Bereavement Groups and Death Cafes

23 Apr

Lone Woman, Widowed, Divorced, or Lonely, Contemplating Grief, Sadness, Depression

Everyone experiences death at some point in their lives. For those grieving, Henrico County Public Library is offering monthly Bereavement Groups at Tuckahoe Area Library and Sandston Branch Library. The Bereavement groups are safe spaces to work through your loss in a group setting. Join Alane Ford from James River Home Health and Hospice at 6pm on the second Monday of the month at Sandston or at 2pm on the fourth Thursday of the month at Tuckahoe.

For a lighter conversation about death and dying, Ms. Ford will also be leading discussion groups as part of the Death Cafe series. The next one will be at Twin Hickory Area Library on Monday, May 7th at 7pm, followed the next month at Fairfield Area Library on Monday, June 9th at 1pm.

All programs are free and open to the public.

I'm here for you

For further reading:

Life After Life by Jill McCorkle
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
One Summer by David Baldacci
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Tinkers by Paul Harding
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Non-Fiction / Memoir
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander
When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner
Healing Grief, Finding Peace by Louis LaGrand
On My Own by Diane Rehm
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
Her by Christa Parravani
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke
The Widow’s Story by Joyce Carol Oates

For Sharing with Children
Grandma’s Gloves by Cecil Castellucci (author) and Julia Denos (illustrator)
Always Remember by Cece Meng
The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr
Ida, Always by Caron Levis

It’s National Volunteer Week!

16 Apr

NVW-Heart-SqMany tasks are completed by volunteers here at Henrico County Public Library, from shelving to helping with library programs. Last year 1,272 volunteers spent a total of 6,805 hours making our libraries a better place. If you are interested in volunteering with us you can learn more here.

We also have several ways teens can volunteer with us. Find out how at our Teenscene page. It has all the details on how you can earn Community Service hours for school, as well as other great volunteering opportunities in the area.

Thank you to all of our hard working volunteers!

Thank you for attending All Henrico Reads with Reyna Grande!

12 Apr

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Thank you to the hundreds of Henrico area residents who attended All Henrico Reads with Reyna Grande last night.  Reyna gave a masterful talk that began by describing what the “distance” in The Distance Between Us meant for her.  In the end, Reyna brought all of us closer together by focusing on not just the metaphorical distance, but what all of us share.  She discussed such common values as family, passing our heritage and history on to our children, and the importance of education.

We were also lucky to hear a new essay by the author entitled “A Migrant’s Story.”  The essay drew a parallel between the journeys of Monarch butterflies and our country’s many immigrants, including Ms. Grande, and chronicled moments between the author and her daughter that were heartfelt and hopeful.

We hope that you had as great an experience as we did at this year’s All Henrico Reads.  Many thanks to all attendees, Reyna Grande, the Friends of Henrico County Public Library, Henrico County Public Schools, and to our library staff workers.

See you next year!


National Library Week 60th Anniversary

6 Apr

April 8-14 is National Library Week, and this year’s theme is “Libraries Lead.”  National Library Week was founded sixty years ago, in 1958, in order to celebrate the contributions of libraries and library workers, and to affirm support for libraries.  National Library Week is administered by the American Library Association.


Within National Library Week, we observe the following days (from

Celebrations during National Library Week

  • Monday, April 9: State of America’s Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2017.
  • Tuesday, April 10: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. #nlwd18
  • Wednesday, April 11: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities. #bookmobileday2018
  • Thursday, April 12: Take Action for Libraries Day#fundlibraries

Celebrate with us this year by visiting your local Henrico Library, attending a program or class, checking out a book, or voicing your support for libraries among friends and colleagues or social media.

We know that Henrico libraries lead because of the support of our community.  We would like to celebrate you, our library users, during this week as well.

Happy National Library Week from HCPL!


Next Chapter Book Club

19 Mar


HCPL started off the new year with an exciting new program. In January, the first meeting of Next Chapter Book Group took place at the Tuckahoe Library.  Now starting its second session, Next Chapter Book Club at Tuckahoe still has a few open spaces.  Read on to learn more about the program, and how to sign up!

The Next Chapter Book Club program originally began in Ohio in 2002. Dr. Thomas Fish, Director of Social Work at The Ohio State University’s Nisonger Center for Excellence in Disabilities, thought a book club would be a fun way for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to connect to their communities. The program quickly spread outside of the state, and now there are NCBCs across the country, in Canada, and even in Europe! After learning about the program, HCPL decided it would be a great program for our community.

Meeting weekly in a public space, NCBC brings 4-8 adults with developmental disabilities together to read books with the assistance of specially trained meeting facilitators. Rather than having an instructional focus, NCBC is really meant to be a fun interaction for its members, who don’t usually have as many opportunities for social interaction as other adults. All levels of reading ability are welcome – even those who cannot read — and members are encouraged to develop friendships with the other attendees as they read books aloud together. Members also help to choose the books and structure the meetings, so NCBC is a more meaningful experience for them.

Here in Henrico, we began our NCBC in partnership with the Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services. In addition to helping us facilitate the meetings, they also put us in touch with a few area participants. Attendance has grown over just a few short weeks, and although spots are still available, we encourage anyone interested in participating to check out the online calendar listing, or contact Maggie Allbee, Programming Librarian, at 804.501.1929 for more information.

March Diaper Drive 2018

1 Mar


We are accepting diaper donations at all of our libraries during the month of March. All donated diapers will go to the Capital Diaper Bank for distribution to “infants, toddlers and their families who are experiencing a financial crisis due to homelessness, medical challenges, hospitalization, and disasters.”

Help keep babies healthy and happy!

HCPL Staff Picks: Best of 2017!

28 Dec
HCPL Staff Picks 2017

Our most frequently favorited titles of 2017!

Librarians read a lot – it’s kind of our thing.  So when we asked HCPL staff to compile their favorites from 2017 and share them with you, we ended up with quite a list!  Read on to discover your local librarians’ picks.  We hope you’ll discover something great to read that you may have missed last year!

From all of us at HCPL, we wish you a happy new year and, as always, happy reading!

If you’re interested, check out our Children’s List and Teen List, too.

Alicia A. – Library Administration

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2) by Seanan McGuire – This novella series features children who have gone through the enchanted doorway and come back into the real world changed is strange and mysterious ways. Some struggle to return to their enchanted land, others never want to return but none fit into everyday life. The stories are haunting and inventive and are the best I have read in recent years.

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui – Timely and relevant, this graphic novel will break your heart in the best possible way. (also available on Hoopla)

Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap by Julie Anne Long – I have always liked Julie Anne Long’s historical romance novels but her contemporaries really shine. They feature genuinely likeable characters with lots of witty banter and believable situations. Highly recommended!

Ame H. – Training Librarian

Hunger: a Memoir of (my) Body by Roxane Gay

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Amy C. – Tuckahoe Area Library

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Amy S. – Tuckahoe Area Library

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Ann T. – Collection Management

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Barbara B. – Libbie Mill Area Library

Spell on Wheels Vol. 1 by Kate Leth; Megan Levens (Illustrator), Marissa Louise (Colorist), Jen Bartel (Cover Artist), Nate Piekos (Letterer) – Adult graphic novel, like Charmed but on a road trip.

Believe Me: a Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard – Excellent on audio! The footnotes!

Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country by Chavisa Woods – Like my favorite bizarre dream of teenhood, surreal and snarky.

Catharine S. – Tuckahoe Area Library

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

Chris M. – Sandston Branch Library

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

What the Hell Did I Just Read: a Novel of Cosmic Horror by David Wong

Deborah L. – Libbie Mill Area Library

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Diane B. – Fairfield Area Library

Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock Series) by Sherry Thomas – Hard to believe that the second title in this series is better that the first but it is true. Non-stop action with emotional depth.

Gay Lynn V. – Twin Hickory Area Library

The Ninth Hour by McAlice Dermott

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Caesar’s Last Breath by Sam Kean

Greta S. – Twin Hickory Area Library

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Elizabeth H. – Varina Area Library

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Hayley D.– Twin Hickory Area Library

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina RiggsThis book will slice you open and gut you like a silvery fish. It will wring you out like wet laundry, flap you out to dry in the sunlight, and fold your heart into a neat, soft square, it will slide you into a cold, dark, wooden drawer. This book will break you. As Lewis once said of Tolkien’s work: “Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron. Here is a book which will break your heart.” Nevermind The Lord of the Rings, I think Lewis was looking far into the future to The Bright Hour and its lovely, painful meditations on Ralph Waldo Emerson (her great-great-great grandfather) and Montaigne and mortality and motherhood. I am still breathless and gutted from reading this.

Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria and Iraq by Sarah GliddenThe next time someone scoffs at graphic novels as a legitimate genre that can be taken seriously, I’m going to hand them this book. There are other serious graphic novels out there of course (Maus, Persepolis, to name two of the biggies) but this one feels so incredibly timely, and the artwork itself is incredible. Quiet watercolors in multiple styles (one style for the overall story, but more lifelike renditions of people’s family photographs lend a particularly haunting quality to the work overall) make this read both powerful and reverent.

The topics, too, are vast, and yet somehow roll together just-so. The history of the book is important and timely, but so are the explorations of journalism as a whole, both big-picture and little-picture. The point of journalism, what makes a story worth publishing, the history of the Iraq invasion from multiple perspectives, the fist-curling frustration of wanting someone to change and seeing them just….not.  Ultimately, I keep going back to the artwork itself, though. The panels are delicate, lovely, haunting, beautiful, stark and sad all rolled into one. The medium is what elevates this nonfiction work over other works about similar topics.

The Best We Could Do by Thi BuiThis graphic memoir of a Vietnamese family’s journey from Vietnam to America, told in back-and-forth chapters between the two very different experiences of Bui’s mother and father, is beautiful and touching, and incredibly nuanced. I was shocked to learn this is Bui’s first graphic novel, as it’s a master work (and as of this staff note, is in the final round of GoodReads’ contestants for best graphic novel of 2017!)

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi CoatesThis collection of brilliant, devastating essays spans a portion of Coates’s writing career and President Obama’s terms as President, and dives deep into the topics of race and life in America.

How to Murder Your Life by Cat MarnellThis book is one part master class on narrative voice, one part enraging, one part fascinating, and one part hilarious.  It’s both brilliant, and a brilliant bonfire of ego, addiction, and excess.

Hillary B. – Twin Hickory Area Library

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – Loved it!  Great story, the wonderful quirky character of Eleanor, and a nice story twist to surprise the reader.

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter – There have been so many good World War II novels recently, but I thought this title brought something new to the field. It’s based on the true story of the author’s family who were separated when the Nazis invaded Poland.

John D M. – Twin Hickory Area Library

It’s Not Dark Yet by Simon Fitzmaurice

Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Bluebird, Bluebird: A Novel by Attica Locke

Kareemah H. – Varina Area Library

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – Technically YA but great crossover appeal. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy due out in 2018.

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson – If you liked Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next and Daniel O’Malley’s The Checquy Files you will probably like this book.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy – Be prepared to have your heart broken, mended, and broken again.

Leslie O. – Sandston Branch Library

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown

Lindsey H. – Libbie Mill Area Library

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado

There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyonce by Morgan Parker

Lisa K. – Glen Allen Branch Library

Paper Girls, v. 3 by Brian K. Vaughn (also available on Hoopla)

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Maggie A. – Programming Librarian

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

Meghan C. – Libbie Mill Area Library

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado

Michael B. – Libbie Mill Area Library

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Meddling Kids: A Novel by Edgar Cantero

American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse

Pam M. – Collection Management

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Rachel S. – Libbie Mill Area Library

Radium Girls: The Dark History of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore

Rick S. – Youth Services

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Meddling Kids: A Novel by Edgar Cantero

Savannah C. – Collection Management

Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen (also available on Hoopla)

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – Recommended specifically in audio because he reads it!

Sharon C. Fairfield Area Library

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile – Hands down my favorite read from the Black Authors Book Discussion 2017 list.


Terry H. – Gayton Branch Library

Rise: How a House Built a Family by Cara Brookins

Theodora D. – Glen Allen Branch Library

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of an All-American Town by Brian Alexander

The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks

Tyger B. – Libbie Mill Area Library

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process by John McPhee

Clade by James Bradley