Book recommendation

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
Author: Kim Michelle Richardson
Review by: Friends of Tualatin Library member Eleanore Mickus

A New York Times Bestseller!

“For me, this book will be unforgettable for a long time. It was so engrossing that I am going to read more books by this author.” –Eleanore

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
is a historical fiction about an unusual group of librarians in the 1930’s who deliver books and other reading materials by horseback to the hill folk of Kentucky. They were part of the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project implemented by the WPA. The town of Troublesome Creek has Cussy Mary Carter and her mule, Junia, delivering reading materials to people who could not get them any other way.

Our Book Woman, Cussy, known to the locals as Bluet, has a rare genetic disorder unique to the people of her area. The disorder, methemoglobinemia, causes them to have blue colored skin. Because of her blue skin, Cussy experiences much prejudice and discrimination. But, she is so intent on bringing books into the lives of the people, she is willing to put herself in cruel and dangerous situations to deliver them.

We learn of the horrible poverty and hunger that most suffer and as a result another disease I have not heard of in years, pellagra. Cussy’s father, and many of the men around the town of Troublesome Creek, work in the dangerous, dirty coal mines but have no other way to earn a living there. We learn of the union that tried to get better working conditions for these miners and the isolation that families experienced living in the hills.

There were uplifting parts in this story of Cussy’s patrons and their desire to read and share information like recipes and patterns. Cussy would put together a journal with articles from the newspaper and magazines to fill in for the scarcity of donated books. We also learn of a few of the patrons who took steps to advance themselves through study and looking for more work opportunities outside of Troublesome Creek.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is available through WCCLS in book, large print, eBook, audiobook, and book club kit formats. We invite you to place a hold.

Our Amazon store has reopened

During normal times, the Friends of Tualatin Library operates out of a small workroom off the library’s lobbby. When the library closed in March, all of our bookselling operations closed too.

We’re happy to report that we reopened our Amazon book store on May 11th. Gwen Martin, our Amazon Committee Chair, has very generously donated the use of her dining room as you can see in the video below. Gwen says sales since reopening have been almost double of what we sold in the same period last year.

Other committee members are also contributing to the effort. Laura Baker moved boxes of donated books to various members’ homes so the books could be sorted and evaluated. Eleanore Mickus took charge of evaluating DVDs which have been especially hot sellers. Meg Poehler and Donna Gilbo are listing items on Amazon. Gwen handles the packing and shipping.

Our members adhere to all CDC and ALA guidelines for safe handling of donated materials. We allow items to “age” for 72 hours before handling. We observe no-contact pick-up and drop-off procedures. And we pre-pay for shipping so Gwen can be in and out of the post office in less than a minute.

2020 Summer Reading is virtual this year

The Tualatin Public Library Virtual Summer Reading Program started on June 1st and will continue through at least August 31st. You can download reading logs from the summer reading page on the library’s website. You don’t have to “sign-up” for the program this year. Instead, you’ll let the library know when you complete your reading log. The Summer Reading Program is open to kids, teens, and adults. On completion, kids and teens are eligible to receive two free books while adults will receive one book. All finishers are entered in a grand prize drawing.

Traditionally, the library has asked every reader to complete an individual log. This year they’re offering options. You can read and complete the reading log as a family, or use it any way you want to. They just want to encourage everyone to read.

The Summer Reading Program offers significant benefits to readers:

  • Encourages reading as a lifelong habit
  • Draws reluctant readers in with activities
  • Helps kids keep their reading skills up over the summer

For details about Summer Reading Program and events, check the library website.

Remember to vote: May 19, 2020

This year’s Oregon Primary Election includes a levy measure for the Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) network. The Tualatin Library participates in WCCLS, receiving many benefits, such as interlibrary loan, shared electronic resources, book purchases, and more.

Measure 34-297 would renew a five-year levy to maintain current levels of countywide library service for another five years. It includes funding provisions for the following:

  • Public library operations
  • Reading programs for children
  • Book purchases
  • Resources for jobseekers
  • Central support that links Washington County libraries together

Ballots are due by May 19, 2020. You can either mail yours or drop it off in the ballot drop box in the library parking lot until 8 pm on election night.

WCCLS provides a good summary of the the measure on their website: Proposed Library Levy Renewal 2020

Electronic resources @ the library

Washington County Cooperative Library ServicesEven though the Tualatin Library is closed in response to the coronavirus, it offers a wide range of digital resources 24/7 through it’s participation in Washington County Cooperative Library Services. Here are just a few of the services you can access on the WCCLS website:

E-books. At last count, 87,901 titles are available to borrow in electronic format. You can read them on your tablet, phone, or desktop computer. For more information, check the WCCLS E-books page.

Streaming video. Normally you can watch up to ten videos a month on the library’s Kanopy service. During the coronavirus shutdown, additional movies are being offered credit-free. Learn more about Kanopy.

Classes. Several services provide online classes. Coursera offers computer science classes from top universities and organizations worldwide. Many are free, but some have a cost. Lynda offers courses  to learn software, creative, and business skills. Learn more about Lynda.

Homework help. There are several services targeted to kids and teens. With Gale Student Edition, students can search content from magazines, newspapers and reference books for homework assignments. Kids InfoBits is geared to the needs of elementary school students. National Geographic Kids gives access to National Geographic articles, over 230 educational books, and National Geographic photographs in a kid-friendly interface.

For a complete list of the electronic services available through WCCLS, check out their page Research Resources by A to Z.