In the Stacks: A Hodgepodge of Library Facts and Fun

newyearblogMany apologies dear readers! It has been such a time since I last wrote a blog. I know it has just been killing y’all inside not to get your latest library fix. Well I am back writing, and at such a marvelous time too. The holidays are among us, and a brand new year is starting just a matter of days from now. I have been wracking my brain for weeks, thinking about what to write about next. I have finally decided that I have a whole bunch of things I’d like to address here, and I can only hope that as a holiday gift, you all will enjoy what I have to say.

This last year has brought about so many wonderful things. This Library District still stands to be such an amazing place, both for staff and for patrons. There have been many new fantastic changes taking place, as well as tons and tons of new and exciting programs, in and effort for our community to get together and enjoy themselves. Specifics you ask? Well, where can I begin? Let me start by saying how fortunate we are to add a couple phenomenal new people to our staff. This year we sadly said farewell to our long standing, and in a word “perfect” Deputy Director Robb Morss. That was one phoenix we all were sad to lose, yet rising from its ashes is Mr. Tom Fay. Tom has come to us from the Henderson Public Library System, and what a positive impact he has already made. I have been told he has many wonderful ideas for us. I know that he is a man committed to excellence, and will take our district to new and wonderful heights. Following the introduction of Mr. Fay we have our brand new Programming and Venues Manager, Mr. Matthew McNally. Mr. McNally comes to us straight from Bally’s own Donn Arden’s Jubilee! Matthew has an extensive (and most impressive) background in theatre and production services. With Tom and Matt as our new head honchos in the district, there is no limit to the possibilities of greatness they will provide for us all.

On a sadder note, this coming year we will be losing our Executive Director Ms. Jeanne Goodrich. Jeanne has been with the district for many years now. She came to us right in the middle of Las Vegas’ drastic economic recession following the retirement of our previous Executive Director Mr. Dan Walters. When Dan left, a request for a new Director to help guide us through the impending repercussions of the ever worsening economy went out nationwide. Soon enough, we were left with only a few hopeful candidates to pick as our new Executive Director. I am here to say; thank goodness the final pick was Jeanne. Without her stepping up to the plate and immediately running all business in our District, there is no telling where we would be today. Jeanne will be greatly missed, and I know we all wish her the absolute best on her new life path. Thank you for all you have done (and luckily, for now, still do) for us Jeanne.

Well, with staff aside, there is still the matter of the ever growing services that the District offers daily to our public. This year started the final passing and launch of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare, as many of you know it). Now in terms of the website to register for healthcare, there have been ups and downs. However, since day 1 LVCCLD has been there to answer any initial questions about it, and provide as much information as possible to helping every interested person about the various health plans and registration process. There are currently several local groups frequenting our various library branches to further the knowledge of the Affordable Care Act to all who sign up for their seminars & meet ups. For more information, you can always ask a local librarian, or just visit our website,

Oh boy… what’s next? How about some general library card facts for everybody? Sound boring? I think not. There is some important information I must further emphasize to you all. To start, library cards do in fact expire everybody. I know… it is a major buzz kill. When you first sign up for a library card, we enter you into our expansive District-wide database. This creates a record for every person that gets a library card. That record is automatically set to a certain expiration date every year. Now there are some exceptions to this (I’ll spare you the details) but typically, every library card will expire one year to the day that you first get set up with your new card. When that year has come, you must go into any local library with your card and photo ID to renew your account. The staff will confirm your information and update your record. Why do we do this? Well say you move; we need the new address. If your old phone fell in the toilet and you replaced it with a brand new smart phone and got a whole new number (we all know it happens, don’t lie); we need that number. Well ok… we don’t NEED it, but it helps. What helps even more is having a valid email address for you so that we can notify you when items you check out are coming due. This was you can renew or return the items on time to prevent fees. Also, if you request an item, we send you an email the same day we process your hold at your requested library. Also, if you guys are wondering, NO we do not sell off your email address and other personal information. What gets put in your library record is strictly for library use only, and stays that way. We hold privacy of this information as a top priority. However, to ensure that what is in there is accurate, we need validation of the most current information for each record, hence… come in person and renew your cards once a year folks. On a side note… we also request that any and all fees on your record be paid on the renewal date as well. A chance to start fresh you might say. I guess that’s all I have to say about that. Still think all that sounds boring? Well… then I’m sorry.

OOOH! Something else popped into mind. In a recent blog I mentioned the literary awesomeness of Mr. Stephen King. I don’t think in that post I got to mention one very special item that has only recently been added to his long arsenal of … well… literary awesomeness. Actually, this one is only partially literary. You see years ago, Stephen King and a one, Mr. John Cougar Mellencamp (a great singer/songwriter, I strongly recommend y’all check him out) set about to create a new type of play. YES THEATRE FANS, A PLAY!!! This would incorporate Stephen King’s surreal/morbid storytelling with John Cougar’s country/rock singing/songwriting. The amazing result that followed was “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County”. They released a studio produced recording featuring the voices of such multi-talented artists as Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Matthew McConaughey, and Kris Kristofferson.  There are currently two different records for this title in our District. That being, that you can either pull a copy of this title off the regular book shelves, or a CD set from the CD section of any library. Either set will feature a music disc of the studio recorded version of the play, as well as a DVD with special bonus features. There is also a booklet showing the play in written form as well as other listed history of how this sensation of a play came to be. I had checked out a copy a couple of months ago, and I must say readers… it is kind of amazing.

I suppose this pretty much leaves my mentioning of the “tons and tons’’ of library programs and events. Well again dear readers, there are indeed tons and tons that we have all of time. Each one of them is just as good as the other depending on who is attending the events. If you stop by your local library, or look under “Events & Galleries” on our District website, you can access a whole array of fun and interesting programs throughout every one of our individual branches. There are storytimes for kids of all ages. There are movie showings for both children and adults. There are author visits as well as riveting seminars and church meetings. If you happen to be free during the upcoming season I know there are always plays put on by amazing local production companies such as the Broadway Bound and Signature Productions. There are also various concerts and recitals to entertain the public and expand the education of musical appreciation. It’s pretty cool stuff right?

So in conclusion everybody, there is no cap for the enjoyment in utilizing the Library District in your lives. There are countless opportunities to bring yourselves or your whole family in to any local branch and have a wonderful experience. There are books to read, computers to use, items to check out, databases to search, and eMedia questions to have answered (like… a LOT of questions to be answered right folks?). So… pretty please… with sugar on top… PLEASE… come into your local library. If you didn’t much this year, then in 2014.Come in, enjoy, open your mind to a whole new world of  i-m-a-g-i-n-a-t-i-o-n, and prepare to have your mind blown (though not literally, I must add for liability reasons) by our, in a word “perfect” Library District.

Until next time everybody… stay classy… stay “perfect” … HAVE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!



In the Stacks: Spotlight on Stephen King

Stephen KingBy the time this blog comes out, Halloween will have already passed. However, the subject for my blog today is something that everyone can enjoy throughout the year. What is this subject you ask? I am referring of course to the master of horror himself, and the man who Peter Griffin called “the greatest author of the last thousand years”. He is the inspiration to countless books and movies that we all have enjoyed over the years. That man as I’m sure you all have gathered by now, is Mr. Stephen King.

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine on September 21, 1947. He married the love of life Tabitha in 1971. Before his first major novel Carrie was published in 1974, Mr. King took up whatever jobs he could find such as a laundromat attendant, a pumper at a gas station, and as a teacher.  Yet ever since Carrie, Stephen King has been delighting readers everywhere with his countless novels, short stories, and novellas. The majority of those remarkable tales have been adapted into movies, TV shows, graphic novels, etc. The best part of all, is that here in the District we have just about every story Stephen King has ever written, as well as every movie or show based off of his works. I mean the guy has written so much he had to make up a pseudonym to write more. I am referring of course to Richard Bachman. On a side note fellow readers, yes I do know that that is not why he created that name. You could probably have debates that last hours deciding on what his best book is, or what the best movie adaptation was.

I had recently thought to myself why was it that Stephen King has never specifically written anything for more of a YA audience. Now I am not one to judge what books belong to what genre, however I can say, that anyone who has enjoyed books such as The Hunger Games Trilogy; you absolutely must read The Long Walk which was a novella from The Bachman Books. It is set in a not too distant future, where there is a type of military dictatorship running America. Every once a year, one hundred teenage boys are brought together to participate in an event called The Long Walk. The goal of the event, is be the last one walking. If you walk under a certain rate of speed, walk off of the designated path of the walk, or if you attack any fellow walker or military guard constantly monitoring you, then you get a warning. If you get a certain number of warnings in a certain amount of time… you are shot dead. Why in the world would you participate in this event? Because if you win, you are awarded any possible amount of fame, money, power, or possession you could ever want for the rest of your life. Maybe they assumed only a teenage boy would go for that deal.

However, movies and books aside, I feel that some of the most fascinating things about Stephen King are the trivia listed about him personally. I am not one to pry, but you do have to admit, wouldn’t you want to know just a little bit behind the mind that brought us such mind-blowing stories?  There are countless amounts of trivia about Stephen King, but of course there is also so much controversy that many could speculate whether any of it is true or not. So for the sake of this blog, I will advise all of you to err on the side of caution when reading the following trivia facts surrounding Stephen King. First off, Stephen King is an avid Red Sox fan. Not much of a shock being that he is a New England resident and has been for just about his entire life. That was the warm up. Next up, Stephen King is a recovering alcoholic and was drunk just for the majority of time that he wrote the book Cujo. To this day he only vaguely remembers writing that novel.  Stephen King (despite what most people would think) is NOT a fan of Halloween. Stephen King also belongs to an all writers rock band called “Rock Bottom Remainders”. This is pretty fascinating stuff right? To conclude, his son Joseph Hillstrom King is also a writer, and he too has a pseudonym; Joe Hill. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?

Now I could go on for a while with more trivia, but then that would take the fun out of coming up with more facts about Stephen King yourselves dear readers. So I will just go ahead and end the trivia here in the hopes that if you like what you just read, than you will head to your nearest library (or probably just click to Google on your computers) and read up some more about Stephen King. I also have to strenuously suggest that if you are any fan of scary, abnormally freaky fiction stories, that you start reading the works of this amazing writer. I guarantee that you are not going to be disappointed. So until next time readers, stay classy, and stay reading.


Teen Tuesday – Winter Tales to Chill Your Bones!

The days are getting colder and the nights, longer.  What better time to read a few scary tales set during the winter!  For supernatural horror fans, here are a few books guaranteed to give you the shivers and keep you up at night—you’ve been warned!

devouringcover“When dark creeps in and eats the light,/ Bury your fears on Sorry Night./ For in the winter’s blackest hours,/ Comes the feasting of the Vours,/ No one can see it, the life they stole,/ Your body’s here but not your soul…”  With arguably the scariest beginning ever written, The Devouring by Simon Holt centers around the mysterious Vours: spirits that prey upon a person’s deepest fears and which can take possession of a body on Winter Solstice.  Reggie discovers their existence through an old journal she finds at the bookstore and though intrigued, she dismisses the claims as the ranting of an unhinged mind.  Little does Reggie know that soon, she will be battling the Vour that stole her brother’s body and to recover his soul, she will literally have to fight her brother’s worst fears.  Unfortunately, her young brother Henry is fearful of many things and the nightmarish landscape Reggie has to endure to bring him back is pretty gruesome.  Since the Vours are exploiting the primal fears that many people have (spiders, clowns, fear of drowning), readers may recognize some of their own as Reggie valiantly slays her way through each terrifying phobia.  The first of a trilogy, The Devouring can be read as a stand-alone, though it does conclude with a twist.  Fans eager to follow Reggie’s path to more horror, more gore, more Vours! will want to pick up book two, Soulstice and book three, Fearscape.

J. P. Hightman, the author of Spirit, is also a screenwriter and maybe that’s why this book feels like a horror movie placed in an historic New England spiritcoversetting.  Tess and Tobias Goodraven are a young, wealthy married couple from a privileged background whose hobby is laying ghosts to rest.  While most travelers are journeying to attend a winter carnival, the Goodravens are on the train to reach the spirit of an accused Salem witch.   When the train is derailed, they’re thrown into mortal danger and the body count starts rising.  Real horror fans will find the storyline traipses the “path of doom” that many characters in scary movies follow:  they leave the scene, they walk through the woods. . . at night. . .in the snow. . .and the fog, people get separated, and *sigh* someone always has to walk into an empty, creepy building–in this case an old church, which is never a safe santuary!   However, the malevolent witch ghost does manage to dispatch her victims in graphic and gory ways.  Readers looking for a quick atmospheric read with lots of blood and supernatural violence, enjoy!  Also recommended for those who like to mock characters’ poor decision-making skills.  At least the author saves a big punch for the end.

bonechillercoverA biting cold Canadian winter is the backdrop for Bonechiller by Graham McNamee.  Told in the first person voice of Danny, a late night encounter with a supernatural beast would have him questioning his sanity, were it not for the mark on his arm and the slow chill creeping through his body.  Then the same thing happens to his friend.  As Danny delves into this mystery he discovers that teens have been disappearing during the coldest winters for generations and no one has dared suggest it could be anything more sinister than running away.  Without the support of authorities, Danny and his friends must find and battle this creature themselves.  A tight thriller with some parallels to Stephen King’s It and Rick Yancey’s The Curse of the Wendigo, Bonechiller offers less gore, but more than makes up for it in psychological intensity and frightening action sequences.  Recommended for readers who enjoy vividly described settings, rich characterizations, foreboding suspense and explosive endings—literally.

Meet Stephanie, one of our wonderful Customer Service Assistants!

Stephanie has been working at the Whitney Library as a Customer Service Assistant for 6 years!

Her favorite thing about her job is coming across and checking out unique books on a variety of subjects.  She also loves our art gallery.  Did you know the Whitney Library art gallery showcases wonderful pieces of art from talented artists?

Stephanie is currently reading Cell by Stephen King, and she’s browsing through a few cookbooks.

Stephanie loves nature and the outdoors.  Whenever she gets a chance (and weather permits), she loves going on hikes and camping.

Make sure to stop by the Customer Service desk the next time you come to the library and say hello to Stephanie.  Stephanie and the rest of us thank you for using the Whitney Library, and we hope to see you soon!