The Library of Virginia Newsletter

September 2019 Newsletter

Reserve Your Tickets for the 22nd Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards

Mark your calendars and plan to join us October 18–19, 2019, for the Library's annual Literary Awards Celebration.

The excitement begins on Friday, October 18, with a program at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts featuring best-selling author Mary Gabriel, this year's recipient of the Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award, for her book, Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler – Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art.

Saturday evening, October 19, library supporters, authors, publishers, and those who enjoy the written word will gather at the Library for our spectacular gala evening where the winners of the juried fiction, nonfiction, and poetry awards will be announced, as well as the winners of the People's Choice Awards. Finalists for the awards include David Baldacci, Beth Macy, Barbara Kingsolver, Adriana Trigiani, and many more. Joining us for the evening will also be Brian Noyes, noted cookbook author, owner of the Red Truck Bakery, and former Washington Post art director. Noyes' The Red Truck Bakery Cookbook offers 85 nostalgic recipes for cookies, cakes, pies, and more to make every day delicious.

For sponsorship or ticket information for the 22nd Annual Library of Virginia Awards Celebration honoring Virginia authors and friends, please call 804.692.3813 or visit

For a complete list of the 2019 finalists, see

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Ninth Street Women Wins Art in Literature Award

The Library of Virginia and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are pleased to announce the winner of the annual Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award. The judges selected Mary Gabriel's Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler – Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art. Gabriel will be recognized on Friday, October 18, 2019, at the VMFA and on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the Library of Virginia's annual Virginia Literary Awards Celebration.

In Ninth Street Women, acclaimed author Mary Gabriel tells a remarkable and inspiring story of the power of art and artists in shaping not just postwar America, but the future as well. Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, the book is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, and always exhilarating chronicle of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of 20th-century abstract painting—not as muses but as artists. From their cold-water lofts, where they worked, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and countless others to come. These women changed American art and society, tearing up the prevailing social code and replacing it with a doctrine of liberation.

Gabriel is the author of Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution—a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award—as well as Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored and The Art of Acquiring: A Portrait of Etta and Claribel Cone. She worked in Washington, D.C., and London as a Reuters editor for nearly two decades and lives in Ireland.

Join us for the Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award event at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Friday, October 19, 6:00–8:00 PM, featuring a talk by Mary Gabriel, a reception, and a book signing. Find tickets here:

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Virginia Newspaper Project Awarded NEH Grants for Digitization Efforts

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded two grants to the Library's Virginia Newspaper Project to digitize historical newspapers as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.

The Library received a two-year grant to digitize Virginia imprint newspapers, primarily those published during the antebellum era. An additional focus, however, will be on newspapers published during the civil rights movement and the era of Massive Resistance. The Library was one of the original six awardees to help jump-start the National Digital Newspaper Program in 2006, and the 2019 award is the sixth NEH grant the Virginia Newspaper Project has received to provide online access to historical newspapers.

The second grant funds the Library's partnership with West Virginia University to digitize that state's imprint newspapers as part of the program. The partnership makes sense given the close historical and geographical connections between the two states—not to mention the fact that titles published prior to 1863 are also Virginia imprints. This will be WVU's fifth NEH award, with the Library managing the technical functions of the project.

Check out what we've been up to at, where you can browse and search through over 1 million pages of newspapers that helped to document the state's history.

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The UncommonWealth: New Blog Launches September 25

As the Library of Virginia approaches its 200th birthday in 2023, it seemed like a good time to take stock of our online presence and the stories we share with the public. As they exist, our current blogs Fit to Print and Out of the Box capture only a fraction of all that the Library has and does. With our new blog launching September 25, 2019—The UncommonWealth: Voices from the Library of Virginia—we aim to expand our scope to help you learn more about what we do, why we do it, and how our efforts relate to current issues and events. We also plan to tell you more about your fellow Virginians who work here at the Library, spotlighting staff members, specialized professions, and public libraries.

Since its founding over 400 years ago, Virginia has continued to grow and evolve. The Library of Virginia, seeking to collect and reflect our ever-changing state, contains a wealth of stories and resources—a treasure trove of cultural heritage that belongs to us all, whether you were born a Virginian or arrived more recently. We are constantly adding to the unique cultural wealth of Virginia, as well as bringing new eyes to our well-established collections. We will update the blog each week, and we invite you to visit often, make comments, and share your experiences. We hope you will enjoy and contribute to the wealth of stories here, all of which are far from common.

Beginning Wednesday, September 25, 2019, visit to start exploring.

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13 Virginians Named to the 2019 “No Kid Hungry” Summer Hero Hall of Fame

Summer can be the hungriest time of year for many children from low-income families. In fact, only about 15 percent of Virginia students who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches also get free meals through summer programs. When schools close, students no longer get school meals, and families struggle to put food on the table. Summer hunger can have a long-term impact on a child's health, ability to learn, and general well-being. No Kid Hungry and its partners focus on connecting kids to the national Summer Meals Program as a critical way to end childhood hunger.

For Virginia's 2019 No Kid Hungry Summer Meals Program, the Library of Virginia provided web-based training for participating public libraries and schools, as well as 10,000 books to be given away during program events. The books came from the Soho Center, a national nonprofit resource for families, child care providers, and child-related organizations.

Thirteen individuals and organizations across Virginia have been named to the 2019 No Kid Hungry Summer Hero Hall of Fame, a national honor that recognizes and celebrates those who go above and beyond to find innovative ways to ensure children get the food and nutrition they need during the summer months.

This year's Virginia inductees include the coordinator of outdoor barbecues at 18 school-based meal sites, a public library manager who has enlisted community partners to create fun and educational events around meal programs, and the originator of a weekend backpack meal program that has tripled the number of students it serves over the past three years. Among the 20 states recognized in this year's Summer Hero Hall of Fame, Virginia had the most honorees, who are the following:

  • Morgan McGhee, MPH RD, Food Operations Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Jennifer Brown, MSLIS, PhD, Youth and Family Services Manager, Suffolk Public Library
  • Jacquelyn Linder, Nutrition Programs Director, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank
  • Kathy Jenkins, Page County Public Schools
  • Katherine Humenik, Stacey Fox and Carrie Lohr, Warren County Public Schools
  • Araceli Donahue, Fredericksburg City Public Schools
  • Stefanie Dove, MBA RDN SNS, Coordinator of Marketing and Outreach for School Nutrition, Loudoun County Public Schools
  • Cheryl Perkins, Taylor Education Administration Center
  • Danville Public Schools Child Nutrition Staff
  • Mary Poe, Assistant Director, Buena Vista Summer Feeding Program, Buena Vista Public Schools
  • Becky Brown, School Nutrition Director, Buena Vista Public Schools
  • Jane Fisher, Jenny Riffe and Daniela Brunner, Bobcat Backpacks Program, Radford City Public Schools
  • Greg Holmes, School Nutrition Specialist, Loudon County Public Schools

Other Virginia libraries holding Summer Meals Programs include Wise County's Lonesome Pine Library, led by Julie Short; Eastern Shore Public Library, led by Janice Felker; Highland Public Library, led by Tomi Herold; Roanoke's Williamson Road and Gainsboro Branch Libraries; and Tazewell County's Richlands Branch Library. Visit for more information about No Kid Hungry Virginia's work.

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Help the Library Thrive: Become a Member or Renew Your Support

Are you one of the many people from across the country who use the Library of Virginia's collections for research? Did you know that the Library has a membership program that helps support its programs, events, and exhibitions? Our members provide the necessary support needed to share and enrich the Library's collections. Consider becoming a member today!

Donations starting at $50 provide all the benefits that come with membership, including an annual print subscription to Broadside, our quarterly magazine; 10 percent off all purchases at the Virginia Shops; and invitations to special members-only events and programs.

Whether it's time for you to renew or you want to join us for the first time, it's easy to donate. You can print and mail the form located on the Library's website, visit us online at, or call Dawn Greggs at 804.692.3813.

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