Congratulations to our Summer Reading Club prize winners!

10 Sep

The Summer Reading Club wrapped up last week and everyone who met their age group’s reading goal was automatically entered into prize drawings. The random drawings were held the day after the club ended and the winners have been contacted.

Some of the prize winners have shared their pictures with us! We’ll add more as we get them.

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Each library held a drawing for a four-pack of tickets to the Friday, September 11 Xfinity race at Richmond International Raceway. The winners are:

  • Miller R. – Dumbarton Library
  • Elijah T. – Fairfield Library
  • Sebastian S. – Gayton Library
  • Eden M. – Glen Allen Library
  • Ashlynn R. – North Park Library
  • Iliana D. – Sandston Library
  • Jake S. – Tuckahoe Library
  • Ben P. – Twin Hickory Library
  • Grayson E. – Varina Library

Another drawing was held at each library for a family four-pack of tickets to House at Pooh Corner at the Virginia Repertory Theatre. The winners are:

  • Kingsley S. – Dumbarton
  • Ricky B. – Fairfield
  • Mason F. – Gayton
  • Reese A. – Glen Allen
  • Austin R. – North Park
  • Teighen O. – Sandston
  • Jordan G. – Tuckahoe
  • Grace B. – Twin Hickory
  • Walter B. – Varina

There was another drawing at each library for a $50 restaurant gift card. The restaurants varied by location. The winners are:

  • Imogene C. – Mobile Library
  • Karen R. – Dumbarton
  • Tiffany O. – Fairfield
  • Gloria A. – Gayton
  • Suzanne L. – Glen Allen
  • Clara C. – Municipal
  • Michelle L. – North Park
  • Debbie N. – Sandston
  • Christy S. – Tuckahoe
  • Julie E. – Twin Hickory
  • Anglia T. – Varina

In addition to these branch-level winners there were four county-wide winners.

  • Izabella T. won the Duplo Batcave Adventure Set
  • Justin D. won the Lego DC Superheroes Set
  • Zoe S. won a gift card to Barnes & Noble or Gamestop
  • Rick B. won a gift card to Barnes & Noble

Thanks for making Summer Reading Club 2015 so super! Fill out the survey for your age (kids, teens, or adults) by September 30 to make next summer even better and be automatically entered into a prize drawing. Don’t forget to print your reading log too!

School is back in session! Looking for homework help?

9 Sep

School started yesterday and the homework will be rolling in soon. We’ve got some great resources to help with all of levels of homework needs. When you’ve got questions take a look at some of these resources:

Online Databases


You can find lots of great information online, but how do you know it is from a source you can trust? We suggest using our premium online databases.

The library pays for access to these quality resources, which give you up-to-date information that you can trust. All you need is your library card for access to thousands of articles from newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals.

Here are all our databases and our suggested databases for kids.

Ask a Librarian

Give your library a call; or email, text or chat with us via askHCPL

Getting (free) LIVE Homework Help from a REAL TEACHER

Teachers are available to help students in grades 3-12 with Reading, Writing, Science and Math using Literati’s Homework Help.

Click on the black “Homework Help” tab on the right side of the page, then enter your first name, grade level and subject to get started.

It’s National Library Card Signup Month!

3 Sep

Library-Card-Month-2015-blogYou can do a lot with your library card. In addition to checking out books and movies it gives you access to:

  • eBooks & Digital Magazines – Use your eReader, tablet, smartphone or computer to download eBooks, audiobooks and digital magazines anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • Premium Online Resources – We subscribe to several databases and learning tools like Consumer Reports, Rosetta Stone, Chilton’s, ValueLine, Heritage Quest and many more.
  • Homework Help – In addition to our specially trained staff who are fantastic at helping with homework questions in person, on the phone and online, we have lots of online tools to help with homework. Some are, live online help from a teacher, World Book Online and lots of other trusted, citable sources in our premium online resources.
  • Programs For All Ages – We have something for everyone from babies to seniors; story times, crafts, teen advisory boards, book discussions, computer classes, author showcases and much more.
  • Community Space for Meeting, Learning and Relaxing – We offer meeting, conference and study rooms, comfortable spaces to read and relax, computers, and early literacy activity centers for children.

Library cards are free for Henrico County residents. Many non-residents qualify for a free card too! And in September, we are waiving the cost for replacing lost or damaged cards!

Visit your library to find out how to get your own library card and (re)discover all the things you can do at the library.

Just a few more days left for Summer Reading!

26 Aug escape above city

escape above cityIf you haven’t logged all of your reading for the summer make sure you do it by next Monday (August 31st)!

If you’ve met your reading goal you will be automatically entered into the following drawings:

For Kids

For Teens

  • $50 Barnes & Noble or Gamestop Gift Card
    • One $50 Gift Card will be awarded for teens countywide – the winner gets to choose: Barnes & Noble or Gamestop

For Adults

  • $50 Restaurant Gift Card
    • One $50 Restaurant Give Card will be awarded at each of our library locations
  • $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
    • One $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card will be awarded countywide

The drawings will take place on Tuesday, September 1st. The prize winners will be contacted as soon as possible. An announcement of all winners will be sent out on Friday, September 4th. You have to log all of your reading to be in the drawings. Make sure you’ve logged all of your reading by Monday!

Our Summer Readers are the absolute best in the history of forever! Thank you for helping make this a great summer of reading!

History of Dumbarton Library: Part 5, the Libbie Mill Area

21 Aug Image courtesy of Trinity Baptist Church

Developer Gumenick Properties named its project at Staples Mill and Bethlehem Roads “Libbie Mill” to emphasize the way the development links together Libbie Avenue and Staples Mill Road. Libbie Avenue, in turn, took its name from Libbie Freeman Thompson, wife of a local businessman. Staples Mill Road is named for the grist mill belonging to the Staples family; it stood in the vicinity of present-day Dickens Road and Staples Mill Road in the 19th century. The fourth boundary of the site is a creek named Jordan’s Branch.

Image from 1880, when A.R. Courtney owned the Staples property, from “Richmond Then and Now” blog

One hundred years ago north Henrico was rural — mostly farms and woods. It was so open, the well-to-do could enjoy a “drag hunt” — horseback riding with dogs across country, but following a  scent, not chasing a fox. One drag hunt held in 1914 had “no falls to mar the sport,” and included checkpoints at places with familiar names: Lakeside, Staples’s Mill [sic], Dumbarton, and Libbie Avenue.* As the 20th century progressed, the railroad and horses became less common ways to get around and paved roads and cars began to dominate. As formerly rural areas became more accessible to city dwellers, developers subdivided old farms and put up homes and, eventually, apartments.

Long-time residents of the area remember the property that’s now Libbie Mill as home to the Suburban Apartments from the 1950s until 2002. A church was built there, too. The congregants of Trinity Baptist worshiped there from 1951 until 1980. In 1980, the building became the property to the First Mennonite Church of Richmond, which met there until 2004.

Although the Suburban Apartments complex was emptied in the early 2000s, and demolition was complete in 2006, the recession slowed development. Development kicked into high gear with last year’s opening of Southern Season, and the filling of office spaces. Henrico County Public Library expects to bid farewell to Dumbarton Area Library on October 17 and welcome patrons to the new Libbie Mill Area Library on October 29, 2015.

*Richmond Times Dispatch, March 8, 1914, p. 3.

This series anticipates the opening of north Henrico’s new Libbie Mill Area Library in October 2015.

Full bibliography for this series, here

Be a hero. Help fight hunger this summer!

30 Jun

2015-FoodDrive-200pxDuring the month of July, we will be collecting food donations for FeedMore’s Central Virginia Food Bank at any of our locations.

Please help the Central Virginia Food Bank feed children and seniors living in poverty and many others in need in our community. Visit to learn more about the fight against hunger.

Some of the most needed items are:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Tuna and Chicken
  • Low Sodium Veggies
  • Fruits Packed in Juice
  • Spaghetti Sauce (no glass)
  • Canned or Dry Beans
  • Hot & Cold Cereals
  • Whole Grain Snacks

History of Dumbarton Library, Part 4: What’s in a Name?

29 Jun
Dumbarton Grange courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, VCU Libraries

Dumbarton Grange. Photo courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, VCU Libraries

The name of our new library, Libbie Mill Library, brings together two local street names. Dumbarton Library, too, seems to be named for a street, but there is a little more to it than that. From the 1830s, the land in the vicinity of current-day Dumbarton Road and Staples Mill Road was known for the grist- and saw-mill operations there, run by the Staples family. When Francis Staples died, the large operation was divided up and offered for sale. Ads for the 1859 land sale reveal other operations such as ice houses for collecting and selling ice from the mill pond, a blacksmith shop, and a distillery. The ad described the house itself as “a comfortable dwelling”*  Another selling point: the land had access to the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad, the most modern way to move goods and people. People continued to call the area Staples Plantation or Staples Mill until the late 1860s, when Alfred Courtney purchased some of the land. Courtney named the portion of the land that he bought Dumbarton Grange, after a family property in Scotland. This area came to be called simply Dumbarton. For instance, another real estate sale ad, from 1898, describes the sale of a “suburban store and residence property at Dumbarton.” The ad noted it was a “convenient location” at which “six trains stop daily.”** After the Courtneys, Emmett Shepard bought the Dumbarton Grange property; upon his 1910 death it went to his wife, Rebecca Priscilla Bradley. In 1913, Bradley married noted author James Branch Cabell. Cabell did much of his writing at their Dumbarton Grange home. The Cabells moved to Monument Avenue in 1925, and the property was divided and sold in 1929, a time when the area began the transformation from farms to suburbs. Just as Staples Mill Road took its name from its notable destination, so are Dumbarton Road and Dumbarton Area Library named for the farm and community called Dumbarton.

Read more about James Branch Cabell here.

*Daily Dispatch, September 15, 1859.

**Daily Dispatch, December 11, 1898


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