Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Passing of a friend to libraries...Denizil Pugh

"When I croak, when people come in to look through all my things, what will it say about my life?"
A little less than a year ago, Denzil Pugh wrote these words on his blog. After losing his mother, going through her things and facing his own mortality, he contemplated his legacy. We all want to leave our mark on the world, to be remembered.
Denzil will be remembered. It may not be world-wide or go down in the annuals of human history, but he left a legacy. Through his years of employment at the bookstores Chapter 11 and Borders, Denzil shared a love of books with hundreds of people. Customers and employees alike were impressed with his knowledge. There was nothing he loved more than connecting people with books that he thought they would enjoy. When Borders went out of business, he worked for Lifeway Christian Bookstores to stay around books. To further that connection, he began to volunteer with the Friends of the Nancy Guinn Library, where he was a valued member, and with the Friends of Georgia Libraries, a state-wide library advocacy group. Recently, he had relocated to Dallas, TX to work at the Brookhaven College bookstore.
Beyond his passion for books, Denzil was a sweet spirit with an impish sense of humor. He could make any conversation better (or worse) with a perfectly timed inappropriate comment. Even when things were difficult, he maintained an optimistic outlook. A friend referred to him as a “Tigger in a World of Eeeyores”, referencing Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. Denzil often referred to himself as Peter Pan, stating that he never wanted to grow up. He always maintained that childlike sense of wonder. He loved nature and hiking, and often felt most inspired walking alone on nature trails. He had an amazing work ethic, and wanted nothing more than to be appreciated and recognized for his talents and dedication. He was an amazing writer, with a unique and perceptive view of pop culture, world events, and cartoons. His work can still be read at: http://denzilpugh.blogspot.com/
We all want to leave a legacy. We want to think that the world is better for having us in it, and the truth is, very few of us are indispensable. If we passed on, the world would keep turning. But on May 12, the world stopped spinning for a bit. We lost one of the very best of us. Even if only a small percentage of people got to meet Denzil personally, his loss was felt. The world was better with him in it, and now those of us who were lucky enough to be his family and his friends owe it to him to be worthy of that legacy – to live life with a Tigger attitude, to work hard and keep dreaming, and to foster a love of literacy and literature in all we meet.
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” 
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Greetings Local Georgia Friends Groups!

Your Friends group was missed at the Friends of Georgia Libraries' annual spring business meeting and workshop this year! We hope that your group is prospering, energized, and working to support your community's library.

FOGL's goal is to provide support at the local grassroots level to Friends groups around the state. FOGL offers awards each year to help recognize your group's dedication and efforts through a Best Friend award, along with a Fabulous Friend award.  Each year, in an effort to support Georgia Friends groups and Georgia authors, FOGL also offers an Author Appearance Grant. That application can be found at our website. FOGL offers speakers for your groups, information on establishing, re-organizing, and re-energizing your Friends group, along with tips on advocacy, marketing, social networking, and trouble-shooting as your group supports your community's library.

FOGL also offers the opportunity for your group to share information through our website at www.georgia-friends.org . There you will find our calendar of coming events, a link to our Facebook page, a link to email your request for assistance, registration forms, and other information designed to help your group.  In an effort to provide more current information, we have established a blog, which is available for you to share your group's coming events and information. We have all become aware that social networking is the new 'News' source for information, and FOGL offers an additional chance to broadcast your news.

There are Friends groups operating at many different levels around the state.  If you are part of a successful group, share information on how you have achieved that success.  An art instructor of mine once stated, "If you think you know all there is to know about painting, it's probably time to lay down your brushes and find something else to do....because you don't...there is always a new color mix or technique or brush to try." In other words, no matter how much you know, there is always something to be learned or shared.  I apply that thought to Friends groups.
We are all volunteers, all ages, all backgrounds, giving our valuable time and efforts to make our Georgia libraries the best they can be.  Shared information is extremely valuable. Please consider sharing what works for your group, and, yes, what doesn't work, as well.

We look forward to hearing from you, learning what you have learned along this journey to help make Georgia's libraries the best they can be!


Kathy Ash
President, Friends of Georgia Libraries

"Good Friends make great libraries!"

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Welcome to the first blog post of Friends of Georgia Libraries!  This blog will be the place to go for all your news on advocacy, events and news from Friends groups from around the state!

Please submit any ideas, events, success and news to foglblog@gmail.com

FOGL's annual meeting and workshop was held in the beautiful Jefferson Public Library.   "Things Friends Should Know About Their Georgia Libraries, But Are Afraid to Ask" was the theme and it focused on information about Georgia libraries, their partnerships around the state, along with a great session on advocacy.  Beth McIntyre, Regional Director of Piedmont Regional Library System, presented a session titled, “Libraries ROCK” & “Why Choose, We Have Both….”.  She focused on the e-books program at Piedmont Regional and the planning and budgeting it takes to begin an e-book program.
After lunch, board president, Kathy Ash, and treasurer, Keith Schuermann, presented a session on advocacy. “Advocacy is the planned, deliberate and sustained effort to raise awareness of an issue.” Advocacy utilizes many marketing and promotion tools. One such tool the Piedmont system recently acquired is a small “screen cleaner cling.” Designed to stick to the back of your cell phone, when needed it can be used to wipe your cell phone screen clean.  The logo of the Piedmont Regional Library is on the front, making it excellent advertisement and a conversation starter on libraries and their needs. 
Rounding out the day was an excellent informational tool disguised as a game show.  Who Wants to Be a Library Information Millionaire?” was  presented by George Tuttle, Piedmont Regional System IT Librarian.  Many facts on libraries were learned by all!  All pamphlets and presentations can be made available to you upon request.

FOGL board meeting was held directly following the workshop and election of officers took place.
Results are as follows:
Kathy Ash- President
Dan Aldridge- Vice President
Keith Schuermann- Treasurer
Beth Ratliff- Secretary

We also would like to extend a warm Friend-ly welcome to Belinda “Bel” Outwater, our newest board member.  Bel has worn many hats in the land of books and is currently the Branch Manager for Statham Public Library.