Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Community Read

What happens when almost everyone in the community reads the same book? Russell County Public Library hopes we will talk to each other: about who we are, how we view ourselves, how we are different, and how we are so very much the same—across Southwest Virginia, the United States, and the world.

We hope that we develop a greater sense of community as we talk about something we have in common—a story—even though we may have very different life experiences.

The NEA Big Read is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The program is designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

RCPL chose to make our arts connection to music because we felt it would, pardon the pun, resonate with our communities. Our region is home to some of the best music in the world and contains the roots of quintessentially American music.

Burning Bright by Ron Rash is a collection of short stories set in the Southern Appalachian Mountains we call home. You don't need to read it straight through. You can dip in and read a story.

Join us and read a little—or a lot—of Burning Bright. We are sure you will find something to talk about.

Posted by Kelly McBride Delph

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Making Time to Read

Many people say they want to read but just don't have time. This blog post wants to give you a few ideas on squeezing reading into your life.

Truthfully, we don't buy that time argument.  If you don't think that you have the time, download an app on your phone that will tell you how much time you spend on social media every day. Start spending some of that time on reading.

In fact, download a book onto your phone and read it there. Did you know you could do that? Books and magazines (and music) can all be downloaded free from your library. Use the Libby app to organize all the downloads from various sources.

And if you say you still really don't have time to stare at a screen...and maybe because you spend your day staring at a screen, we still have a solution. Listen to your book. Download an audiobook and let someone read to you. (It's not that much different than listening to a podcast or radio show.) Being read to is a fond memory from childhood for many of us. In addition to the library, LibriVox is a site claiming the acoustical liberation of books in the public domain; find mostly classics there.

You can also get short bits of literature sent right to your 'inbox.'  Take a look at Serial Box,
WattPad, or Radish. Fond of comics? Try Tapas. And if you are a text junkie, try the mobile app Hooked; marketed to teens and young adults, you can read thrillers in text sized bites.

Readers know that you make time to read. Compulsive readers can't make it through a day without reading; they'll read the cereal box ingredients if nothing else is available.

If reading isn't a compulsion for you, give one of these options a try. Hint: don't start with something you've always meant to read, War & Peace or The Fountainhead. Start with something fun and interesting. Keep it up for just two weeks and you have a new, good habit to begin the new year.

Contributed by Kelly McBride Delph

Friday, October 12, 2018

New Digital Resources Available Now!

Russell County Public Library is excited to announce several new digital resources courtesy of the Library of Virginia. Whether you're writing a paper, pursuing a new career, or just looking for your next favorite book, there's something for everyone!

EBSCO eBooks
K-8 Collection
The eBook K-8 Collection contains more than 13,000 titles chosen to support a quality learning experience for K-8 students across all subject areas taught in elementary and middle schools, and content aligns with Common Core Curriculum Standards (for participating U.S. states). The collection also features a selection of teacher resources to support educators and administrators.

Cricket Media Collection
The eBook Cricket Media Collection includes more than 400 titles in e-book format and is suitable for Children grades Pre-K through 8th. Cricket is an internationally recognized education company with award-winning print content for children, families, and educators. Cricket is focused on engaging children in a wide variety of subjects and disciplines helping them explore and expand their worlds.

High School Collection
This package contains more than 10,000 e-books that support a quality learning experience across all academic subject areas, including history, language, literature, science, and technology. Content includes a selection of classic literary works, important historical documents, and general reference materials. The collection also features a selection of teacher resources to support educators and administrators. Titles align with Common Core Curriculum Standards (for participating U.S. states).

History Collection
This collection features more than 17,000 world history e-books to meet the content needs of students in their research. Titles encompass a variety of subjects, including medieval history, history of music, history of science, the law in history, history of philosophy, art history, history of technology, history of business and economics, history of religion, military history and more.

Notable publishers include Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Ashgate Publishing Ltd., University of California Press and State University of New York Press.

EBSCO MasterFILE Complete
The most comprehensive and valuable collection of full-text general interest resources. This authoritative general information database is the best place to start your research.

Public Libraries
Designed with public library patrons in mind, Explora provides easy-to-use features and reliable content from the world’s leading magazines and reference books.

Middle and High School
Primary School
Designed with students and educators in mind, Explora provides a safe, trustworthy environment for students to look up articles and facts for research papers, class projects or homework. A far better alternative to websites and search engines, Explora provides students with easy-to-use features and age-appropriate content from the world’s leading magazines and reference books.

Gale Career Transitions
Career Transitions is an online career guidance center that walks users through the job-search process from beginning to end. It brings together all the tools needed to explore and take the leap to a new career.

Gale Kids InfoBits
Gale Kids InfoBits meets the research needs of students in Kindergarten through Grade 5. It features a developmentally appropriate, visually graphic interface, a subject-based topic tree search, and full-text, age-appropriate, curriculum-related magazine, newspaper and reference content for information on current events, the arts, science, health, people, government, history, sports and more.

Gale LegalForms
Provides a wide selection of state-specific (and multi-state) legal forms across the most popular legal areas. Includes real estate contracts, wills, pre-marital agreements, bankruptcy, divorce, landlord tenant and many others. Also included is a comprehensive attorney state directory and a dictionary of legal definitions explained in laymen’s language.

NoveList Plus
Can’t decide what to read next? Need a recommendation for a child, student or family member? Use NoveList to discover your next favorite author, series, or title!

NoveList K-8 Plus
NoveList K-8 Plus is a comprehensive reading resource for fiction and nonfiction. With a fun and intuitive interface, and extensive proprietary content, NoveList K-8 Plus will help you integrate reading across the curriculum and support your young readers.

Read It!
Research while practicing reading skills with Read It! Helps students with a basic foundation in English grammar and reading who need adapted reading material for many subjects. Read It! is also a great tool for English Language Learners.

Rocket Languages
Speak and understand a new language better. With 12 languages to choose from, including American Sign Language, Rocket Languages also features modules in Spanish and Japanese to learn English. Rocket Languages is perfect for the business or traveler learner, as well as extra practice for students.

Universal Class
Over 500 classes, many offering continuing education units (CEUs), and over 100 video-audit classes

To find these and other resources, visit our website and click on the Digital Library or Digital Learning tab.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Reunion Season

The Long-Couch House in Dante
The Summer Reading Program is the library’s big focus in the summer, but family reunions are so prevalent that this library staffer also thinks of summer as reunion season. Family reunions bring back folks who have moved away. Summer also brings many visitors to the RCPL’s Local History Collection; people who are tracing their family history often find that the family came through Russell County in the past. Family reunions abound, but it’s not just family reunions. Many high school classes meet during the summer.  Old schoolhouses or churches are cleaned up and homecomings are held. 

This weekend, the Dante Reunion is taking center stage in Russell County. Turkey’s Foot was the original name of the community (because the hollows looked like a turkey’s foot when viewed on a map.) Once the largest community in Russell County, Dante thrived when the Clinchfield Coal Company was headquartered there.  Dante boasted a movie theatre, hospital, schools, stores, bank, hotel, and a beer garden. Much of this was owned by the company but it made for a thriving community.

Dante still has a post office, fire department, museum, and the will to live. One of the first communities in Russell County to try to revitalize itself, Dante continues to try to buck the trend of dying small towns.  Dante’s diverse history and culture make it unique in Russell County. Much of the diversity was due to the coal mines; immigrants working in the coal mine included people from what are now the Slavic republics. African-Americans worked in the mines in sufficient numbers the county provided a high school for their children during segregation. When the high school, called the Artie Lee School, closed the students began attending Castlewood High School.

Visit the Dante Coal Mining and Railroad Museum to learn more about Russell County's history. 

Posted by Kelly McBride Delph

Friday, July 6, 2018

Making Sure Your Personal Data Stays That Way

"We have updated our privacy policy."

Chances are you’ve recently seen this message in emails and on your favorite websites. And chances are you’ve given it the same amount of thought you always give privacy policies: very little. Most of us just want to check the little box and get on with it. But privacy breaches such as the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal are a reminder to take personal data privacy seriously.

On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in the European Union. This new law is designed to give EU residents more control over their personal information and how companies use it. While GDPR doesn't apply to residents of the United States, all companies that handle EU residents' data are required to comply or face heavy fines, which is why you've seen all of those privacy policy updates.

Political and practical concerns make similar legislation in the US highly unlikely for now, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. You can start by changing your default privacy settings. The Washington Post has a good starter guide for managing your accounts with Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple. While this will result in a less personalized user experience with some features like Google Maps, Microsoft's Cortana, and Facebook's eerily relevant ads, you can rest a little easier knowing at least some of your personal data is just that: personal.