HL librarian is having fun contributing to the HJ Forum

March 24, 2008

By Jennifer Gallus
Staff Writer

With input from her fellow librarians, Howard Lake Public Library Librarian Debra Cox-Johnson is posting a little of everything in her topic area named “librarian favorites” on the Herald Journal Forum regularly.

The forum was recently created and is on online resource and community interaction tool for discussion located on the Herald Journal web site at www.herald-journal.com.

Cox-Johnson has been getting her feet wet by posting items such as a link to best sellers, listings of fun and safe kids’ video games. Last week she tackled movies.

Below are some samples of Cox-Johnson’s contributions:

• One of us is reading and loving Dr. Mehmet Oz’ book, “You, Staying Young: the Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty.” Just like his Oprah presentations, his book presents important health information in easy to understand layman’s language. The book has a lighthearted approach, with lots of enjoyable cartoon-type illustrations.

• I, personally, tend to read things that are not the newest. This is not because I’m not interested in the latest and greatest, but simply because so many things both old and new interest me, that I tend to have great backlogs of books at home and books on reserve, that I am constantly juggling my available reading time, with my mood – that is, what I feel like reading at any given time – and all with an eye to when each book may be due back at the library.

• That said, however, there was one book that I did read when it was new, and loved every page, and that Oprah recently “discovered”. I’m speaking of course of Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth,” originally published in 1989. I was something of a spy thriller junkie at the time, and Ken Follet produced some of the very best of that genre over quite a long time (think, “The Eye of the Needle,” “The Man from St. Petersburg”).

“I have relied on the other librarians here for ideas, topics, and input. I may be doing the writing, but it’s done with the input and support of the other librarians,” Cox-Johnson said.

Ideally, Cox-Johnson would like people to request topics or areas of interest they would like more information about.

“Sometimes it’s better to respond to a question than to think of what piece of the great stuff to cover,” she said.

Cox-Johnson is excited to provide good resources, and open the door to community discussion. She will also post upcoming library events on the forum.

“I love the forum. I was intimidated at first at the prospect of making a weekly contribution, but have become a ‘browser’ myself,” Cox-Johnson said.

“I find it fascinating that people find things important enough to post for all the public to read. It’s like a main street for the community,” she added.

Do you know more about this subject, or have a comment? E-mail news@hjpub.com