The Library of Virginia Newsletter
October 2015

Document Bank of Virginia Brings Primary Source Documents to Classrooms

Document Bank of Virginia (DBVa) is the Library of Virginia’s online initiative to get primary source documents into classrooms. Using primary sources, teachers and librarians can make history relevant to students while helping them learn and understand state standards. DBVa will teach students to be critical thinkers as they analyze original documents and draw their own conclusions about Virginia’s past.

Work on DBVa began in the summer of 2014. The goal of the project was to offer a streamlined, digital product to teachers and students (predominantly in grades 4–12) that connects Library of Virginia collection items to national history standards and Virginia SOLs. Unlike full lesson plans, the activities and information in DBVa are designed for small-group or independent work. The web page is fully mobile-responsive—a crucial feature in present-day classrooms with tablets and smartphones. Users can search for a document by historical era, by theme, or by keyword.

Each document has a title (sometimes shortened) that includes its item type and year of creation, a context section, and a citation, as well as suggested questions and files. Written with middle and high school students in mind, the context section discusses the time period as well as key facets of the document itself. If the information comes from another location on the Library’s website, links will be provided. Documents are cited as thoroughly as possible. Suggested questions and activities can be teacher- or student-selected, and are designed to be completed as small-group or individual activities. Links to further sources are provided in some instances. The original thumbnail image as well as a printable PDF is provided.

DBVa launched on July 30, 2015, with approximately 125 documents. New documents are added twice a month. Stay updated on the new additions by following us on Facebook at

Check out Document Bank of Virginia at

—submitted by Catherine Fitzgerald Wyatt, Public Services and Outreach

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Virginia Library Association Announces 2015 Award Winners

The Virginia Library Association (VLA) is pleased to announce the 2015 winners of the VLA Trustee Library Award, the George Mason Award, and the Friends of the Library Award. The awards will be presented at the VLA Annual Conference in Richmond on Friday, October 23, at the Richmond Marriott and Convention Center. Thank you to the volunteer members of the 2015 VLA Awards and Recognition Committee.

Trustee Library Award

The Trustee Library Award is presented annually in recognition of distinguished service to a library or libraries in Virginia. This year’s winner is Michael L. Ramsey of the Roanoke Public Library Foundation. During his tenure, the Foundation’s endowment has almost doubled and a significant expansion of the Virginia Room occurred. This expansion allowed more people to research their family histories and local, regional, and state history. His efforts have led to the expansion of programs promoting early childhood literacy and as well as those that reach other age groups. As a result, Roanoke Public Libraries are among the top libraries in the state in the number of programs offered and program attendance. Ramsey’s unwavering advocacy for the libraries has led to funding by the City of Roanoke for renovations that will modernize all the Roanoke Public Libraries with new facilities, technology, and refreshed collections that represent the neighborhoods they serve. In short, a library could not ask for a better champion than Mike Ramsey.

Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Library Award is presented annually to a Friends group in recognition of distinguished service to a library or libraries in Virginia. This year’s winner is the Friends of the Culpeper County Library, a nonprofit, volunteer organization with approximately 200 members. Their purpose is to bring attention to the Culpeper County Library, support and provide educational programming, assist in the development of children’s services, and encourage the support of the Library. The Friends group makes possible many activities including summer reading programs for children and teens, author events, flower sales in the spring and fall, a storytelling festival, Chamber breakfasts, and a used book store. Without the efforts of the Friends group, the Culpeper County Library would not be able to provide many of the services and events that are integral to the library’s success.

George Mason Award

The George Mason Award may be presented to an individual librarian; a library; an individual or organization distinguished for advocacy of libraries and/or information access; or to an institution, business, or academic program whose activity has contributed to the development, growth, and extension of library and information services in the local community, the state, or the nation. This year’s winner is Edwin S. Clay III. For more than 30 years, Sam Clay has served as the director of the Fairfax County Public Library. During his tenure, four regional and five community branches were added to the county library system, and four older branches were renovated. Clay was instrumental in establishing the Fairfax County Library Foundation, which since its inception in 1995 has donated more than $7.5 million to the Fairfax County Libraries. The community of Virginia librarians is fortunate to have the dedicated and passionate commitment of Clay. The George Mason Award is a fitting and richly deserved recognition for all that he has helped us accomplish together.

–submitted by Lisa Varga, Virginia Library Association

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Three Movers and Shakers Behind the Scenes to Depart

In the coming months, three Library of Virginia employees who play important behind-the-scenes roles will retire or leave the Library for new opportunities.

Pat Hiott, after 40 years with the state and nearly 30 at the Library of Virginia, will retire on November 1. She has managed the diverse technologies required to support public reading rooms (PCs, servers, networks, Wi-Fi, scanners, printers, and specialized software applications). Working mostly behind the scenes, often after-hours and on weekends, Hiott has kept the technology current and available through all the changes.

Susan Fauver, who has been with the state 40 years and at the Library (in two separate stints) 13 years, is retiring January 1. Fauver is the contract and procurement manager for the Library. She is responsible for ensuring that the procurement for just about every item needed in any area of the Library is purchased or procured correctly. She also reviews Library contracts to make sure that they meet state requirements. She is an expert on eVa and SWaM (the state’s online procurement portal), knows the intricacies of the “micro business designation,” and is widely believed to have the state’s procurement manual and regulations committed to memory.

At the end of September, Jason Roma, the Library’s web developer in charge of the agency site and its Virginia Memory site, will leave to be a stay-at-home dad for his two boys. He has been instrumental in the development of many of our online and digital offerings, which have grown considerably over the past few years. He assisted in the agency’s online blogs, our new Document Bank, our literacy web offerings, and our successful crowdsourcing tool, Transcribe. Through it all he has patiently helped his less tech-savvy colleagues master new skills while lending his creative problem-solving abilities to a number of technical and digital issues at the Library.

These three Library employees are part of the many behind-the-scenes staff whose expertise and efforts have contributed to the agency and made the Library experience more enjoyable and productive for its users.

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Library of Virginia Offers Students Free Online Resources

As students to return to school, the Library of Virginia, with funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, offers a variety of resources to support learning in and out of the classroom.

The prekindergarten set will enjoy exploring the Day by Day Family Literacy Calendar ( Each day, this website suggests a new fun activity to help develop pre-reading skills in young children. It also provides parenting information and resources. The family literacy calendar is available in both English and Spanish.

For elementary and middle school students, helpful resources include (

Kids InfoBits, designed for students in grades K–5. It offers full-text, age-appropriate, curriculum-related magazine, newspaper, and reference content for information on current events, the arts, science, health, people, government, history, sports, and more.

National Geographic Kids, which encourages kids to learn and explore on their own through amazing adventures in science, nature, culture, archaeology, and space.

Tumble Books, which has a collection of nearly 1,000 titles for those in grades K–6. It includes animated talking picture books, chapter books, videos, nonfiction titles, playlists, books in languages other than English such as French and Spanish, graphic novels, and math stories.

DK Eyewitness Books, available as eBooks! Check out its library here:

Research in Context, which was created specifically for middle schoolers, combines newspapers, magazines, primary sources, and much more. Students will find outstanding support to complete assignments in core subjects including literature, science, social studies, and history.

Tackling high school assignments can be easier with Find It Virginia’s resources for high school (

Arranged by subject are full-text newspapers, periodicals, peer-reviewed journals, and reference content. Even better, classic literature can be found in both eBook and audiobook format at

Arguably the best resource yet, though, is the online homework help. Live teachers are waiting to assist students in grades 3–12 with math, science, reading, and writing between the hours of 3:00 and 9:00 PM during the school week and between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Saturday.

With the time saved by online homework help, parents using a Library of Virginia or a public library card can enjoy reading a magazine ( or checking out an eBook (

—submitted by Carol Adams, Library Development and Networking Services

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The Library of Virginia and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Announce the 2015 Art in Literature: Mary Lynn Kotz Award Winner

The Library of Virginia and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are pleased to announce the winner of the third annual Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award. This unique award recognizes an outstanding book that demonstrates the highest literary merit as a creative or scholarly work on the theme of visual artists or art. An eligible book may be a work of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or a museum catalog, published in English by an American publisher.

This year’s finalists for the Art in Literature Award are: Madame Cézanne by Dita Amory; Poe & the Visual Arts by Barbara Cantalupo; Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered by Dianne Hales; Rubens, Velázquez, and the King of Spain by Aneta Georgievska-Shine and Larry Silver; The Anatomy Lesson by Nina Siegal: and Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland. “There is no other national award like this one,” Librarian of Virginia Sandra Treadway commented. “This year’s entries were exceptionally strong, as the impressive list of finalists indicates.”

The 2015 winner, selected by an independent panel of judges, is Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland. Vreeland is an internationally acclaimed author of art-related books, including Girl in Hyacinth Blue, The Passion of Artemisia, The Forest Lover, Life Studies, Luncheon of the Boating Party, and Clara and Mr. Tiffany. Four of her books have made the New York Times best-seller list. She is a four-time recipient of the Theodor Geisel Award, the highest honor given by the San Diego Book Awards. A graduate of San Diego State University, Vreeland taught high school English for 30 years.

The Art in Literature Award is named in honor of author and journalist Mary Lynn Kotz, a longtime contributing editor for ARTnews magazine, who has built a career interviewing, researching, writing, and lecturing about art and artists—among them Georgia O’Keeffe and John Cage. Her critically acclaimed book Rauschenberg: Art and Life (Abrams) balances deft observations of craft with a biographer's chronicle of the American artist. Through her tireless service to cultural institutions and initiatives, including many in her beloved Virginia, Kotz has shown a lifelong commitment to making the arts a vital and illuminating presence in our society.

Susan Vreeland will speak about the relationship between literature and the art that inspired her in the Reynolds Lecture Hall of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Friday, October 16, 2015. The program will start at 6:00 PM and will be followed by a reception and book signing in the Marble Hall. Tickets are $8.00 and may be purchased online at or by visiting the ticket counter at the VMFA.

Vreeland will receive the award at the Library of Virginia’s annual Literary Awards Celebration held at the Library on Saturday evening, October 17. For ticket information see

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Poetic Principles to Feature An Evening with the Poetry of Claudia Emerson

A distinguished group of poets and colleagues of the late Claudia Emerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, will read poems from her latest collections, Impossible Bottle and Opposite House, at the Library of Virginia on October 27.

Emerson, an immensely talented poet, was born and raised in Chatham, Virginia. She was the author of seven collections of poetry. She received the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for Late Wife, a reflection on a failed first marriage and the beginning of a new love. She served as Virginia's poet laureate from 2008 to 2010. She taught at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Mary Washington.

Poetic Principles is a program co-sponsored by New Virginia Review and the Library of Virginia. The program, which is free and open to the public, begins at 5:30 PM with a reception.

The distinguished wordsmiths who will read Emerson’s poetry are:

Betty Adcock is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Widow Poems. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, the Poets’ Prize, the North Carolina Medal for Literature, the Texas Institute of Letters Prize for Poetry, the Hanes Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the L.E. Phillabaum Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

MaryKatherine Callahay is the director of the Louisiana State University Press, publisher of Emerson’s books of poetry.

Debora Greger has published eight books of poetry, most recently Men, Women, and Ghosts. She has won the Grolier Prize, a Discovery/The Nation Award, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award, and the Brandeis University Award in Poetry.

William Logan is the author of 10 books of poems including Sad-faced Men, Night Battle, and Madame X. He also is the author of six books of criticism. He won the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award , the John Masefield and Celia B. Wagner Awards from the Poetry Society of America, and the J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from Poetry. He is the recipient of the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence, the Randall Jarrell Award in Poetry Criticism, and the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry from the Sewanee Review.

Debra Nystrom is the author of three collections of poetry, Bad River Road, Torn Sky (both of which have won the Library of Virginia’s Literary Award for Poetry ), and A Quarter Turn. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, including The American Poetry Review, Slate, Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review, Yale Review, and AGNI. She has received poetry awards from Five Points, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Wyatt Prunty is the author of nine collections of poetry. His first, Domestic of the Outer Banks, appeared in 1980 and his most recent collection, Couldn’t Prove, Had to Promise, was published in 2014. He has taught at the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, Louisiana State University, Washington and Lee University, and Sewanee, where he is the Ogden P. Carlton Professor of Literature. He founded and directs the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and has served as Chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Lucinda Roy is an Alumni Distinguished Professor in English at Virginia Tech. A 2005 recipient of a Commonwealth of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award, Roy’s publications include the poetry collections Wailing the Dead to Sleep and The Humming Birds; and the novels Lady Moses and The Hotel Alleluia. She is also the author of No Right to Remain Silent: What We’ve Learned from the Tragedy at Virginia Tech.  Roy was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Richmond in 2000, and she was selected by the Virginia Press Women as Newsmaker of the Year in 2009.

Dave Smith is a poet, essayist and writer of fiction. His most recent books include the essay collection Hunting Men: Reflections on a Life in American Poetry and the poetry collections Hawks on Wires and Little Boats,Unsalvaged. His honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Smith served as editor of The Southern Review, and he edits the Louisiana University Press's Southern Messenger Poets series.

Ellen Bryant Voigt is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently Headwaters.  Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976–2006 won the 2009 Poets’ Prize and was a finalist for both the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the 2007 National Book Award in Poetry. She received the 2002 O. B. Hardison, Jr. Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the 2001 Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, where she was elected a Chancellor in 2003. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

There is free parking for this program in the Library’s underground deck, which is accessible from either Eighth or Ninth streets.

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