Books, Bytes & More Newsletter
February 2014
In This Issue
Library Survey
Dear Dewey
BCPL Book Club
BCPL Book & Film Club
PCB Public Library Events
BCPL Storytimes
Computer Classes

Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
NWRLS Library Locations

Bay County Public Library

Panama City Beach



Corinne Costin
Gibson Memorial Library
Port St. Joe

Charles Whitehead
Public Library

Harrell Memorial
Public Library

Jimmy Weaver
Memorial Library

Featured Items 


by Cassandra King

Reserve a copy

Like the heroine of Daphne DuMaurier's classic romance, Rebecca, Helen becomes obsessed by her predecessor, who lives on in her house and gardens and the hearts of those who loved her.


The Death of Santini
by Pat Conroy

Reserve a copy

Download audiobook

In this powerful and intimate memoir, the beloved bestselling author and his father, the inspiration for The Great Santini, find some common ground at long last.



by Cynthia Lord

Reserve a copy

 Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, 12-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.



In Pursuit

by Sharman Burson Ramsey


Reserve a copy

This novel continues the family saga begun in Swimming with Serpents, a story of love, war, and redemption set against the Creek Indian War.


Life Among Giants
by Bill Roorbach

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Download ebook

This funny, exuberant novel captures the reader with the grand sweep of seven-foot-tall David "Lizard" Hochmeyer's larger-than-life quest to unravel the mystery surrounding his parents' deaths.




What Changes Everything

by Masha Hamilton


Reserve a copy

This novel is truly an American story, an exploration of our complex relationship with an enigmatic country, Afghanistan.


And Then I Found You
by Patti Callahan Henry

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The secret harbored by Kate is that she gave a baby girl up for adoption when she was young. This is news only to Kate's current boyfriend, Rowan, who's about to propose marriage.


Praying for Strangers
by River Jordan

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Describes the personal journey of discovery and spirituality that came about when the author spent an entire year praying for complete strangers.

The Savannah Project
by Chuck Barrett

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Terrorism, duty, and personal safety collide when Jake Pendleton, an investigator for the NTSB, is called to investigate an aircraft accident in Savannah, Georgia during the St. Patrick's Day celebration.


The Wisdom of Hair
by Kim Boykin

Reserve a copy

On her 19th birthday, Zora moves to a coastal town and enrolls in beauty school. She learns how to cut hair and falls hard for a young widower.


Comeback Love
by Peter Golden

Reserve a copy

This novel is an evocative journey into the hearts of two lovers who came of age in the 1960s, and who never truly let each other go.


Slow Cooking for Two
by Cynthia Stevens Graubart

Reserve a copy

This cookbook includes basic instructions and creative methods for 100 recipes, plus tips and techniques.

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NWRLS is a department  
of Bay 

Thank you for choosing to receive the library newsletter, where you will learn about upcoming programs and the many services provided in our libraries. 

The 15th Annual booksALIVE! Festival of Reading will be held February 1, 2014 at Florida State University in Panama City. This year's keynote speaker at the literary luncheon will be Pat Conroy, bestselling author of The Prince of Tides, South of Broad, and My Reading Life. Tickets for the luncheon are sold out, but if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please call 850-522-2100.


booksALIVE! is our area's premier book festival. Now in its 15th year, booksALIVE! mixes creativity, learning, fun, and fellowship into a weekend brew of inspiration and interaction for those who love the power of words. A Saturday full of workshops, presentations, book signings, and the opportunity to rub elbows with our author-speakers creates a delicious buffet for book lovers.


Except for the luncheon, all presentations are FREE! In addition, Books-a-Million and Books Unlimited kiosks will be open from 9 AM to 4 PM for festival participants. Books by featured presenters are available for purchase and autograph.

Featured Presenters


Cassandra King is a bestselling novelist whose fiction has won the hearts of readers everywhere. Her novels portray strong and memorable characters who struggle with the same timely issues and dilemmas that readers face in their own lives. King's newest novel, Moonrise, is the story of a woman living in the shadow of her predecessor, a beautiful and much-beloved woman whose tragic death shattered the lives of her loved ones. King's presentation is entitled "Finding Moonrise."

Cynthia Lord's debut novel, Rules, was a New York Times Bestseller and received the Newbery Honor and nine other awards. Lord has four new books being published in 2014, including Half a Chance which will be released February 25th. Lord's presentation is entitled "Marvelous Middle Grade: Using Write What You Know."

Sharman Burson Ramsey's discovery of her Native American heritage inspired the Serpents series family saga, which continues in her new novel, In Pursuit. Ramsey's presentation is entitled "Southern Historical Fiction." She will also present "The Business of Writing" with authors Henry and Jordan.

Bill Roorbach's craft book, Writing Life Stories, is used in writing programs around the world. His next book, due for release in fall 2014, is Storm of the Century. Roorbach will present "Life Among Giants" and will present an extended session with Dr. Kristen Keckler entitled "Writing Life Stories: Memoir Writing Class."

Masha Hamilton is the author of five acclaimed novels, most recently What Changes Everything Hamilton founded two world literacy projects, the Camel Book Drive and the Afghan Women's Writing Project. Hamilton's presentation is entitled "What Changes Everything: The Impact of War."

Patti Callahan Henry is a bestselling novelist who has published nine novels, including her most recent book, And Then I Found You. Hailed as a fresh new voice in southern fiction, Henry has been shortlisted for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. Henry's presentation is entitled "The Power of Story." She will also present "The Business of Writing" with authors Ramsey and Jordan.

River Jordan is a southerner with a global perspective. As a critically-acclaimed author, inspiring speaker, and creative radio host, she knows just a little about sharing a great story. Her memoir, published in 2011, tells the story of an unexpected and amazing resolution Jordan embraced -- to silently pray for a stranger she passed everyday. Jordan's presentation is "Praying for Strangers." She will also present "The Business of Writing" with authors Henry and Ramsey.

Kristen Keckler is a teacher, writer, and editor, and her work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals. On the way, she's worked as a clown, a cook, a librarian, and a group home counselor. She's just completing a memoir about life and work called What Do You Do? Keckler will co-present an extended session with Bill Roorbach entitled "Writing Life Stories: Memoir Writing Class." 


Chuck Barrett is the bestselling author of the award-winning Jake Pendleton series, including Breach of Power, the winner of the 2013 Indie Excellence Award in Political Thrillers and a finalist in the 2013 International Book Awards Thriller/Adventure category. Barrett's presentation is entitled "Murder, Mystery, Mayhem: Are Thrillers Fact or Fiction?"

Kim Boykin writes stories about strong southern women. Girlfriends RULE in Boykin's The Wisdom of Hair (2013), the story of Zora Adams, a young beauty school student who romances the wrong wickedly handsome man but is saved by the power of the salon sisterhood. Boykin's presentation is entitled "The Sanctity of the Salon Sisterhood."

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist and the author of six full-length works of nonfiction and fiction. His debut novel, Comeback Love was published in 2012, and his next novel, Lovewood, will be published this year. Golden's presentation is entitled "Why is Writing About Love so Hard?"

Cynthia Stevens Graubart is a winner of the James Beard Award for Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, which she co-authored with Nathalie Dupree. Her latest book, Slow Cooking for Two: The Basics (2013) evolved after her two children left for college, causing her to adjust to the new reality of cooking for two. Graubart's presentation is entitled "Slow Cooking for Two: The Basics."


All proceeds from the festival will go to the Bay County Public Library Foundation, which provides support to the Bay County Public Library.

For more information, session schedules, and a printable program, visit

Library Survey
The Northwest Regional Library System serving Bay, Gulf, and Liberty counties will be conducting a customer satisfaction survey during the month of February.

The survey will be available on the library's website,, and in each library location.

People who are not regular library patrons are invited to complete the non-user survey to let the library know what services, if offered, would inspire library use.

Please help us plan for the future of the library by taking this short survey today!

Dear Dewey is designed to help information flow to and from your Library. If you have library or information access questions, just Ask Dewey! Send your Dear Dewey questions to Put Dear Dewey in the Subject Line and Dewey will respond!


Dear Dewey,
When is booksALIVE! this year? -- Bibliophile

Dear Bibliophile,
Thanks for asking! The booksALIVE! Festival of Reading will be held on Saturday, February 1st at Florida State University in Panama City and the keynote speaker will be featured author, Pat Conroy.

Now in its 15th year, booksALIVE! is sponsored by the Bay County Public Library Foundation and is this area's premier book festival. The day-long event includes free workshops, presentations, book signings, and the opportunity to rub elbows with accomplished author-speakers. For more information, call the Bay County Public Library at 850-522-2100 or go to

Dear Dewey,
I am an online student and I need to have one of my exams proctored. Does the Library provide proctoring services? -- Mr. B.

Dear Mr. B.,
Yep! The Bay County Public Library provides some proctoring services for online and print exams. The cost is $10 per exam. You will need to give your school our contact information and then schedule a time for the proctoring. For more information, please contact the Bay County Public Library Reference Desk at 850-522-2107 or

Closer to a Branch Library? That's okay! Call your nearest location and ask about available proctoring services.

Dear Dewey,
It's tax time... Will the library provide copies of IRS tax forms? -- D. Duct

Dear D.,
Great question! Some of our branch locations may have the print forms you need and we can help you access and print the IRS tax forms from  The Panama City Beach Library will also have AARP-Tax Aide representatives providing tax assistance every Monday and Wednesday from 9 AM to 3 PM, starting the first Monday in February.

Dear Dewey,
Do the Libraries have Facebook pages? -- Ms. C.

Dear Ms. C.,
You betcha! Currently, the Bay County Public Library and the Panama City Beach Library have Facebook pages at and


Have a Dear Dewey question? Dewey wants to hear from you! Simply email Dewey at
Bay County Public Library Book Club 

The Bay County Public Library Book Club meets the 2nd Thursday of each month at 10 AM in the BCPL Meeting Room, except for the February meeting which will be in the BCPL Training Room.

The book list for 2014 is as follows:

February 13: The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro
March 13: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
April 10: American Ghost by Janis Owens
May 8: The Round House by Louise Erdrich
June 12: The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank
July 10: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
August 14: Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
September 11: A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith
October 9: The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy
November 13: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
December 11: Storyville by Lois Battle

For more information, please call 850-522-2100. 

Bay County Public Library Book & Film Club


Join us at the Bay County Public Library the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 5:30 PM for the Books in Motion Book & Film Club.


February 18: The 2005 film based on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


March 18: The 2007 film based on I Am Legend by Richard Matheson


April 15: The 2006 film based on Children of Men by P.D. James


Refreshments for film showings are provided courtesy of the Friends of the Bay County Public Libraries.

Events at the Panama City Beach Public Library


Book Babies

Tuesdays at 10 AM

Suggested ages 0-24 months; stories, poems, music, art, and creative play!


Beach Kids

Wednesdays at 3:30 PM

Suggested ages K-5; arts, crafts, and freestyle fun!



Thursdays at 10 AM

Suggested ages 3 and up; books, music, and art!


Beach Book Club

First Wednesday of each month at 10:30 AM. The February discussion title is Round House by Louise Erdrich.


For more information on these events, call 850-233-5055.

Storytimes at the Bay County Public Library


Program Wewa Book Babies

Tuesdays at 9:30 AM

Ages birth-17 months (with caregiver); stories, music, and fun!


Terrific Tots

Tuesdays at 10:30 AM

Ages 18-36 months (with caregiver); stories, music, and fun!


Preschool Storytime

Thursdays at 10:30 AM

Ages 3-5 years old; reading is fun!


For more information, call 850-522-2118.

Computer Classes at the Bay County Public Library

The Northwest Regional Library System offers FREE workshops for beginning computer users. The location is at the Bay County Public Library computer lab. Instruction is "hands on" and is designed to be progressive. Registration is not required. Not all classes are offered every month. A new schedule is published on the 15th of the current month for the following month. See our Events Calendar for more information or call 850-522-2107.

computer-class.jpg February 11 from 9:30 AM to 11 AM 
Internet Skills Computer Workshop

Learn how to browse the World Wide Web, investigate our library website, and evaluate the reliability of a site. Prerequisite: Computer Basics or computer experience. 

February 13 from 9:30 AM to 11 AM 
Email Extras Computer Workshop

Learn how to attach files to your emails, the difference between Reply and Reply All, set up contacts, and create a personal signature. Prerequisite: Have an established email account.

February 18 from 9:30 AM to 11 AM 
Introduction to MS Excel 2007, Part 1

Microsoft's spreadsheet application for organizing, analyzing, and attractively presenting data. This class examines the Excel workspace, toolbars, and tools to create a simple spreadsheet. Prerequisitive: Computer Basics or computer experience.

February 20 from 9:30 AM to 11 AM 
Introduction to MS Excel 2007, Part 2

Learn how to set up a simple formula, create an electronic checkbook, and perform calcuations. Explore the possibilities using Excel software. Prerequisite: Excel, Part 1.

February 25 from 6 PM to 7:30 PM 
Connect U: Microsoft Word: The Basics

Come, connect, and learn how to create, open, edit, and format any kind of Word document.