Between Friends - Blount County Friends of the Library Newsletter - MARCH 2016

Blount County Friends of the Library Newsletter - March 2016

The Days of Our Lives

Barbara Zurl, Director, Ex Libris

Barbara Zurl

Ever notice that you never pay attention to the little things in life; those things which most of us take for granted? All you need do is travel overseas and you’ll never look at driving (on the wrong side of the road) in the same way. How about cold toast and the inevitably warm half pint of beer in a pub?

Here in the U.S. and especially in Blount County, most of us begin the new year with resolutions, hopes, aspirations, and …. a new calendar. But not everyone in our community is so fortunate. Being a Presenter for the Ex Libris Library Extension Program , I get to meet hundreds of people at nine assisted living facilities in the county. Their means vary greatly. Many simply don’t have disposable cash to spend on frivolities –such as a calendar. For years this situation has troubled me and ultimately I reached out to Jane Bennett who reached out to the Blount County Newcomers Club. They immediately took action on my request that members save all the calendars they receive in the mail from groups seeking donations—from the Audubon Society to Disabled Vets. Jane makes it her mission to collect these calendars (as well as cards and stationery also sent in the mail) and get them to me so that when a New Year approaches, we are able to offer these items to residents. The looks of surprise and gratitude on the faces of the residents are heartwarming. They are genuinely grateful for the kindness being extended to them.

In the scheme of the world this is no big thing. In the lives of people who would not be able to turn the page to a new month—with a different picture of a flower, a bird, an animal—It is huge. The very best part of this endeavor is that it brings different groups of people in our community together in an effort to do the right thing. All of us in Ex Libris are sincerely grateful to everyone who has so generously donated to our effort.

For more information about Ex Libris or if you would care to observe one of our programs, just contact me at 865-977-5034 or by e-mail at and we can make that happen. Anyone wishing to donate calendars for this project can simply drop them off in the Friends Office at Blount County Public Library.

April Book Sale, April 21-23, shopping cart with books

Book cart image © Lukiyanova Natalia via Depositphotos

Lego Robotics Program

By Beca Baker, Youth Services Manager

Click to watch video

Lego Robotics focuses on simple tech skills and beginning coding for 3rd-5th grade students. Session one focused on Physical Science concepts such as levers, pulleys, cams and gears. This session, which started in February focuses on tech tools such as programming sensors for light, sound, and movement so robots can interact with the environment.

The program also connects concepts to different subjects depending on the project. For example the Roaring Lion robot fostered a natural science discussion about lions and their foods, habitat and relation to house cats. We also watched lion videos and talked about they move and how we could program our robots to move more like a big cat. The Drumming Monkey robot who kept rhythm was lead by a discussion of musical notation and different rhythm patterns. The goal is not just to teach technology skills but integrate them into a part of a holistic education and make connections. Robotics enables children to test skills and knowledge in a tangible way.

Children's Lego Robotics for the Spring session has 22 children registered, with an average of 20 attending. Last session had an average of 17 attendees per session.

Teen Lego Robotics has 9 students registered, with 8 as an average attendance, which is up from the 6 students last session.

Two participants     Three participants

Happy Easter


Thank you Friends, for sponsoring the library and Friends at the Maryville College Nonprofit Fair March 3 from 12 -5

Photo of attendees

Many non-profit organizations gathered in the Alumni gym of Maryville College for the first ever Nonprofit Fair.

Our Table

Each group was provided a table with black tablecloth and chairs. Many brought banners and three sided picture boards. All brought an enthusiastic message which resonated with the students, faculty, and public who attended.

Beca Baker and attendee

The Library was represented by Beca Baker who found several students interested in assisting her in historical archiving, communication, and graphic designs. Dick Burgess, BCFOL Membership Chairperson, and Jane Bennett, Friends PR Representative, were delighted to find several students interested in graphic design, assisting in PR, and with the Friends in general. They also met many other nonprofit representatives and shared the Friends mission, some of whom were interested in joining the Friends.

Among the nonprofits represented included the League of Women voters Adult Education of Blount County, Special Growers, The Gate, Wesley Woods, Lee University Graduate programs, United Way of Blount County, Alzheimers Support of Blount County, and many more.


Upcoming Events

Monday, February 1 through Monday, April 18, "AARP Tax Preparation Assistance" by AARP Volunteers. Must call for an appointment at 865-407-3112 or 255-3905. Do Not Call the Library!

Historic Model Ships created and exhibited by the Friends Larry Moore. They are on tops of circulation cabinets behind circulation,check-in, and check-out desks.

Saturday, March 19, 2 p.m. Main Gallery, "Blackberry Farms: Farmstead/Homestead Education" by Jeff Ross, All Ages. Featuring old fashioned ways of preserving food, seed saving methods, as Blackberry Farms has implemented them

Wednesday March 23, 11 a.m. Sharon Lawson Room, "Focus on Seniors: Dementia—Ways for Family and Caregivers to Cope" by Rebekah Wilson MSW

Monday, March 28, 7 p.m., Sharon Lawson Room, "Indigenous Population of Southern Appalachia"

Saturday, April 2, 2 p.m., Main Gallery, "Appalachian Bear Rescue Speaker" - All ages welcome

Friday May 20, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., "Scottish Genealogy Workshop"
Registration $25 plus optimal lunch charge $10
Registration Deadline: May 6.
Please call 865-273-1428 or 865-982-0981 ext. 4
Speakers: Graeme Mackenzie, Ann Blomquist, and Rev. Tom Gilliland
This workshop will fill up quickly so register soon.



For Spring Break, March 25 - March 27


Happt St. Patrick's Day

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
To all the volunteers who came out, gave of their time and helped with the Make-Up Book Sale on February 27th.  Thanks to you, the one day sale made almost $4500! Well done!

Here is Judy Ackley sorting books - one of the many volunteers.

Judy Ackley at Book Sale

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
Flyer Graphic Designer: Liz Menendez
Members at Large:
Lew Abramson, Larry Ackley, Jane Bennett,
Claudia Erwin, Ginnae Harley, Lisa Misosky,
Mary Moore, Dolores Philpot

Social Media Directors: Claudia Erwin, Sara French
Social Media Consultant: Bob Myers
Proofreader: Diane Martin