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

Blount County Friends of the Library Newsletter - June 2016

Friends of the Library Annual Meeting

Tuesday, June 21 - 1 p.m.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Henry Fribourg, Emeritus Professor of Crop Ecology at the University of Tennessee, will be our featured speaker at the Friends Annual Meeting Tuesday, June 21 at 1p.m.

Henry Fribourg

Dr. Fribourg has had an amazing journey through our entire world before and after he and his family escaped from France in 1942 just as the Nazi army marched through. He will share his experiences via screen pictures and his own stories in his remarkable Escape to Freedom. His two memoirs, Escape to Freedom and I Gave You Life are available in Kindle and hard copy on Amazon among other places. If you bring your copy with you, Dr. Fribourg will be happy to sign them at that time.

Dr. Fribourg speaks eloquently in his memoirs about his experiences first in the harrowing trip fleeing France, having to go several places, such as Africa, Spain, back to France, before boarding a ship to Cuba, and losing French family members in the Holocaust who did not leave.

His Cuban experiences provide a relatively unique WWII experience as his parents and siblings settled into a country where they did not speak the language and were graciously, for the most part, given a haven until they could arrange visas to go to the United States, where they flourished.

He shares his Jewish heritage in all these experiences and the title of his second memoir speaks to the fact that his mother presciently and insistently felt that they needed to leave France and, because of her leadership, they got out on the second to last boat before the country was totally closed to a Jewish exodus.

All Friends and friends of Friends are invited to hear this amazing speaker.


Friends Sponsored Activities of the Month

Just in case some of you feel really tired of shelving all those books, paying dues, making donations, we want you to know just how important your efforts are to the library community.

Mini-Con Launches Summer Reading at the Library

In an era of loud moaning about a lack of literacy, interest in literacy, ability to be literate, the Mini-Con event Saturday, May 28, beginning sharply at 9 a.m., proved that many, many, many people of all ages READ, and they came to sign up for their age group to read reams of written literature. At the end of the summer prizes provided by Friends are awarded to three categories: Children, Youth, Adult.

Couple in costume
Star Wars trooper
Couple in costume

This event was sponsored by the Friends, meaning lunch provided, some costume prizes, table rentals, stipend for Keith Brooks, guest speaker, for his gas and motel bill, and volunteers for the Friends membership and book sale tables. Many library staff members also were on hand, many dressed in amazing costumes as well.

Library staff members
Dad and son going to Bookmark Cafe
Cafe staff hamming it up
Friends volunteers

According to Becca Baker, BC Library Youth Services Director, 18 vendors came to pitch their wares, including comic books, pictures of movie superheroes, costume pieces, jewelry, and action figures. When asked about her opinion that literacy is dead in the world, she said that people have been complaining about future generations since early Greece, and that " ‘Nerdlike People’ consume media and information and this is all part of literacy as well.”

Children’s librarian Chelsea Tarwater researched other comic book events in the area and found many of the vendors, who were required to furnish prizes for some of the costume contests. World-renowned artist, Maryville’s own Matthew Atchley, was another invitee.

There was also a sign up table for youth to come for the Nerd Group, a summer library camp for 7th through 12th graders where they will learn basics for computer coding, devising simple computer games, and website and mobile aps development. Garrett Smith and Kaleb Davenport will be camp leaders. They can be reached at Kaleb@wowyourclient or

Garrett Smith and Kaleb Davenport


Scottish Genealogy on Both Sides of the Pond

Reported by Bruce Robertson, Embellished by Denise Robertson

On May 20, 2016, the Blount County Public Library and the Blount County Friends of the Library sponsored a workshop entitled Scottish Genealogy on Both Sides of the Pond. It was a full day of informed learning! There were also exhibit tables by the Blount County Genealogical and Historical Society, the Blount County Friends of the Library, and the Blount County Records and Archives. Over 80 people registered for the day.

Ann Blomquist, author and genealogist, gave two presentations: one on Beginning Genealogy and the other on Migration Routes of our Ancestors.

Historian and genealogist Graeme Mackenzie, from Scotland, gave two more presentations. One was on Tracing Your Ancestor's Forebears and the other was on Clans, Septs, and Surnames. We were all feeling a bit dizzy after hearing about all of the variations of Mc, Mac, Mak and nicknames!

Graeme Mackenzie   Audience watching presentation

Clan map

The day ended with a presentation by Tom Gilliland about his personal experiences tracing his Scottish ancestors back through Ireland and his reminder to have fun while researching our families.

Check the Blount County Friends of the Library website for future interesting opportunities like this!

Books for Soldiers donation box

Uncle Sam Needs You.

By Kellie Frazier

We have a new donation box for Books for Soldiers in honor of the former amazing facilitator, Vivian Selecman. If you feel like volunteering in this amazing literacy drive for our soldiers or donating money for postage, please contact Kellie Frazier at

Denise Robertson

We are pleased to announce that Denise Robertson, who has served as membership chairperson for the Friends for several years, has been awarded a certificate of appreciation and monetary gift from the Friends of Tennessee Libraries for her contributions to the Blount County Friends of the Library. This accolade will be published in the summer issue of the FOTL newsletter.

Congratulations to Denise as she is a deserving, most gracious Friends board member as well as an adept library research volunteer who shares her former professional librarian skills with library patrons as they search for information.

Happy Father's Day!

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

Photo credit: Mixed Fresh Vegetables © motionage via Bigstock