Monthly Archives: April 2012

Zoe Dellinger is Clara Stanley Scholarship Recipient

The County Library’s Circulation Supervisor extraordinaire, Zoe Dellinger, has been awarded the 2012 Clara Stanley Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 by the Virginia Library Association. VLA stipulates that the award money is to be used toward studies in pursuing a Masters of Library Science degree and indicates that Dellinger was chosen from among many applicants statewide.  She is currently enrolled in the University of North Texas MLIS program, a distance learning program that has partnered in Virginia with James Madison University, and is scheduled to complete her online studies the end of this summer.  The official presentation of the award will take place at the Virginia Library Association’s Paraprofessional Conference in Richmond in late May.  Dellinger is pictured here beside her “Language of Flowers” display that has been a spring feature in the library.  Congratulations, Zoe!

Allrecipes.com – Find those old family recipes and even some new ones

So you’re at this dinner party and your hostess has served this great dish.  You’ve simply got to have it since it will be perfect to make for another function you’re attending next month.  You ask for the recipe but, instead of taking it as a compliment and saying they’ll write it down for you later, you receive a coy “it’s my aunt’s secret recipe, I can’t give it out” in response.  Aside from excusing yourself to go to the restroom and doing a stealth visit to their kitchen to rummage through their recipe cards, what can you do?  Well, their closely guarded secret might be have already been divulged on allrecipes.com.

The allrecipes.com website is a mixture of a comprehensive database of recipes with a dash of user ratings and reviews.  Recipes can be searched for by name, category, or even by some key ingredients.  This last option can let you find out what dishes you could make with what you have available at the moment.  I have personally found it difficult to not find a recipe that fits exactly what I’m searching for; this includes certain people’s secretive aunts.

Once you find a recipe you like, you can adjust the quantity in case you need to prepare more or less than the standard recipe serves.  Printing recipes is straight forward and can be formatted for different sized recipe cards or booklets.  Make sure you read the comments to recipes since they offer great tips or offer some reasons.  Some people have suggested tweaks to recipes.

Using allrecipes.com doesn’t require a logon,

but you can set up a user account.  With an account, you can save a list of favorite recipes and also participate in reviewing.  You can also build, organize, and share your recipes.  If you try a recipe onsite, even if it isn’t yours, you can show off your pictures of the finished dish.  Who knows, you might even find a recipe that you’ll have to tell a certain friend is a “family secret.”

eReader News

Interested in checking out e-books from the library? If so, you might wonder whether you should use an E-Ink reader, or a tablet. Don’t worry, we get this question a lot!

Until now, an important difference between E-Ink and tablet devices has been their suitability for outdoor and nighttime reading.  With no glare-prone backlighting, E-Ink devices such as the Nook Simple Touch and the Kindle Keyboard promise a “just like paper” experience, making them a great choice for reading in direct sunlight.  However, this absence of backlighting also has meant that readers hoping to enjoy their favorite novel at bedtime need to supply their own light, relying on the uneven rays of a booklight or the sleep-disturbing brightness of a bedside lamp.

So do nighttime readers need a tablet? Maybe not. Barnes and Noble has developed a potentially game-changing device:  the illuminated E-Ink device.  The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight maintains the anti-glare qualities of a traditional eReader but adds the option of an adjustable, evenly-distributed light that originates from LEDs housed within the device’s frame.  The device doesn’t go on sale until May 1, but it is already garnering great reviews, such as this one from tech site Gizmodo.

The best news is that the new Nook is fully compatible with the library’s downloadable eBooks. Of course, if you still can’t decide between tablet or e-ink, just stop on by the library sometime. We’ll be happy to answer questions, or schedule a time to let you have some hands-on experience with both types of devices that we have as part of our “Technology Petting Zoo.” Whether on paper, computer screen, or portable device, we’re always here to help you have a happy reading experience!

Nancy Branner Stewart Reception

On April 10th Nancy Stewart, author of eleven notebooks on the genealogy of African Americans in Shenandoah County, was honored with a reception at the Library.  She was introduced by Mary Guinta, noted historian and member of the strategic planning committee for the Shenandoah Room and Truban Archives.  During her remarks, Stewart encouraged a roomful of nearly 40 history buffs and local authors to commit themselves to passing along their own historical research so as not to lose little known facts and to correct misconceptions for future generations.  She revealed that her notebook research was spurred by her brief work on the Morrison photographs for the Historical Society.  The many images of African Americans made her realize their omnipresence in the county and yet not much about them was part of the written record.  Stewart began her quest to document what information could be found.  She discovered that African Americans were present when Shenandoah County was established, with 29 slaves recorded in the 1775 census of Dunmore County.  The 1783 tax list of Alexander Hite showed 362 slaves held by 110 heads of household.  The 1820 U.S. Federal Census reveals the astonishing fact that Shenandoah County had a total population of 18,926 and 12% of those were African American, or 1 in 8 people!  Stewart closed by acknowledging those who had provided guidance during her many hours of research spent in the Shenandoah Room and Truban Archives.

At the conclusion of the reception, Library Director Sandy Whitesides presented Ms. Stewart with a plaque recognizing her contributions to the historical record of Shenandoah County and also noted that the Library is looking forward to hosting many future events celebrating local history and showcasing the wealth of information available inside the doors of our local history room.

Snapshot Virginia – A Day at the Library

Snapshot Virginia

Do you have one day each week that you visit the library? Chances are that you do. Chances also are that “library day” includes things like checking out books and movies, maybe attending a program and jumping online for a few minutes to play games, catch up with friends, or checking YouTube for the most up-to-date information on vacuuming your cat.

Did you ever stop to think about what “library day” means for everyone else? What does it all add up to? That’s the question we’re trying to answer on Tuesday, 4/17 as we participate in Snapshot Virginia with other libraries throughout Virginia.

So what do you need to to? Just show up! We’ll be counting how many books are checked out, how many hours our computers get used, and what kinds of questions we’re answering at the library (e.g. “what’s the best way to vacuum my cat?). We’ll also be taking pictures of smiling faces at our locations and sharing the best ones at the Snapshot Virginia Flickr page. We love the library and we know that you do too. Make this Tuesday your library day this week and help us spread the news about all the great things we do every day!

One more thing – if you love the library, take a moment to tell us why. We’ll pass it along as part of the Snapshot project.

On Display at the Library

The Language of FlowersApril brings thoughts of spring, flowers and poetry, as April is National Poetry Month. Poet Emily Dickinson was an avid gardener who included floral symbolism in her poetry. The Language of Flowers, also known as floriography, was a Victorian-era means of expressing messages and emotions through flowers. Floral dictionaries were widely published in the early to mid-nineteenth century and contained not only the meanings of flowers, but also poetry and botanical illustrations.

A collection of floral dictionaries along with other floral books and ephemera is currently on display this month in the case by the door to the Shenandoah Room. Brochures containing the Language of Flowers are available for those who wish to create their own meaningful bouquet. The library has several volumes of Emily Dickinson’s poetry as well as books on floral symbolism, including A Victorian Flower Dictionary by Mandy Kirkby and the recent fiction title The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

Poetry Pajama Party – April 17

Pajama DayFrom renowned children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown, to prolific children’s poet Jack Prelutsky, to comedian Jeff Foxworthy—the choices are abundant when perusing the juvenile nonfiction Dewey section J811 in the Children’s Area for a poem to share at a first-time event to celebrate National Poetry Month. Children are invited to bring a favorite poem or verse that they have written or enjoyed, then share the selection during the County Library’s April 17 storytime that begins at 6:30 p.m. Silly or serious, brief or long, the goal is to have fun, meet new friends, create a craft, and have a light snack. PJs are optional, and those who wish to just come and listen are welcome.

April has been recognized as National Poetry Month since 1996 when the Academy of American Poets encouraged the literary world and educators to plan programming across the nation to instill and savor a love of verse. An events calendar lists, in addition to poetry readings or author visits, such activities as poetry walks, festivals, receptions and cocktail parties.

For further details regarding the Poetry Pajama Party, contact Miss Diane, Children’s Librarian, at 984-8200 x207.

New E-Books, No Waiting!


Frustrated with the long waits for e-books at our Overdrive service? We have good news!

The library added a new e-book service in March called Freading. Freading offers unlimited access to titles in the catalog, which means no long waiting times to read the books you want. The new catalog includes titles from popular literary publisher Algonquin Books, romance titles from Kensington and popular non-fiction from Skyhorse Publishing. Major publishers such as Penguin, Harper Collins and others have recently put barriers to library lending in place by making titles unavailable or cost-prohibitive to libraries.

The library is pleased to offer this collection of titles from publishers who recognize the benefit of including library users in the overall economy of reading. Check out all of our downloadable content, and tutorials at http://countylib.org/ebooks.

1940 Census Released Today

Did you know that the 1940 Census is available starting today? Each U.S. Census has a 72 year mandatory waiting period before the data can be released to the public. What’s in this data?

  • Name, age, and relationship to the head of household for all U.S. residents surveyed
  • Birthplace and education of all residents surveyed
  • residence in 1935, employment status, and wages for all residents surveyed
  • Additional information including parents’ birthplace, veteran status, occupation, for 5% of residents surveyed

Think any of that might be useful in connecting you to your ancestors? An estimated 87% of Americans living today can connect with at least one relative listed in the 1940 Census. Interested? Check out the official 1940 Census Website hosted by the National Archives.

Want to dig deeper? The Shenandoah Room and Truban Archives at the library has plenty more to help you research your ancestors back beyond 1940. We also have census records dating back all the way to 1790 through our Ancestry.com library subscription (in-house use only). Or use Heritage Quest with a valid library card from the comfort of your own home.