Stoney Creek Current

Volume XI issue 2 - April 2012  

In This Issue
A Good Month for Libraries
Celebrating Local History
Henkel Physicians
1940 Census
Spotlight on Ft. Valley
Snapshot Virginia
Tablet or E-Ink?
Website of the Month

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Volunteers of the Year!

Thanks to all of our volunteers of the year! Awards were presented at a reception on April 17.

First Pitch 2010
Jan Hood - County Library



Dave Franz (left) - Basye
Jeanie Lichliter (left) - Ft. Valley
Jeffrey Evans - Mt. Jackson
Caroll Douglas (left) - New Market
Rebecca Rayburn - Strasburg

On Display

A collection of floral dictionaries along with other floral books and ephemera is currently on display this month in the case by the door to the Shenandoah Room.  


Brochures containing the Language of Flowers are available for those who wish to create their own meaningful bouquet.  


The library has several volumes of Emily Dickinson's poetry as well as books on floral symbolism, including A Victorian Flower Dictionary by Mandy Kirkby and the recent fiction title The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

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A Good Month for Libraries  


April is a great month for libraries. April brings us National Library Week, Preservation Week and, perhaps most significant to us, National Volunteer Week. Oh, and I forgot to mention that April is National Poetry Month. With all those celebrations, it's certainly enough to keep us busy!


And we have been busy! All month, we've invited visitors to "put a poem in your pocket" with a display of our most popular poetry collections available for checkout. The staff also put out a list of favorite poems that included works by Wallace Stevens, Wendell Berry, W.H. Auden, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Mary Kellog and Hymnist Matthew Bridges. We also took some time to recognize the importance of local history with a reception to honor Nancy Stewart on April 10 and the opening of The Henkel Physicians: A family's life in letters made possible by the National Library of Medicine. And of course, we took the time to recognize our library volunteers with a reception on April 17 and official recognition of our "Volunteer of the Year" at each of our six locations.


Of course, we've still been doing our business as usual - checking out books, hosting local groups and putting on programs like our weekly preschool story hour, Lego Club and a Teen game night. We hope you found a way to be a part of our busy schedule in April. You can now keep posted on library happenings at our blog in addition to our system-wide program calendar. We've got more great things in store in May and throughout the summer. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading! 


-Sandy Whitesides, Library Director



Celebrating Local History
First Pitch 2010 
Nancy Stewart - Local author and historian 

At the Library, we recognize that a big part of our identity is our connection to the local community. In order to highlight the importance of this connection, we hosted a reception on April 10th to celebrate local history and honor Nancy Stewart, author of eleven notebooks on the genealogy of African Americans in Shenandoah County. She was introduced by Mary Guinta, noted historian and member of the strategic planning committee for the Shenandoah Room and Truban Archives.   


During her remarks, Stewart encouraged a roomful of nearly 40 history buffs and local authors to commit themselves to passing along their own historical research so as not to lose little known facts and to correct misconceptions for future generations.  She revealed that her notebook research was spurred by her brief work on the Morrison photographs for the Historical Society.  The many images of African Americans made her realize their omnipresence in the county and yet not much about them was part of the written record.   


As Stewart began her quest to document what information could be found, she discovered that African Americans were present when Shenandoah County was established, with 29 slaves recorded in the 1775 census of Dunmore County.  The 1783 tax list of Alexander Hite showed 362 slaves held by 110 heads of household.  The 1820 U.S. Federal Census reveals the astonishing fact that Shenandoah County had a total population of 18,926 and 12% of those were African American, or 1 in 8 people!  Stewart closed by acknowledging those who had provided guidance during her many hours of research spent in the Shenandoah Room and Truban Archives.


At the conclusion of the reception, Library Director Sandy Whitesides presented Ms. Stewart with a plaque recognizing her contributions to the historical record of Shenandoah County and also noted that the Library is looking forward to hosting many future events celebrating local history and showcasing the wealth of information available inside the doors of our local history room.  

The Henkel Physicians: A Family's Life in Letters
 First Pitch 2010

The library is pleased to host during the month of May  The Henkel Physicians: A Family's Life in Letters. The Henkel family was prominent in the Valley during the early and mid-1800s service as preachers, physicians, printers and much more. This exhibition is made possible by the National Library of Medicine, which houses the letters and made them available to researchers online.

The exhibition will be at the County Library in Edinburg through May 17 and at the New Market Area Library from May 18 through the end of the month.

Local historian Dr. Betty Karol Wilson has graciously provided a video introduction to the family and the letters featured in the exhibition. Watch the video and then come visit us during the month of May at either Edinburg or New Market.
1940 Census - Now available online


If all this talk about local history inspires you to delve into your own research, it might be useful to know that the 1940 Census is now available online! Each U.S. Census has a 72 year mandatory waiting period before the data can be released to the public. That waiting period ended in April. So, what's in this data?
  • Name, age, and relationship to the head of household for all U.S. residents surveyed
  • Birthplace and education of all residents surveyed
  • residence in 1935, employment status, and wages for all residents surveyed
  • Additional information including parents' birthplace, veteran status, occupation, for 5% of residents surveyed

Think any of that might be useful in connecting you to your ancestors? An estimated 87% of Americans living today can connect with at least one relative listed in the 1940 Census. Interested? Check out the official 1940 Census Website hosted by the National Archives.


Want to dig deeper? The Shenandoah Room and Truban Archives at the library has plenty more to help you research your ancestors back beyond 1940. We also have census records dating back all the way to 1790 through our library subscription (in-house use only). Or use Heritage Quest with a valid library card from the comfort of your own home.



Spotlight on Fort Valley Children's Programs    


Jeanie Lichliter reads at story time

 At Fort Valley Community Center and Library, we are lucky to have the enthusiasm and dedication of Jeanie Lichliter, who designs and runs our Wednesday Story Hour.  Jeanie, our 2012 Volunteer of the Year, has a college degree in child development, and she builds her programs around reading, writing, and counting fundamentals.  Jeanie has added a lot of music and motion activities, which the children love as they learn to master new songs and new dance routines.  Jeanie treats each child as a uniquely special person.  She has a great sense of humor, and endless patience. The program is a social, as well as an educational asset in Fort Valley, a place where people who love children, reading, and learning can meet each other and support each other.     

The Fort Valley children's program is open to children of all ages, and it can be crazy - as in fun and interesting! - when 25 children from just months old to 12 years suddenly appear, ready to be involved in reading.  Other Wednesdays, especially during virus/cold season, we may have only one or two children - we rarely know ahead of time.  During the summer, when we run an expanded Summer Reading Program, Jeanie prepares a special set of activities for the preschoolers, while the school-aged children are offered a more advanced level of experience, based on speakers and educational/creative activities.  This summer, we will be integrating our two, new internet-connected children's computers into our Summer Reading program, to broaden our children's knowledge base and sharpen their research skills.


Early learning on a Fort Valley computer
The success of today's children's program is built on the dedication and commitment of a founding group of volunteers who include Margie Lichliter (Jeanie's mother-in-law, now deceased and sorely missed) and Betty VanKirk, recently retired.  Their special contributions will be honored at the Fort Valley Spring Fling on May 5 (8 am - 2 pm), when we will dedicate The Margie Lichliter & Betty VanKirk Children's Library at 1:00.
The County Library is supporting the Spring Fling with its Technology Petting Zoo, which David Robinson and Dallas Moore will demonstrate from 9:30 - 12:30.  There will also be lots of free entertainment for children, a community yard sale/exchange (outdoor free tables, weather permitting), a book sale, a 4-H bake sale to raise money to improve the playground, and breakfast and lunch foods for sale, including vegetarian offerings.  You're welcome even if you don't live in Fort Valley - in fact, this could be the excuse you've been waiting for to make the journey "over the mountain" into a beautiful valley.
- Kitty Bryant, Fort Valley Library


Snapshot Virginia - One day at the library


Do you have one day each week that you visit the library? Chances are that you do. Chances also are that "library day" includes things like checking out books and movies, maybe attending a program and jumping online for a few minutes to play games, catch up with friends, or checking YouTube for the most up-to-date information on vacuuming your cat.


Did you ever stop to think about what "library day" means for everyone else? What does it all add up to? That's exactly the question we tried to answer on April 17. We're still busy compiling statistics, but thought we'd share some pictures and quotes about what the library means to some of our regular visitors.  
Volunteer Jane Miller finds library books to send to home bound library users along with the Meals on Wheels program


"The library has been very important to my family and me for resources and books we could not necesarily afford or even know about any other way. It is so good to be able to borrow books and DVD's and the internet access is very helpful when you don't have another way to it. The library brings out a sense of community and trust and working together. It is an enforcement of our traditional values in a lot of ways. It's sharing, it's an important service. Sincerely, a grateful patron."

The Shenandoah Applique Society meets monthly at the library to share ideas and help each other with their work
"I visited the library today to return a book and to check and see if there were any new books that would help me in my work. I am very fond of [the library] and treasure it."

Did you miss your chance to tell us what you love about the library? It's not too late. We'd love to hear from you!

Tablet or E-Ink - the e-reader's dilemma    


Interested in checking out e-books from the library? If so, you might wonder whether you should use an E-Ink reader, or a tablet. Don't worry, we get this question a lot!  


Until now, an important difference between E-Ink and tablet devices has been their suitability for outdoor and nighttime reading.  With no glare-prone backlighting, E-Ink devices such as the Nook Simple Touch and the Kindle Keyboard promise a "just like paper" experience, making them a great choice for reading in direct sunlight.  However, this absence of backlighting also has meant that readers hoping to enjoy their favorite novel at bedtime need to supply their own light, relying on the uneven rays of a booklight or the sleep-disturbing brightness of a bedside lamp.


So do nighttime readers need a tablet? Maybe not. Barnes and Noble has developed a potentially game-changing device:  the illuminated E-Ink device.  The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight maintains the anti-glare qualities of a traditional eReader but adds the option of an adjustable, evenly-distributed light that originates from LEDs housed within the device's frame.  The device doesn't go on sale until May 1, but it is already garnering great reviews, such as this one from tech site Gizmodo.

Barnes & Noble's new Nook


The best news is that the new Nook is fully compatible with the library's downloadable eBooks. Of course, if you still can't decide between tablet or e-ink, just stop on by the library sometime. We'll be happy to answer questions, or schedule a time to let you have some hands-on experience with both types of devices that we have as part of our "Technology Petting Zoo." Whether on paper, computer screen, or portable device, we're always here to help you have a happy reading experience!


Website of the Month - All Recipies

So you're at this dinner party and your hostess has served this great dish. You've simply got to have it since it will be perfect to make for another function you're attending next month.  You ask for the recipe but, instead of taking it as a compliment and saying they'll write it down for you later, you receive a coy "it's my aunt's secret recipe, I can't give it out" in response.  Aside from excusing yourself to go to the restroom and doing a stealth visit to their kitchen to rummage through their recipe cards, what can you do?  Well, their closely guarded secret might be have already been divulged on

The website is a mixture of a comprehensive database of recipes with a dash of user ratings and reviews.  Recipes can be searched for by name, category, or even by some key ingredients.  This last option can let you find out what dishes you could make with what you have available at the moment.  I have personally found it difficult to not find a recipe that fits exactly what I'm searching for; this includes certain people's secretive aunts.

Once you find a recipe you like, you can adjust the quantity in case you need to prepare more or less than the standard recipe serves.  Printing recipes is straight forward and can be formatted for different sized recipe cards or booklets.  Make sure you read the comments to recipes since they offer great tips or offer some reasons.  Some people have suggested tweaks to recipes.


Using doesn't require a logon, but you can set up a user account.  With an account, you can save a list of favorite recipes and also participate in reviewing.  You can also build, organize, and share your recipes. If you try a recipe onsite, even if it isn't yours, you can show off your pictures of the finished dish.  Who knows, you might even find a recipe that you'll have to tell a certain friend is a "family secret."