The Library of Virginia Newsletter
June 2012


Diamond Jubilee Inspires LVA to Pin Photos of Virginia's Vintage Queens

Do you remember Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Virginia in 2007? Or even 1976? Or perhaps as far back as 1957? Do you remember seeing some of our own Virginia queens at the National Peanut Exposition in Suffolk? Or maybe you remember the crowning of the queen at the Clarksville Regatta in 1951. Are you a Richmonder who remembers the National Tobacco Festival in the 1960s?

If so, do you have a story to share?

It seems as if almost every day there's a new and exciting technology development that could help us market, disseminate, or share information about our collections and the work we do to care for them. It's pretty difficult to know how long the "newest greatest thing" will last or how long it will be before the "next best thing" takes its place.

When we see an opportunity to share our collections more widely and to engage the public, however, it's pretty hard to resist taking a new technology development for a spin around the block-or even around the world.

Staff members at the Library of Virginia are currently taking Historypin (www.historypin.com) for a test drive. A product of a partnership with the not-for-profit, London-based We Are What We Do (http://wearewhatwedo.org/) and Google, Historypin is "a way for millions of people to come together, from across different generations, culture, and places, to share small glimpses of the past and to build up the huge story of human history" through photographs "pinned" to a map, much like a Google map you use for directions.

On Historypin, users can post photographs, pin them on the map, and share their personal memories of people, places, and moments in time. The Library of Virginia is one of 100 U.S. cultural heritage institutions pinning photos from their collections on the map, joining 300 libraries, archives, and museums worldwide doing the same thing. We have set up our own Historypin channel (www.historypin.com/channels) where you can see what we've done so far.

We've joined our colleagues around the world in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. One of only six U.S. institutions contributing to the Historypin celebration, the Library has pinned images from her first visit to the commonwealth in 1957, her visit during our nation's bicentennial in 1976, and her most recent trip to Virginia in 2007, during the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown Settlement. Historypin staff members even used some of our photos to create a "virtual tour" of the Queen's travels from Virginia to New York City (www.historypin.com/DiamondJubilee) in 1957.

But we didn't stop there. Our friends in Great Britain aren't the only ones who have queens to be proud of. We pulled from our photographic and archival materials to create a collection highlighting Virginia's Vintage Queens. The commonwealth has a great heritage of crowning queens in support of its agricultural and recreational pursuits: peanuts, tobacco, dairy farms, apple blossoms, and regattas. Our queens parade on floats, Corvettes, and farm tractors. It's a fun, whimsical walk down memory lane that we hope you'll enjoy.

Our third collection features postcards of Main Streets in Virginia. From Abingdon to Norfolk, Front Royal to Lawrenceville, and just about everywhere in between, visitors and residents sent greetings and details of their lives to friends and families all across Virginia. We've pinned the postcards and transcribed the messages on them. We even overlaid some of the postcards on modern Google street views. You can fade the historical image over the current view of the street and see how the landscape has changed. Do you have fond memories of Main Streets in Virginia? If so, we think you'll enjoy this collection, too.

We're planning to pin even more collections, including the ever-popular Adolph Rice collection and images from natural disasters in Virginia, such as tornados, hurricanes, and floods. We have the photos; you have the memories. Please visit the Library of Virginia on Historypin and join the conversation!

-submitted by Kathy Jordan and Sonya Coleman, Information Technology Services

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LVA to Participate in Cultsha Expo on June 23

The Library of Virginia joins the lineup of organizations featured in the Cultsha Xpo at the Science Museum of Virginia on June 23. This annual event, presented by CultureWorks, spotlights the Richmond region's nonprofit arts and culture organizations. Admission is free and the event runs from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.

Cultsha Xpo promotes arts, history, science, and family fun. Free performances (musical, visual art, theatrical, historical, dance, and more) from local arts and culture organizations will take place throughout the day.

Visitors to Cultsha Xpo need to register as Cultural Shareholders and will receive FREE "CultshaBucks" to spend at the event. In total, $75,000 in CultshaBucks will be distributed among visitors to invest with participating organizations. Grants are provided by CultureWorks to each organization in the amount of their collected CultshaBucks. Register online at www.richmondcultureworks.org before June 11 and use the Library's code: LOV.

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Your Local Library Now Goes Where You Go: Boopsie for Libraries

Want to renew a book or place one on hold? There's an app for that. Library hours or locations? There's an app for that. Download an e-book? Find information fast? There's an app for that, too.

The Library of Virginia has partnered with Boopsie, Inc., to develop a free, mobile application for Find It Virginia that directs users to their local public library resources. Boopsie for Libraries is a mobile library application designed for public and academic libraries.

From any mobile phone connected to the Internet, you can instantly tap into library resources, anytime, anywhere. You can search the library catalog, check your account, ask a question, find events, and more.

Searching the catalog with the mobile app is especially easy. Just type the first few letters of two or three words and search results will begin to appear. For example, if you're looking up William Styron in the catalog, just type "wi sty." Once you find the title you're looking for, you can place it on hold right from your phone.

The app brings the library to users, allowing them to place holds and renew materials as well as learn about locations, hours, directions, and programs and events. Library users literally now have everything right at their fingertips. It works on any smartphone. You can download the app for free from your local library's website.

Forty-four public libraries have already received the Boopsie mobile app through this project and the remainder of the eligible Virginia public libraries should have the app by the end of the summer. The mobile app is made possible by the Library of Virginia through funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

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Biggest Sale of the Year Coming June 18

For one week only-June 18-23-the Virginia Shop is slashing prices and offering a 30 percent discount on everything in the store and online. Stock up on the best birthday, hostess, anniversary, and baby gifts around. Buy some bling, get books for the beach, and be ready for your next dinner party with cookbooks, aprons, mugs, drink ware, and even appetizers. Mark your calendar and be prepared to grab some great bargains!

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Project Compass Offers Opportunity for Library Staff to Share Best Practices

Cindy Church, Library of Virginia continuing education consultant, and five public librarians from around Virginia were among library staff members representing 45 states and the District of Columbia who met in Washington, D.C., April 25-26, for the Project Compass National Convening, an opportunity for 215 participants to share ideas in support of public libraries' efforts to meet the urgent and growing needs of communities impacted by the economic downturn.

Church was instrumental in developing the Library of Virginia's program to assist job seekers in writing résumés, searching for jobs online, filing online applications, and even creating e-mail addresses so that résumés and applications could be submitted. The program operated with Library staff donating their lunch hours to assist the public. Nearly 1,500 job seekers were helped through the program.

Attendees at the Project Compass meeting shared stories of patron impact and worked together to learn about common challenges and find new, 21st century solutions to support their local economies. The event featured guest speakers Mary Chute and Susan Hildreth from the Institute of Museum and Library Services; futurist Garry Golden; Jane Oates, assistant secretary of Employment and Training Administration at the Department of Labor; Terri Bergman from the National Association of Workforce Boards; author Marilyn Johnson; and Ron Carlee from the International City/County Management Association.

Funded by a grant from IMLS, WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina launched Project Compass on October 1, 2009, to investigate job seekers' specific demands on public libraries. Since then, the IMLS-funded grant program has supported workforce recovery efforts in U.S. libraries through state library summits, face-to-face and online training, and a Workforce Services community of practice that includes the Project Compass Workshop Materials.

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NEH Grant to Fund Freedom to Disfranchisement: The African American Experience in Virginia, 1861-1902

The National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded a three-year, $200,000 Humanities Collections and Reference Resource grant to the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The grant will help fund Freedom to Disfranchisement: The African American Experience in Virginia, 1861-1902, a project in which biographical entries from the Dictionary of Virginia Biography will be adapted and digitally published on the Encyclopedia Virginia website. Enhanced by digital media and primary source material, the biographical, and topical, entries will provide an invaluable resource for understanding African American agency and challenges from the Civil War and the beginnings of freedom and citizenship to the legislated reversal of those rights by the 1902 Virginia constitution. Staff members from both institutions worked on the proposal, which signifies the first step in an exciting partnership between the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

-submitted by John Deal, Outreach and Educational Services

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LVA Provides Onsite and Remote Access for Two New Databases

Mid-Atlantic Newspapers (Proquest)

Library of Virginia users now have access to the Mid-Atlantic Newspapers database. This resource offers current full-text coverage of 12 regional newspapers including the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Progress-Index, Roanoke Times, and Virginian-Pilot, as well as selective historical full-text coverage of an additional 14 regional titles. Using this database in conjunction with the Historical Washington Post database (1877-1995) provides Library of Virginia users with full-text access to the Washington Post from its inception to the present day.

New York Times (Proquest)

This database provides current full-text access to the New York Times newspaper, with the New York Times Book Review and New York Times Magazine included in PDF format. The indexing of the newspaper is comprehensive and covers general subjects, company names, people, products, and geographic areas. Even editorials, editorial cartoons, obituaries, and letters to the editor from well-known individuals are indexed.

Remote access is available for both of these databases from the Library's "Using the Collections" web page with a Library of Virginia library card.

-submitted by Lisa Wehrmann, Public Services and Outreach

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Ed Lull and the Virginia Screenwriters' Forum Win Emyl Jenkins Awards

Poetry advocate Ed Lull and the Virginia Screenwriters' Forum are the winners of the annual Emyl Jenkins Award from James River Writers.

The awards honor the memory of Jenkins, who passed away in 2010. They aim to recognize organizations and individuals who continue her legacy of inspiring a love of writing and writing education in Virginia.

A driving force in the state's poetry world, Lull served four terms as president of the Poetry Society of Virginia, as well as six terms as the organization's executive director. His involvement has been notable for outreach and inclusion of those with a passion for poetry. In 2001, he established a state poetry festival and has worked diligently to ensure its success over the past decade. Among other activities, he also moderates bimonthly poetry workshops and he initiated the Poetry in the Schools Program, helping young people across the state write and appreciate poetry.

"Where poets and poetry are concerned, I'm not sure Ed knows the word 'no,'" wrote Dr. Phyllis Hall Haislip in her nomination of Lull. "He is sometimes affectionately called 'Mr. Poetry' because he is always willing to help poets and foster poetry in Virginia."

The award's judges-current and former JRW board members-saw a clear reflection of Jenkins in Lull's long-standing, enthusiastic, and selfless efforts.

Similarly, the organizational winner of the award, the Virginia Screenwriters' Forum, has a long history of helping those putting pen to paper in the state. For more than 20 years, the VSF has sought to bring writers together to share their love and knowledge of screenwriting by offering support and constructive feedback to members' scripts in progress. Beyond regular critique sessions, the VSF has sponsored periodic workshops and hosted speakers from the film industry. It also raised funds to purchase a screenplay library, a local writers' resource that was donated to the University of Richmond.

"It provides a congenial environment in which newer writers can learn, while at the same time giving seasoned writers an opportunity to fine-tune their work," said Mary Nelson of the Virginia Film Office, who was one of the VSF's nominators.

Both winners embody the supportive spirit of Jenkins, an author of numerous nonfiction works and two detective novels. Though she served the state's writing community on the JRW board and the Library of Virginia Foundation board, it was her one-on-one encouragement and mentorship that most defined her.

"While Emyl was certainly one-of-a-kind, it's great to be able to recognize and celebrate others who also inspire a love of writing and writing education in Virginia," said Lee Gimpel, the award committee chair.

The winners will receive their awards at JRW's spring fundraiser, June on the James, June 7. The awards are sponsored by Wells Fargo. Tickets to the event may be purchased through the James River Writers website at http://bit.ly/JRW12.

-submitted by Anne Westrick, James River Writers

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Virginia Publications Honored as 2012 Notable Documents

Three Virginia publications have been recognized by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association as 2012 Notable Documents, including the Library of Virginia's Virginia Memory Project. Most of the titles selected as the best federal and state documents from the previous year are available online. Eligible publications can be printed, online, or both.
Other Virginia publications recognized were:
A Community-Based Food System: Building Health, Wealth, Connection, and Capacity as the Foundation of Our Economic Future by Eric S. Bendfeldt and others. Virginia Cooperative Extension Services. www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/3306/3306-9029/3306-9029-PDF.pdf. Free.
Federal Health Care Reform: Do Recent Changes in Federal Health Care Reform Have You Puzzled? State Corporation Commission, Commonwealth of Virginia. www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/pubs/hcrpuzzle.pdf. Free.

The Library of Virginia's Virginia Memory Project (www.virginiamemory.com) was cited for offering a wide array of complementary digital collections, representing the history of Virginia's government, life, and local color and for serving as an online classroom with lesson plans, featured collections, and guides for educators.

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Virginia Writers Club Announces Young Writers' Competitions

The Virginia Writers Club is offering two competitions in 2012: the Young Virginia Writers Club Golden Nib Writing Contest and the Virginia Writers Club Scholarship competition.

The Golden Nib Writing Contest is a middle school and high school student competition. First-, second-, and third-place monetary awards will be presented in three categories: poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. For the first time, the VWC will award an overall Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire. The teacher who sponsors the Grand Prize winner will also receive a Kindle Fire. The contest deadline is September 3, 2012.

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General Assembly Passes FY 2013 State Budget

The Fiscal Year 2013 State Budget includes a budget amendment to provide additional funding for the Library of Virginia's records-management program. The ever-increasing number of electronic records and the development of new technologies was the rationale for the budget request. The amendment allocates an additional $219,000 a year to allow the Library to hire two records analysts and one electronic records archivist to strengthen the records-management program. Recruitment to fill the positions is underway.

The Virginia Library Association was able to reverse the 2 percent cut to State Aid as included in the governor's budget with a budget amendment strongly supported by public librarians across the state. The line item for State Aid will thus stay as it is at present, funded at $14,771,834.

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