All posts by Zoe

boook and stars

Virginia Festival of the Book March 20-24, 2013

book and starsClose to home is an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of writers, the writing process and the joy of reading. The Virginia Festival of the Book is a 5 day festival of literary events open to the public that, with the exception of a few ticketed events, are free of charge. Produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) and held throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle County, the purpose of the Book Festival is to bring together writers and readers and to promote and celebrate books, reading, literacy, and literary culture.

Programs for adults and children are held in more than 50 venues throughout the region and include traditional author readings, book signings and a book fair. Also included is panel discussion on how to publish a novel; a beginning a book club; a workshop on book-binding, a special traveling exhibit of miniature art books and numerous other selections. Popular authors making appearances include C.J. Box discussing his novels (a paid, ticketed event) and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, reading from her latest collection, Thrall. Rita Mae Brown will be a special guest speaker for the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, where authors included in the 2013 Blue Ridge Anthology will read from their work. Children are treated to a StoryFest day of children’s authors and storybook characters on Friday, including a 50th birthday celebration for Clifford.

To plan your literary adventure, visit to explore the events schedule with times, locations, and ticket information.

Crafting by the book…….

The Daisy Cloche featured on the cover is reminiscent of the flapper style from the Great Gatsby era.


What would Jane Austen have on the needles right now? What would you wear on a visit to Pemberley or Cranford? The craft publishing world and blogosphere is abuzz with knitting and crocheting projects inspired by our favorite books and literary characters. The new book Literary Knits includes 30 patterns inspired by classics including Lord of the Rings, Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice.


Each of the designs found in AUSTENtatious Crochet is a reflection of the Regency style worn by Jane and sought after today by ardent fans. Seven chapters focus on different themes found in Austen’s novels: comfort, love, satisfaction, etc. In addition to patterns for a variety of skill levels, there are features on Austen-era style, trivia quizzes and fashion related quotes from Austen’s correspondence. Crocheters can visit the author’s website to watch videos of the techniques used throughout the book.

Photo: Stock Montage/Getty Images

While on the subject of all things Jane,  we celebrate the publication of Pride and Prejudice 200 years ago this week. Visit the library to peruse the display of fiction titles, biographies, audio books and DVDs on the works of Jane Austen. Look for new book titles coming to the library soon: The Real Jane Austen: a life in small things by Paula Byrne  and Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece by Susannah Fullerton.

A Sensible Shawl from Jane Austen Knits Fall 2012, published by Interweave Press.


Need your Jane fix right away? Download Pride and Prejudice  on your e-reader right now…..or if you are a knitter, download an audio version of your favorite Austen title and get out those needles!

No two snowflakes are alike…..

This phrase was coined by Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931), a self taught farmer and photographer from Jericho, Vermont. As a teenager, he became fascinated with snowflakes and capturing their images. His parents spent their savings to purchase him a bellows camera with its own microscope, thus launching Bentley as a pioneer in the area of photomicrography. He is credited with having taken the first
Bentley photographed over 5000 snow “crystals” or snowflakes in his lifetime, publishing the 1931 book Snow Crystals, containing more than 2400 images. He also published numerous articles on his work and his much sought after glass plate negatives have been collected by colleges and universities across America.

A wonderful introduction to Bentley’s work is the youth biography Snowflake Bentley written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Vermont artist Mary Azarian. The book won the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American Picture Book in 1999.
Visit the official Snowflake Bentley website, maintained by the Jericho Historical Foundation, for a wealth of resources related to Mr. Bentley’s work and the magical snowflake images he  managed to capture forever in time.

Coming Soon…………


………the movie of your choice. You asked and we listened. Beginning November 5th, you will be able to place a hold request on that movie or television series you have been dying to see.

To browse the DVD collection or search for a sought after title, visit the library’s online catalog from home. You may browse the DVD collection by genre or search for a specific title. Click on the request button next to the desired item. You will need to authenticate you account by entering you library card number and password. Don’t know your password? Contact the library at 984-8200 to have it reset.

You may choose up to six items at a time  to place on hold; these items may be any combination of print or audio books, nooks, music CDs and DVDs. Please note: we continue to ask that you limit the number of new items placed on hold and checked out to 3 to allow everyone a fair chance to access new items. You will be able to pick up and return requested materials at the branch of your choice.

Thanks for your patience as we attempt to add more convenience to you. You only have to provide the popcorn and sodas. And now…….enjoy the show.

It’s County Fair Time!

Congratulations to over 100 participants in this summer’s Teen Reading Program at the library earned a free ticket to the fair for completing a 750 page reading log. The Shenandoah County Fair, celebrating its 95th year, is one of the largest agricultural fairs  in Virginia. In addition to the great food, music and entertainment, there animal and crop exhibits, baked and canned goods exhibits as well as lots of photography and crafts exhibits.

Visit the library to find a wide variety of books related to all the activities you enjoy at the fair.  Check out the Book Barn, located in the reference area of the library. Built by Central High School FFA students and donated by the Farm Bureau, the “barn” features a variety of books on raising animals, homesteading and hobby farming.

Whether planning for next year’s blue ribbon entry,  learning a new craft or contemplating adding some animals to your homestead, visit the library for fun and informative books for the entire family.

What’s that old thing worth anyway!?

Cleaning out the attic? Need to identify an item or determine a value for insurance purposes? Planning to search the Yard Crawl for hidden treasures? The library has a great online resource where you can find the answers to those questions – What is it? and How much is it worth?

The Price 4 Antiques Reference database contains information about collectibles, antiques and fine art  provided by over 140 major U.S. auction companies. The database is updated daily and each item listed has at least one color picture, a description, the sale price and date, and auction house name and contact information. Biographical and historical reference notes are added to many of the records.

A recent search for Strasburg pottery in the database found the following entry from March 3, 2012:

Considered rare, this stoneware face pitcher with profuse cobalt [blue] tulip decoration is attributed to Samuel Bell, Winchester or Strasburg, Virginia, circa 1835 to 1845. Nearly tripling the pre-sale estimate, this piece sold at auction for $63,250.00!

Want to explore for yourself? You will find Price for Antiques linked from the Research tab on the library website under Online Resources.

So whether you are a history buff, an avid collector or just looking forward to finding a treasure or two at the next estate sale you visit, Price 4 Antiques has something for you!

Our Library System Runs on Volunteer Power

Do you realize the valuable service volunteers bring to library system each week? The five community libraries in the system rely on volunteers to run their circulation desks. This amounts to 168 volunteer hours weekly, not mention time contributed to ordering materials, presenting programs and other administrative tasks. There are currently over 100 volunteers providing service throughout the library system.

Volunteers at the County library provide close to 40 hours a week shelving materials, shelf reading, assisting with programs and providing services in the Shenandoah Room. One county volunteer selects and delivers books in conjunction with the Wheels on Meals program each week.

A reception was recently held at the County Library to honor the Volunteer of the Year from each library. Every one of our volunteers is to be commended for their devotion and service to keep our libraries up and running.

Chances are if you have a library item in your hands today it has passed through the hands of a dedicated volunteer. Please take time to thank them the next time you visit.

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.