The Library of Virginia Newsletter
January 2009

Assembly Adopts Budget

The $77 billion state budget adopted on February 28 by the Virginia General Assembly included no additional cuts for the Library of Virginia or the state's public libraries. The budget proposed by Governor Kaine in December already included 5-7 percent reductions for most state agencies.

Lawmakers used $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funds to help cover a projected $3.7 billion shortfall in state revenue through June 30, 2010. Governor Kaine indicated that without the stimulus money the state would have had to cut $800 million and eliminate 7,000 state jobs. Members of both political parties warn that the state will face additional cuts in the next six to nine months if state revenues continue to drop. The budget covers the two-year period between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2010.

Longwood University to Host Virginia Forum

The fourth annual Virginia Forum will be held at Longwood University, in Farmville, on Friday and Saturday, April 24-25, 2009. The Virginia Forum is the only annual conference on Virginia history and culture.

The 2009 program features several sessions on civil rights and Massive Resistance. The conference is being held in the county where the Virginia law suit that became part of the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case originated and on the fiftieth anniversary of the reopening of public schools in several Virginia cities that were closed under the state's Massive Resistance laws.

Other important sessions reconsider the French and Indian War, Indians and settlers in the colonial period, life in Virginia after the American Revolution and after the Civil War, freedom and slavery in the antebellum period, and a concluding plenary session that examines the life and legacy of Virginia singer Patsy Cline and the Holiness and Pentacostal musical traditions of Appalachian and Tidewater Virginia.

Registration is $50 for the two-day conference ($40 for enrolled graduate students and $30 for undergraduates), which includes box lunches both days. The Virginia Forum Web site ( contains the full conference program, registration information, and a list of local lodging.

The first Virginia Forum was held at Shenandoah University, in Winchester, in April 2006, the second at the Library of Virginia, in Richmond, in April 2007, and the third at the University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg, in April 2008.

Steps Toward Freedom: Lincoln's Walk in Richmond

Retrace Abraham Lincoln's steps on his visit to Richmond in April 1865, just a few days after the city's fall to Union forces. As part of the bicentennial year celebrating Lincoln's birth, the Valentine Richmond History Center, the National Park Service, the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, and the Library of Virginia present a two-day program that will consider the symbolic nature of the occasion that marked both the near-end of a bloody armed conflict and the promise of freedom for enslaved African Americans.

On Saturday, April 4, at the Library of Virginia, Dr. Lucas Morel, a Lincoln scholar and professor of politics at Washington and Lee University, will discuss the origins and implications of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Morel's talk, "Lincoln, God, and Emancipation: A Promise Fulfilled," starts at 2:00 PM.

The weekend continues with more lectures, walks, and historic images exploring the unique combination of devastation, fear, and hope that existed in Richmond in the spring of 1865 when, on April 4, a weary Abraham Lincoln walked solemnly through the smoldering ruins of a fallen city. The weekend concludes with a self-guided walk with stationed interpretation on Sunday, April 5 along the route traveled by Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad on their visit to Richmond following the evacuation of Richmond by the Confederate government and its occupation by the Union military. The walk begins at 17th and Dock streets in Shockoe Bottom. The walk (2:00 to 5:00 PM) should take approximately 90 minutes.

2009 Virginia Women in History Program Honors Eight Outstanding Women

A Pamunkey leader and Unionist, an innovative educator, the first woman elected to statewide office in Virginia, and a nationally recognized psychologist and advocate for abused children are among eight Virginia women recognized by the Library of Virginia as part of its Virginia Women in History program. On March 26, 2009, the Library of Virginia will honor the eight outstanding women who are featured in the 2009 Virginia Women in History program at an awards ceremony at 6 PM at the Library of Virginia. The evening's program will be hosted by Lisa Lafata Powell, with a reception to follow. Seating is limited, so please call 804-692-3900 for reservations.

The women honored this year are:

  • Mary Randolph (1762-1828), Chesterfield County and Richmond, cookbook author
  • Caroline Bradby Cook (born ca.1839), King William County, Pamunkey leader and Unionist
  • Virginia Estelle Randolph (1874-1958), Henrico County, educator
  • Pauline Adams (1874-1957), Norfolk, suffragist
  • Drew Gilpin Faust (1947- ), Clarke County, historian and university president
  • Mary Sue Terry (1947- ), Patrick County, attorney general
  • Joann Hess Grayson (1948- ), Harrisonburg, psychologist and advocate for abused children
  • Claudia Emerson (1957- ), Fredericksburg, poet

Dr. Richard L. Morrill Receives James T. Rogers Distinguished Leadership Award

Richard L. Morrill, former president of the University of Richmond and member of the Library of Virginia Foundation Board, recently received the James T. Rogers Distinguished Leadership Award from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) at its annual conference held in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Morrill was active in commission affairs for more than 10 years and served as chair of the SACS Board. During this time, Dr. Morrill worked with the board to amend the association's bylaws to increase the operational autonomy of each commission, to rotate the position of president of SACS, and to realize significant savings for the association. He then worked to ensure that the association's membership adopted the bylaws.

The James T. Rogers Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes visionary leadership and outstanding involvement in and support of the activities of the Commission on Colleges. The award is the highest public recognition given by the commission and is reserved for those exhibiting extraordinarily distinctive and effective leadership.

"Poe: Man, Myth, and Monster" Young Writers' Competition

The Library of Virginia and the Poe Museum are looking for next Edgar Allan Poe. In observance of the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's birth, and the exhibition "Poe: Man, Myth, and Monster" featured at the Library of Virginia from July 20 through December 31, 2009, the Library and the Poe Museum present the "Poe: Man, Myth and Monster" Young Writers' Contest. High school students are invited to submit their poetry and short stories, written in the veins of the genres Poe mastered-mystery, science fiction, and horror.

Entries must be received no later than May 8, 2009, at 4:00 PM. Entries may be mailed or delivered to Library of Virginia, ATT: Education, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219-8000.

Three Virginia Libraries Named America's Star Libraries

Library Journal's new national rating of public libraries, the LJ Index of Public Library Service, identifies 256 "star" libraries. Created by Ray Lyons and Keith Curry Lance, it rates 7,115 public libraries. The top libraries in each group get five, four, or three Michelin Guide-like stars.

Three Virginia public libraries appear on this list of the nation's top 256 public libraries. Williamsburg Public Library has earned five stars; Mary Riley Styles Public Library in Falls Church and Loudoun County Public Library have earned three stars.

See the stars, state by state, at