All posts by Sandy

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.

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

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 library subscription (in-house use only). Or use Heritage Quest with a valid library card from the comfort of your own home.