Thursday, February 22, 2018

Writing Our History

Women are half of the population; but if you read history, you hear mostly about the men who led society for years. The women were always there, but in the shadows. Come March, we encourage you to shine a light on women, specifically a Russell County woman.

In honor of Women's History Month, this March Russell County Public Library will again sponsor our Women's History Essay Contest. The purpose of the contest is to highlight women in Russell County history and to suggest women who might have a place in the Russell County Women's Hall of Fame.

The contest deadline is March 15 and the word limit is 500, so you must be brief and to the point. Click here for additional guidelines.  A panel of independent judges reads the essays and their decisions are final.

Join us at the Lebanon Library on March 29 at 5 pm for our Women's History Celebration. We will honor the winning authors and induct any nominees to the Hall of Fame.

March is only a few weeks away, so start thinking and making notes now. Create our history one word--and one woman--at a time.

Contributed by Kelly McBride Delph

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Holiday Closures?

From October through February, holidays abound. Can you imagine having to work every day of the year? For much of the history of the USA, people did work virtually every day. If you grow your own food and keep livestock, you don't get a day off. The cow still wants milking and the chickens still need to be fed. Work might be the bare minimum (the cow and the chickens) on Sundays even if there wasn't a church nearby.

The first holidays designated by Congress were declared in 1870--New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day--only for federal workers in the District of Columbia.  (They were later applied to all federal government employees.)

Why were all the government offices closed on Friday BEFORE Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Have you ever wondered how we got these holidays? What determines a 'federal' or state holiday? Most federal holidays followed the precedent of the states. A federal holiday was proposed after most of the states were celebrating a holiday. And a federal holiday only applies to federal government employees. But state and local governments try to keep a common schedule.

The holidays celebrate important events in our history (Independence Day, aka the 4th of July) or honor people--individuals like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or collectively, laborers on Labor Day. Some of the holidays have evolved and changed their names as we 'accumulate' more history.  Memorial Day was originally Decoration Day, when those who died in the Civil War were honored by tributes decorating their graves and monuments. After a few more conflicts, the name was changed to Memorial Day to honor those who died in the ensuing wars and conflicts. Armistice Day marked the end of the Great War, now know as World War I. It was marked as a National Peace Holiday, and though the sentiment remained, the name was changed to honor veterans of all wars.

Getting confused? That's why Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968. It moved many holidays to Mondays for consistency and to avoid interrupting commerce too much with holidays mid-week.  Or did you think those holidays were just for retail sales?

Back to that Friday before M. L. King, Jr., Day...that is Lee-Jackson Day, honoring Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson. For a number of years, Jackson, King, and Lee actually shared a holiday in Virginia. Other Southern states still have a Confederate memorial day commemoration.

And that October holiday? In Virginia it's officially Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day, to commemorate both Columbus' voyage to the Americas and final victory at Yorktown in the Revolutionary War.

Enjoy that day off.

Source: Federal Holidays: Evolution and Current Practices, Congressional Research Service, 2014; The Code of Virginia.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

'Tis Better to Give than to Receive

Jewel Blackwell, Brooke Atchley, Jamie Rexrode
Library staff recently stopped by the Elk Garden School Community Ministry to make a donation to the food pantry. Staff selected Elk Garden because it serves Honaker and Lebanon communities; the libraries in those communities had donated the food during October.

October marks the establishment of the Russell County Public Library. The Honaker Community Library was also opened in October. This year we decided to mark our October founding and branch openings by celebrating Customer Appreciation Month. During the month customers, or patrons as we usually call them, could pay any fines with food. We wanted to encourage patrons to return to the library and not let fines get in their way! This way we could all give back to the community.

Pictured is Jewel Blackwell (RCPL Public Services Supervisor and Lebanon Branch Manager), Brooke Atchley (director of the Elk Garden School Ministry for the United Methodist Church), and Jamie Rexrode (RCPL Children's Services Programmer and Honaker Branch Manager.)

In the holiday season, remember that the greatest gifts we can give can't be wrapped and the warmth in our heart is greatest when we give.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Reading by Design

Reading by Design is the 2017 theme for our Summer Reading Program. There's more than reading to our Summer Reading Program...there's magic, music, puppets, tall ships & pirate tales!  Since it is "Reading by Design," we will start off the summer with a Scholastic Book Fair in Lebanon. And for children ages 5-12, we will have a special Reading by Design weekly program series that features a fun activity.

Preschool Story Time is back at the regular time at both libraries, while LEGO Club continues monthly at Lebanon. Honaker is featuring two family movies this summer, complete with popcorn. Lebanon has scheduled two gardening programs for school-age kids--Veggie Tie-Dye anyone?

Both libraries feature special programs for everyone; that's where the magic, puppets and tall ships & pirate tales come in. Most programs are during the day, but some are in the evening so the whole family can attend!

This year's Solar Eclipse is an opportunity we couldn't let pass us by, so we will have several programs for adults and kids leading up to the actual eclipse on August 21.

Of course the purpose of summer reading programs is to build better readers. There is still time to register your child to participate in the summer reader program. Simply follow our link here; it only takes a minute and then you and your child can earn badges and rewards for summer reading! Stop by, pick up a schedule of events, and join us for free entertainment and activities.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Choose Privacy Week

We share much about ourselves these day. Our email addresses may proclaim our hobbies or self image (buckhunter or sexygranny!) Some things we share friends might guess about us (buck hunter) while other things friends might not want to know about us (sexy granny.)

When does the sharing become too much information? And not just too much information (TMI) because it makes us squeamish. (You don't really want to know why your grandma thinks she's still sexy, do you?!) When are you sharing information that you might regret? When should you choose privacy over sharing?

You are correct that no one really cares about your Pinterest account. But thieves and scammers are happy to use the information you do share to access valuable accounts like your bank or credit card. Never share information that can be used to open or verify an account--a bank account or a Facebook or Pinterest account.

Perform this little task. May 1-7--Choose Privacy Week--set aside time to review the privacy settings on your social media accounts. Make sure that no setting is Public (unless you are a celebrity.) That is a great first step.

And stop by the Lebanon Library Tuesday, May 2;  staff are available to explain what some of those privacy settings mean.