Friday, December 21, 2012

Paperless Reading

Are you hoping for an ereader for Christmas? Is that what you are getting yourself for Christmas? If you are hoping for an ereader, check out your book & download options at our Overdrive site. (And look at our August blog entry for other free ebook options.)

But remember, those nifty devices aren't the only option for paperless reading. Some folks like to listen to their books; maybe it harkens back to that childhood joy of being read to... And if you are one of those folks, now there is another FREE option for recorded books.

That option is LibriVox which provides free audiobooks from the public domain. You get the mp3 or ogg files on your computer or device and then listen to the books.

LibriVox is a nice play on words:  vox is Latin for voice, while libri is Latin for books, which is closely related to liber, or free--the root for liberty! Their tag line is "acoustical liberation of books in the public domain." And in the spirit of liberty, equality, and freedom, LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and publish the audio files on the Internet.

Public domain means that the copyright on the book has expired, so we are talking about older or classic books. But the cool thing is that it is not just English books. Other languages are also available; it's based on what the volunteers have contributed. So you can listen to books in other languages, which is a great way to get your ear accustomed to that other language you have always wanted to learn!

Or you can just listen to a Zane Grey title like The Rainbow Trail! The LibriVox page for each title also has other information, like a link to the Wikipedia entry on the book, the Gutenberg e-text and an RSS feed to subscribe in iTunes.

p.s. you CAN listen to books with your ereader....

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 HCL Christmas Basket Winner

I would like to announce the winner of the Honaker Friends of the Library Christmas Basket.

Congratulations Trish Taylor!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How Important is the Library to YOU?

You have a chance to share your thoughts on the library with local officials and dignitaries. (It is an election year so they will be listening!) The Russell County Public Library is seeking contributions and comments that will be presented to local elected and appointed officials at our Leaders Are Readers reception October 16 at 4 pm.

  • How does the library help or serve you?
  • What is the value of literacy (or numeracy--numbers) in your life?
  • What is the importance of information or reading in your life and work?
  • Why is the library important to you? 
Email your thoughts to or drop off your letter at either branch's Circulation Desk by October 15.

And mark your calendar! You're invited to the Leaders Are Readers event October 16, 2012, in the Lobby of the Russell County Government Center. The reception begins at 4 pm and program at 5 pm; the regular monthly Library Board meeting follows at 6pm.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Civil War in Virginia Panel Exhibit

The Russell County Public Library is pleased to host a panel exhibit titled An American Turning Point: the Civil War in Virginia. The exhibit is comprised of images, interpretive text, and has a companion website. The exhibit was made possible by the Virginia Historical Society and the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, in partnership with The National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibit can be viewed during normal library hours in the library’s meeting room. It will be on display Oct. 1st – Oct. 15th.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Clinch River Justice

Alfred Patrick, author of Clinch River Justice, visited the Lebanon Library on September 13th and presented a copy of his new book to Jamie Rexrode. He will also visit the Honaker Library on September 14th from 3-5 pm

Friday, August 10, 2012

Finding ebooks to read

Are you one of the many folks with a Kindle? or Nook? or an iPad? The demand for ebooks has grown in the last 18 months--grown faster than we can keep up!

If you use our Overdrive-powered service for ebooks, Southwest Virginia Public Libraries, you should find new books there every month. And if you are just getting started with that service, here's my recommendation. Browse the books that are currently available; that way you don't go through the whole exercise of trying to learn how to check out and download a book, just to find out it isn't currently available.

And to diversify your 'ereading' options, here are two sources of FREE ebooks. One is the NOOK Blog, one of Barnes and Nobles 'bookclubs.' Every Friday, they have a free ebook available for download. The genre of book varies, from romance to science fiction, but hey, it's FREE!

Scan for Project Gutenberg 
The other source for free ebooks is Project Gutenberg . Project Gutenberg is typically old books that are no longer protected by U.S. copyright law. So it is a great source for classics, Austen to Kafka to Washington (as in George and Booker T.) and Wells (as in H.G.) You can find books in other languages, as well as some recorded books and printed music. If you are older (um, let's say, at least retirement age), you may find that some of your childhood classics are now available--those books that were older when you were very the Swiss Family Robinson. It is also a great source for older scientific and religious treatises.

If you are asking what's an ebook, here's the answer. An ebook is a book that you read on a screen--it's still print and it looks like it's on a page, but you view it on the screen of a digital device. The digital device can be an ereader (Kindle or Nook, for example), a tablet computer (an iPad or other computer that looks like it's just a small, flat screen), or even a smart phone. I'm not kidding, some folks have reported reading books on their phone. And if you think about it, the average phone isn't that much smaller than a paperback book.

How we read has evolved, from handwritten or printed by candle light, to printed pages under electric lights, to print on an 'electrified' page. But we still read. And we are still enriched by the experience.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Budget Cuts, Library Hours Cut

The budget cuts made by the Russell County Board of Supervisors do impact the budget of the Russell County Library. Patrons will notice hours being reduced slightly effective August 1, 2012; the new hours are below.

The Library Board of Trustees examined many options when making the reductions. They decided to distribute the cuts across the budget so that no budget line had a zero in it. Part time employees will be working fewer hours; full time employees will take a small cut in salary.

The good news is that state funding is stable so that our budget for books and magazines and other library materials has stayed the same. (You may thank your state legislator for that!)

Why did we select these hours? We looked at the usage patterns and staffing patterns. Early morning is typically our quietest time. We hope our morning 'regulars' don't take it personally and that we don't inconvenience folks that stop on their way to work. We continue to stay open certain weekend and evening hours because the rules governing state aid require it. Tracking the number of people who use the library per hour finds that Sunday afternoon can hold its own against other days. And in a world where work schedules are distributed 24/7, we continue to try and serve all the citizens.

Lebanon Library
Monday        9 am - 7 pm
Tuesday       9 am - 7 pm
Wednesday  10 am - 5:30 pm
Thursday      9 am - 8 pm
Friday          10 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday      10 am - 2 pm
Sunday         2 pm - 5 pm

Honaker Community Library
Monday         3 pm - 7 pm
Tuesday        3 pm - 7 pm
Wednesday   3 pm - 7 pm
Thursday       9 am - 1 pm
Friday           Noon - 5:30 pm
Saturday        CLOSED
Sunday          2 pm - 5 pm

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Library News

Russell County Public Library Has a New Genealogy Database!

The library has a new subscription to Fold3 (Formerly called Footnote). This is a history and genealogy database containing over 5 million documents. Fold 3 specializes in U.S. military documents from the Revolutionary War to the 20th century. It also has many other records, such as homestead records, city directories, naturalization records, Black history, Native American history, major newspaper articles, and the U.S. Bureau of Investigation case files, to name a few. The latter was the precursor to the FBI. Charlie Chaplin, Babe Ruth, and Helen Keller as well as many other famous citizens were investigated by this agency. To access this great resource, visit the library’s website and click on eShelf & Research, then Databases, then Genealogy, then Fold3. Log in using your library card number. The library also offers and Heritage Quest.
Russell County Public Library is Now Mobile!
The library now has a mobile app available. With the app, you can check our hours and our calendar for events… all from your phone—wherever you are! With the app, you can also access the library’s catalog via your phone; this access allows you to look up books and place them on hold, as well as renew your books and DVDs. To get the app, you can point your mobile device browser to and it will download from there. You can also go to our website where the QR code is posted; you can scan it and be prompted to download the app. Access your library with your smart phone. For more information, call your local branch at 889-8044 or 873-6600.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Remembering Marion

Marion Smith
This Sunday, we will honor the employee who set the Library record for longest employment. Marion Smith began working for the Russell County Public Library in the spring of 1976. At her death in 2010, she had worked for 34 years in various jobs at the library. We will dedicate a tree bench on the front lawn in her memory this Sunday, July 8, 2012, at 3 pm.

Marion was hired as the bookmobile driver, in the days when the bookmobile still visited the schools that didn't have their own library. Many residents will remember Marion as their school bus driver. She also was a band booster and often drove the bus for the band. After the bookmobile was discontinued, Marion moved on to other jobs in the library, including resident carpenter and jack-of-all-trades. If it was broken, Marion could fix it. Her last job was repairing and processing library materials.

I always thought of Marion as the resident library historian. She had a phenomenal memory, especially for dates. She could tell me on what date the staff moved into the building on Main Street that most of you know as the library; and she would tell me that it was a Wednesday. A caring person, Marion remembered the birthdays of previous library staff members and their children.

After her death, the staff and board pondered what we could do to honor and remember Marion. We thought of adding books to the collection on topics that she liked in her memory. But that didn't seem significant enough to any of the staff.

Then we saw a circular tree bench. For many years Marion cared for the library building and
grounds. She loved impatiens and planted them every year until she was physically unable to
do so.

Join us this Sunday at 3 pm on the lawn of the Lebanon Library for a brief ceremony. We'll
have cookies and lemonade and family, friends and staff will have an opportunity to offer a
few words or share a memory.

And yes, there will impatiens under the bench.

Kelly McBride

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dream Big. READ!

The Summer Reading Program begins this week. You can check out RCPL's website calendar for dates and times. And you can stop by a library to register your child and pick up a schedule.

The program includes book fairs, crafts, live entertainment, movie parties, as well as our usual Lego Clubs and Lebanon story times for toddlers (Tuesdays) and preschoolers (Wednesdays).

So follow the racer raccoon to the library and .......  
Dream Big. READ!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On Donations & Children

Recently, RCPL used a donation from the estate of Gilmer A. Horton to purchase books for children and young adults. Our Facebook page has a picture of Children's Coordinator Jamie Rexrode with a display of the books purchased. Some purchases were new fiction or non-fiction books while others replaced tattered copies of classics and Newbery Award-winners.

This wasn't the first time the late Mrs. Horton was party to a donation to the library. In 2004, the family of Elizabeth Ayers (Mrs. Horton's mother who was raised in Russell County) made a donation in their mother's memory. Before making the donation, Mrs. Horton and several of her siblings--a couple of lively gray-headed women and one gentleman who claimed only to be chauffeur!--visited the library director, inquiring about what the library needed and talking about their family's connection to Russell County.

Some times when the family has a reunion, they decide to make a gift to honor a family member. In 2004 they decided the gift should be to the Russell County Public Library. 'Gil,' as Mrs. Horton was known to her family, worked many years in church education, writing and training teachers to use Presbyterian Sunday School materials. When she died, her estate included a donation to RCPL; she had made it clear she wanted the money used for children's books.

In these difficult times, it's good to remember our roots, to honor deserving individuals, and to be generous when we can. Mrs. Horton's sister, Mary Peterson, said "Children were always number 1 with Gil." We at the library agree and send a  big "Thank You" to the late Gilmer A. Horton.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Crafting Circle - Ukranian Eggs (Pysanky)

Thursday May 17th at 1:00 pm Join us and learn about the ancient art of Pysanky, often referred to as Ukranian eggs. Designs are applied to the eggs with beeswax and are built layer by layer and color by color. This is a beginners class, so the design will be basic. More intricate designs require practice.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Williams Memorial Room

Nancy Albert Wolf & Ronald M. Osborne
Honaker Community Library now has a spacious room just for library programs. The April 29th dedication  ceremony of the Williams Memorial Room was well-attended by library staff, library trustees and community members. The architect, Tim Colley, and project supervisor, Rob Jones, were also in attendance.

The room is named in honor of native son, C.P. 'Bud' Williams and his wife Elsa. Their estate provided the majority of the funds for the construction and renovation. The honors of unveiling the plaque and a photo collage of the Williams'es were given to Nancy A. Wolf and Ronald M. Osborne; Mrs. Wolf donated her mother's home to found the library and Mr. Osborne is a trustee of the Williams estate.

Stop by and take a look at the newly renovated building. Moving a few walls provided more room for books and a more spacious and gracious interior.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Honaker Community Library will hold a dedication ceremony and celebration for the library's new additions and renovations on Sunday April 29, 2012, at 2:00 pm. The library is located at  10 Library Drive, Honaker, VA. All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Yes, it's National Library Week. See the theme there at the right?
YOU belong @ your library. So do your part--stop by your local library.

And during library week, we always take the opportunity to say 'Thank You.' Thank you for your support, and for your use of the library. (We know that's your way of saying you appreciate us.)

Whether you like genealogy, ebooks, movies or the latest best seller, we're there for you. Come on in.

posted by Kelly

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt at the Library!

Come join us at the Lebanon Library on Sunday, April 1st at 2:00 pm for our annual Easter egg hunt. The Easter Bunny will also be here and available for pictures. You may either take your own picture with the Easter Bunny, or the library can take a picture and e-mail it to you.
Age groups for the egg hunt are:
Ages 3-5
Ages 6-8
Ages 9-11

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Civil War in Newspapers

March 18,
2 pm
Dr. Bob Tomlinson will talk about how the Civil War was seen in the newspapers, particularly The Richmond Whig.

Newspapers were the primary source of news--after firsthand accounts--and were passed along and traded, even between Confederate and Union soldiers!

Stop by the Lebanon Library Sunday afternoon and find out what news was fit to print.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Empowering Women

Empowering Everyone...
At the Russell County Public Libraries, we honor March as Women's History Month with an exhibit in the Lebanon Library, and an essay contest to encourage everyone to write about women that they think should be in the Russell County Women's Hall of Fame.

Why? We want to record the history of Russell County, the people that made Russell County what it is.

On whose authority did we establish the Hall of Fame? Our own. Someone needed to step forward and organize and document our history. No one was doing it and we thought it needed to be done.

A comment on our Facebook page noted that so many historic buildings are crumbling in Russell County and someone should do something.  Is that someone you? Should you be writing an essay? Are you getting involved and lending a hand? Start by putting pen to paper...or fingers to keyboard and write.

We honor women with the Hall of Fame. But, the most important honor we do the women is not to forget their contributions. Each essay is included in the Local History Information File; so, it doesn't matter who wins, or who's inducted. We all win--we are all empowered--when we remember.

Posted by Kelly

Friday, February 24, 2012

Civil War (Book) Discussion

The next two Sundays will find discussions on the Civil War at the Lebanon Library. Although we call them 'book discussions,' we've been known to get off track and just talk about the Civil War in general.

This week we will start out talking about James M. McPherson's book Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam. But you never know where we will end up!

So stop by and join us, even if you haven't read any of the books. Dr. Brian McKnight will introduce the topic with a short talk and then anyone can weigh in.

Mark the calendar for Sunday, February 26 and March 4, at 2 pm

The discussion series is part of a national initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War” uses books and scholar-led discussions as an effective entry into serious thought, discussion and further reading.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Inclement Weather - Early Closing

Due to the increase in falling precipitation, both branches of the Russell County Public Library will be closing today, Sunday, Feb. 19th @ 4pm.

As a reminder, both branches will also be closed tomorrow, Feb. 20th for Presidents Day.  See you on Tuesday!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Presidents' Day Closure

Russell County Public Libraries will be closed Monday, February 20, 2012, in honor of Presidents' Day.

Presidents' Day Trivia
  • The holiday is still officially Washington's Birthday.
  • Washington's birthday became a federal holiday in 1885.
  • In honor of the day, read Washington's Farewell Address.
  • Or celebrate Washington's birthday with a dessert made of cherries to honor the apocryphal story that he could not tell a lie....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book & Magazine Sale

Time for the annual sale at Lebanon Library. We have books and magazines that need new homes.

And it all benefits the Friends of the Library. Nice hardbacks only $2, paperbacks $1, and magazines are $.10. Children's books are only $.25.

Stop by!

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Library Station in Dante

The Russell County Public Library now has a library station located in the new Dante Community Center. It is currently open most Wednesdays from 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Visitors can apply for a library card that can be used at the Dante, Lebanon, and Honaker
locations. Books, movies, and music are available to check out at the Dante station. Adult, teen, and children's books are available. Library patrons may also request books from the main library and have them delivered to Dante. More volunteers are need to keep the library station open. If interested, please call 889-8044.

Monday, January 9, 2012

MORE January Closures

January 13 & 16, 2012
The Libraries are closed Friday for Lee-Jackson Day & Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Regular hours prevail during the weekend.