Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Civil War armament shown, hands-on exhibit

Roy and Dallas Kennedy are bringing their collection of Civil War weapons, including a miniature cannon, to the Bealeton Library at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

The Kennedys, who will appear in period dress, will talk about the design, use and maintenance of Civil War armaments and allow those attending to examine the pieces closely. The couple is dedicated to preserving our area’s extraordinary history through first person interpretations and vignettes of the poignant days during The War Between the States.

Both are members of North-South Skirmish Association, which encourages the preservation and display of Civil War materials and promotes the shooting of Civil War firearms and artillery. They are also members of the Mosby Players, a group of “living” historians that live in and around the Mosby Heritage Area.

The program is free. Call (540) 439-9728 for more information.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Volunteers honored, teen volunteers needed

Fauquier County Public Library volunteers, who generously offer their time and talents to enrich and expand library services, will be honored at a reception sponsored by the Friends of the Fauquier Library this month. The volunteers, who serve at all Fauquier libraries in a variety of capacities, will be saluted by library staff during the reception.

More than 200 volunteers of all ages donated nearly 4,100 hours doing a variety of tasks at Fauquier’s libraries last year. Library volunteers must be 13 or older and are asked to commit to six months of volunteering. Applications are available at all library locations or online. Call Lynn Hawkins, (540) 349-1820 for information on these and other volunteer opportunities.

Currently the Friends of the Fauquier Library also need volunteers who are 18 or older to work at The Book Cellar, a used book store featuring bargain basement prices.

Teen volunteers are needed to help with the children’s summer reading program, which begins June 20 and continues through Aug. 15. Some of the tasks teen volunteers will perform include assisting children and parents with summer reading program registration, keeping the registration table stocked and neat, assisting children and parents with entering the number of books they have read into the online book log, and helping with crafts and programs.

Many teens find volunteering at the library is a great way to gain work experience while fulfilling community service or service learning hours, a graduation requirement for many high schools. Others volunteer because they love reading and libraries or because they enjoy helping others.

Teen volunteer applications, available at all Fauquier libraries and online beginning April 13, will be accepted through May 16.

Did anyone really know what time it was?

How time was kept and regulated in the years before 1883, and especially during the turbulent Civil War years, was chaotic. Time balls, Noon Marks, and the widespread use of almanacs helped 19th century Americans determine what time it was in their locality. But when one traveled confusion reigned, often with tragic results.

Historian Arthur Candenquist is presenting a program at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 19, in the John Barton Payne Building that examines the importance of almanacs and time signals to 19th century life, how time was kept and regulated, and how the absence of standard time led to disastrous train wrecks. The free program is sponsored by the Fauquier Heritage Institute and Fauquier County Public Library.

Mr. Candenquist will explain how time was regulated by the armies from 1861 to 1865 and will discuss the possibility that non-synchronized watches may have played a role in their lack of success on the battlefield.

We take time standardization for granted now, but less than 100 years ago there was no standard of time, so examining life in the 19th century might make us stop to wonder: Did anyone really know what time it was?

Mr. Candenquist has been a serious scholar of the War Between the States since 1956 and focuses his attention on the more unusual and lesser-known aspects of the war. He has lectured extensively on wartime railroads, the role of Masons during the war, the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid on Richmond, and the war in Virginia.

The Fauquier Heritage Institute was created to promote the study and love of Virginia and American history. To that end, the Institute hosts public lectures that seek to provide knowledge, understanding and appreciation of our local, regional and national history.

The institute welcomes volunteers to serve in a variety of capacities. Contact Program Co-Chairs Mrs. Paula Johnson at (540) 341-7019; or Mrs. Jackie Lee at (540) 347-0607, for more information.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Worlds connect at the library

April 12-18 is National Library Week, a time to celebrate the contributions of libraries and library staff - and a perfect time to discover how “worlds connect @ your library.” First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.

Fauquier County Public Library is celebrating National Library Week at all of its branches and has expanded its observance to include events and programs throughout the month. Offerings include stories, crafts and science experiments for children; free-play Wii days for children and teens and Wii sports for seniors; book art and poetry slams for teens; and history lectures, Internet classes, and genealogy research one-on-one sessions for adults.

“Every day libraries help make a difference in their communities,” says Library Director Maria Del Rosso. “At our library, we see people using library computers and the library’s Wi-Fi access to find jobs and learn new skills, and we see them borrowing books, magazines and DVDs to tackle how-to projects at home and to learn new ways to improve their health.”

Library services remain free to every citizen, providing equal opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds, Mrs. Del Rosso points out, and more than half of Fauquier County residents have a library card. The library provides resources and programs that seek to inform, educate, enrich, and entertain every member of our community, she adds.

“Our trained professionals help students do better in school by helping them with research projects and pointing them in the right direction to complete homework assignments,” she says, “and we light up the imaginations of our youngest patrons with story times and live theater programs. I firmly believe there is something for everyone at the library.”

Once you have your card, you can go to the library's Web site, create your personal account, and begin taking advantage of the special features mentioned above, all for free.