Tag Archives: Library

Only 6 Weeks Left in the Summer Reading Club!

15 Jul

Are you one of the almost 7000 people who have signed up for our Summer Reading Club? You read that right! Almost 7000 people have signed up during the first 6 weeks of the program! There are 6 weeks left for you to sign up and be eligible to win an iPad!

There are some other fantastic incentives for joining (and finishing) the Summer Reading Club too.

If you haven’t signed up yet…what are you waiting for?

If you have signed up…fantastic! Have you logged your books? Gotten your prizes for signing up and (hopefully) finishing?

What have you read? Did you like it? Let us know.

2011 Summer Reading Club

31 May

Can you believe that summer is almost here? In just a few weeks schools will be out and a lot of people will be vacationing and relaxing with a good book…or two…or three. We are looking forward to summer too and we want to make your summer even more interesting.

Everyone who meets the reading goal for his/her age group is entered to win an iPad!

Did that get your attention?


What’s your goal?

  • Kids (Elementary School and younger) read 10 books
  • Teens (Middle and High School) read 5 books
  • Adults read 5 books

Of course we know you will be reading this summer anyway but we wanted to give you some extra incentive.

There is more than an iPad. 

  • Everyone who signs up will receive a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A Icedream cone. 
  • Kids get stickers for their reading logs every week.
  • When Kids and Teens finish they get these cups that change color! They will also be entered into a drawing for a gift basket valued at $75 (at all libraries) What’s in the basket? Ask at your library.
  • When adults finish they will receive a coupon for a free book from the Friends of the Library book sale. Each branch will have a drawing for a $35 restaurant gift card and one of these Henrico 400th commemorative vases

You can sign up for the summer reading club at your favorite library or online. We will have reading logs so you can keep track of the books you’ve read. You can turn the paper reading logs in when you are finished or enter your titles online. Either way is fine with us. Just read!  

The Summer Reading club starts on June 6th and ends on August 31st. The prize drawing will be on September 1st.

Maybe this will help you remember the dates.

Saturday’s Family Events

10 Feb

Looking for something to do this weekend? We have many family friendly activities all over the county for you to choose from this Saturday.

  • The Tuckahoe and Twin Hickory libraries have two storytimes scheduled for the morning that are always time well spent.
  • The Dumbarton Library Family Fun Time this Saturday is all about card games. So come out and learn some new games to play.
  • It’s Family Craft day at the North Park Library. What will the craft be? There’s only one way to find out…
  • There’s a very special storytime at the Gayton Library! Students from the VCU theater arts program will present an Appalachian version of Jack and the Beanstalk for children and families.
  • Discover the Legacy of Weyanoke at the Fairfield Library in the afternoon. This unique program combines the history and music of Native American and Black cultures. It’s guaranteed to be very fun!
  • Love Through Time is the theme of the movie being showed at the North Park Library in the afternoon. What is it? Here’s a hint: it’s a time travel romance, featuring a librarian and his wife.
  • Do you have some manga around the house you’d like to exchange? The Tuckahoe library is having a manga exchange! Bring in some gently used manga and trade.

Hope you can attend at least one of these events. I may see you at one of them.

Varina Library

16 Dec
Varina Library

Varina Library

The Varina Library is a library I wish I could visit more often. This 40 year old library may be small but it is a great library. The staff is enthusiastic, creative and very dedicated to the people who visit their library. They provide fantastic service and are always thinking of new events for people to attend.

One of the great advantages of being a small library is getting to know the people who visit. Because they know the people, the staff come up with great events for all ages. This summer they had a 3 part genealogy series for adults. It was pretty popular. The people who attended the sessions learned a lot about how to discover their family histories. Many happy children had a great time playing with bubbles on the lawn of the library during their Bubblemania event last summer. These are just two examples. They come up with great stuff all the time!  If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend attending one of their events. Depending on where you live, it may be a bit of a drive but you won’t regret it.

People really make this library great. I asked the manager what she like the most about working at Varina. Without hesitation she replied:

I most enjoy working with the Varina people.  Over the years that I have been at the Varina Library (since 1997), I have found the Varina citizens to be kind, easy to work for and very patient.  I have made many friends and enjoy conversing with the members of our Varina Library family.

Her attitude is shared among the staff at the Varina Library. They really do enjoy working there and getting to know the people in the community. I really do need to visit there more often. Every time I do I leave smiling.

Twin Hickory Library

8 Dec
Twin Hickory Library

Twin Hickory Library

In 1992 we opened a new library in the Innsbrook office park. It served the area in two unique ways. In addition to being a ‘regular’ public library it offered businesses in the area a dedicated collection of resources. The Business Resource Center in the Innsbrook Library was the only collection of its kind in our library system. It was a well used library for many years.

As the population of the county grew, the Innsbrook library became too small to meet the needs of the surrounding community. The Twin Hickory Library took its place in 2007. This new facility is simply gorgeous. Many people compare it to a ski lodge and when it snows it really does look like one.

The community surrounding Twin Hickory is very diverse. There is a mix of people from all over the world  in nearby neighborhoods, Deep Run High School is right next door, and there are a few retirement communities too. This diversity makes things very interesting. Mornings are usually filled with children and families attending the storytimes. The afternoons are busy with students using the study rooms and tables to work on school assignments. Add in everyone else and you’ve got one busy library.

Summers are always busy and this past summer was no different. In fact, they added a new feature that I hope they will continue. The Summer Concert Series was a great success and many people attended the four shows they hosted. I was able to attend the outdoor concert with  Ban Caribe. There were a lot of people there and everyone had a lot of fun.

They also have a display case they put to good use during Banned Book Week every year. It is turned into a Banned Book Reading Room. The object of the room is to spark conversation about censorship and the freedom to read. It definitely does this.

The Twin Hickory Library is one of our Area Libraries. Like the other Area Libraries (Dumbarton, Fairfield, and Tuckahoe) they offer a wide range of services and materials. It is also one of our largest facilities. It may be a large library but it has a very warm and inviting atmosphere. This is a tribute to their great staff. They are quick with smiles and really enjoy helping the people who visit.

I was part of the staff that helped open Twin Hickory in 2007 and that was a great experience. So, please, forgive me if I come across as a little biased in this post. I really enjoyed working at this library.

Do you visit the Twin Hickory Library? Care to share any stories?

Tuckahoe Library

1 Dec
Tuckahoe Library

Tuckahoe Library

The Tuckahoe Library is one of our four area libraries, offering a full range of services. The current location opened in 2006 and is one of the nicest libraries I’ve ever been in. The original Tuckahoe library was located around the corner at Parham and Fargo roads. It opened in 1971 and was a fixture in the lives of many people.

This library has a lot to offer. There are (almost) daily storytimes, lots of computer classes, book clubs and a large collection of materials for everyone. They also have group study rooms, a great quiet reading room and a large meeting room. The meeting and study rooms provide a great space for people. They are used for non-profit organizations large and small to meet and discuss whatever they need to discuss. Their large meeting room was recently the site for a debate between candidates running for Virginia’s 7th Congressional district. All of our libraries have meeting rooms for people to use. You can even reserve them online.

The Tuckahoe Library Garden is a great outdoor addition to this facility. I’ve eaten lunch out there a few times and enjoyed watching the ducks and geese. It’s not uncommon to see people reading and relaxing there when the weather is nice. There’s also a drive-thru window! They won’t give you fries but you can return your materials and pick up anything you have on hold without leaving your car. This is a VERY popular service.

The people who work there do a fantastic job. Because it’s such a large facility, a lot of people work here. They help well over 1000 people per day with a very wide range of skills and needs. Whether it’s helping a mother find the right book for her child, helping someone with a resume or simply finding the bathroom, they are quick to help. I am always impressed when I visit. When so many people visit every day  it would be easy to lose the personal touch that is common in smaller libraries. That’s not what I see when I visit Tuckahoe. I see people having conversations and getting to know each other. This is what libraries are about. Getting to know people and making connections. It happens at libraries large and small and helps everyone.

Do you visit the Tuckahoe Library? Care to share any stories with us?

Sandston Library

24 Nov
Sandston Library

Sandston Library

I was able to visit Sandston Library recently and really need to visit more often. It is a busy place. Whether they are helping someone find a book, registering for a new library card or providing computer help, the staff there are very flexible. They can change gears from helping someone with a resume to finding a specific children’s book in no time at all. This flexibility and knowledge of the collection is something the manager is very proud of.  When I asked her to name something she likes about working at Sandston she quickly mentioned the cross-training of tasks and responsibilities and the flexibilities of the staff. Because the Sandston Library is one of our smaller libraries the staff have to know how to do (just about) everything in a library. This is something they have been doing as long as they have been open.

Did you know that the Sandston Library was the first library in Henrico County? Yep, its true. The original Sandston Public Library predated the Henrico County Public Library system. It was founded in 1923 when The Woman’s Club of Sandston held a community “book social” on Feb 14, 1923. The  library at 23 East Williamsburg Road was donated to Henrico County by the Sandston Women’s Club in 1967.  In August of 1980, Henrico opened the new Sandston Public Library Building with 6233 square feet located at the same location. It has undergone a few renovations since it opened. The most recent (2003) added study rooms and expanded the meeting room. Throughout the years and renovations the Sandston Library and its staff have provided the people of Sandston and Henrico County with fantastic library service. May they continue this tradition for another 87 years.

Have you been to the Sandston Library? Care to share any stories with us?

Teen Read Week 2010

22 Nov

Melissa Marr is the author of the Young Adult series, Wicked Lovely, with the fifth and final book, Darkest Mercy, due out February 22, 2011.  She also has her first adult book, Graveminder, due out in June.

On Thursday, October 21st,  she came and spoke at Tuckahoe Area Library for our big event for Teen Read Week. She was real, honest, approachable and funny. The audience in turn was respectful and kept the questions coming. She talked about her childhood, relationships, mistakes she had made, inspiration for her stories, and advice for inspiring authors. She was open about her past, experiences and beliefs. The conversation between the audience and Melissa was easy and entertaining.

One of the best points she made was that every story starts by answering one of two questions. 1) “How did we get here?” or 2) “Where do we go next?” Every story needs conflict, that is the basis of life, so start with asking yourself how you can really screw this up and then figure out what happens next.

Her advice to aspiring writers was brutal and great. If the only thing that is preventing you from writing is a lack of time, her question back at you is this. “How many hours a week do you spend watching TV?” Turn off the TV and use that time to write. If you always have with you a way to take pictures and a way to take notes you will always be prepared when inspiration strikes. Eliminate your excuses.

North Park

17 Nov


North Park Library

North Park Library


In 1985 the first North Park Library opened in the Parham One shopping center. It was located in a triple-wide trailer close to the Big Lots. While it was there, the staff did a great job of serving the people of Northern Henrico. It was a little library but it was a busy place. In 2001 a new, larger North Park was built on Franconia Rd.  ‘Little’ North Park is still in use as the King & Queen branch of the Pamunkey Regional Library.

North Park is a great example of a neighborhood library. There are many people who walk or ride their bikes to it when the weather is nice. It’s big enough to have some quiet areas but small enough to allow the staff to know almost everyone who visits.

One of the busiest aspects of North Park is its meeting/study rooms. Those rooms are always busy. Maybe it’s the proximity to I-95 and the ample parking? Almost every time I visit they are in use and that’s great! That’s what they are for.

When it opened in 2001, North Park was the second library in Henrico with a dedicated computer lab. The lab is used a lot for computer classes. When it was new, only North Park and Glen Allen offered regularly scheduled classes. They were so popular that we began offering classes all over the county. We now have more libraries with labs and are able to offer classes almost daily. The computer classes held across the county have helped many people learn new skills and become more comfortable with computers. Those are two skills that can’t be undervalued.

I have to admit something here. I have a soft spot for the North Park Library. There, I said it. The reason is this. I got my first professional librarian job at this library. I was fortunate to be part of the team that helped open the current location on Franconia Rd. It was a great experience and I’m happy to have been apart of it. I enjoyed working there and learned a lot about Henrico and libraries during that time.

Have you been to the North Park Library? Care to share any stories?

Municipal Library

10 Nov


Municipal Library

Municipal Library


The Municipal Library is one of the most unique libraries I’ve ever visited. It is very different from any of our other libraries for a few reasons. First, it is located in the Western Government Center/County Courthouse. That makes it the only library in the county to have armed guards at the doors.

Second, it is the only library to have an extensive legal collection. It has Henrico, Virginia, neighboring states, and Federal law on hand if any of our county lawyers need to reference something. It is open to the public, so you could do some legal research if you wanted, but the staff can’t give any legal advice and are not trained as lawyers.

Third, they work very closely with County officials throughout the year. During state legislative sessions they keep tabs on anything being debated that may relate to Henrico County. If something looks like it could affect Henrico, they pass along any information they have to the appropriate department. If any changes are made, they alert the departments to those changes. It makes for a very busy time for the staff there. That service is a great example of how the library is serving the people of Henrico County. By keeping our local officials up-to-date on the latest developments in the state legislature, they are helping them make good decisions for us. It’s no small task and one they don’t get enough credit for.

Because you’ve probably never been to this library, take a look at some images of it on our Flickr site.

The Municipal Library is a hidden gem of library service for the people of Henrico County. They don’t get a lot of attention and that’s ok. If you’ve ever been there you know they do some very good work.

Have you ever visited the Municipal Library? Care to share any stories?


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