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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.


By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, July 12, 2015


The Jefferson County Farm Bureau has made a wonderful donation to your Library System with two “Book Barns.”  These beautiful “barns” are actually book shelving units in the shape of a barn to house books relating to agriculture.


Now the Farm Bureau has donated 30 books to the citizens of Jefferson County to educate children about farm life and agriculture.


Other books from the library collections may make their way into the “barn” as we pull books from the library collection.


The donated books were provided by the Promotion and Education Committee of the Farm Bureau, as well as the Board of Directors, in addition to Farm Bureau members from all across the county.


They have introduced me to the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Award for Children’s Literature, in which the organization selects books that are outstanding in the area of agriculture education.


The library system will be investing in the purchase of many of these titles to add to our collections.


“Aunt Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic” by Ginnie Lo visits the Illinois cornfields and they discover fields of soybeans.  They decide to have a soybean picnic and each year the picnic grows in size as more people discover soybeans.


The beautiful illustrations in this book are in the format of painted ceramic plates which lend to a quirky charm for the reader.


In addition to the delightful story, the book also has information about the history of soybeans and their use in agriculture today.


“The Beeman” by Laurie Krebs is the story of Grandpa, known around town as a “Beekeeper” with his zippered hood and heavy cotton and leather globes.  He teaches the basics of beekeeping to his grandson and the reader.


The book is full of essential facts about bees and beekeeping, with a delicious apple and honey muffin recipe for you to make.


“Sugarbush Spring” by Marsha Wilson Chall and illustrated by Jim Daly should receive a second award for the stunning art work!  It is time to tap the trees for the sap used to make maple syrup.


Don’t forget the chicken and dumplings and roasted marshmallows, and the stories that are told while the sap heats and thickens in the shed.


David R. Lundquist photographed farm equipment in the book, “Fantastic Farm Machines” by Cris Peterson which illustrates life on the farm today and how machines are used in crop production.


The great color plates show farming from a perspective not seen from the highway.  The author is a dairy farmer and shows how each piece of equipment is used in agriculture.


“All in Just One Cookie” by Susan E. Goodman is the story of grandma’s chocolate chip cookies and everything that goes into her recipe.  It gives a new appreciation to the background work that goes into a cookie, and her recipe is on the last page of the book.


The same author has also produced “Seed, Soil, Sun: Earth’s Recipe for Food” showing how plants go from a seed-in-hand to a finished food product.


Perhaps my favorite in the Farm Bureau series is the book, “How Did That Get in my Lunchbox: The Story of Food,” by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti.


This book with its quirky illustrations, shows how your lunch went from farm to table, and provides a greater appreciation in the role of agriculture in your basic lunch.


What a gift the Jefferson County Farm Bureau has given to area resident