Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Get Outside - Be a Citizen Scientist!

Volunteers collecting samples
Spring is here and everyone wants to gets outside, pollen or no. Here's your excuse. April is Citizen Science Month and we are giving all you citizens a chance to explore your environment with RCPL's Clinch Water Watch.

Clinch Water Watch is a program for citizen water quality monitoring funded by a Department of Environmental Quality grant. Citizens (that's YOU) take samples of water from the banks of the Clinch River and some of her streams. The results are recorded and compiled. And we will have a program to share the results in the fall. (Watch our Facebook page for a sneak preview.)

Mark your calendar for April 25. We will take samples from Lewis Creek in Honaker (on the library lawn) at 2:30 pm. A date earlier in the month will be held just for school-aged children. Call the library if you want to participate in either event; due to Covid, you need to register.

RCPL sought the grant with partners UVA Wise,  Clinch Valley Soil & Water Conservation District, Estanoa, Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, and Virginia Tech. But it is up to us to make sure our water is safe. Get outside and make a difference, because science is for everyone.

If you can't join us, follow our progress on Facebook: Clinch Water Watch

Posted by Kelly McBride Delph

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

RCPL Reporting for Duty

One of our new Kindles

A five letter word that makes people angry/tired/annoyed and begins with ‘C’ and ends with ‘d?’

Despite that 5-letter word, library services are still here for you.

  • Need a copy or fax?  
  • Need a book, magazine, or DVD?  
  • Want to download an ebook, eaudiobook, or magazine?  

Russell County Public Library is still open for business, as long as you wear your mask. If you can’t wear a mask, we have face shields or can provide curbside service at both libraries during regular hours. 

RCPL is loaning ereaders and tablets to patrons for one week. Download a book or magazine or read the news on these devices. It's 2021 and we want all our patrons to have the opportunity to use the library 21st century-style! (We will start technology classes soon if you feel like you are behind the curve.)

Our new book drop at Lebanon is accepting returns--be sure and push them all the way in! The contactless lockers are now available at both branches if you can't get by when we are open or just don't want to come inside.

These lockers, like the convenient new outside book drop at Lebanon and the devices, were made possible by a grant from the Institute of Library and Museum Services and the Library of Virginia funded by the CARES Act.

RCPL is committed to removing barriers and making information, learning, and reading available to all Russell County citizens.  Our wireless remains available 24/7 for students and other members of the community. Please call 889-8044 or 873-6600 today with any questions.

Stay safe and be of good cheer. Spring is coming.

Posted by Kelly McBride Delph

Thursday, October 1, 2020

RCPL in the Age of COVID

The COVID pandemic has launched the Russell County Public Library into new territory. We are trying new ways to allow you to use the library--safely. New print materials are still arriving slowly, so we are building our downloadable collection of ebooks and digital audiobooks.
Our new holds lockers

Tablets and e-readers will be available for check out later this fall. So even if you don't have a tablet or Internet access, you can borrow an e-reader and download a few books while in the library. 

RCPL is excited about our new holds lockers. You can pick up the material you placed on hold without entering the building. The lockers will be on the porch of each library. You'll get a message that your hold has arrived and is available for pickup in a locker. Input your simple four-digit PIN number and the locker opens!

Lebanon Library will also get a new after-hours, outdoor book drop. We plan to place it so that you can drive by and return your library materials when the library is closed--no getting out in the rain and snow. 

Our first virtual program for adults and teens has launched. Family History Month is a mini-genealogy course with its own website, videos, links, and resources. Check it out.

To help our school students, RCPL is providing each student with an RCPL card so that they can access our ebooks for youth. The school librarians are issuing each student a patron card number (no actual card) that only allows digital access. It looks like we added a lot of patrons to our database, but over 3500 of them are named "Generic Student."

We are tweaking and building new services to meet patron needs in the times in which we live. The public library isn't merely a building. The public library is a community institution meeting the needs of citizens for information, access, education, and entertainment.

Posted by Kelly McBride Delph

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Digital and Distanced

As the summer ends, Russell County Public Library is moving more programs to digital platforms like Facebook and Zoom. Storytime returned today, September 9, on Facebook. In the weeks after, watch for book groups and crochet groups to start ‘meeting’ online.

An old newspaper clipping announcing the date of a PTA meeting
Newspaper clipping in the Lebanon PTA minutes

We have beefed up our collection of juvenile ebooks since the children will have limited access to their school libraries under the current hybrid schedule. We are also issuing each K-12 student a generic digital-access-only library card. The school librarians will distribute them in late September.

As the coronavirus continues through the population, everyone continues to adjust and become accustomed to the new normal. We will provide programs and suggest books and movies, allowing you to keep that safe distance of 6 feet.

We have loads of old, archival material coming available online this fall. School pictures from Castlewood (1940s-1970s), the Parent Teacher Association Minutes for Lebanon Elementary (1928-1950), business records for J.H. Lockhart, Dentist, of Honaker, and more will be linked from our Local History Page by October 1.

Family History Month will be celebrated in October. To introduce you to genealogy and recording your family history--while on a little screen--our plans include an ‘instructional’ video, a video chat/check-in, a webpage with links and downloadable pages, and a packet with forms and hints to help you each week of the month.

Posted by Kelly McBride Delph

Friday, July 17, 2020

Summer Dreams

What were your dreams for summer? 
My dreams for the year and especially the summer
Aerial Geology
involved travel. The "novel coronavirus" destroyed that dream!

Southwest Virginia has become a travel destination. We do have beautiful scenery. If you are stir-crazy, get outside. Take a ride--and maybe a walk/hike--to enjoy what people from across the country and the world come to visit.

With the heat of summer upon us, do you fancy some armchair traveling? RCPL has lots of lovely books that allow you to see our beautiful earth, the sea, and space from the comfort of your home. Just wander through the stacks, particularly in the 500s and 900s, and look for the big coffee table books lying on their sides at the end of shelves, just waiting to go home with you.

RCPL has reopened although occupancy is still limited. That means we need folks to come in, get what they want or need, and leave. That makes sure there is room for the next person that needs to come in the library. Fortunately, that's not been a problem; it's still much too quiet! Don't hesitate to stop by. We've created "Grab & Go" bundles for you; each bundle has at least 3 items on a theme from Amish to Zombies, from cowboys to cooking.

If you haven't gotten involved with our summer reading program, it's not too late. There will be a LIVE (online) children's program; registration is necessary. It's scheduled for July 30; if you are busy that day or don't have Internet, register anyway! You can watch the recording anytime during the first two weeks in August--even at your library! Adults can pick up a Summer Reading Bingo sheet; complete it and be entered in a drawing for a gift card to a local restaurant.

Find a new dream for this summer.

Posted by Kelly McBride Delph