The Library of Virginia Newsletter
August 2009

LVA Foundation Celebrates Two More Adopt Virginia's History Success Stories

The Library of Virginia Foundation's new Adopt Virginia's History program is off to a great start. A recently adopted book has just returned from the conservator, while a historic Virginia map has been sent off for stabilizing and freshening.

The book, Useful Architecture in Twenty-Five New Designs…, by William Halfpenny, dates from 1755 and was adopted by Betty Crowe Leviner of Williamsburg, in memory of her husband, John A. Hyman. Many of the book’s pages, including detailed copperplate printings of 18th-century English architecture, were torn and in desperate need of repair. Now that this work has been completed, these beautiful engravings can be enjoyed and used for research, shedding light on 18th-century English architecture's influence on America's colonial–era buildings.

Thanks to gifts from Mary Kegley and the Wythe County Genealogical and Historical Association, the next item scheduled for restoration is an 1855 map of Wythe County and part of Pulaski County. This map will be cleaned and refurbished, using the most modern restoration technologies.

Modern restoration methods retain the ability to be reversed, a lesson learned from decades-old restorations that now need to be “re-restored,” thanks to chemicals that have, over time, done more harm than good. New tools such as starch-based glues and rice paper can stabilize artifacts without permanently affecting them.

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Library of Virginia Receives ABC Historical Records

Minds Wide Open
Virginia-ABC document transfer ceremony 

On August 20, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Board transferred official historical records dating back to the agency’s beginning in 1934 to the Library of Virginia for archiving. The series includes 157 bound documents consisting of Board minutes, Board orders for administrative hearings, and indexes of the volumes for the first 50 years in alphabetical order.

Virginia history buffs visiting the Library will be able to view the ABC creation documents as well as the original Board minutes. Those who are interested in the period prior to 1934 can view an additional collection of documents on the Virginia Liquor Commission's history, turned over to the Library last year.
Librarian of Virginia Sandra G. Treadway accepted the ABC volumes from ABC Chair Susan R. Swecker, Commissioner Franklin D. Hall, and Commissioner William J. Pantele.
“The Library houses the most comprehensive collection of materials on Virginia government, history, and culture available anywhere,” said Treadway. “Our collections illustrate the rich and varied past of the commonwealth, and we are delighted to add the ABC records to our collection.”

The document transfer comes as the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control celebrates its 75th anniversary. Since the first stores opened in 1934, ABC has contributed more than $6 billion to Virginia’s General Fund.

Dr. Treadway shared with the commissioners items from the Library’s collections, including a prohibition inspector's report dated April 12,1926, documenting an arrest for "selling vanilla extracts for beverage purposes" in the suburbs of Galax; an application for permit under the National Prohibition Act completed by John Stewart Bryan in order to move 90.5 cases and 5 bottles of wines and liquors from Baltimore, Maryland, to Virginia; and a letter from Attorney General John R. Saunders dated March 6, 1934, requesting the return of E. A. Beckett’s commission as a prohibition inspector because of the passage of the Liquor Control Act and the end of Prohibition.

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Doreen Rappaport Wins the Third Annual Cardozo Award for Children’s Literature

Doreen Rappaport’s Abe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln has been selected by the public as the winner of the third annual Whitney and Scott Cardozo Award for Children’s Literature. The passion for humanity that defined Lincoln’s life shines through in this exceptional book on one of America’s most revered presidents, with an emphasis on Lincoln’s growing opposition to slavery.

Rappaport majored in music at Brandeis University and taught music and reading in junior high schools in New York City and New Rochelle, New York. Teaching at a freedom school in McComb, Mississippi—a civil rights–era project of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee—changed her life and inspired her to be a writer. She was moved by the courage of the African Americans who were denied basic rights and who were threatened daily with death.

The author of numerous nonfiction and historical fiction books for children, Rappaport draws heavily on primary sources and integrates historical figures’ own words into the text. In researching Abe’s Honest Words, she read and reread Lincoln’s letters, newspaper interviews, and speeches.

Award-winning African American artist and illustrator Kadir Nelson is responsible for the book’s gorgeous artwork. He has won the Caldecott Honor Award, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award. A graduate of the Pratt Institute, he has exhibited his artwork in galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad.

The Cardozo Award, now in its third year, is given to an author of children’s literature who published a book for children ages three through eight, with a publication date of 2008. A  juried panel reviewed 21 nominated titles from the greater mid-Atlantic region.

Abe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln was chosen by children and parents voting at the Library of Virginia, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, in public libraries across the state, and online at the Library of Virginia’s Web site. On Saturday, October 17 at 11:00 am. Rappaport will lead the story hour program at the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Please call 804-474-7000 or visit for more details about this special story.

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Governor Announces Board Appointments

Governor Tim Kaine has announced the reappointment of Clifton A. “Chip” Woodrum to the Library Board. Woodrum, an attorney and former member of the House of Delegates from the city of Roanoke, was appointed to the Board in 2004 by former Governor Mark Warner.

The governor also announced the appointment of three new Library Board members. Joining the Board are Cynthia V. Bailey, an attorney and consultant from Richmond; Jon Bowerbank, former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and president and CEO of EMATS, Inc., of Rosedale, Virginia; and Meyera E. Oberndorf, former longtime mayor of Virginia Beach. The Virginia Beach Central Library was officially renamed the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library as a tribute to the longest-serving mayor in the city's history. Oberndorf began her long career of public service with an appointment to the city’s Public Library Board in 1966. She later served as board chairwoman.

The 15 members of the Library Board are gubernatorial appointees and serve five-year terms. They can serve no more than two successive full terms.

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Governor Reports Dismal Revenue Forecast

On August 19 Governor Timothy Kaine gave the money committees of the Virginia General Assembly a grim assessment of the state’s revenue forecast. He told legislators that fiscal year 2009 ended nearly $300 million below the official revenue forecast and that the state budget for fiscal year 2010 will have to be cut by nearly $1.5 billion. Taken with previous cuts of $5.6 billion in the biennial budget, the fiscal year 2008–2010 budget will have been reduced by nearly $7.1 billion.
For the first time, Virginia will experience back-to-back negative growth rates for 2009 and 2010. Only twice before (in fiscal years 1999 and 2002) has the state experienced negative growth.

The governor plans to use the Revenue Stabilization Fund, commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund, to close a portion of the budget gap. By law he can allocate no more than half of the $583.7 million for this purpose. Spending cuts will cover the remainder of the shortfall. The governor will announce the details of his plan around Labor Day.

State agencies, including the Library of Virginia, are preparing for the worst, anticipating cuts in the 15 percent range. Economists are predicting a slow and gradual recovery.

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"No Copies Known" - Updating Cappon

Virginia Newspapers 1821–1935, published in 1936 and compiled by Lester J. Cappon, PhD, then archivist and assistant professor of history at the University of Virginia, has been invaluable to the search for historic newspapers in the commonwealth. While Cappon’s introduction discusses the development, growth, and importance of the press, as well as its political and economic influence on Virginia's geographically and culturally diverse localities, the balance of the volume comprises his identification of 1,763 unique Virginia newspapers, listed alphabetically by location of publication. For each title he provided any additional information available—including publishers, dates of publication, frequency, and items of historical interest—and holdings at various repositories. Unfortunately, Cappon could find no extant copies for almost 40 percent of the titles listed in Virginia Newspapers. He identified these elusive newspapers with the designation “No Copy Known.”

Not any more.

The Virginia Newspaper Project at the Library of Virginia has the ongoing mission of discovering and microfilming Virginia newspapers. Its staff members wondered how many of these particular titles had come to light since Cappon’s work was published in 1936, and they decided to search the Library's current database of newspapers. As of March 2009, 172 titles that Cappon had listed with the “No Copy Known” designation had been discovered and cataloged through the project’s efforts.

In March 2009 Errol Somay, director of the Virginia Newspaper Project, received a call from Rebecca Ebert, director of the Handley Regional Library in Winchester, Virginia, informing him that the Stone House Foundation, an educational and research organization in the small, nearby community of Stephens City, had in its collection 174 issues of the Stephens City Star, a local newspaper published from 1881 to 1883. First known as Newtown, Stephens City was founded by Scottish, Irish, and German settlers in the mid-18th century—the second-oldest town in the Shenandoah Valley—and became a prosperous crossroads village. Disrupted during the Civil War and its aftermath, Stephens City recovered by the 19th century and retained its small-town character.

When contacted by the Virginia Newspaper Project, Byron Smith, educator and collections manager for the Stone House Foundation, generously offered to lend its collection of the Stephens City Star to the Library to be microfilmed and added to the Library’s newspaper collection. A complimentary set of the microfilm was given to the Stone House Foundation in exchange for the opportunity to film this historically significant title. The Stephens City Star now represents the 173rd title with a special meaning to the Virginia Newspaper Project staff as they continue to identify, catalog, and preserve newspapers from repositories throughout Virginia.
It leaves one to wonder how many other “No Copy Known” titles are still out there.

—Alice Haggerty, Library of Virginia Volunteer

Cappon, Lester J. Virginia Newspapers 1821–1935: A Bibliography with Historical Introduction and Notes. New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1936.

Painter, Charles E., ed. Stephens City Star 1881–1883. Library of Virginia
(2009) Reel 1, Microfilm 2489.

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ALA Approves Certification for Support Staff

The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) has approved the establishment of a certification program for library support staff. The Library Support Staff Certification Program is the first national, voluntary certification program for library support staff. 

The purpose of the program is “to help the profession standardize expectations for library support staff, help the large number of support staff members master critical job competencies, provide educators with guidance for training curriculums, and help employers articulate job requirements.”

The certification program is a competency-based program for library workers in positions that do not require a master’s degree in library science. The target audience is academic and public library staff. Candidates must demonstrate achievement of six sets of competencies. The required competencies are foundations of library service, technology and communications, and teamwork. Candidates must also demonstrate achievement in three sets chosen from seven additional competency sets.

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Local Library and VEC Office Team Up to Help the Community

A new agreement between the local Virginia Employment Commission and the Halifax County – South Boston Regional Library System allows VEC staff members to be located at local public libraries four days per week.

The local Virginia Employment Commission in South Boston has seen a sharp rise in unemployment over the past several months. More job seekers have sought assistance at both the Halifax and South Boston libraries. With the rise in unemployment and the increase in job seekers at the library, VEC and the library are working together to help the community. At least four days each week, a staff person from the local VEC office will be located at each library to assist patrons with job searches, resumes, employment benefits, and questions. The special office hours of the VEC are as follows.

South Boston Public Library
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday: 9:30 am–1:30 pm & 2:00–6:00 pm
1st & 3rd Saturdays: 9:30 am–1:00 pm

Halifax Public Library
Monday: 1:00–5:00 pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 9:30 am–1:30 pm & 2:00–6:00 pm
Friday: Noon–6:00 pm
1st Saturdays: 9:30 am–1:00 pm

An area at each library has been designated for VEC staff to use to work with patrons needing assistance. The library provides the space and use of computers, while the VEC provides the staff and job searching expertise. The VEC has the opportunity to reach out into the community to help people beyond the doors of the VEC office, while the library benefits from the expertise of trained VEC staff members to assist patrons with questions and concerns. This unique partnership is being praised by state agencies and will be used as a model throughout Virginia. In the Halifax County – South Boston Regional Library System, computer use increased by 12 percent over that of last year. This increase has been attributed to the rise of unemployment and local residents looking for jobs, filing for unemployment, and completing online applications. Library staff members have been assisting patrons as much as possible with online applications and job searches. The addition of the VEC staff members at the libraries will provide more one-on-one assistance by trained specialists.

—Rhonda H. Griffin, Halifax County – South Boston Regional Library System

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