Monthly Archives: September 2012

Preserving Local History

A few months ago, the Shenandoah County Library became the official repository for an 80-year archive of the Northern Virginia Daily. As part of that process, we contacted the Library of Virginia to see if the paper archives at the newspaper offices might be of interest to them as part of their Virginia Newspaper Project.

We are happy to report that the Library of Virginia staff was very interested in preserving these papers, and have arranged with the publisher of the Northern Virginia Daily to have them microfilmed and digitized as an important historical record for future generations.

At a recent statewide meeting, I had the opportunity to meet some of the people involved in the project and see first-hand the efforts being made to restore and preserve these papers. Errol Somay, head of the project, was especially thrilled at finding this large collection of pre-1923 newspapers. “We really thought we had identified all the large collections in the state…and because they were all published before 1923 they are out of copyright and we can post them free on the project’s website.”

Take a look at some pictures of this work being done at the Library of Virginia. Once the microfilming is complete, the Northern Virginia Daily will receive a copy and we expect to add this to the deposit collection in Edinburg.

A page from the Woodstock Times featuring a political cartoon, local features and advertisements from the early 1900s.

A member of the preservation staff works to restore a sheet of newsprint from the archive. All preservation work is non-destructive, and reversible to maintain the integrity of the historical document.

Henry Morse (front) and Errol Somay show a tour group a six-month run of the Middletown Weekly, most likely a one-of-a-kind collection found in the archives of the Northern Virginia Daily.

Need a Library Card? There’s an App(lication) for That!

So far this month we have issued 550 new library cards! Are you one of our newest members? If not, we have made it easier than ever for you to get a library card. If you live, work, own property, or go to school in Shenandoah County a new library card is just a few clicks away.

Just visit our online registration form from any computer with internet access and register your information. After that stop by any of our six locations to pick up your card.

If you are 18 or older all you need is a driver’s license with your current local address. If you don’t have that handy, bring in:

  • Proof that you live, work, or own property in the county
  • A valid photo ID

If you are under 18, come in with a parent or guardian who has a library card and they can get one for you. Or, have your parent or guardian fill out and sign a student registration form. Return that form the library and we will mail your card to your home address.

Getting a library card has never been easier, so what are you waiting for? And don’t worry, even though September is national library card month, we’ll still give you one if you come in during the other 11 months of the year. We hope you’ll join the club soon!

Americans celebrate the origin of two United States documents of democracy and freedom in September

In the month of September, we recognize milestones of both the U.S. Constitution and the Emancipation Proclamation.  On September 17, 1787—225 years ago—the Constitutional Convention delegates met in Philadelphia, PA, to adopt the final version of the United States Constitution.

The National Archives, where the document is on permanent display, has created a special home page in honor of Constitution Day.  You may also want to watch an “Inside the Vaults” YouTube video with Trevor Plante, Chief of Reference at the National Archives, to get a glimpse of the final printed copy of the Constitution and also of  a few of his favorite related, but rarely-displayed, documents such as:

• The original text of the “Virginia Plan,” Edmund Randolph’s proposal for a national government that included three co-equal branches: “supreme legislative, judiciary and executive”;
• A printed copy of the Constitution with George Washington’s handwritten annotations;
• The state of Pennsylvania’s ratification copy of the Constitution — unlike the four-page version of the Constitution on display at the National Archives in Washington, DC, the entire text is on one enormous sheet of parchment so it could be more easily transported.

On September 22, 1862—150 years ago—Abraham Lincoln wrote his Proclamation of Emancipation which he said was to be enacted the first day of January 1863.  The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “shall be then, thence forward, and forever free.”

The Archives notes that although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. After January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators.  By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom.

In his September 7 article about the Proclamation Washington Post, reporter Philip Kennicott  noted: “today it seems strange that we celebrate the proclamation at all, except as a precursor to the far more sweeping and triumphant accomplishment of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which two years later banned slavery everywhere in the country, without qualifications or geographical exceptions. And yet this document of war remains a sacred document of democracy, testament to the messiness rather than the ideals of governing. “

Why We Do, What We Do, at Preschool Storytime

During our “P is for Pancake” Preschool Storytime this week, we focused not only on letter recognition but also included an array of other components to benefit the 2- to 5-year-olds who gather each Tuesday or Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. at County Library.

Researchers claim that at birth our brains are 25 percent developed; upon entering kindergarten, the development reaches 90 percent. Thus, we take seriously our mission to provide quality enrichment experiences as well as fun for our preschoolers.

We begin with our “Hello & How Are You” song, which sets a light tone and promotes socialization and caring for one another as we share that, “I’m fine, I’m fine, and I hope that you are too.” Storybooks presented differ in level, ranging from simplistic to mind-stretchers. Attendees learn one or more words in infant, baby or American sign language.

Child development experts encourage educators to liberally utilize repetition and rhyme, so we repeat fingerplays and action rhymes numerous times, which also builds self-esteem when young children are able to comfortably and successfully participate.

Our closing song, “If You’re Happy & You Know It”, teaches sequencing, as we at first individually clap our hands, stomp our feet, or shout hooray; then we link the three actions as we “do all three”.

During craft time, cutting out a pancake shape, picking up and gluing tiny yellow construction paper squares of “butter” to the pancake, and painting brown “syrup” on the pancake hones fine motor skills. Children express pride in their completed projects and take home something to reinforce the storytime content and encourage further discussion at home.

Now that summer vacations are a pleasant memory, plan to join us next week!

Find Something to Read

It won’t be long before the cooler weather of fall is here, and with more time spent indoors, you may find yourself looking for good books to read. If so, the Shenandoah County Library can help.

In addition to the recommendations that are always available from its staff and volunteers, the library provides access to two online resources that can help you locate that next great read.

eSequels

The newest addition to the library’s growing list of databases, eSequels performs one specific task extremely well: tracking novels that form part of a series. This easy-to-use site allows you to search by author, title, character, location or setting, and subject.

With eSequels, you can find a series that suits your interests—Amish romances, for instance, or Scandinavian mysteries—and determine the order in which books should be read to maintain story continuity.

Alternately, if you have an individual title you suspect to be part of a series, you can find out which novels come before and after it. With information even on forthcoming titles, eSequels is a great resource for organizing your reading. Give the database a try by clicking here.

NoveList

Long a part of the library’s online resources, NoveList continues to be a reader’s best friend. Here, in addition to information on what comes next in a particular series, you’ll find genre-based reading lists for all ages and guides that can be used in book clubs.

So, if you’d like to find historical romances that are directed to teens, NoveList will provide not only a list of recommended titles but also plot summaries and indicators of reading-levels. Likewise, if you’re interested in leading a discussion of a novel, you’ll find concise background material and focused questions that will help you manage a group meeting.

Perhaps the best feature of NoveList is its “Author Read-alike” option. Simply type in the name of a favorite novel, click the “Author Read-alike” link, and choose a new favorite from a list of similar titles.

To begin exploring the database, click here. If you’re browsing from home, please use your library card number to log in.