Friday, March 20, 2015

Herbert Lee Waters Film Collection Now Online

Have you ever wondered what your town looked like decades ago, perhaps when your grandparents were children? Do you remember when the Confederate monument in Lebanon sat in the middle of Main Street? Do you remember which businesses were on Main Street 75 years ago? The Russell Theater with the marquee lit up, Quality Shoe Shop,  the Esso service station, the Russell Grill, or Alfred’s clothing store?

If you lived in Dante, do you remember the company store, the Texaco station, the Beer Garden restaurant (now the museum)?

These places and more were preserved in short silent films by H. Lee Waters. A North Carolinian, Herbert Lee Waters was a photographer and film maker who, in addition to running his own studio, traveled to several small communities in North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina to film ordinary people in small towns during the years of the Great Depression. He sold tickets to see the films, which were then shown in local movie theaters, between 1936 and 1942.  He commonly filmed school children, people on the street, local businesses, and the traffic moving through towns. He made a total of 252 films, including one of Lebanon and two of Dante in 1940.

His movies have been made available to view online by Duke University Libraries. Visit this link and click on Virginia. See which people and places you know!

The photos you see here are part of RCPL's photo archive, preserving Russell County's history in pictures. Stop by the library and browse photos of Russell County towns and communities during the past century.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What is Fair Use?

Fair Use Week, February 23-27, 2015, is an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines.

So, what IS fair use? Fair use and fair dealing allow the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. For libraries, educational institutions, and the public, the fair use doctrine is the most important limitation on the rights of the copyright owner--the "safety valve" of US copyright law. 

Each day teachers teach, students learn, researchers advance knowledge, and consumers access copyrighted information due to the exemptions in copyright law, such as fair use in the United States or fair dealing in Canada and other jurisdictions. It's why you can make that copy of a magazine article for your personal use. You aren't using it for any profit nor are you depriving the copyright owner of additional profit.

Fair Use Week is a celebration? It celebrates the important role fair use plays in achieving the Consitutional purpose of intellectual property rights in the US: to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. The flexible nature of fair use doctrine has permitted copyright to adapt to new technologies and changes. Similarly, in Canada, fair dealing is a critical right of the user intended to facilitate
balance in copyright law and accommodate freedom of expression.

Thanks to the Association of Research Libraries Fair Use Week website for the content of this blog!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Celebrate Puzzle Day

Thursday is International Puzzle Day.The Libraries will be celebrating with jigsaw and other puzzles to pique patrons' interest. Stop by and try to put a few pieces in a jigsaw puzzle--it's the perfect winter activity!

According to Wikipedia, "a puzzle is a game, problem, or toy that tests a person's ingenuity." Folks over a certain age will remember the Rubik's cube, a novelty toy/puzzle that was a hot gift late in the last century. But the puzzles that most folks are familiar with are jigsaw puzzles, and the ones often seen in newspapers, such as crossword puzzles, acrostics and Sudoku.

The first jigsaw puzzle was created about 1760; a British engraver glued a map onto wood and cut out the countries. For many years puzzles were popular, though limited to educational use, until well into the 1800s. International Puzzle Day was created by American game companies in 1995; you aren't surprised, are you?!

On Thursday, Lebanon Library will have a collection of jigsaw puzzles on the tables, including some appropriate for children. There will also be a few crossword puzzles and Sudokus. Stop by and use a puzzle to keep your brain sharp. There will even be several Russell County-themed puzzles!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Wildlife and Wilderness

During December, Lebanon Library will be hosting a tabletop exhibition on the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Coupled with the fact that it's also hunting season, we thought it was a good time to share the 62 years of Virginia Wildlife magazine with you.

Last year, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and the Library of Virginia announced a partnership to digitize and make available every issue of Virginia Wildlife from January 1959 to December 2012. This is the state's leading magazine on hunting, fishing, boating and wildlife. In addition to current information, it includes historical facts, photographs and recipes for wild game and fish.

Look for the magazine via the DGIF website or via the Library of Virginia's Internet Archive website. You can read online, as pdf, an epub, Daisy and several more formats.

The project was made possible through the LYRASIS Digitization Collaborative-a Sloan Foundation grant-subsidized program. A partnership with the Internet Archive scanned all the items from cover to cover.

So if you want to get outside, don't worry if the weather outside is frightful. Just click and enjoy the wildlife outside from inside!

Monday, November 10, 2014

National Young Readers Week...Celebrate!

National Young Readers Week is an opportunity for parents, teachers and others to encourage and celebrate reading with young children. Schools may fire up their youth by accepting the Principal Challenge; the principal reads from the first bell to the last bell--all day! Parents can take the pledge to read to their children, because parents are the first teachers.

In fact, it is the 30th year that National Young Readers Week has been celebrated. Begun by Pizza Hut and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the "Book It" program has been a reading incentive program for more than a generation!

Check out this link for parents: National Young Readers Week. There are lots of resources for parents, like read aloud tips, printables and the Parent Pledge.During the week, there are stories that children can listen to online.

Celebrate by reading with a child. Read in a silly place or standing on your head. Make a point of reading to your child and make a point letting your child see you read. Read the recipe aloud. Read the instructions aloud. Children will mimic you. If they see you reading, they will know reading is a thing that adults do; they will understand that it's an important skill.

And don't stop celebrating when the week is over. Make every week one in which you celebrate reading.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Confederate Camp Coming to the Library!

Has all the talk about the sesquicentennial of the Civil War gotten old for you? In 1864, the war dragged on for most Americans, too. The thought that the war would be quickly over had become a foolish memory. Americans endured hardships while the war dragged on and they looked at casualty lists for familiar names.

Our Southern Appalachian Mountains were not in the thick of it, but neither were they bypassed by the war and its ravages. October 2nd marked the 150th anniversary of an engagement at Saltville. And in early November 1864, Abraham Lincoln was re-elected president of the United States of America. A few days later, in nearby Bulls Gap, (Hawkins County) Tennessee, there was also a skirmish nearly 150 years ago.

November 1 the lawn of the Russell County Public Library's Lebanon Library will be the site of a Civil War Encampment. The Sons of the Confederate Veterans chapter will be camping on the lawn and visitors are invited to see how the soldiers would have lived and worked, cooked and slept 150 years ago. If the weather is poor, displays will be in the Library's Cumbow Meeting Room. The Encampment will coincide with the re-dedication of the monument in the center of town.

To learn more, check out the website This Day in the Civil War. Or stop by and check out the book Bluegrass Confederate: the Headquarters Diary of Edward O. Guerrant. Capt. Guerrant served in eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. While you are at the library, read the latest issue of the magazine Civil War Times or check out earlier issues.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Virginia's History in Handwriting - Help Transcribe It!

Do you like reading about history or do you enjoy working on word puzzles like crossword, Scrabble, or Words with Friends? If so, then Virginia has a project for you! The Library of Virginia has launched
Making History: Transcribe. This is part of the Virginia Memory collection. Basically they are inviting the public to look at handwritten historical Virginia documents online, and to type those documents to make them easier for others to read and search. Instructions for how to set up an account and join in can be found here:  If you can't make out every word that's OK, you can type the ones you're sure of and either guess or skip on the ones you aren't sure about.

Here at RCPL we have a similar project but on a smaller scale. Staff and volunteers have worked the past few years on transcribing the diary of Thomas T. Dickenson, a 19th century Castlewood farmer. He began his diary just as the Civil War was beginning. Being a farmer, he began most entrys with the weather of the day, and the work he did. However, he also notes historic facts and community news. If you would be interested in helping with this project, contact us at the library. Below are some examples from May, 1861.

Transcription of each above:
May 12:  Cloudy and warm—Josie and I went to baptism meeting; then to her Pa’s for dinner.  May had a calf.
May 13:  Clear AM Rain PM-- Put straight fence around yard.  R. P. D. here --sent corn to mill.
May 14:  Variable—sheared the sheep.  29 altered and marked the lambs
May 15:  Clear—put up posts and made a yard gate.  Jule had a mule.  Sandy sow had 6 pigs.
May 16:  Cloudless—Went to Father’s, made gate irons and put them on -  Commenced plowing corn.  Father here.
May 17:  Clear and cool—worked the road.
May 18:  Clear & warm. A portion of citizens of Castles Woods met at John Banner’s to form a home guard.  [Good?]
May 19:  Clear AM –Rain PM-Josie and I started to Lebanon to the training -  went as far H. B. Gray’s.
May 20:  Rained all day—did not train any.  North Carolina seceded by a vote of the Convention.
May 21:  Rained –Trained.