Blogs

Celebrate the holidays at your local library

  • Posted on: 27 November 2018
  • By: Melanie Thornton

Join us this December to celebrate the holidays at the library! Whether it is a story time, a craft night, or live music, we have many programs that will delight the old and young alike. And the best part is that all of them (with the exception of a small supply fee for some), are FREE. 

Tween Time: Gingerbread Houses

December 2  2:00 p.m.

Madison Public Library

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Network improvements at HMCPL

  • Posted on: 12 November 2018
  • By: Aaron Sakovich

In case you’ve not figured it out yet, we don’t just do books at the Library.

It was about this time of year in 2010, late fall eight years ago when I started working at the Library. At that time, the LibraryNet was all copper — analog T1 lines (think: old-style phone-grade) from our branches, a MetroEthernet for our Internet connection, and all the cabling within our Downtown Branch’s Computer Room were typically 100 megabit per second (Mbps) Ethernet links. Improving this infrastructure was quickly identified as one of my primary goals to improve service in the Library.

Here’s that story.


HMCPL network timeline of usage and bandwidth

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Into the Archives!

  • Posted on: 3 November 2018
  • By: Heather Adkins

“It’s out of paper!” You scream in terror as your printer (leisurely printing your homework), grinds to a stop. You look around, but there is no extra paper to be found. These days, a simple run to the office supply store can solve your paper needs. However, paper has not always been as accessible.

In the 19th Century, letter-writing was a surprisingly expensive task. Producing paper was not cheap, and buying quality paper came at a cost. Early in the century, postmasters began charging for distance traveled and the weight of paper. Combine the price of paper with the budding idea of paying for postage – writing to loved-ones suddenly became a line item in the family budget. This added expense led many to find ways to save on paper.

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Five Reasons to be a Friend of your Library

  • Posted on: 26 October 2018
  • By: Melanie Thornton

Libraries across the country are celebrating National Friends of the Libraries Week, October 21-27, 2018. Our Friends of the Library groups are vital in expanding our resources to better serve the community through fundraising, volunteer and program support and through advocacy. All 12 branches of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library have a Friends group you can join. Here are five reasons why you should join today:

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Gearing up for the Halloween Season

  • Posted on: 1 October 2018
  • By: Jon Schafle

As summer winds to a close and a chill slowly begins to creep into the air we approach my favorite time of year, Fall and the Halloween season! From a young age I’ve always loved Halloween and all things spooky and working in a library gives me the perfect opportunity to share my passion with our patrons of all ages...you’re never too young or old to get into a fiendishly festive mood whether it’s October or not! I’ve put together a libguide (a sort of library research guide) specifically for Halloween and horror books broken down by age range and type that you can browse at guides.hmcpl.org/horror [1]. Some of my favorite reads are on the quirky side of horror with a dash of humor and 80’s nostalgia. Here are some of my all time favorites…

Picture Books & Beginning Readers

Book Chat: The Great American Read

  • Posted on: 24 September 2018
  • By: Michelle Brightwell

Humans have always felt the need to share stories. They began telling tales as soon as they developed the capacity for speech. Early civilizations would gather at holy places, around their campfires, to listen and memorize the stories shared with them by the elders and religious leaders of their communities.  Stories were told to communicate their knowledge and experience to other members of their communities – they told stories to warn of danger, to teach how to hunt, explain away terrifying natural events and share the wonder of nature. We have always felt the need to share stories. Sharing experiences and other worlds are as important to humans now as they were in prehistory. Stories bring us together and help us give meaning and make sense of our lives.

Bestselling author David Grann comes to Huntsville for library fundraiser

  • Posted on: 13 September 2018
  • By: Melanie Thornton

Bestselling author David Grann comes to Huntsville for library fundraiser

Author hailed as master of spinning true crime tales

The Huntsville Library Foundation (HLF) proudly presents bestselling author David Grann as the guest of honor and keynote speaker at HLF’s 32nd annual Vive le Livre gala on Thursday, September 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Jackson Center, 6001 Moquin Drive. The event will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by a gourmet dinner and keynote address by Grann.

“Grann has woven an intriguing tale with his bestseller,” said HLF Chairperson Betsy Estopinal. “We are looking forward to hearing him speak in person about the real life mystery that has captivated audiences all over the world.”

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Library welcomes community mosaic

  • Posted on: 28 August 2018
  • By: Melanie Thornton

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library welcomed the permanent installation of a community mosaic at the Downtown Huntsville Library on Tuesday, August 28.

"This is one of those wonderful opportunities where we can showcase the talent in our community," said Connie Chow, Downtown's branch manager. "We are honored to be able to display this for all to enjoy."

“Beauty From Brokenness” is a triptych artwork created from glass tiles from the original “Cosmic Christ” mosaic commissioned by Huntsville’s First Baptist Church in the early 1970s. Local artist Stephen Ware was one of three Huntsvillians to assist Texas-based artist Gordon William Smith with the original mosaic installation in the 1970s.

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Book Review - 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood

  • Posted on: 20 August 2018
  • By: Brian Bess

A female dystopia mutated to its logical extreme Margaret Atwood wrote ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in 1984, a very important year in the history of dystopian fiction. Perhaps the number of the year inspired her; most definitely, the leanings toward theocratic authoritarianism expressed by organizations at that time such as the Moral Majority. The dystopian framework was the best suited for a novel about events that had happened multiple times throughout human history, projected into a possible recurrence in the U.S. Atwood has repeatedly insisted that she invented none of the developments in the novel; everything that happens in the novel has occurred at some point in the past. So here we are in 2018 and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ along with ‘1984’ and several other dystopian novels have seen a not very surprising increase in sales.

Librarians on Vacation: I have a book problem

  • Posted on: 13 August 2018
  • By: Suzanne

Hi my name is Suzanne, I’m the Adult Programs Librarian at the Downtown Library and I have a book problem.

I love reading and I read fast, a combination which has caused me many difficulties. Mainly back pain from very heavy bags filled with books. If I don’t carry with me 25 books, how on earth will I survive a two week beach vacation?

Digital books are my new favorite thing. Now I can have all of the books I want in my pocket. I can read in line at the super market. I can read while I walk from one end of the building to the other (warning: this ability to walk and read has been cultivated over many years of practice; don’t try this at home!). I can read in the car while my husband drives and when I finish a book I CAN DOWNLOAD ANOTHER ONE WITHOUT STOPPING!

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