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

Blount County Friends of the Library Newsletter - November 2016

When the Snow is on the Roses

Ex Libris Report By Barbara Zurl

Photo of red roses

They say “You can’t go home again.” But what do They know? They’ve never met “Mike and Marie.” All the Ex Libris presenters who have met them know better. Through years of monthly programs at a local assisted living facility the love story of these two people has grown legendary.

Picture two young people growing up in Walland in the 1920’s and ‘30s – being friends throughout school, then marrying other people and creating good lives and happy marriages for themselves. Life was perfect for decades until both lost their spouses. According to Mike’s daughter, after her mother passed, her Dad, who was a minister, was overrun with casseroles and offers of commiseration from female parishioners. He wanted no part of it and basically kept himself to himself.

His sisters, very outgoing ladies, were attending activities at a local senior center – and lo and behold they ran into Marie, Mike’s childhood friend, who shared the fact that she had lost her husband some years back, as well as a beloved daughter just recently. The sisters urged Mike to accompany them to the next meeting and say Hello – which he did… and Marie wanted no part of it. Eventually they agreed to meet for lunch one day and spent the entire afternoon reminiscing about the good old days and describing their beloved spouses and children. Before too long both families were rejoicing in the marriage of their respective parents.

Mike and Marie created a new life for themselves and judging from the caring glances, the holding of hands and sweet comments, they had indeed come home again. For all of us who had the pleasure of witnessing this in person, it reconfirmed our faith in “the good” and added to our intense pleasure in being part of the Ex Libris program. Mike and Marie enjoyed twenty years of happiness until her recent passing.

With grateful thanks to “Mike’s” daughter for giving permission to share this story.

Anyone interested in learning more about Ex Libris simply speak to Dolores Philpot, BCFOL Volunteer Coordinator, or contact me, Barbara Zurl at 865-977-5034 or via e-mail at

Our Book Sale has Evolved

By BCFOL President Denise Robertson

Our book sales were started around 25 years ago and, not surprisingly, the sales have changed and evolved over the years. They have become a business. In recognition of that, my focus this year is to document what happens so that we can standardize and streamline the processes and can continue to grow for another 25 years. Standardizing and streamlining will also make it easier for new volunteers to learn how everything works.

Our eBay sales of our valuable collectibles continue to grow and the eBay team is getting better and better at recognizing which books have a higher value and are good candidates for online sales. Their work area in the library basement has been enlarged and is being made more secure.

The traditional quarterly book sale is remaining steady. We are so well stocked that we are brainstorming ideas on how to sell more books during and between sales. As these book sales have evolved into giant cooperative efforts, the ways in which we manage the sales are also evolving, including documenting processes and procedures, trying new marketing techniques, adding more and new signage, plus rearranging shelving.

$1.00 books at the Sale Games at the Book Sale
Main Corner book shelves Ranges of How To and Medical books

Everything we can do to improve our efficiency will ease the effort needed to improve our bottom line – just like any business!


By Chelsea Tarwater, Children’s Librarian

(an early childhood literacy adventure sponsored by Blount County Friends of the Library)

Baby strumming ukeleleThere’s a huge link between how many words babies hear every day and the strength of their future vocabulary and math skills. That is just one reason why the library has Baby & Me story time. Designed for infants and toddlers, Baby & Me is a sometimes chaotic but always fun mix of singing, reading, bouncing, dancing, stretching, and playing that helps parents learn how to bolster their baby’s early literacy skills and how to play with them creatively. It’s a first step towards future library programs and even school, giving babies a chance to socialize and parents a chance to mingle and connect.

Bouncing balloons in a group with big light circular clothIt’s not always easy to engage a baby in a picture book, but we take this story time as an opportunity to demon­strate to parents how to make any book interactive. Just by following the rhythm of the language in a book, you can easily incorporate bouncing, clapping, or dancing. There’s also an important parent/child connection to be made during one on one reading time by turning it into a warm, loving moment with hugging and snuggling, which is something that many books that were written with babies in mind naturally incorporate.

Essentially, our goal with Baby & Me is to take reading to a child and turn it into something sweet and fun and physical, because that’s the best way to start out their early literacy journey.

We have recently had to expand our Baby & Me schedule to include an additional story time due to popular demand, so it’s at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM every Wednesday. Each session is followed by some loose sensory activities that allow babies to play and explore and activate their imaginations.

Kids scribbling on paper-covered floorRecently, we’ve squished pumpkin guts, played with spooky slime, played with egg shakers and ukuleles, and scribbled all over the floor (well, paper on the floor). Thanks to the Friends of the Library, we have access to all kinds of cool supplies to make these activities happen.

It’s always an adventure putting thirty babies and toddlers in a room and trying to do something cohesive with them, but it’s a really fun adventure, and one we look forward to having every week!

The LIBRARY is CLOSED on the following dates in November:

Friday, November 11th in observance of

Veterans Day

Thursday and Friday, November 24th and 25th in observance of

Happy Thanksgiving!

BCFOL Officers:
President: Denise Robertson
Vice President: Vacant
Treasurer: Betty Jo Fowler
Secretary: Bob Myers

Newsletter Editor: Jane Bennett
Newsletter Designer: Lynn McKean
Members at Large:
Jane Bennett, Dick Burgess, Marcy Delozier, Claudia Erwin,
Lisa Misosky, Mary Moore, Dolores Philpot

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