Your Library Card is your Smartest Card

September is Library Card month – Your Library Card is your Smartest Card

Your Library Card is your “smartest card”. It can get you books, DVDs, audiocassettes, help with school work, databases and computer and WiFi access.

Let us help you at school.

As school is again starting up, do not forget the Library for help with many items. From books for assignments and reading programs, to parenting tips. We have it there for you. Watch for the Electric Company programs being planned at our branches this fall.

September 8 is International Literacy Day.

Libraries are the people’s university and are the best help a literacy-seeker can find. Did you know we have a free, confidential service to help adults who want to read and write better in English? We also offer assistance with writing tips, grammar, vocabulary expansion, reading for children and pre-reading activities for the very young.

Published in: on September 1, 2009 at 9:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Summer Reading, part two

Summer Reading, part two
by Connie Barrington

I spent my summer enjoying some of the typical beach books, from mysteries to adventure stories and romances. Suzanne Brockmann brings back old favorites from her Troubleshooters series in Hot Pursuit, while still providing the requisite new romance and action. J.A. Jance also sticks with favorites, intertwining a story involving Seattle’s Beaumont with Arizona Sheriff Brady. For Valleyites the discussion of dunes and buggies in the story will remind you a bit of home.

My reading included the latest Evanovich. Finger-Licking Fifteen is smoking fun as our heroine, Stephanie Plum, becomes embroiled in a barbeque-related homicide. The usual gang is present in the “Burg”, as are the usual laughs. If the title implies fast food, the analogy carries over to how I felt about the book, delicious and easily downed, if not awfully sustaining.

I did find a book that will stick with me long after it gets cooler here in the Valley. Simply Alice spoke to me. It is the story, from her perspective, of a Harvard professor in her early 50s who gets early onset Alzheimer’s. While fiction, I learned quite a bit about the disease. I felt for the main character in her struggle to maintain some portion of herself in her memory. This is one worth reading, even if you do not know someone who is afflicted.

Published in: on September 1, 2009 at 9:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity with the library? Check us out on Volunteer Match to see what is available.

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Cool Find – Dracula

If you have ever read Dracula, you know it’s written as a series of diary entries and letters. Dracula also happens to be in the public domain. Since it’s no longer protected by copyright, you can do things with it. Now combine that with concept of blogging. A lady by the name of Whitney Sorrow had the brilliant idea to create a blog and release Dracula in real time. Each entry in the book will be posted on the day it was written in the book. The first entry in Dracula is on May 3rd, so that entry was posted to the blog on May 3rd. You can subscribe either by RSS or email to get each new post automatically, and if you subscribe now, you won’t have too much catching up to do. Whether you have read Dracula before or not, this looks like it’s going to be a great way to read it, and I recommend giving it a try.

A bit of trivia: Did you know that Dracula is not the only book written by Bram Stoker? He also wrote The Jewel of the Seven Stars, and Lair of the White Worm, plus some short stories.

The blog address:

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 10:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Swine Flu Information

If you are looking for information on the swine flu, try the following links.


Imperial County Public Health Dept.


Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 10:37 am  Leave a Comment  

News for May

May is a great time to “Get Caught Reading”

We invite you to “Get Caught Reading” a book or magazine from the Imperial County Free Library. Please feel free to send us a digital photo of you and your book or magazine care of our email address. Please be aware that these photos will go on our Flickr account unless you tell us you don’t want them there. Need something to read? View our latest new books.

Share the gift of reading, become a volunteer tutor.

If you like to read, help others enjoy the same pleasure. We provide the free training, no experience is needed, and it is one of the most worthwhile tasks you will ever take on.

Bilingual Materials

April 29, 2009 we are celebrating “Dia De Los Niños” at our Holtville branch. The program, which begins at 4:00 p.m. will highlight bilingual materials for children. We have a great collection of books that feature both English and Spanish. It is also a great time to check out our collection of Spanish-language materials, many of them housed in Holtville.

Niland Open House/Family Day

A special event for the whole family is being planned for the morning of Saturday, May 2, 2009 at our Niland branch. We will be offering refreshments, having a book sale, highlighting our available programs (including adult literacy services and the summer reading program), and having activities. It is our way of celebrating the continuation of the Niland branch for the upcoming year, thanks to SunEco Energy.

Provide Children with a Love of Reading

Parents and caregivers with children 0 to 5 are invited to attend a special free “Families for Literacy” program offered at our Holtville and Calipatria branches during the fourth week of May. On Wednesday May 27th at 6:00 p.m. in Holtville (101 E. 6th) and on Thursday, May 28th at 6:00 p.m. in Calipatria (105 S. Lake), families can enjoy a story, activities, snacks and a free book. The informational portion of the program will be on how parents can promote a love of reading in their children, as well as what literacy services are available through our libraries.

Published in: on April 24, 2009 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Author: Mary Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Reviewer: Connie Barrington

A feel good book about World War II, the bombings in London, the occupation of Guernsey (where the heck is Guernsey, anyway?) and even prisoners of war? Not likely, I would have said. But that is before I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

This novel, epistolary* (in good part) details writer Juliet Ashton’s post-World War II search for a new book topic. It takes her from bombed out post-War London to the Isle of Guernsey, which is a British dependency, actually sitting to the west of Normandy, France, a part of the “Channel” islands. I had to look it up to place it. *Speaking of looking up, “epistolary” means “carried on by” or “consisting of letters” according to the Random House Dictionary of the English Language.

Wikipedia indicates that Guernsey was indeed occupied by the Germans, with some residents being taken over to German camps during the occupation. Ms. Ashton learns about the human side of this as she corresponds with Dawsey Adams, a Guernsey resident. She also learns of the group that became known as the “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” from him and others in letters. Finally she feels compelled to meet the various letter writers and goes to visit Guernsey.

I highly recommend this historical novel with the gentle heart. I will leave it to you to read it and learn for yourself just what a Potato Peel Pie actually is.

Published in: on April 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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New Books for April and May

Check out our newest books, including the latest by James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark and Jim Butcher.

Published in: on April 24, 2009 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Book Review: Cross Country

Title: Cross Country (audio version)

Author: James Patterson

Reviewer: Connie Barrington

I have read, or listened to, the works of James Patterson for many years.  I was one of the early readers of the Women’s Murder Club books and have followed Alex Cross from the get go, within the Washington D.C. police force, with the FBI and back to DC as a consultant.  I think “Kiss the Girls” is one of the ultimate audio books and have recommended it to many people.  So I was geared up to listen to the newest work, Cross Country.

 I finished it, but grudgingly.  While readers Peter J. Fernandez and Dion Graham do a fine job, the plot is just too much, even for someone willing to suspend their disbelief.  Just how often can Alex Cross outwit death?  Have his family escape harm?  Do truly stupid things and act as though the character does not realize the impact they could have on his family?  This story explores all of those questions when Cross decides to follow a murder case to Africa. 

Apparently the character is not aware that his authority will not protect him in deepest, darkest Africa.  It is surprising that any American, much less one supposedly as knowledgeable as Dr. Cross, would not be aware of the limitations of American protection and the dangers of travel abroad in troubled areas.  Author James Patterson is clearly upset by the plight of many Africans as they face despotic governments, turmoil, civil wars, genocide and many other ills.  He proceeds, however, to beat us over the head in an attempt to educate us, which does not make for the thrilling work he clearly was aiming at offering.

Published in: on December 22, 2008 at 9:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Library Branch Closures – Update

The new closing dates for the branches are:

Seeley:   Closing date under negotiation.
Westmorland:   Branch will close to the public on January 8, 2009.
Niland:   Branch will close to the public on March 31, 2009.
Heber:   Open until further notice.

For further information or comment, call the Imperial County Free Library headquarters at 339-6460 or e-mail

Published in: on December 4, 2008 at 3:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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