Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What's Going On at the Library

It has been a loooooong time since I've updated the blog.  It seems like an easy enough task but somehow it always gets pushed back to the end of my To-Do list.

We've been really busy here.  Circulation is up which means there's a lot more shelving to be done! And we've been buying/sorting/processing new and donated materials.  We put in an order for newly released books generally twice a month, new movies once a month and new (or needed) cd's for our Hunter Music collection at least once a month.

We have also gotten in a TON of donations of all varieties: books, movies, and music cd's which we've been sorting and processing.  Because our shelves are pretty full we are being fairly selective on the donations we catalog and put in the collection.  Which means....

Through the entire month of March we are running a 'cleaning house' book sale. New items go out on the sale tables at least once a week.  Hopefully we will get a lot sold before April 1st comes around.

We will also continue our practice of having a book sale during Homer's Town Wide Garage Sales. These will be held the first Friday and Saturday of May so if you didn't get the chance to get out here for this book sale, you have another opportunity coming right around the corner!

We are still keeping up with our monthly event schedule.  We have our Movie Matinee on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 1pm.  These movies are geared to the interests of local retirees. We also have our Free Family Movie Night on the 3rd Friday of each month at 7pm.  We keep these movies to rated G or PG so parents can bring their young kids.  It is a great way to take your kids to a movie and see if they are ready to sit through the whole thing - if not, you can just get up and leave without worrying about the $8-10 you would have spent on a ticket at a regular theatre.

We are also getting ready for our Summer Reading Program.  This year's theme is "Paws to Read" so will be heavily animal oriented.  This program is open to all kids going into kindergarten through 5th grade.

We also have been working on a lot of behind the scenes projects such as writing grants, sending in required reports to the library system and the state, and also trying to get our collection uploaded to OCLC for easier access for other libraries.

If you haven't been in for a while, come on in and see what's happening.  There is always SOMETHING going on at the Homer Community Library.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

November Events

November 2013 Events
Homer Community Library

Nov. 12  7pm
Library Board Meeting
Nov. 13  1pm
Movie Matinee:   Parkland
PARKLAND recounts the chaotic events that occurred in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Written and directed by Peter Landesman and produced by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, Bill Paxton and Exclusive Media's Nigel Sinclair and Matt Jackson, PARKLAND is the ferocious, heart-stopping and powerful true story never told of the people behind the scenes of one of the most scrutinized events in history.  
Rated PG-13                                        runs 133 min

Nov. 15  7pm
Free Family Movie Night:  Monster’s U
Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn't always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn't stand each other. "Monsters University" unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.
Rated G                                      runs 1 hr 35 min

Nov. 21  7pm
Family Reading Night
Join us for a Pajama Party after the library is closed! We will dim the lights, pop some popcorn and read our favorite picture books.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Newly Added Titles This Fall

I thought I should start adding our new items to our blog.  The list is usually too long to send to the paper in whole and I know many of you do not get our monthly email letting you know what's new.  If you would like to get the email please contact us, otherwise, here are the new titles we've added this fall.  This one does not include music cd's.  I will post a separate blog with those and try to add them to this one in the future. 

Adult Fiction & Non-Fiction
W is for Wasted Sue Grafton
The Longest Ride Nicholas Sparks
Docor Sleep Stephen King
Gone James Patterson
Chile Death Susan Wittig Albert
Wormwood Susan Wittig Albert
Nightshine Lynn Viehl
Starry Night Debbie Macomber
Holly Blues Susan Wittig Albert
Mourning Gloria Susan Wittig Albert
southern comfort fern michaels
Storm Front John Sanford
Blindsided Fern Michaels
Sycamore Row John Grisham
Doing  Hard Time Stuart Woods
The Wolves of Midwinter Anne Rice
Jumpstart to skinny Bob Harper
Talent Code
Killing Jesus Bill O'Reiley
Great Gatsby
The Croods
Unfinished Song
We've added about 2 dozen donated movies.
Easy Books
Hello, My Name is Ruby Philip Stead
The Day the Crayons Quit Drew Daywalt
Junior Fiction & Non-Fiction
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Sphdz Book 4 Jon Scieszka
Darkwing Kenneth Oppel
The Wyrum King Tony DiTerlizzi
Path of Beasts Lian Tanner
Tentacles Roland Smith
Chupacabra Roland Smith
Julie of the Wolves Jean Craighead George
Young Adult Fiction & Non-Fiction
Michael Vey 3 : Battle of the Ampere Richard Paul Evans
Mouse Guard: The Black Axe David Peterssen
Fault in Our Stars John Green
The Moon & More Sarah Dessen
Collosus Rises - Seven Wonders bk 1 Peter Lerangis
Reason to Breath Rebecca Donovan
The Scorch Trials James Dashner
House of Hades Rick Riordan
The Death Cure James Dashner
Revealed P.C. Cast
Barely Breathing Rebecca Donovan
Allegiant Veronica Roth
A Foreign Country Charles Cummings
Narnia Audiobook set C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

It's a BIG, BIG, BIG Book Sale!

The Homer Community Library will be having it's twice a year BIG book sale on Saturday, October 5th from 8am until 2 pm. We have hundreds of books to choose from including quite a few children's books this time around. We have a lot of books by John Grisham, James Patterson, Nora Roberts (and J.D. Robb), along with quite a few other popular authors. There are both hardback and paperback books, some have been donated and others have been taken out of the library collection. The book sale will be in the library at 500 E. 2nd St. If you've never been to the library this is a great opportunity to come in and see what services we have to offer.

While you're here, stop in for the Village Hall garage sale and buy a street sign!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's That Time Again - Banned Book Week!

We love banned book week here at the Homer Library- not because we love the idea of banning books but just the opposite - we love to show our patrons some of the absurd reasons books have been challenged or successfully banned from other school or public libraries.

As one high school student noted, "Jailing books shuts out ideas" and "Free People Read Freely".  I like both of those sentiments.

Here at the Homer Community Library we want you to Celebrate Your Freedom to Read!
In honor of Banned Book Week, the Homer Community Library is once again spotlighting books that are frequently challenged or banned.  We are beginning our annual Banned Book reading incentive on Sept. 23rd and encouraging our patrons to read one (or many!) of the books that are found on the American Library Association's list of frequently challenged books. Every time you check out a book from this list we will add your name to a drawing for a $25 gift card.  We will continue this reading incentive through the end of December.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Libraries and schools around the nation use this week to highlight the value of free and open access to information. This is a great opportunity for the book community to come together in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.  The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.  You might be surprised at what some people think should be restricted.
This year we are proud to partner with the local school district and will be displaying  Banned Book posters made by Freshmen students at Heritage High School. Come on in and see some student art work and learn more about what the your local library has to offer you!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lots of Movies at the Library!

Did you know that the library offers much more than just books?  The Homer Community Library is here for both your educational and entertainment needs.  To this end, each month we purchase a few movies just released to DVD to add to our movie collection.  We currently have over 2000 movies, 1500 of them on DVD. Yes, this does mean we still have some favorites on VHS tapes so if you still have that old VCR, there is somewhere you can come and find something to watch!  Anyone with a valid library card can check out movies.  There is no charge to check them out but, be careful – there is a $1.00/day late fee if you don’t bring them back on time!  Regular movies circulate for 2 days and non-fiction movies (this would include exercise DVDs) circulate for 2 weeks. 

The library also has a movie license which allows us to show movies on-site.  This is why we are able to hold our two monthly movie events.  We usually show movies newly released on DVD for both our Movie Matinee and our Family Movie Night.  We try to keep the rating for our matinee to PG or PG-13 and our family movie to G or PG.

 Our Movie Matinee is held on the second Wednesday of each month at 1pm. On Sept. 11th,  the library is showing the newest version of The Great Gatsby for our Movie Matinee. The Great Gatsby follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin Daisy and her philandering, blue-blooded husband Tom Buchanan. It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles. This movie is rated PG-13 and runs 142 minutes.

Our Free Family Movie Night is held on the third Friday of each month.  This month, Sept. 20th, we are showing Epic. Epic is an animated adventure comedy that reveals a fantastical world unlike any other. From the creators of Ice Age and RioEpic tells the story of an ongoing battle between the forces of good, who keep the natural world alive, and the forces of evil, who wish to destroy it. When a teenage girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she teams up with an elite band of warriors and a crew of comical, larger-than-life figures, to save their world...and ours. This movie is rated PG and runs 103 minutes.

If you have questions about our movie collection, events, or anything else, please give us a call at 217/896-2121 or email us We will be happy to assist  you.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Homer Library Begins 2014 Calendar Fundraising Effort

Beginning August 12th and continuing until completion about December 10th of this year, the Homer Library will once again produce and sell the "Homer Community Library Calendar.” Begun in 1965 by the Homer Lions Club, the Calendar became the Library’s primary fundraising activity in 2006 when the Lions Club disbanded. Since then the Calendar has raised $27,640.43 in much needed funds for the Library, according to figures provided by K.C. Jones, Library Treasurer and Calendar Chairperson.

A volunteer project, the Calendar netted $3602.24 last year. Subsequently, this profit was used to pay 12.18% of the Library’s FY 2012 expenses. Real estate taxes plus a State of Illinois per capita grant contributed another $18,982.28 in income, or 70.82%—nearly all of which was used to pay for Library salaries, the online catalog service fee, and membership in Illinois Heartland Library System. The remaining 17% of Library expenditures were paid from income generated by membership fees; fines; printing, copying and fax services; monetary donations; sales of discarded materials; and fundraising efforts other than the Calendar. For comparison, a recent newspaper article mentioned that the Champaign Public Library receives 92% of its income from taxes. The same report also said that they required an infusion of cash from the City of Champaign in order to meet their commitments. In contrast, thanks to the generous participation of Homer residents in Library fundraising efforts, especially the Calendar, the Homer Library has continued to operate in the black—even in these trying times. However, without Calendar income, it would not be possible for the Library to maintain its current level of support for programs and purchases of new materials, including books, movies, music CDs, magazines, and reference works.

For the past several years, more than a third of yearly Calendar income has been allocated to the “Reading Is Fundamental” (RIF) program. This now defunct federal program was designed to improve child literacy by giving, in our case, 400 to 500 books per year to kindergarten through fourth grade students in Heritage School District. Thanks to Calendar income, the Library has been able to continue this popular program despite the lack of federal assistance. Fortunately, children's book publishers have continued their RIF discounts. But the Library doesn’t know how much longer they will continue to do so since their federal aid has also ended. For this reason alone, the Library staff hopes community support for this yearʼs Calendar will meet or surpass this year's goal of $4000.

Although the Library is the sole recipient of Calendar income, everyone in Heritage School District can benefit from Calendar funds. According to Illinois State law, Homer is the official Library for the other communities and townships in Heritage School District because they are without a Library of their own. Heritage School District residents who live outside the Village limits of Homer may obtain a Homer Library card for just $35—the average amount Homer residents pay for Library privileges as levied on their real estate tax bills.

The Calendar will be mailed in mid-December, as it was last year, to every household, business, and farmstead in the Village of Homer and South Homer Township. These mailings, at just 14.5¢ each, are made possible by a U.S. Postal Service program that encourages mailings to every household in a given zip code. In the next month or so, a Library volunteer will be calling on families who have recently moved to Homer to ask if they will contribute their listings to the Calendar. Listings consist of anniversaries and birthdays of Homer family members that are printed on the relevant dates of the Calendar, along with meetings of civic and religious organizations. The charges for listings are the same as last year: one or two listings; just $6.00; additional listings are $1.00 each. If anyone wants an extra Calendar, a donation of $10.00 will be very much appreciated.

Previous Calendar patrons will be sent an email or postcard that shows their current listings. Patrons who wish to resubscribe to the Calendar just need to send in or drop off payment at the Homer Library for the amount billed. The deadline for payment is September 30, 2013 and checks should be made payable to the Homer Library. Changes and or corrections to listings, or new requests to be added to the Calendar, may be sent to Homer Library, Attn: K.C. Jones, 500 E. Second St., Homer, IL 61849. Patrons with questions may telephone K.C. at 531-7856, or email him at The Library requests that past patrons and advertisers please reply promptly when they receive email and postcards regarding the renewal of Calendar subscriptions. Doing so eliminates future mailing costs, insures that funds raised are used for Library support and not for postage, and provides the Library with the funds to pay Calendar production costs.

The staff and Trustees of the Homer Community Library wish to sincerely thank all those Calendar patrons who have in the past so generously supported the Library’s annual Calendar fundraiser—some for many years. They also ask that you please help make this a successful fundraising year by keeping or adding your listings to the 2014 Calendar or by making a donation.