The Library of Virginia Newsletter

Tickets on Sale for 2016 Virginia Literary Awards Celebration

Join us for one of the best literary parties of the year! On October 15, 2016, the Library of Virginia’s annual Literary Awards Celebration will feature a stellar lineup, with Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Nikki Giovanni, and the presentation of the very first Honorary Patron of Letters Degree to Carole Weinstein. Winners in the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry award categories will be announced by presenters including Governor Terry McAuliffe and authors Lee Smith and Margot Lee Shetterly. Nikki Giovanni will also be the featured speaker earlier that day at the Literary Awards Luncheon held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in partnership with the James River Writers Association. Table sponsorships are available for both the luncheon and the evening awards celebration.

For tickets or more information on sponsorship or program advertising opportunities, call 804.692.3813, e-mail, or go to

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Celebrate Archives Month in Virginia: Art in the Archives

The Virginia Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference and the Library of Virginia invite you to celebrate Archives Month in Virginia during the month of October. This year’s theme is Art in the Archives. Archives Month is a nationwide commemoration of the value of archives and of the dedicated professionals who care for our shared history and make it accessible to all.

The Library is offering behind-the-scenes tours of the Archives and Special Collections at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM on October 12, and of the Nathalie P. Voorhees Map Room and Conservation Lab at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM on November 3. The tours are free, but registration is required. Check our Web calendar for details.

On October 19 at noon Trenton Hizer, senior manuscripts cataloger and digital archivist, will present a talk entitled Three Elections that Remade Virginia. During the 1970s and 1980s, Virginia experienced tremendous political upheaval as three close elections—two for governor and one for U.S. senator—helped transform the commonwealth from a one-party state dominated by a conservative Democratic Party into a political battleground.

A fun, new feature of this year’s celebration is REMIX | Art from the Archives, a contest to inspire literal and figurative out-of-the-box ideas for cultural heritage collections. Archives aren’t just about serious research—they can be about serious (or not so serious) art! Redaction poetry, GIFs, collages, coloring pages, memes, and other digital interventions are all ways to remix.

To enter REMIX | Art from the Archives, craft your submission with materials from the Virginia Archives Month 2016 Flickr album at

Reimagine or reinterpret the source material through your personal artistic lens. You can enter up to three submissions through October 14, 2016. Submissions will only be accepted digitally, though you may choose to print and manipulate the source material through a variety of artistic methods. Take a photo of your finished product for the submission.

All entries will be judged on creativity and originality of entry. All eligible entries that meet the criteria outlined in the submission guidelines will be showcased on the REMIX Tumblr and otherwise celebrated on the Web.

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Author of Hidden Figures to Speak at Library of Virginia on October 25

The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce that Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, will be at the Library for a “Books on Broad” talk on Tuesday, October 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Hidden Figures tells the story of the pioneering black women at NASA who did the calculations that made space flight a reality at a time when Jim Crow laws ensured that NASA was segregated. Called human computers, these brilliant mathematicians completed incredibly challenging calculations by hand.

Margot Shetterly grew up in Hampton and knew many of the women featured in Hidden Figures. The daughter of a former Langley scientist, she is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and received a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant for research into the history of women in computing.

Hidden Figures relates not only the stories of the women who contributed to NASA’s success, but it also explores the intersection of the Cold War, the space race, the civil rights movement, and the quest for gender equality.

Two of the human computers in Hidden Figures—Christine Darden and Katherine Johnson—have been honored previously by the Library of Virginia as part of its Virginia Women in History program. Darden was honored in 2002 and Johnson in 2015.

Hidden Figures is the basis for a movie of the same name starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe scheduled for release on January 13, 2017. The movie centers on three of the human computers: mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year; aerospace engineer Mary Jackson; and mathematician Dorothy Vaughan.

Copies of the book will be available at the Virginia Shop.

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Friends of the Virginia State Archives Establish Book Donation Program for the Library

The Friends of the Virginia State Archives have created a book donation program for the Library of Virginia’s genealogical collections.

Library budget cuts sustained over the past 15 years have made acquiring genealogical materials from states other than Virginia a lower priority for purchasing. Our librarians, archivists, and researchers, however, understand that families range far and wide. Access to histories, indexes, and abstracts from states contiguous to Virginia, as well as states where many Virginian’s migrated, is invaluable for our researchers.

In consultation with Library staff members, the FVSA is purchasing materials on behalf of the Library and in honor of many of their members. The FVSA book selection team brings a deep knowledge of useful resources for researchers, and personal knowledge of skilled genealogists in other states. To date, more than 50 books have been donated, providing research material for the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The FVSA annually sponsors the “Straight to the Source” Workshop for genealogists, as well as the Richard Slatten Lecture, which brings expert genealogists to the Library to share their knowledge and research expertise.

A one-year membership in the Friends of the Virginia State Archives is $35. You may send your membership fee to FVSA, P. O. Box 4804, Richmond, VA 23220.

–submitted by Mary Clark, Collections Access and Management Services

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Show Your Love for Your Library Wherever You Go!

The Virginia Library Association and the Virginia Association of School Librarians have been working to create a “Love Your Library” license plate. Virginia law requires 450 pre-paid applications in order for the Virginia General Assembly to approve a new plate. The next General Assembly session convenes in January. If orders reach 450 prior to that time, all applicants will receive alerts and updates; the law to issue the plate will go into effect on July 1, 2017; and the implementation of the plates to the public will take place in the spring of 2018.

You need only to be a lover of libraries to purchase a plate. If you’re interested, go to

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Workshop on How to Value Maps Scheduled for November 5

Most of us have maps, either in drawers, in our attics, or even framed on walls. Have you ever wondered what your maps are worth? Join guest speaker Eliane Dotson as she shares secrets of the trade on how to value maps. Learn what key factors affect the value of a map and how to estimate how much a map is worth.

For more information about this event, contact the Library of Virginia Foundation at 804-692-3813 or e-mail

The Fry-Jefferson Map Society hosts this free workshop on November 5, 2016, 10:30 AM–12 NOON. Advance registration required. Register here:

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American Libraries 2016 Design Showcase Features Virginia Libraries

Several Virginia libraries received recognition in the 2016 Design Showcase, American Libraries’ annual celebration of new and renovated libraries. Fenwick Library at George Mason University in Fairfax was recognized for its renovation and expansion project that focuses on a new research commons and includes sustainable energy strategies. The renovation at the Earl Swem Library at the College of William and Mary resulted in a state-of-the-art multimedia suite. The new Haymarket Gainesville Community Library, a branch of the Prince William Public Library System, spotlights a huge community room with a striking multicolored domed ceiling. Surrounding the library are the grounds of the frontier-era Bushy Park historic house. Also gathering accolades for the Prince William Public Library System is the new Montclair Community Library, which is located within sight of the Barnes House, a historic 18th–century home owned by freed slaves. The restored structure, which was relocated to its current site, serves as a reading room. Rounding out the list is the recently renovated and expanded James Branch Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, touted for its impressive upgrades, which added a makerspace, 25 study rooms with 274 seats, and a multimedia production suite.

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Governor Announces Library Board Appointments

Governor Terry McAuliffe has appointed L. Preston Bryant Jr., of Richmond, to the Library Board. Bryant is senior vice president of McGuireWoods Consulting. He previously served as secretary of natural resources in the cabinet of former Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine, where he oversaw the Commonwealth’s environmental, recreational, wildlife, and historic resources agencies. Prior to his cabinet service, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates for ten years representing the city of Lynchburg and Amherst County. He also served as a manager and partner at Hurt & Proffitt, a Virginia-based civil engineering, surveying, and planning firm. Bryant received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Randolph-Macon College, a master of humanities degree from the University of Richmond, and a master of arts degree in modern British literature from the University of London.

Governor Terry McAuliffe also reappointed Mohammed Esslami, of Woodbridge, to the Library Board. Esslami was originally appointed to the Board in 2015 to fill the unexpired term of Ernestine Middleton. He is a library branch manager with the Fairfax County Public Library.

The Library Board consists of 15 members appointed by the governor for five-year terms and is a policy board. It determines the scope of the Library's collection; establishes policy concerning the books that are kept, housed, or exhibited; promotes education in the areas of history and library and archival science in the commonwealth; and enters into agreements with institutions and organizations with similar purposes.

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