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

Blount County Friends of the Library Newsletter - July 2015
July Book Sale Flyer

(If you are not a member, you can join at the sale. Membership Forms will be available and credit card payments will be accepted.)

Click here to view the July 2015 Collectible Book List available at this book sale.

The selection of books is excellent, and many are in mint condition. There are books for everyone and they're well-organized for easy browsing. The book sale depends on donations, and each one seems to get bigger and better than before.

Blount County Library, Lower Level

Amazing quarterly book sales are held in January, April, July, and October! Recent sales have offered around 50,000 books! One of the perks of being a member of the Friends is early access to the sale the day before it's opened to the public.

Come build your own Library!

If you love to read, if you love books, this is a Book Bargain Event you cannot miss. The best selections go fast, so plan to attend as a BCFOL member to get the “preview” sale and grab the best.

Proceeds from your membership and your purchases support the Library!

BCFOL Volunteers spend hours and hours sorting and organizing books and other items. A multitude of categories of shelved books will be found on wide shopping aisles; open shopping areas display many, many special features. You will find our shopping venue rivals retail book stores. Our knowledgeable Volunteers will be on hand to gladly assist you find those special books!

Recap of BCFOL Annual Meeting 2015
submitted by Dorian Leigh Caldwell

President Diane Martin opened the meeting to a packed room welcoming everyone in attendance, imploring all who were not paid members of the Friends Organization to join and become advocates of the Library. Martin displayed the Tee-shirts available for sale with the new Tag Line emblazoned on the back, We Are the Reason Our Library is WAY Cool! Diane also explained that Membership is tax deductible and that the Friends organization matches funds of the State Grants for the Library.

Where Does the Money come from?
9% Donations
12% Membership Dues
79% Book Sales

Where Does the Money GO?
13% Operating Expenses
26% Library Equipment
61% Library Programs

2014/2015 Projects
25 WiFi Hotspots
Children’s area furniture
Hot Summer Nights Entertainment Series
Shakespeare On The Lawn
Children’s Reading Programs
Ulster Foundation Workshop – Tracing your Irish Roots
Young Adult Reading Programs
May’s Mini-Con for all Ages

Following the standard Robert’s Rules of Order, President Martin introduced all of the Officers and Directors at Large Candidates for the new Friends Board of Directors, all candidates were approved.

Diane D. Martin - President
Denise Robertson - Vice President
Betty Jo Fowler - Treasurer
Bob Myers - Secretary
Directors at Large:
Lew Abramson
Larry Ackley
Jane Bennett
Claudia Erwin
Ginnae Harley
Lisa Misosky
Mary Moore
Dolores Philpot
Bob Ramger

Delicious refreshments were provided before and after the meeting by the Bookmark Café.

Cheryl Jackson Baker Presentation
submitted by Dorian Leigh Caldwell

It was close to standing room only in the Sharon Lawson room on Tuesday afternoon when Cheryl entertained the crowd with her presentation of her book Affectionately Yours.

Diane introducing Cheryl Baker

While clearing out her father’s home in 1997, Cheryl found a treasure trove of letters between her great, great grandparents during five years from 1862 through 1866. The letters contain war secrets, yearning hearts, day to day life and wonderful penmanship. These letters had withstood Florida hurricanes, high humidity and insects.

Cheryl has trouble trying to describe what her feeling were upon discovery. To take that point home, Ms. Baker “salted” the audience with several letters from the collection, then asked each person to tell what they would think or feel when they discovered a letter such as those. Responses varied; “I cannot believe I have this!... I’d try to find out more about the person who wrote it... I’d guard them... I’d consider them a precious gift”. Baker stated she had all these feeling and many, many more. Her siblings were instrumental in Cheryl’s authoring the book. They unanimously agreed that if anyone was going to “Do Something” with the find, it would be her.

Baker spent several years putting the letters in order, which was no easy task, as all letters written by Julia, had no dates. Over the years while researching, Cheryl was privileged to visit sites in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee seeing several battlegrounds, churches, museums, cemeteries, and camps all with ties to the Civil War.

The audience learned much more history than just what is contained in Cheryl’s book. April 2015 was the 150 anniversary of the explosion of the riverboat Sultana, a tragedy which took more lives than the Titanic, or, the fact that Camp Nelson in Kentucky was the third largest recruitment Center for African Americans.

Cheryl Baker

Cheryl ended her presentation with a slide show of Civil War pictures set to hauntingly beautiful music and signed many copies of her book for her new found fans.


Affectionately Yours: The Civil War Letters of William R. Jackson and His Wife Julia by Cheryl Jackson Baker

Our nation’s Civil War had been raging for just six months when William R. Jackson joined the Third Ohio Volunteer Cavalry as quartermaster. His wife, Julia, joined the ranks of women on both sides of the conflict who prayed fervently that they would not see their loved ones’ names on the growing lists of casualties. As with most soldiers and their families, handwritten letters were to be their main contact during those four long years of war.

As the Third moved further south into “Dixie,” William and Julia’s letters increased in frequency. It was these carefully folded pieces of paper, each still in its original envelope, that were found decades later tucked away in a closet. Realizing her ancestors’ letters were not just historically significant but also a wonderful human interest story, the editor resolved to transcribe and share them with others. Her transcription and diligent research makes for a great read; whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a good love story, you will find this book captivating.

Cheryl sent us this note after the presentation: I was very grateful to see how many came out to support me. What a great problem it was to need to move to a larger room. Thank you for the marvelous basket. It will be enjoyed. Thanks again to everyone!

Techy Corner by Bonnie Holmes

The Library has a "hot spot." But what is it? Is it…

  • a popular place of entertainment?
  • an area of radioactivity?
  • a small area or region with a relative hot temperature in comparison to its surroundings?
  • a very hot and dry place where a fire is likely to start? Or, where a fire has been burning? an area of volcanic activity?
  • a “tropospheric hotspot” which is a warming in the upper troposphere
  • a place of significant activity or danger?
  • an area on a computer screen that can be clicked to activate a function?
  • a public place with an available wireless signal for Internet access?

These are all hot spots and if you said yes to all, you would be correct. The Blount County Library has yet another type of hot spot: 30 Wi-Fi hot spots actually, funded by the Friends of the Library. The library is one of the few in Tennessee and one of the first in our area to make this technology available to its citizens.

So, what exactly is this type of hot spot? Will we need sleeveless shirts in the library or be wary of volcanic eruptions in the rotunda? Not to worry: Wi-Fi “Hot Spots” are T-Mobile or Verizon devices that allow users to connect to the internet in places where no regular access is available. Users must be 18 years old, be a library member in good standing, have a credit card, have a current ID card, and have cell phone service. Renters of the hot spots must also agree to the terms required by T-Mobile and Verizon.

photo of hot spot device

For $2/day, the devices, which are about the size of a deck of cards, can be checked out for 7, 14, or 21 days. Although only one per household may be checked out, the devices can support more than one internet device. They must be used in the United States and returned directly to library staff at the check-in desk. Although users must have cell phone service, there are no data charges on the phone. The Wi-Fi, like many public services, is “open service” so caution must be used with personal information.

How are they used in Blount County? Some people living in areas of Blount County with no internet access use them to access information for school assignments, use email accounts, and down-load books. Others use them when traveling where there is no Wi-Fi access to obtain information, read books, play games, and check emails.

Are they popular? Yes, indeed. A spot check on June 17 showed all 30 devices were checked out and there was a waiting list.

Donations Spring 2015

Mr. & Mrs. Omer Dyer
John & Betsy Quinn
Gary Teper
Don & Hilda Walker

ebay logo
Need inspiration for a gift? Want something that isn't the “usual” gift card or item that will never be used? Seen? Heard of again?  Why not try giving something that is still always the rage? A book!

Have you been to the Blount County Friends of the Library ebay store? There are so many books to choose from! Over 500 and all types! Cookbooks. Collectibles. History. Childrens… Click on the ebay logo above to see what is available!

Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help

The Children’s Library needs volunteers to help with the summer reading program and shelving.

The Friends need help with the July 16-18 Book Sale.

If you can help, please call Larry Ackley at 233-3467 or email him at

Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help

Denise Robertson

In the June newsletter, we failed to label the photo for the Volunteer of the Year award. Please accept our apologies in the misprint. Congratulations Denise on a job well done!

BCFOL Officers:
President: Diane D. Martin
Vice President: Denise Robertson
Treasurer: Betty Jo Fowler
Secretary: Bob Myers

Newsletter Editor: Jane Bennett
Newsletter Designer: Lynn McKean
Members at Large:
Lew Abramson, Larry Ackley, Jane Bennett,
Claudia Erwin, Ginnae Harley, Lisa Misosky,
Mary Moore, Dolores Philpot, Bob Ramger

Social Media Director: Claudia Erwin
Proofreader: Penny Myers