Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Preservation Week at Russell County Public Library

Do you have pictures like this at home? You’re not alone. This week is Preservation Week, initiated by the American Library Association. According to ALA there are more than 4.8 billion historical artifacts in the United States. Many are held by libraries, museums, historical societies, and repositories. Many are also held by people in their home collections. Examples might be architectural drawings, audio and video recordings, photographs, letters, speeches, memoirs, diaries. The Russell County Public Library has examples of all of these in our local history collection. We have photo archives for historical places and buildings in the county, and also a family photo archive. We invite you to share your family history by donating copies of your family genealogy, historical documents, or photos you would like to preserve for future generations. If it needs to be copied, it must be an item or document that you own the copyright to, and we will ask you to sign permission to let us make a copy. Stop by and see us this week or anytime and talk to us about preserving Russell County’s history.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

National Library Week

Lives change @ your library is the theme of National Library Week, this year April 13th-19th. Has the library helped you change your life?

Did you check out a book on gardening or diet? Did you watch a movie or listen to music you borrowed from the library--something that moved you to tears?

Did you use the library when you were a child, or bring your own children?

Maybe you used Internet access to apply for a job...or your retirement!?

Share your library experience with us. And share it with others. Bring a friend to the library!

We have no big events planned for National Library Week this year. Our budget is still under consideration by the county supervisors; what amount they allocate the library will determine whether staff and hours are cut, or eliminated completely. So this year for National Library Week, the Friends of the Library are helping us highlight the Declaration for the Right to Libraries...because libraries change lives. You can sign an online petition, or you can stop by a library and sign in ink. The Friends of the Library are making the petitions available, as well as postcards they will deliver to the supervisors.

Celebrate National Library Week by stopping by your local library. Celebrate by making a positive change in your life; the library will help. You can find out more at

Sign the petition or call your elected representative to let him or her know that you believe you have the right to a library. Tell how you NEED and USE your library. Remind him or her:
                  Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared
                   to that of an ignorant nation.
-- Broadcaster Walter Cronkite

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Library Card Envy

How important is your library card?

Timothy Maloney is a big proponent of books and libraries; he visits his local libraries in Kentucky several times a week. He loves his library and considers libraries so valuable, that he has begun collecting library cards. He has cards from over 1300 libraries in over 45 states (and the District of Coumbia and the Ak-Chin Indian Community--plus more than a dozen foreign countries!) And he has a card from the Library of Congress.

Originally, Tim desired to visit each library but health and finances made that impossible. So he visits his local libraries and shares his collection of cards from other libraries. He says that this is just his way of showing his deep respect and appreciation for libraries.

So when Timothy asked Russell County Public Library (VA) for a card, even an inactive one, we said yes. Above you can see the picture of his collection displayed in the Walton Branch of the Boone County Public Library (KY)

Tim's email address is libraries_r_cool. We think so, too.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Library Funding

Have you ever wondered how your local library is funded? "SNOOZE" may be your response, but if you want to keep your library, you might want to find out where the money comes from.

Russell County Public Library gets most of its funding from Russell County. The library makes an annual request and the Board of Supervisors allocates money to the library when they approve their annual budget, usually in late spring. The funds allocated by the county are about 75% of the library's budget. That's why the cut in funds in July made such an impact.

The library also receives money from state. The State Aid to Libraries program is administered by the Library of Virginia. State aid is by definition supplemental and is based on how much local support the library receives. It's a carrot and stick approach. The rules say if the locality gives the library more money, then the library gets more state aid. If the locality reduces money given to the library, then state aid can be withheld or reduced. The motivation is to keep funding at least level; if the library local funding is reduced, a library can typcially keep state aid if every agency also had a cut. State aid comprises about 20% of the library's budget. Learn more at

The library also receives funding from some towns, like Lebanon, as well as from grants. Most grants are like the e-rate grant--they can only be used for very specific things and typically can't be used for staffing. The Friends of the Library act like a booster club; they traditionally have focused on sponsoring the summer reading program and other activities and services for children. And lastly, your fines and fees? We get to keep that money and it goes back into our budget.

What does all this mean to you? Think Local. Most of the library funding is from local sources. Your taxes are allocated by the supervisors to many agencies and departments, from education to the Sheriff's department. Contact your supervisors and tell them what you care about. Contact your town council members and tell them what services you want and need.

They will tell you that money is tight and we can't have it all. But they can only serve you well if you talk to them.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Citizens Say Honaker Library Counts!

Effective November 1, 2013, Honaker Community Library will open for nearly 25 hours per week. This change is due to additional money allocated to the libraries. Why? Because Russell County citizens called their supervisors and attended public meetings and were willing to get up and speak.

Citizens who believe in the value of their library stepped up to the plate (hey, it's World Series time!) In the coming months, the county and all its agencies and offices will begin preparing budgets for the coming fiscal year that begins July 2014. So it's not too late, or too early, to be heard. The library staff routinely attend these public meetings. But the word of a citizen carries more weight than the word of an employee.

Make a decision to participate in our democracy by attending a meeting or contacting your elected officials and telling them what YOU think is important. They can only represent you if you tell them where you stand.

And remember to exercise your right and privilege as a citizen and VOTE next week.

Honaker Community Library

Saturday      Closed
Sunday         2-5 pm
Monday       12-7 pm
Tuesday       12-5:30 pm
Wednesday 12-5:30 pm
Thursday     Closed
Friday           2-5:30 pm

Friday, October 4, 2013

Moon Exhibit!

The main library in Lebanon currently has a three panel exhibit titled The Moon: Cosmic Decoder Ring, which examines how the moon’s craters help us to better understand our solar system. The exhibit is on loan until October 18th, from the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. The exhibit has 3-D images, so patrons who view it should use the 3-D glasses that are provided. On October 17th at 7:00 pm, the library will have a moon watch program, viewing the moon while it is nearly full. There will be telescopes available, but participants may also bring their own telescopes or binoculars if they wish. In case of rain, October 18th at 7:00 pm is the alternate date.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

American Stories

What is your 'American Story?' Even those folks that were born and raised here in Russell County typically came from somewhere else. Just go back a few generations and you may find that your family lived someplace else. It was not uncommon for families to move back and forth between two locations as fortunes ebbed and flowed; we think of that as a modern phenomenon, but it happened in the 18th and 19th centuries as well as the 20th century.

Do you know where your family hails from? Odds are, you have MANY places you can claim, since each of us has eight great-grandparents and 16 great-great-grandparents. You can research your family history and roots at the library and online, using census records. Just start with yourself and work back in time, recording what you know and reseraching what you don't know.

The summer is what I call 'reunion season' because so many family reunions are held. The reunion is a a great time to share those families stories and interview older relatives. Just don't be surprised if the 'facts' are different depending on with whom you talk. The facts and documents may have been altered when the behavior was outside society's norms (like out-of-wedlock births) and the memory does just fade with time.

American Stories is one of the themes of the Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. The books include A Quiet Revolution, a book on the veil's resurgence from the Middle East to America; Prince Among Slaves, an account of an African prince sold into slavery in the American South; and Acts of Faith, a book of growing up Muslim in America and the belief in religious pluralism.

Other books in the library's collections tell our American stories, such as The Hairstons, a book on the black and white members of a family with roots in Virginia and North Carolina; Sweet and Low, the story of an immigrant family that created Sweet'NLow and sugar in packets; and countless book on famous families like the Adamses and the Kennedys.

Stop by your library to check our a book. Better yet, talk to your family and write your own 'American Story.

contributed by Kelly McBride Delph