Thursday, October 23, 2008

Haunted House fund raiser kicks off Oct 24

Hello and happy haunting season, Yee of little faith.

But first: Is there somebody living near the library that has a really big bird in a cage? I ask this because our newspapers have gone missing quite a few times in the last couple of weeks. Sometimes they are returned in part, sometimes not. Or possibly you have a new puppy? Or is it that you can’t get your woodstove started and need a lot of paper for that task? Whatever it is, we actually purchase this newspaper for everybody in the community to come into the library and read. The operative word here is “into”. You, sir or madam, could be doing the same. If there is part of the newspaper you wish to save, two things might be possible. Either you could ask staff to save the paper for you for later or you could have columns you wish to save copied at the library. Either way, quit taking the paper! Thanks.

Now, about Halloween… . The Pine River Friends of the Library presents the Haunted House Fundraiser, indoors and out of the woods. This year it will be Friday and Saturday, October 24-25 and 31 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. It will be held at Cass County Fairgrounds. In my last column about this I examined goblins. Mossy rocks and tree roots, remember? This time let us examine ghosts. I am of two minds concerning this. Either they exist or they don’t. Duh! So which is it? I did a simple search on [Kitchigami Regional Library System] in the catalog using the search word “ghosts”. I found 545 volumes addressing ghosts. This is apparently a weighty subject. Think about it. If you piled 545 books, videos, DVD’s, and books on tape and CD, how much would they weigh? A lot! Do the research and decide for yourself. I watched innumerable television programs on the subject and have yet to see an actual specter caught on film. Still, there was one compelling piece where the “medium” asked the ghost to show its presence and right there on my TV screen a chair moved. Not a little. A whole lot. It wasn’t under any table where somebody could have moved it with their foot. It was out in the room. I have no idea what this means. Do you?

Happy ghost hunting and happy Halloween. Visit the Haunted House at the Fairgrounds. It’s a fun thing to do in late October!

Until next time, I remain,

Browser, the library cat

Printed in the Pine River Journal 23 Oct 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pick up a book, join the Community Read

Here is the latest on the Community Read, friends and neighbors. It will begin on October 13th and conclude on November 24th of this very year.

I have indeed read the featured book, “Four Miles to Pinecone” by Jon Hassler (March 1933 – March 2008). Mr. Hassler was a teacher as well as a writer. He taught highschool . This may be why the main character in this book appears so natural. Mr. Hassler knew his teenagers. He mainly wrote about small town rural Minnesota. Interestingly, this particular book was originally written in 1977, yet it has a completely current feel. The only thing that might date it a little is the lack of mention of computers (which you don’t miss at all) and the lack of mention of cell phones (which wouldn’t get good reception in a tiny town in northern Minnesota on the Canadian border anyway). So much for being outdated. The basic conundrum is a moral question. Do you rat on your friends or not? And if so, when? And why? Though the book’s action begins in St. Paul, the main action (and I do mean “action”) takes place in the woods of northern Minnesota. It is a mystery story. It is credible. The characterizations are scrupulous. The setting is realistic. It is a one sitting read. I, personally, didn’t wish to leave my hero stranded by doing something as mundane as going to sleep in between chapters! He might need my input, like yelling out “upper left for first gear, you dummy…”.

Read this book, everyone. It was written for young adults. It is, however, ageless and genderless. If you are a cat, as am I, there are fish mentioned. A favorite of mine!

The conclusion of the Community Read falls during American Education Week. Kelly Virden of our Pine River Journal will have weekly “activities” in the paper to encourage participation.

In conclusion may I suggest that you turn off that box with moving pictures and pick up a book.

I remain,

Browser, the library cat

Printed in the Pine River Journal 16 Oct 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Halloween is nearly upon us

Are you done with your Christmas shopping yet?

I personally am not, since the grass is still green and there are still a few hold outs in flower world.

However, since Muriel has been extremely busy, as she always is, she has made available for purchase at the front desk of the Pine River Public Library 2009 Browser the Library Cat daily pocket planners.

There are a limited number – more than 9, less than 9,000 – available, and Muriel assures me they would make great stocking stuffers, whatever that means.

And so on to the season that is actually upon us, Halloween, Ghosts and goblins.

We all have a vague idea about the “ghost” part of this, but what in the world are “goblins”? “The American Heritage Dictionary” characterizes them as “A grotesque elf said to work mischief or evil”. states, discussing their roots “…One fabled origin for goblins is in France in a cleft of the Pyrenees, from which they spread rapidly throughout Europe. They hitched a ride with Viking ships to get to Britain. They have no homes, being nomadic, dwelling temporarily in mossy cracks in rocks and tree roots…”

I have seen creatures hiding in mossy cracks in rocks and tree roots, but I don’t think they were goblins. If this description is accurate, they had too many legs!

But let us not digress. The Pine River Friends of the Library presents the Haunted House Fundraiser, indoors and out of the woods. This year it will be Friday and Saturday, October 24-25 and 31 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. It will be held at Cass County Fairgrounds.

Wow! That’s different and interesting. I might have to wander over and have a look. I will have to dress appropriately in my black cat disguise…

According to the bulletin discussing this event, there will be ghosts, goblins, snacks and fun, so be checking in those mossy tree roots and rock cracks.

Cleo is once again the lady to call if you need more information or want to volunteer. I called her myself. This is her real phone number: 587-3996. I volunteered. She was non-plussed by my effort. Oh well. I’m certain you will fare far better.

One last bit of information before I close. Pine River Library and Pine River/Backus school are joining forces on a community read this month. The book will be “Four Miles to Pinecone” by Jon Hassler. I have begun to read this book and was immediate struck by the vivid descriptions and characterizations. I shall read on. It is not a thick book. Perhaps I’ll write a review for later publication. Call the library for more information about the dates associated with this community read. 218-587-4639.

As ever, I remain,

Browser, the library cat

Printed in the Pine River Journal October 9th, 2008