring propriety, he keeps his distance — until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England – and the man she is falling in love with – need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. (Historical Romance from Waterfall Press, an imprint of Amazon Publishing)

The Express Rider’s Lady by Stacy Henrie — Delsie Radford’s father may have kept her and her sister apart, but Delsie refuses to miss her sister’s wedding – even with only 18 days to get there. And she’s found the perfect escort in Pony Express rider Myles Patton. Myles can’t believe it when a pretty socialite hires him to take her cross-country through dangerous territory. He’s sure she’ll give up soon, but the longer they ride together, the more Myles notices the toughness and kindness beneath Delsie’s refined exterior. And though they may be worlds apart…they might just be perfect for each other. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Northern LightThe Texan’s Engagement Agreement by Noelle Marchand — It’s been five years since Adelaide Harper broke Chris Johansen’s heart and their long-distance engagement. But when she steps off a train in Peppin, Texas, and strolls back into Chris’s life, he can’t help but panic. To avoid his parents’ plan to arrange a marriage for him, he’s let his family believe he and Adelaide are still engaged. Adelaide is facing her own troubles with a matchmaking mama and a parade of aggravating suitors. So pretending to let Chris court her could help them both. Surely after five years, there’s no need to worry their time together could reignite a long-buried love…is there? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Northern Light by Annette O’Hare — The Yankees took her fiancé’s life, but when a wounded Union soldier washes ashore, needing her help, will she learn to love again or will hate cost him his life? (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

 

Moonlit GardenA few from authors in the general market:

Rush-Oh by Shirley Barrett (Virago) – When Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in New South Wales, sets out to chronicle the particularly difficult season of 1908, the story she tells is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby (Pan) – Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson take on a case rejected by Sherlock Holmes.

The Ironsmith by Nicholas Guild (Forge) – The behind-the-scenes political plots to kill Jesus of Nazareth, and one man’s attempt to save his life.

The Farmer’s Daughter by Mary Nichols (Allison & Busby) – A WWII Suffolk girl managing her sick father’s farm enlists the help of a German POW and they fall in love, to local disapproval.

The Moonlit Garden by Corina Bomann – A widowed antique shop worker digs into history to learn the story and secrets of a violin brought to her. As she unravels the mystery of the previous owner’s story, she comes to see her own life in a new light.

Your turn: What sounds good to you? I know several will be added to my to-read list! Share what you think about these or if you’ve heard of another new release that the rest of us might enjoy.

Happy reading!
Leigh