Between Friends - Blount County Friends of the Library Newsletter - March 2015

Blount County Friends of the Library Newsletter - March 2015
The Blount County Library has been long over due in performing an inventory of all the reading materials within the library. The library staff has inventoried the children’s library but now the task of taking inventory for the rest of the library is on the horizon. The library administration is asking for volunteers to help in this task and they will be working side by side with the librarians and other library staff personnel. If anyone is interested in helping, please contact Larry Ackley at 233-3467 or at Larry is compiling a list of volunteers. When additional information is available, he will inform those interested in helping the library in this endeavor.

Here is a picture of a soldier opening a box of books.
See the big smile on his face.

The Books for Soldiers program narrowed when we withdrew so many troops from Iraq, but it has recently begun to grow again.   We send books to troops all over the world, not just in combat zones.  Currently four volunteers are active in this program, and in the calendar year 2014 they sent 89 boxes, containing 85 CD or DVDs and 1002 books.   They spent $574 in postage, while we took in $558 in donations.  Fortunately we had some money left over from previous years, and we received $247 in donations at the January book sale.

We recently had a request for children’s books from a soldier who explained that some in his unit had the opportunity to read books to their children.  These are sometimes recorded on disk and mailed to the children, and sometimes the opportunity is available to skype directly to the child.  His unit was stationed in Africa supporting the Ebola crisis efforts there.

Another recent request was “Xxxx requests World War 2 History Books and anything nautical.”  A Friends volunteer sent “Auschwitz and the Allies” by Martin Gilbert, “At Dawn We Slept” by Gordon Prange, “The Greatest Generation Speaks” by Tom Brokaw, “Flags of our Fathers” by James Bradley, and several others.  Other popular requests are books by Stephen King, James Patterson, Tom Clancy and similar authors.   We are very fortunate to have such generous donors that we are able to fill most of them.

Here is another requesting children’s books, quoted from the actual request:

      I have a one year old baby girl.  Most places have a USO that allows soldiers to read books on video and then mail the books and videos home to their children so they can have reading time with their little ones.  My base doesn’t have a USO.  I have a smartphone to take the video with but no books.  I know this is not the normal request but if anyone has any spare children’s books around I think it would help my husband calm her down before bed each night

We forget that we are sending young women into isolated places also.  A Friends volunteer sent this young mother 11 books to read to her little girl. As always, you may check out this program on their website  You cannot access actual requests, per the DOD rules.  You can make postage donations at the quarterly book sales, and can ask for more information from Vivian Selecman at

Trace Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors:
An Irish-Scots Irish Family Research Seminar

Sponsored by the Blount County Friends of the Library

On March 20 from 8:30 A.M. to 4 P.M. at the library.

You must register by March 6 and include the $25 fee, or $35 if you want lunch. Register by going on line to get the form at or call the library at 982-0981 and ask for Brennan LeGuire or someone else to help you register for the seminar.

Belfast, Northern Ireland historians, Finton Mullan and Gillian Hunt, will present this introduction to Irish/Scots-Irish Family Research. They have Census substitutes and other sources from the 18th and 19th centuries and information about emigration from Northern Ireland to North America. You will learn how to research your family history on-line as well.

Click here for the PR Release - Tracing your Roots
Click here for the Registration form
Click here for the Flyer

Life isn't really short, there are just too many good books to read in one lifetime.

EX LIBRIS : Taking the Library out of the Library

This Latin term literally translates to “from the books”, as in “from the library of…” Ex Libris is a program started by Blount County Friends of the Library’s Barbara Zurl over seven years ago in an attempt to bring library resources of our library to elders in Blount County. Over the years, it has grown from one volunteer presenting a program to one residential community facility to eight volunteers giving 16 programs a month to seven residential communities and a church day out center.

Just as the library is more than books, Ex Libris presenters bring all manner of media to less mobile members of our community. Books, especially picture books, are still an important part of the programs for many. However, presenters use articles from magazines, the internet, jokes, poetry, and music too.

Here is an example of part of a recent program:

Every month has a history behind its name, as well as a birth flower and birthstone. Did you know that ancients had a belief that wine cups made with February’s birthstone, the amethyst, would protect the drinker from intoxication? The flower for the month, the violet, shares the same color as the stone, purple, and it reminds me of a song. It’s “Sweet Violets” by Dinah Shore, remember her, she was born in February, right here in Tennessee, graduated from Vanderbilt. Listen to the song while I show you pictures of her, amethysts, and violets. Another thing, did you know that Chinese New Year started February 19. It is the Year of the Sheep and Chinese celebrate for 15 days! Let me tell you how it all began, many, many years ago. The celebration ends with the Lantern Festival and riddles are an important part of it. See if anyone can solve this. Oh, you know one too, so tell me…

Our current presenters are Janetta Baker, Susan Hanye, Brenda Johnson, Nancy Kaems, Marian Nicholas, Dolores Philpot, Joan Worley and Barbara Zurl.

     People who join the Blount County Friends of the Library show their support for literacy and for the library’s many community services. All pay annual dues. Others also volunteer in many capacities such as taking the library outside the brick façade, assisting in Friends-sponsored programs, or working in a book sale capacity. These volunteers typically get totally immersed in the many facets of what the Friends do for the library and are a fascinating group of men and women with a tremendous variety of occupational skills. Some of these volunteers will be featured periodically in your newsletters.

Larry Moore - Being a Friend

Camaraderie and Service
The Perfect Friend Combination

Larry Moore came to Maryville in 2006 after owning a State Farm Insurance Agency in Tampa, Florida for over thirty years. He and his wife Suzanne researched various retirement locales and came to see the East Tennessee area on the advice of friends who had vacationed in Townsend for many years. They have never looked back.

Larry says that he grew up in a small town near Boston, Massachusetts and has found Maryville’s size a revisit of his very happy youth in that small town. He has met many friends as he explores his many hobbies such as belonging to a book club, miniature boat building, and antique car collecting, and volunteering as a Friend of the Library.

One of the first interests Larry pursued was his love of books. In early 2007, he met Bob Ramger when he asked at the library about book clubs in the area. He was invited to join Ramger’s book club. Bob Ramger saw to it that book clubbing was not the only activity for Larry. He also commandeered him to help empty the book bins beside the library where people donate books for the book sale. Larry says they can get from a very few to up to five or six hundred on a Monday. Since that time, Larry has served as president elect of BCFOL, then president for two years, interim treasurer, and been on many committees. His most recent committee dealt with modernization of the Friends bookkeeping, setting up new guidelines for book sale finances, risk management issues, etc. Also, he helps collect liquor store boxes which are filled with books bought at the book sales.

He says he “continues to be encouraged by the camaraderie of the volunteering Friends, and enjoys seeing the visible results of the Friends’ work in the library, at book sales, and when providing many entertaining programs plus needed services which the library would otherwise not be able to afford.”

BCFOL Officers:
President: Diane Martin
Vice President: Denise Robertson
Treasurer: Garry Ernsberger
Secretary: Sandy Goodson

Newsletter Editor: Jane Bennett
Newsletter Designers: Claudia Erwin, Lynn McKean
Members at Large:
Judy Ackley, Larry Ackley
Jane Bennett, Ginnae Harley
Patrick Hudson, Larry Moore

Associate Editor: Bonnie Holmes
Proofreader: Penny Myers