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The Library of Virginia e-Newsletter
December 2015

Click any excerpt below to read the full article.

Holiday Schedule

The Library of Virginia will be closed from Thursday, December 24, through Saturday, December 26, 2015, for the Christmas holiday. We also will be closed from Friday, January 1, through Saturday, January 2, 2016.

Time to Nominate Books for the 2016 Library of Virginia Literary Awards

Now is your chance to nominate books for the Library of Virginia's 2016 literary awards. The deadline to nominate books for the annual awards is February 12, 2016. Books eligible for the awards must have been written by a Virginia author or, for nonfiction books, have a Virginia–related theme. A Virginia author is defined as a writer meeting one or more of the following qualifications: a native–born Virginian, an author living in Virginia, or an author whose permanent home address is in...

Reference Question of the Month: Who's Been Expelled from the State Legislature?

With its massive collection of manuscripts and books on the commonwealth, the Library of Virginia is an invaluable resource. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that its staff members routinely receive esoteric questions about Virginia and its history, people, and culture.

This month's question comes from Ballotpedia, the online encyclopedia of American politics and elections, which is compiling a list of the state legislators from all 50 states who have been...

Year-End Giving Supports the Commonwealth's Treasures

As we approach the holidays, we would like to ask you to consider a year–end gift in support of the Library of Virginia. Funding from individuals like you—people who truly appreciate the importance of our collections—plays a vital role in sustaining our acquisition...

Reading Rooms Change to Improve the Visitor Experience

If you are a frequent visitor to the Library of Virginia's reading rooms, you will have no doubt noticed several changes to both the physical layout of the research areas and also to Library processes. The Library receives high marks for customer service, but we know that there are always ways to improve the customer experience. In a changing world...

Little Free Libraries Bring Books to Sparsely Populated Areas of Highland County

HIGHLAND The Highland County Public Library is expanding in a small but accessible way. Highland County is the least populous county in Virginia with less than 3,000 residents. One quadrant of the county has no stores or places to find or share books.

To reach citizens, the Highland County Public Library joined forces with local Ruritan Clubs, the Monterey Lions Club, and Highland County Public Schools. The result is five Little Free Libraries up and running around the county...

Governor Fills Library Board Vacancy

Governor Terry McAuliffe has named Mohammed Esslami to fill the vacancy on the Library Board created by the death of board chair Ernestine Middleton. His term will run through June...

2016 Student Writing Contest for Virginia Women in History

Virginia students in grades 6-12 are invited to honor outstanding women in Virginia history by participating in the Library of Virginia's Virginia Women in History student writing contest. Four winning essays will be chosen, two from students in grades 6-8, and two from students in grades 9-12. Contest rules can be found at:

Fun & Free at the Library

Thursday, December 24–Saturday, December 26, 2015
The Library of Virginia will be closed for the Christmas holiday.

Friday, January 1–Saturday, January 2, 2016
The Library of Virginia will be closed for the New Year's holiday.

Wednesday, January 13–Saturday, March 12, 2016
Virginia General Assembly in session.
Parking at the Library will be very limited.

Please note that the Virginia General Assembly, the oldest continuous law–making body in the New World, will be in session for 60 days beginning January 13. Parking for Library of Virginia patrons will be very limited during that time.

Friday, January 15–Monday, January 18, 2016
The Library will be closed Lee–Jackson Day through Martin Luther King Day.

Saturay, February 13–Monday, February 15, 2016
The Library will be closed for the George Washington Day holiday weekend.

Through Saturday, March 26, 2016
Remaking Virginia: Transformation through Emancipation
Remaking Virginia Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM, Monday–Saturday
Place: Lobby and Exhibition Hall, Free
Even as the Civil War was still being fought, the status of almost a half–million African Americans in Virginia began to change. No longer were they someone else's property—they were free. They anticipated the promise of change from their former status as slaves: the promises of education, political participation, and full citizenship. Yet, in their struggle to achieve these goals, freedmen and freedwomen faced the hostility of their former masters and the society that had long benefitted from their labor. Union troops and U.S. government officials reconstructing the Southern states were often indifferent.

What challenges did African Americans face in their struggle to achieve what they believed freedom would bring them? What obstacles blocked their efforts to gain citizenship? How successful were African Americans during Reconstruction in claiming their objectives? Did the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution significantly aid them in their struggles? The Library of Virginia's exhibition Remaking Virginia: Transformation through Emancipation offers a look at the changing world Virginians faced during Reconstruction.

Coming Monday, April 18, 2016
First Freedom: Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom
Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM, Monday–Saturday
Place: Lobby and Exhibition Hall, Free
No one familiar with today's public and political debates about religious liberty and the relationship of church and state can doubt that Thomas Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom holds lasting significance. The Library of Virginia's exhibition First Freedom: Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom explores the intent and interpretation of the statute, one of the most revolutionary pieces of legislation in American history.

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