Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Closures

The Library Commission and its Reference Library will be closed the following days:

  • Monday, December 26, 2011
  • Monday, January 2, 2012
Thank you for your understanding and happy holidays to all!

Best books of 2011

As the year comes to a close, let us share our favorites!  What was your best book read of the year?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Staff Pick of the Week

This week's pick is The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

Here's a chilling Winter mystery, just in case your holidays need a little murder and mayhem. -Megan

Internationally acclaimed crime writer Jo Nesbo's anti-hero police investigator, Harry Hole is back: in a bone-chilling thriller that will take Hole to the brink of insanity.

Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother's pink scarf.

Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he's received and the disappearance of Jonas' mother--and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of the first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised--and constantly revised--by the killer.

Fiercely suspenseful, its characters brilliantly realized, its atmosphere permeated with evil, The Snowman is the electrifying work of one of the best crime writers of our time.

(Cover copy)

This title, and others like it, can be found in the West Virginia Library Commission Reference Library.

Friday, December 16, 2011

WVLC Closure

The West Virginia Library Commission and the J.D. Waggoner Reading Room will be closed today, December 16, 2011, from 12:00pm - 1:30pm. The Agency will resume normal operations at 1:30pm.

Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Holidays

The West Virginia Library Commission would like to wish everyone a Very Booky, I mean Merry, Holiday this year, and in every chapter of your life.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Help us better serve your research needs!

The agency is planning on adding several new research guides to the site over 2012,  and would like to know what are your research needs?  What would be the most beneficial to you?  Please post your ideas in the comment section. Thank you

Monday, December 12, 2011

Points of View Reference Center Debate Blog

Points of View Reference Center, one of the statewide databases offered by the Library Commission, now has a Debate Blog.  Created for students, this forum allows for the expression and exchange of their unique views on topics in the news. Students can read up on topics in Points of View Reference Center, and then use the blog to debate the issues with their peers.

For more information about Points of View Reference Center or for access information, contact your local public library.

Interlibrary loan for state employees is working.

The state employee interlibrary loan system is operational once again.  Please forgive the inconvenience   

Staff Pick of the Week

Patron Pick

This week's selection, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman, was recommended to the Circulation Desk by one of our regular patrons.

If the conscious mind--the part you consider to be you--is just the tip of the iceberg, what is the rest doing?

In this sparkling and provocative new book, the renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising mysteries. Why can your foot move halfway to the brake pedal before you become consciously aware of danger ahead? Why do you hear your name being mentioned in a conversation that you didn't think you were listening to? What do Ulysses and the credit crunch have in common? Why did Thomas Edison electrocute an elephant in 1916? Why are people whose names begin with J more likely to marry other people whose names begin with J? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret? And how is it possible to get angry at yourself--who, exactly, is mad at whom?

Taking in brain damage, plane spotting, dating, drugs, beauty, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, artificial intelligence, and visual illusion, Incognito is a thrilling subsurface exploration of the mind and its contradictions.

(Cover copy)

This title, and others like it, can be found in the West Virginia Library Commission Reference Library.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WVLC Launches LibCal Event Calendars

In an effort to better serve public library staff and our patrons, the WVLC has launched the WV Library Commission Library Event Calendars web page. Powered by SpringShare's LibCal, the page easily allows library staff and WVLC Reference Library patrons to browse and register for events, schedule appointments with WVLC staff and book meeting rooms, all online.

Currently the page hosts a Continuing Education calendar with event registration, Appointment Schedulers for 12 WVLC staff members, and a room reservation tool for our two meeting rooms. The Library Commission plans to develop additional features, so check back often at

For more information, contact Heather Campbell-Shock at

Contact Information
Jennifer Johnson
(304) 558-2041

Interlibrary loan system for state employees is down.

The interlibrary loan system that state employees can use to request materials from other libraries is currently down.  While the issues are being resolved, please send your requests via email to with the subject line "interlibrary loan request."  
When the system is operational, a message will be posted on the blog, Facebook and Twitter. 

Thank you for you patience.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Holiday Treats

This week's recipe comes from The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe From Each Year 1941-2009

(I loved flipping through this book and seeing all of the old recipes, especially the ones from the post-WWII years. It's illuminating to see the shift in ingredients and techniques as new cooking technologies are introduced.- Megan)

Walnut Acorn Cookies (2000)

Cookies had become such an important part of Gourmet's holiday repertoire that the editors started asking readers to contribute their favorite recipes--and they poured into the magazine's kitchens in such profusion that it was difficult to choose among them. But to our mind, this beautiful, buttery little cookie is the best of a very fine lot. With little effort, you end up with a cookie that looks as if it came from a professional bakery--while possessing the rich, nutty flavor of home-baked pastry.

(Makes about 4 Dozen Cookies
Active Time: 1 1/2 hours
Start to Finish: 2 1/2 hours)

For Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (4 ounces)

For Decoration
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (2 ounces)

Make Cookies

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Mix in flour mixture at low speed, then stir in walnuts.
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Form 2 teaspoons dough into an egglike shape the size of an acorn. Make more "acorns," arranging them 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in batches in middle of oven until undersides are light brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

Decorate Cookies

Dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate and then in chopped nuts. Place as coated on a baking sheet lined with wax paper to set, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Note

The cookies keep, layered between sheets of wax paper, for up to 1 week.

Find this and other great cookbooks in the West Virginia Library Commission Reference Library.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Staff Pick of the Week

This week's pick is The Marrowbone Marble Company by Glenn Taylor (The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart)

1941. Loyal Ledford works the swing shift tending the furnace at the Mann Glass factory in Huntington, West Virginia. He courts Rachel, the boss's daughter, a company nurse with spike-straight posture and coal-black hair. But when Pearl Harbor is attacked, Ledford, like so many young men of his time, sets his life on a new course.

Upon his return from service in the war, Ledford starts a family with Rachel, but he chafes under the authority at Mann Glass. He is a lost man, disconnected from the present and haunted by his violent past, until he meets his cousins, the Bonecutter brothers. Their land, mysterious, elemental Marrowbone Cut, calls to Ledford, and it is there, with the help from an unlikely bunch, that the Marrowbone Marble Company is slowly forged. Over the next two decades, the factory grounds become a vanguard of the civil rights movement and the war on poverty, a home for those intent on change. Such a home inevitably invites trouble, and Ledford must fight for his family.

Returning to the West Virginia territory of the critically acclaimed The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, Glenn Taylor recounts the transformative journey of a man and his community. Told in clean and powerful prose in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and John Irving, The Marrowbone Marble Company takes a harrowing look at the issues of race and class throughout the tumultuous 1950s and '60s. It is a story of struggle and loss, righteousness and redemption, and it can only be found in the hills of Marrowbone.

(Cover copy)

This title, as well as Taylor's other work, can be found in the West Virginia Collection at the West Virginia Library Commission Reference Library.