Winter Weather Days

Be sure to call the library at 596-0022 before venturing out to the library on days when there is considerable snow to be plowed. Our parking lot may be cleared but our volunteers may not be able to get out of their driveways so it's best to check. We will not consider books overdue if we're closed, and you won't be charged a fine.

In the meantime, on days when you head to the store to stock up for an upcoming storm, don't forget to stop by the library and stock up on books to keep you company while you're snowed in. They don't require any power, except if you want to stay up late to finish a good one- then you'll need that trusty flashlight under the covers!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Important weather announcement!

Due to the impending blizzard approaching the Maine coast,  the library will be closed on Monday December 27th.  In addition, there will NOT be a story hour that morning.  We expect to be back to regular hours on Wednesday December 29th - open from 2PM til 7PM. 

Enjoy the snow - we'll see you on Wednesday!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Club Discussion - The Color of Water

James McBride tells us the story of growing up black, in Harlem, then in projects in the Bronx. Raised by his white mother (his black father died before he was born) and black step-father, he was one of 12 children. He describes a loving but very strictly disciplined family life, where children were expected to be successful, respectful, and STAY IN SCHOOL. Children were due in the house by 5:00 in the evening, and slept 5 to a bed. Dinner might often be a jar of peanut butter or several spoons of sugar. He never met his mother's family and did not discover until he had completed his master's in Journalism at Columbia U, and decided to write a tribute to his mother, that she was jewish, that her family had disowned her, that her father was an orthodox Jewish rabbi who abused her, and just how hard her life had been.

The story is told both in the son's and the mother's voices. It is very well-written, and gives us an incredible insight into each mind. James' father was a preacher, and his mother converted to Christianity and insisted on church attendance and prayer from all her children. As he begins to realize that his mother is different from other mothers, he asks her "Is God Black?" "NO" she answers. "Well is he white?" Mom replies in the negative. Still the young boy persists. "Well what color is he?" "The color of water."

As he lovingly recounts his search for his mother's family, and helps her confront a past she has repressed, he comes to an acceptance of his Jewishness, his multi-cultural roots, and gives us a picture of an exceptional family. In the epilogue he gives us a breakdown of the incredible achievements of them all. Every one of the 12 graduated from college. There are two doctors, school teachers, musicians, journalists, nurses, artists, and the mother completes her degree in her late 60's.

The group spent quite a bit of time discussing the differences in parenting style of the author's growing up years and what would be allowed (or frowned upon) today.  Everyone enjoyed the book and would recommend it neighbors and friends.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Service Available - E books are here!

Popular E-Books are now available from The Maine InfoNet Overdrive Collection

Many of us are anticipating getting an e-reader soon, and others simply want to be able to read the latest books as soon as they come out without having to leave the comforts of home.  Now thanks to your local library, you have access to over 1000 ebooks for free.

Your South Thomaston Library Card is all you need to access this collection.

Note! This collection is offered through Overdrive, the current leader in the e-book lending market. The e-books available here can be read on Mac or PC computers, and can be transferred to the Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony eReader, Borders Kobo, and more (full guide to compatible devices).

Unfortunately, these e-books cannot be read on Amazon Kindles or Apple iPads due to licensing and format incompatibility. 

Here's an easy How-To:
Step 1: Visit the Overdrive Download Library. There are almost 1,400 free e-books available and

Step 2: Download the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) Software to your computer (this is the software required to read e-book content).
  • Click on the Quick Start Guide to download the software, Adobe will prompt you to create a free Adobe ID
  • Once you launch the ADE software, it will prompt you to authorize your computer
Step 3: Search for the e-book you want on the Overdrive site (Limit! Only up to 3 e-books at a time)
  • If it’s available, select a 7 or 14 day loan period from the drop-down menu, then click Add to Cart
  • If it’s already checked-out to someone else, click Place a Hold, provide your email address and Overdrive will notify you when it becomes available
  • When you have chosen the e-book(s) you want to check-out, clickProceed To Checkout
  • Download your checked-out e-books to ADE
Step 4: Read e-books on your computer in the ADE software 

  • If ADE does not open automatically, launch it from your programs menu
  • If the item is not showing, click on Library at the top of the window
Step 5: Transfer an e-book to your e-reader device from your computer.
  • Connect your device to your computer via the USB port
  • Open Adobe Digital Editions on your computer
  • When Adobe recognizes your device, agree to let it authorize this device (like you did with your computer)
  • When authorization is complete, an icon for your device will appear in the left column under “Bookshelves”
  • Click and drag the e-book title from your Adobe “Library” to this device icon (green + icon will appear) and let go
  • Depending on the device, you may need to “check for the new content”in order to see the downloaded e-books files.

Wherever you read your e-book, it is “due” either 7 or 14 days after you checked it out from Overdrive, depending on which option you chose. (A diagonal ribbon across the book cover shows the remaining check-out days.)
If you finish with the item sooner than the due date, you can check it back in to Overdrive early to be eligible to check-out another e-book (3 items max). To check-in the e-book, go to Adobe Digital Editions, in the Book Cover view of your Library, click once on the item you want to return to highlight it. Then click the arrow near the upper left corner of the book cover and choose Return Borrowed Item from the short menu.
Once you return it from your Adobe library, it is removed from your  computer, but it remains on your e-reader device and you can continue reading it for the remaining loan period. If, however, you wait until the e-book expires, the file remains on your reader and your computer but becomes unreadable, so you need to choose to delete it. 

Click for more information about how to use the DownloadLibrary e-books.

November Book Club

The next meeting of the South Thomaston Library Book Discussion Group will be
at noon on
Wednesday November 15th.

You can pick up a copy of this month's choice
The Color of Water
by James McBride 
at the Library.

Please join us for a discussion of this outstanding book.
The publisher says
"Don't be put off by its pallid subtitle, A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, which doesn't begin to do justice to the utterly unique and moving story contained within. The Color of Water tells the remarkable story of Ruth McBride Jordan, the two good men she married, and the 12 good children she raised. Jordan, born Rachel Shilsky, a Polish Jew, immigrated to America soon after birth; as an adult she moved to New York City, leaving her family and faith behind in Virginia. Jordan met and married a black man, making her isolation even more profound. The book is a success story, a testament to one woman's true heart, solid values, and indomitable will. Ruth Jordan battled not only racism but also poverty to raise her children and, despite being sorely tested, never wavered. In telling her story--along with her son's--The Color of Water addresses racial identity with compassion, insight, and realism. It is, in a word, inspiring, and you will finish it with unalloyed admiration for a flawed but remarkable individual. And, perhaps, a little more faith in us all."

Book Club kickoff - Bel Canto

The first meeting of the South Thomaston Library Book discussion group was quite a success.  Six people met and had a lively discussion of Bel Patchett's Bel Canto.  Several confessed that they did not like the book, and others loved it. 
Here's what it was about.  There are some spoilers here, so if you haven't read it, and are planning to, be aware. Bel Canto is a story of love, of music, of human beings' ability to maintain their humanity in spite of hardship.

Roxann Coss, a famous American opera singer is giving a concert in honor of Mr. Hosokawa in the home of the vice-president of an unnamed South American country.  In attendance are people from around the world who have come ostensibly to wish Mr. Hosokawa a happy birthday, but really are there to court his business. He has come only to hear his idol sing. The guests speak a variety of languages - English, Japanese, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Swedish, Russian, who knows what else.  Mr. Hosokawa has had the foresight to bring along his brilliant translator, Gen Watanabe who can speak almost every language in the room.

A group of terrorists invades the party, sends all the women home - with the exception of Roxann - and settles in for a long period of 'negotiation' to meet their demands.  They don't seem to have formulated their demands very well.  In fact, they are a disorganized bunch consisting of three apparently has-been generals, and a rag-tag group of very young, eager but inexperienced rebels.  As the siege drags on for months, the real story unfolds.  The hostages become friends with the terrorists; the terrorists become comfortable with their "guests" and feel no compunction to end the stand -off, especially since they are in a gorgeous house with good plumbing, the government sends in good food, they have TV, and they have Roxann to sing opera for them everyday.  In additon, two of the guards are revealed to be women, and this adds even more human interest to the story.

We all had differing reactions to this story, and we all agreed that  it would have been a better book if the author had omitted the epilogue where she tries to wrap all the pieces up neatly. Some thought it was  a dull, dreary story about imprisonment, deprivation, and depression.  Others found it to be an uplifting story of human beings making the best of what they've been given. We discussed the scientific study one of us had seen  someplace about hostages bonding with their captors.  In this story, it is easy to see how it could happen. We all agreed we didn't like the ending, but didn't see any other options. I won't spoil the story by giving it away.

If you're reading this book, or have read it in the past, we'd love to hear your thoughts.  Just leave us a comment here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

No Action Figures wanted - Only Real People Need Apply

As you know, the South Thomaston Public Library is staffed entirely by volunteers. Some of this group has decided however to head south for the winter and  the energies of the remaining group are being stretched.  We really don't want to have to resort to Librarian Action Figures.  We want real people to help!!

We have openings available on Saturdays from 10-12 or 12-2, on Wednesdays from 2-4, and occasionally on Mondays from 1-3 to work at the circulation desk helping patrons check out books, to help with shelving materials, or to help users on the computer.  Whatever your skills, we probably have a need to fill with them.

Duties are very simple, and we provide training and support. This is a great way to meet your fellow townspeople, get first dibs on new books coming in, and keep up to date on what's happening. If you can work even one 2 hour shift a month, the load will be lightened for all of us. Please consider being part of our fun team.

In addition to the traditional library work, we are also looking for a knitting instructor to assist in our knitting group.

For more information, or to schedule a get acquainted session, contact Tina at 593-9312, or Penny at 594-7416. We can't wait to hear from you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

More Great Audios

The New Audios shelf is getting filled up.  Stop by and find copies of

In several cases, we also have the book in print or even in large print. If you don't see the format you want, let us know. In the meantime, enjoy all these new to us books thanks to our great neighbors.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Get your earphones ready

We've been very fortunate over the summer.  Several of our fellow residents donated some very gently used audio books to pump up our small collection.  If you like to listen to books in this format, be sure to stop in.  These are all on CDs and can be played on your home computer, your CD player, or possibly even ripped to your personal portable listening device.

Look for more new titles later this year, but so far, here's what's new to our shelves:

Stone Kiss by Faye Kellerman
There's been a murder in the family of Lieutenant Decker... Ephraim Lieber, a Hassidic Jew .. was found dead in a seedy Manhattan hotel, a single gunshot wound to his head. And his niece, fifteen-year-old Shaynda, is missing. In a desperate bid to track down the missing girl, Decker finds himself in ... a maze of deceit and danger
 Cross by James Patterson
Alex Cross was a rising star in the Washington, DC, Police Department when an unknown shooter gunned down his wife, Maria, in front of him. The killer was never found, and the case turned cold, filed among the unsolved drive-bys in D.C.'s rough neighborhoods.
Years later, still haunted by his wife's death, Cross is making a bold move in his life. Now a free agent from the police and the FBI, he's set up practice as a psychologist once again. His life with Nana Mama, Damon, Jannie, and little Alex is finally getting in order. He even has a chance at a new love.
Then Cross's former partner, John Sampson, calls in a favor. He is tracking a serial rapist in Georgetown, one whose brutal modus operandi recalls a case Sampson and Cross worked together years earlier. When the case reveals a connection to Maria's death, Cross latches on for the most urgent and terrifying ride of his life.


The Sleeping Doll by Jeffrey Deaver

When Special Agent Kathryn Dance -- a brilliant interrogator and kinesics expert with the California Bureau of Investigation -- is sent to question the convicted killer Daniel "Son of Manson" Pell as a suspect in a newly unearthed crime, she feels both trepidation and electrifying intrigue. Pell is serving a life sentence for the brutal murders of the wealthy Croyton family in Carmel years earlier -- a crime mirroring those perpetrated by Charles Manson in the 1960s.
Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown
Charleston, S.C., TV reporter Britt Shelley wakes up in bed next to the dead body of police detective Jay Burgess. While Jay had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the authorities suspect foul play. Jay's former best friend, ex-fireman Raley Gannon, suffered a similar shock five years earlier, waking up next to party girl Suzi Monroe's naked corpse after a party at Jay's home. Raley had been investigating a fire at a local police station that took seven lives, despite the heroic efforts of Jay and several other cops, one of whom is now South Carolina's attorney general. Cleared of Suzi's death, Raley eventually teams with Britt to look into a nasty arson coverup.
Pegasus Descending by James Lee Burke

A troubled young woman breezes into Detective Robicheaux's hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. She happens to be the daughter of his friend -- a friend he witnessed gunned down in a bank robbery, a tragedy that forever changed Robicheaux's life. The twists begin when Trish Klein -- the only offspring of Robicheaux's Vietnam-era buddy -- starts passing marked hundred-dollar bills in local casinos. Is she a good kid gone bad? A victim's child seeking revenge? A promiscuous beauty seducing everyone good within her grasp? And can Robicheaux make peace with his friend's murder in time to figure out how a local mobster fits into all the schemes and death? Will his life be whole again when it has been shattered by so much tragedy?
The Finder by Colin Harrison
Jin Li is a beautiful, driven young woman running a dangerous little operation. Manhattan corporations hire her for a simple but delicate task: to shred and destroy the reams of highly classified documents. But they don't know that she and her brother, Chen, have been using their discarded secrets to game the international markets, making a pile of cash. When someone at the Good Pharma corporation, whose stock is plummeting, uncovers the scheme, two of Jin Li's workers die a grisly death, and Jin is on the run. Her brother extorts Jin's old flame, Ray Grant--an ex-firefighter with a disturbing 9/11 past--to track her down. He'll have to comb every strata of New York, from the brutal Mexican mafia to the greed-fueled penthouse billionaires of Wall Street, to find her.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Springtime- New Books, Expanded Service

While it may still be a bit rainy outside, we have been having lots of new books pushing their way on to our shelves. Many thanks to all who have dontated either funds or books to keep our collection as current as possible. If you don't yet have a card, be sure to stop in on Monday, Wednesday or Saturday to sign up for one. They're free, and they open up a world of reading and listening pleasure.

Our newest books are also showing on the South Thomaston library webpage (updatded monthly) and the Overdrive console always has new audio books ready to download.

Give us a call if you are looking for a book not in our collection. We can get it through Interlibrary loan from another library in Maine.  This fairly new service is free of charge for the first 10 books; after that we ask for a $2.50 return postage fee to help defray the cost of getting the book back to its home.  After all, they don't really fly, but we do enjoy this great service for only the cost of return postage.