The Library of Virginia Newsletter

Library of Virginia Reading Rooms to Close on Saturdays and Mondays Effective November 14

The reading rooms of the Library of Virginia will be closed on Saturdays and Mondays starting November 14, 2016. The move is a result of the drop in recent revenue projections, which led to Governor McAuliffe reducing the operating budgets for executive agencies by 5 percent for the current fiscal year. The Library had no option but to turn to staff cuts to absorb the 5 percent operating budget reduction. With the loss of 18 employees, the Library is unable to keep the reading rooms open six days a week. Effective November 14, 2016, the reading rooms will be open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

“The decision to close the reading rooms was made reluctantly but providing effective service on Saturdays and Mondays for patrons without adequate human resources was no longer possible. Since the Governor's announcement of the staff reductions at the Library of Virginia I and other members of the Library Board have been contacted by members of the general public who are very upset about these staff reductions,” said R. Chambliss Light, Jr., chairman of the Library Board.

Librarian of Virginia Sandra G. Treadway said, “Closing on Saturdays and Mondays is necessary because of the loss of 12 full-time and 6 part-time employees. Suspending our Saturday hours and closing our reading rooms on Mondays is heartbreaking for us, but is necessary. It will make it difficult for citizens who do research in the Library’s unique holdings; however, we will continue to offer our constituents alternative avenues to information. When the Library is not open, citizens can still access numerous reference and research resources through the Library’s main website and also via Virginia Memory.”

Other service areas will also be affected. It will take longer, for example, to fill orders for digital images of material in the collections. Training for state and local records officers will be offered less frequently, and response times for records management–related questions may be extended. Moreover, it will take longer to provide access to new collections, and the Library’s ability to offer programming will be diminished.

The Library of Virginia has been open on Saturdays throughout the years since shortly after World War II. The Library holds the world's most extensive collection of material about the Old Dominion. Its collections now total approximately 123 million items. The Library of Virginia attracts more than 200,000 visitors annually from across the state and nation. Since its 1997 opening at its 800 East Broad Street location in historic downtown Richmond, the Library has consistently ranked among the area’s most visited cultural attractions.

Since FY 2008, the Library’s general fund budget has been reduced nearly $3.5 million. The Library has taken previous reductions from its limited discretionary funds and from staff reductions in behind-the-scenes departments so that it could keep the reading and research rooms open to the public six days a week. Before the economic recession in 2008, the Library employed 195 full-time and 45 part-time staff members. At the start of the current fiscal year, before this new round of reductions, its staffing level stood at 123 full-time and 14 part-time employees. The loss of these 18 employees necessitated the closing of the reading rooms on Saturdays and Mondays.

The agency will remain open from Monday through Friday. Full-time public service staff will continue to respond to mail, e-mail, and telephone requests and will pull materials to fulfill research, photocopying, and digitization requests. This work will primarily be done on Mondays, since there is not sufficient staff coverage to complete this work when the reading rooms are open to the public.

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Database Spotlight: Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Library is happy to announce that on-site and remote access is now available for the Richmond Times-Dispatch Historical (1903-1986) and the Richmond Times-Dispatch Current (1985-present) databases.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch provides comprehensive coverage of city, regional, and state news and is an excellent primary source for researchers. The 1903-1986 database offers fully searchable digital reproductions of the newspaper’s pages. Each issue is complete, with full-page images in easily downloadable PDF format. Search options include all text (keyword), headline, title as published (title was The Times-Dispatch, Jan. 1903-Nov. 1914), date or date ranges, and article type: front page.

The 1985-present database provides full-text access to articles, but no images. It offers additional search options such as lead/first paragraph, author byline, section, caption, word count, and publisher’s index terms. Results can also be displayed by era, presidential era, decade, year, month, or day. Both databases include a My Collections feature that allows users to save articles across search sessions.

Your Library of Virginia library card provides access to this valuable resource. Don’t have a card, but you’re a Virginia resident? You can log on instantly by registering for a Library of Virginia account online. See “Options for Virginia Residents” on the Library’s How to Get a Library Card page. Then visit the Using the Collections page and start your research!

–submitted by Lisa Wehrmann, Public Services and Outreach

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Pineda, Green, and Goolrick Receive Literary Awards

The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce the winners of the 19th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards, sponsored by Dominion. The October 15 awards celebration was hosted by best-selling author and award-winning filmmaker Adriana Trigiani. Awards categories were poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and literary lifetime achievement. Winners of the Library of Virginia’s Literary Awards receive a monetary prize and a handsome engraved crystal book. This year the Library Board also presented its first ever Honorary Patron of Letters Degree.

Jon Pineda is the recipient of the 2016 Literary Award for Poetry for Little Anodynes, which the judges felt was a beautifully crafted book employing memory and language as a way of salvaging the present. “Pineda uses form to navigate place and identity in a wonderful hybrid of verse and prose reminiscent of A. R. Ammons and even William Faulkner.” With its perhaps paradoxical title, Little Anodynes is a big book with sequence of lyrical, personal narratives that explore Pineda's biracial identity, the death of his sister, and the joys and fears of fatherhood.

The other finalists for the poetry prize were Impossible Bottle by Claudia Emerson and The Regret Histories by Joshua Poteat. The judges praised Emerson’s work as “gracious, intense, and unapologetically self-reflective. One reads the poems in Impossible Bottle, which was published posthumously, with impending sorrow, recognizing that the worst thing about the book is that there won’t be another one.” The Regret Histories by Joshua Poteat tells a story that many people don’t see. It was judged not merely a book about place but also one that speaks to relationships between a man, his history, and his home.

The winner of the 2016 Literary Award for Nonfiction is Kristen Green for Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County. The judges felt that Kristen Green, in grappling with the difficult questions about her family’s complicity in the school closures and their legacy in Prince Edward County, demonstrates the truth of William Faulkner’s adage that the past isn’t even past—as the perceptions of scarcity, competition, and fear that were employed to justify segregation appear in today’s headlines about schools, resources, and fair treatment.

Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County has received recognition as a New York Times Best Seller in Education and in Race and Civil Rights, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Southern Indie Bestseller, a Washington Post Notable Nonfiction for 2015, and a Booklist Editors’ Choice: Adult Books, 2015 selection. It was longlisted for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Nonfiction

The other nonfiction finalists were Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles by Bert Ashe and Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention by Mary Sarah Bilder. The judges lauded Twisted for its self-deprecating humor and thorough research. Ashe, an English and American studies professor at the University of Richmond, explores serious and poignant questions about identity and perception in 21st-century America. Twisted speaks about more than hair, just as Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance spoke about more than bike repair.

In Madison’s Hand legal historian Mary Sarah Bilder uses both forensic techniques and old-fashioned research to demonstrate that in the five decades after the Philadelphia Convention, James Madison extensively and repeatedly altered his notes about the drafting of the Constitution—often in response to the changing politics of slavery and state’s rights rather than fidelity to the event. Madison’s Hand effectively removes Madison’s convention notes as a reliable contemporaneous account of the proceedings.

Robert Goolrick won the 2016 Emyl Jenkins Sexton Literary Award for Fiction for the Fall of Princes, a cautionary tale of a man brought low by his own glittering excess in the 1980s, an era of greed and collapse. The judges praised it for its immediacy, precision, and finely tuned sense of bleak humor.

Goolrick was raised in Lexington, Virginia, where his father was on the faculty at Virginia Military Institute. Goolrick attended Johns Hopkins University and then lived in Europe for several years. When he returned, he moved to New York, where he worked in advertising and copywriting. He took up writing in his fifties after losing his job as an advertising executive. His sober and compelling 2007 debut memoir The End of the World As We Know It recounts his difficult life with his alcoholic parents. In 2009 his novel A Reliable Wife was an international best seller. Published in 2012, his novel Heading Out to Wonderful explores the small-minded culture and racism of Virginia in 1948 through an ill-fated love story.

The other fiction prize finalists were This Angel in My Chest by Leslie Pietrzyk and The Shore by Sara Taylor. This Angel in My Chest, a collection of short stories labeled by the judges as spellbinding and unconventional, explores the lives of young women who have lost their husbands. Embracing Joan Didion’s observation that “We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” Pietrzyk’s powerful writing transforms her personal grief into a universal exploration of loss and redemption.

The Shore, a debut collection of interlinked short stories, by Sara Taylor covers murder, misogyny, and morality haunting the lush, green landscape of the three islands that make up the book’s setting. The judges were impressed with the fearless sensibility and mordant humor found in these imaginative and atmospheric stories.

The winners of the People’s Choice Awards are The Jezebel Remedy by Martin Clark in the fiction category and Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County by Kristen Green in the nonfiction category. Winners are chosen by readers voting online and in libraries. Winners of the People’s Choice Awards receive a monetary prize and an engraved crystal book.

The recipient of the 2016 Library of Virginia Literary Lifetime Achievement Award is Nikki Giovanni. Giovanni grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Knoxville, Tennessee. By the time she received her undergraduate degree in history from Fisk University in 1967, she was an outspoken activist for civil rights and equality issues, organizing Cincinnati's first Black Arts Festival that year. In 1968, when Giovanni was only 24, she published her first books of verse, Black Feeling, Black Talk and Black Judgement. After brief teaching stints at Rutgers University, Queens College, and Ohio State University, she joined the English faculty at Virginia Tech in 1987 and became a full professor in 1989.

The Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award went to Patrick E. Horrigan for Portraits at an Exhibition: A Novel, the story of a young man’s search for the meaning of life amid a gallery of old masters’ portraits. The Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award, presented by the Library and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, recognizes an outstanding book published in the previous year that is written primarily in response to a work (or works) of art while also showing the highest literary quality as a creative or scholarly work. This unique award, established in 2013, is named in honor of Mary Lynn Kotz, author of the award-winning biography Rauschenberg: A Life.

The first recipient of the Library of Virginia’s Honorary Patron of Letters Degree is Carole M. Weinstein. The ability to grant this honorary degree is given by the Commonwealth of Virginia to the Library Board, whose members chose to bestow this award for the very first time on someone who has shown a deep commitment to the Library and the literary community in Virginia through her generous efforts.

Weinstein is recognized in the community for her service to, and love of, cultural and educational institutions. Her dedication as a tireless volunteer and philanthropic supporter of institutions both local and international has previously been recognized with many honors, including the Central Virginia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Lifetime Achievement Award in Philanthropy, the YWCA Richmond’s Outstanding Women Award for Education, and the University of Richmond’s President’s Medal.

A former member of the Board of the Library of Virginia, Weinstein currently serves on the Board of Trustees of both Davidson College and Florida Southern College, and on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Historical Society.

Next year’s Literary Awards Celebration will be held on October 14, 2017.

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Public Library Trustee Manual Available from COSLA

The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies have developed a resource for public library directors and state library agency staff members to use in training members of their boards and governing bodies. The Public Library Trustee Manual: A Template for Use by State Library Agencies and Public Libraries consists of basic information needed by trustees to be effective board members and library advocates.

The manual can be used in a variety of ways. Chapters focus on core issues including the role of the public library board of trustees, legal issues, intellectual freedom and censorship, effective library board meetings, and capital planning, among other topics. The materials presented are adaptable for use in any jurisdiction and may be used to explain the role of a trustee to a potential recruit or a newly named trustee as well as for continuing education at board meetings.

“A trustee is part of a decision-making team. For that team to function effectively, all members must bring enthusiasm, preparation, and dedication to the task and have a firm understanding of the different roles played by the board, the director, and the library staff,” the manual’s introduction notes. The library is open and welcoming to all, serving the educational, recreational, and information needs of its community. Its roles in educational support, family literacy, economic development, and as a community anchor cannot be overstated. With trustee commitment to advocating for library resources and to advising and supporting the library administration as representatives of their communities, libraries will continue to be strong and successful.

The manual was produced as part of COSLA’s Continuing Education Connector, a cross-state program that brings together the expertise and perspectives of key state library agency roles including chief officers, library development directors, and continuing education coordinators. The expertise and varying perspectives of project teams guide and support development of freely-available resources intended for use at any state library agency or public library. Other resources recently released include the Public Library Director 101 series and the 2016 Continuing Education State Reports.

–submitted by Timothy Cherubini, COSLA

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German-language Newspaper Richmonder Anzeiger Is Now Online

Newsflash for German speakers and those interested in German immigration in antebellum and wartime Richmond: The Virginia Newspaper Project is delighted to announce the latest addition to Virginia Chronicle, the German-language newspaper the Richmonder Anzeiger.

Virginia Chronicle, the Library of Virginia’s digital newspaper database, now contains the 1855–1866 issues of the weekly edition of the Anzeiger, which was printed in both daily and weekly editions from 1853 until 1915.

Though Germans were an ethnic minority in the capital city during the 1850s, the German community in antebellum and Civil War–era Richmond was sizable enough to support its own newspapers, as evidenced by the Anzeiger and a supplement in the Richmond Enquirer entitled the Taglicher Enquirer.

Both the daily and weekly editions of the Richmonder Anzeiger (also called the Taglicher Anzeiger) were provided to the city by newspaperman Burghardt Hassel, a disenchanted “48er” (those who left Germany after the revolution of 1848) born in 1828 in Kassel, Germany, who immigrated to New York in 1850. He worked in Baltimore for a short time before permanently settling in Richmond in 1852, where he raised five children with his wife, Maria Kassel.

The issues of Anzeiger now available on Virginia Chronicle are a wonderful historic resource as they shed light on the specific news and concerns of Richmond’s German community up to and during the Civil War. Impressively, Hassel was able to publish the Anzeiger for the duration of the war and even distributed the paper to 26 other cities throughout the Confederacy. Hassel continued publishing Taglicher Anzeiger and Virginische Zeitung, the Sunday edition of the Anzeiger, with his son until his death in 1912. Continuing what his father started, Clothar Kassel carried on operations of the Anzeiger until 1915 and printed the Zeitung until 1926. We know that during its earliest incarnation, the Anzeiger’s office was in the heart of Richmond, as the masthead says, “Office: Broad Str., next to City Hall.”

The Library’s collection of the Anzeiger is incomplete, and how it came to the Library is a bit of a mystery. Some of it is bound, some of it is loose, and one particular volume appears to have experienced wide variances in weather and storage conditions. In addition to the digitized editions of the Anzeiger, the Library also has filmed and original holdings of the Zeitung.

Visit Virginia Chronicle today to see the Richmonder Anzeiger or one of the many other titles available. With over 825,000 digitized newspaper pages and more than 130 titles, Virginia Chronicle has much to explore.

–submitted by Kelly Ewing and Errol Somay, Virginia Newspaper Project

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57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)? Governor Tim Kaine’s YouTube Channel Videos Released

The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce a new digital collection: Governor Tim Kaine’s YouTube Channel Videos, 2008–2010. Accessible as a playlist from the Library’s YouTube channel, this collection consists of 63 videos uploaded by the Kaine administration for events occurring between March 2008 and January 2010. The administration created a dedicated YouTube channel for the Office of the Governor in March 2008. Included are videos of news conferences, transportation town hall meetings, cabinet day events, the 2008 dedication of the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial, the governor’s statement on granting clemency to the Norfolk Four, and his 2009 State of the Commonwealth address.

The Kaine YouTube Channel Video Collection is the latest release of records from Virginia’s 70th governor.
Click here for a comprehensive list of records from the Kaine administration open to researchers.

–submitted by Roger Christman, Senior State Records Archivist

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