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.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Reading Takes You Everywhere

Russell County Public Library invites you to the 2018 Summer Reading Program.
Reading Takes You Everywhere!
Why is participating in summer reading programs important?
Research from Dominican University confirms that “children who do not read during the summer can lose up to two months of learning by the time they return to school in the fall.”

Russell County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program helps to bridge the gap by providing interesting, learning activities for all ages.
You, too, can help bridge the gap by integrating math and reading into your family’s daily schedule. Use those math skills when you bake a cake. Read about the places you are visiting. Take walks and learn about the animals you see.

Encourage critical thinking in your children by asking them questions about what they have read.
Scholastic’s Parent & Child Magazine suggests engaging your child in conversation about what they are reading by asking some of the following questions:
“If you could be friends with any character in the book, who would it be and why?
What was the most exciting part of the book?
What surprised you most about the story? Why was it surprising?
Is there anything in this story that is similar to something that has happened in your life? What was it and how is it similar?
What would you do in a situation similar to that faced by a character in the story?
What part of the story made you think it would end the way it did?
How would you change the book's ending if you could re-write it?”
Dominican University’s data has revealed that “Children who participate in Summer Reading Programs and read a minimum of six books over the summer score higher in reading and math when they return to school.”
Through fun crafts, reader’s theater, and other activities Russell County Public Library strives to keep our children engaged and learning throughout the summer.

Sign on to take a six week journey with us!

to the Moon,
to the Stars and Beyond,
to Marvelous Places,
to Still Quiet Places
to the Great Outdoors.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Great American Read

Your favorite novel of all time is …?

Last night, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) announced the country’s 100 favorite novels in a two-hour celebration of reading, hosted by Meredith Vieira. PBS is hosting this celebration entitled The Great American Read. They are searching for the best-loved novel in America. Best of all, you get to vote. EVERY DAY.

That’s right, you get to vote and decide and what is America’s Best-Loved Book.

In the two hour celebration, celebrities, authors, and book lovers reveal the novels that have affected their lives. It’s fascinating to hear your favorite authors share their favorite books…and encourage you to vote for a book that’s not theirs! If you missed the kick-off, you can watch it online--at your public library. There will be five additional episodes and a finale in October. 

Take the quiz to find out how many books you have read.
Charlotte's Web? Check
The Hunger Games? Check 
Fifty Shades of Gray?  Nope
Stephen King's The Stand ? Nope.

Read at least one new book this summer whether it's a classic or a recent favorite. Don't think you have time? Listen to the audiobook.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Libraries Lead

Where does the Library lead you? 
National Library Week: Libraries Lead

Comment here or on our Facebook page. If we have led you somewhere, or to something, let us know.

We want to hear what you have to say because "Libraries Lead" is the theme of National Library Week, April 8-14, 2018. We want to be an integral part of our community.

Are we leading? Or are we following?

In an effort to lead you back to the library, we are offering to let patrons work off their fines. We want you to use your local library and we don't want fines to be an impediment!
During the month of April, you can come by the library and read off your fines ($1 per hour spent reading in the library) or you can check out and return books ($1 per book.)

Why this elaborate plan? It takes several weeks and some practice to develop a new habit. We want that habit to be visiting your public library.

Whatever entertains you--music, film, magazines, books--we can probably find it at your library.

Learn something new...learn to play chess on the first Saturday in Lebanon or learn to crochet every Thursday (Lebanon) or Friday (Honaker.)

Or just have fun with science! Mad Science for Adults (and youth) will blasting rockets and creating explosions April 9, 3-5 p.m., at Honaker and April 10, 5-7 p.m., at Lebanon. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Writing Our History

Women are half of the population; but if you read history, you hear mostly about the men who led society for years. The women were always there, but in the shadows. Come March, we encourage you to shine a light on women, specifically a Russell County woman.

In honor of Women's History Month, this March Russell County Public Library will again sponsor our Women's History Essay Contest. The purpose of the contest is to highlight women in Russell County history and to suggest women who might have a place in the Russell County Women's Hall of Fame.

The contest deadline is March 15 and the word limit is 500, so you must be brief and to the point. Click here for additional guidelines.  A panel of independent judges reads the essays and their decisions are final.

Join us at the Lebanon Library on March 29 at 5 pm for our Women's History Celebration. We will honor the winning authors and induct any nominees to the Hall of Fame.

March is only a few weeks away, so start thinking and making notes now. Create our history one word--and one woman--at a time.

Contributed by Kelly McBride Delph

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Holiday Closures?

From October through February, holidays abound. Can you imagine having to work every day of the year? For much of the history of the USA, people did work virtually every day. If you grow your own food and keep livestock, you don't get a day off. The cow still wants milking and the chickens still need to be fed. Work might be the bare minimum (the cow and the chickens) on Sundays even if there wasn't a church nearby.

The first holidays designated by Congress were declared in 1870--New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day--only for federal workers in the District of Columbia.  (They were later applied to all federal government employees.)

Why were all the government offices closed on Friday BEFORE Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Have you ever wondered how we got these holidays? What determines a 'federal' or state holiday? Most federal holidays followed the precedent of the states. A federal holiday was proposed after most of the states were celebrating a holiday. And a federal holiday only applies to federal government employees. But state and local governments try to keep a common schedule.

The holidays celebrate important events in our history (Independence Day, aka the 4th of July) or honor people--individuals like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or collectively, laborers on Labor Day. Some of the holidays have evolved and changed their names as we 'accumulate' more history.  Memorial Day was originally Decoration Day, when those who died in the Civil War were honored by tributes decorating their graves and monuments. After a few more conflicts, the name was changed to Memorial Day to honor those who died in the ensuing wars and conflicts. Armistice Day marked the end of the Great War, now know as World War I. It was marked as a National Peace Holiday, and though the sentiment remained, the name was changed to honor veterans of all wars.

Getting confused? That's why Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968. It moved many holidays to Mondays for consistency and to avoid interrupting commerce too much with holidays mid-week.  Or did you think those holidays were just for retail sales?

Back to that Friday before M. L. King, Jr., Day...that is Lee-Jackson Day, honoring Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson. For a number of years, Jackson, King, and Lee actually shared a holiday in Virginia. Other Southern states still have a Confederate memorial day commemoration.

And that October holiday? In Virginia it's officially Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day, to commemorate both Columbus' voyage to the Americas and final victory at Yorktown in the Revolutionary War.

Enjoy that day off.

Source: Federal Holidays: Evolution and Current Practices, Congressional Research Service, 2014; The Code of Virginia.