DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

July 2016

JulieI have the book for you!  The book is Juliet by Anne Fortier, and is available to check out as a physical book.  It is also available in  downloadable audio in Overdrive.   The author Anne Fortier explores the real story behind Romeo and Juliet.   I have always said there is a little truth in all fiction.  This book also includes the genres of Fiction, Romance, Mystery, and Historical.

Julie and Janice Jacobs are coming home for the funeral of their recently deceased Aunt Rose.  Each women hopes to gain something from her estate.  Julie just wants a little money to cover her expenses and a place to live.  Janice just wants money.  Instead Janice is left with the house and all of its possessions.  Julie receives a mysterious key.  This key is linked to her past.  She is sent to Italy in hopes of finding treasure.  The first people she meets initially are Anna Maria Salenbini and her god son Lisandro on her way to Siena.   The first task is to go to the bank where her mother’s safety deposit box is located.   It includes the real story of Romeo and Juliet and the explanation of a curse on her family the Tolemaes and the Salenbinis.  Julie takes up the role of the modern Juliet.  Her given name from birth is Guiletta Tolemae.  But where is Romeo?  Why does Janice then make an appearance as well in Italy?  Is there really a treasure?

I loved this book!  Cassandra Campbell narrates the tale alternating between English and Italian accents.  She does an excellent job!  The story has many plot twists that will keep the reader guessing till the very end.   It had a slow start but became more interesting as the story evolved.  The reader will be left with a desire to meet their Romeo!

Please visit Overdrive for downloadable audiobook or the Catalog.  For  those of you who would like to read about the real story of  Romeo and Juliet read Understanding Romeo and Juliet by Thomas Thrasher.  See Romeo and Juliet a Duke Classic.



Jul 8 2016

Life at the Library

by Dea Anne M

DECA 2015 008I have friends who, knowing that I work for DCPL, will say things like “I grew up at the Decatur library,” or “When I was working on my Masters, I lived at the library.” We all know that these folks are using figures of speech in order to convey the depth of their attachment to the library as a particular place that was important to them at a certain time in life. But what if it were true? What if you really did live at the library? What if you actually did grow up there?

Perhaps it’s my general interest in off-beat living spaces such as tiny houses, tree houses and Airstream trailers but I admit to being absolutely fascinated with this recent article from 6sqft, a website devoted to the architecture and building design or New York City as well as interesting aspects of the city’s real estate. The story profiles the living arrangements of the building superintendents of two of New York’s better known libraries. There was a time when these people actually lived inside the libraries themselves. For example Patrick Thornberry, superintendent of the grand New York Society Library, lived there with his family from 1943 until his retirement in 1967. Along with a lovely apartment, the family enjoyed access to a penthouse garden as well the library stacks and reference rooms after hours. Even today, the building possesses great charm and distinction. In fact, Thornberry’s daughter, Rose Mary, chose to have her wedding there in 1965. This library is, by the way, one of the oldest in the country – if not the oldest  – and is one of the few remaining libraries in the United States that functions on a subscription basis, that is, members pay a fee for access to the collections and services.

Also included in the 6sqft story is a brief account of John Fedeler, live-in superintendent at the 42nd Street branch of the New York Public Library, otherwise known as The Schwarzman Building. This is the home of the immense marble lions known as Patience and Fortitude who flank the entrance and brand the building as one of the most recognizable in the world. The classic Beaux-Arts building is spectacular in every way and the Fedeler family inhabited a lovely four bedroom apartment on the Mezzanine floor. Fedeler’s son (also named John) reported years later that singing and stomping around the apartment were strictly forbidden until library staff had left for the day. Strictures such as this one apparently didn’t deter the Fedeler children from such occasional antics as using outsize reference volumes as bases for indoor softball games.

As far as I know, library building supervisors no longer, as a rule,  live in the buildings that they oversee but some people still live in buildings that were once libraries. Here, for example, is the story of an Atlanta couple who renovated the old Kirkwood library and turned it into a private home. Another couple in Rockport, Massachusetts converted an historic Carnegie library building into a private residence complete with a gorgeous tiled rotunda. Here‘s an image into what is now the kitchen.

As a child of decidedly bookwormish tendencies,  living in the library would have been a dream come true. How about you? Did you ever want to live at the library?



Jul 5 2016

Pick Your Own

by Camille B

Basket of strawberries 1

Summer vacation is well underway, and for some, it’s already  proving to be a test of endurance as you struggle to come up with fun and inventive ways to keep the kids happy and occupied. I imagine if you have to hear the words “I’m bored,” one more time, you’ll just pull your hair out.

So here’s one more thing that you can add to your list of summer fun that’s exciting, educational and reasonably priced- a trip to one of the local U-pick farms in Georgia.

I had the pleasure of taking my nieces and nephews to one of these farms a few weeks ago, and we had so much fun I was sorry we hadn’t done it sooner.

Not only was I able to dispel the myth that strawberries grew on trees, but I also enjoyed watching them race each other down the lanes trying to see who would fill their buckets first, all while enjoying the delicious fruit.

We didn’t have to make a reservation since it was a fairly small group. Gallon buckets were provided to us at the cost of $1 per bucket, which we were able to keep for our next visit. In addition to fruit picking, there were also farm animals like goats, cows and chickens which were an additional treat for the kids.

So take a day when the weather’s really nice and it’s not too hot out, to go visit one of these farms, giving the kids an experience they won’t soon forget. The strawberry picking season is almost at a close for the summer (the window’s a very small one, beginning in April to the end of June), but don’t be disheartened because blueberries, blackberries and peaches are still plentiful and open for picking at many of the local farms throughout Georgia.Peach Picking 1

And guess what? Your day isn’t over yet. When you return home, should you want to stretch your fruit picking fun a little further, engage the help of the older kids (the younger ones too if you have the heart) to make jams, jellies and maybe even peach cobbler or ice cream.

To locate a U-pick farm that’s nearest you, check out helpful websites like pickyourown.org, which tells you, not only what’s available for picking throughout the year, by country and state or province, but also  gives you weather forecasts, tells you where you can find markets and roadside stands and even provides helpful recipes and fruit canning instructions.

And should you decide to go, I hope you have as much fun as we did.

To help pickle, jam or preserve your pickings, check out these DCPL offerings:

Foolproof Preserving from the editor’s at America’s Test Kitchen

Jar of Jam

Farm Fresh Georgia

Farm Fresh Georgia byJodi Helmer

Jam it, pickle it, cure it by Karen Solomon