Friday, January 25, 2013

Burns Supper

A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet's birthday, 25 January, sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day (or Rabbie Burns Day) or Burns Night, although they may in principle be held at any time of the year.

Shortly after Burns's death, groups of friends and acquaintances began to gather in his memory. In 1859, the centenary of his birth, memorial events were held all over Scotland and among the Scottish diaspora, and 25 January virtually became a national holiday. The memorial events have taken on a particular structure: there is a meal, one ingredient of which must be the haggis, addressed with Burns's poem before serving. After the meal there are two speeches with fixed titles, but variable contents: "To the Immortal Memory" and "To the Lasses." "The Immortal Memory" offers a serious recollection of Burns, usually with emphasis on him as man rather than as poet, and often incorporates legendary instances of his humanity: he is said, for example, to have warned a woman selling ale without a license that the tax collectors would be by late in the day, thereby giving her the opportunity to destroy the evidence. The toast "To the Lasses" is usually short and humorous, paying tribute to Burns's way with women and to the many descriptive songs he wrote about them. Interspersed among these speeches and other toasts are performances of Burns's songs and poems. Typically, the event concludes with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" by the assembled company, arrayed in a circle and clasping hands.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

Learn more about Robert Burns using WVLC's database collection. Or stop in to pick a collection of his poems.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Capitol Reads

January's Capitol Read is Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts

In the histories of the American Revolution, much has been written about America's founding fathers, those brave men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution. Yet the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters who supported, encouraged, and even advised them have been virtually ignored.

In Founding Mothers, Cokie Roberts brings to light the stories of the women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, sometimes even defending their very doorsteps from British occupation. While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their husbands' businesses, ran the farms, and raised their children. These women who sacrificed for the fledgling nation spent months or even years apart from their husbands, at a time when letters were their only form of contact.

Drawing upon personal correspondence and private journals, Founding Mothers brings to life the everyday trials, extraordinary triumphs, and often surprising stories of Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Reed Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Martha Washington, and other patriotic and passionate women, each of whom played a role in raising our nation.

More information about Capitol Reads selections can be found on the WVLC website.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Celebrating West Virginia Women Writers

Pearl S. Buck, the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature (1938), who also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932, is among the premier West Virginia women writers to be honored at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 29 by the American Women Writers National Museum (AWWNM) in Washington, D.C.
“West Virginia's former Poet Laureate, the late Irene McKinney, West Virginia Music Hall of Fame honoree Hazel Dickens, and American Book Award winner novelist Denise Giardina will be showcased along with Pearl Buck,” said Janice Law, AWWNM founder.
The celebration, jointly-hosted by West Virginia Center for the Book, West Virginia Library Commission, and  West Virginia Humanities Council in Charleston, will be in the McLendon room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 20045.
“These brilliant women are only a few of the mega-talented American women literati with West Virginia ties,” said Susan Hayden of the WV Center for the Book, an affiliate of the CFB in the Library of Congress.
A poster featuring women writers from West Virginia, including the four being honored, will be featured during January; it will remain permanently on the AWWNM website as part of AWWNM's 50-state Project to monthly honor in D.C., top-tier women writers from four states.
The AWWNM 50-state event will be held following AWWNM's January 29 noon-1:15 panel of Latina Poets.
All AWWM programs are free and open to the public.
The AWWM website offers more information:
Visit for more information about the West Virginia Center for the Book, which is funded by the Library Services and Technology Act administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the West Virginia Library Commission.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Library Update Available to View

The newest episode of Library Update is up on YouTube. This is part one of Episode 16, Library Development. Make sure to catch parts 2 and 3 of the episode as well.

The West Virginia Library Commission is committed to promoting, assisting, and supporting high quality library services and information resources to all West Virginia residents. This includes getting relevant information out to library directors, their staff, and patrons through various formats. Currently the Library Commission uses its website, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, e-bulletins and now YouTube to disseminate information. 

WVLC plans on bringing you current programs, topics, and trends. This broad spectrum includes partnerships, training, programming, and service. We want this program to be a useful, entertaining resource for you. If you ever have any questions or comments regarding topics on this show, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-642-9021. 

This program is not intended to act as a calendar of events, but as a vehicle of ideology and practical tips. Specific event information can always be found on our website and at your local libraries.

The video in this post is the first segment of the episode. Check it out, then view parts 2 and 3. Make sure you subscribe to the West Virginia Library Commission YouTube channel so you don't miss the newest episodes!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Capitol Reads Selections for 2013

Join the Capitol Reads book discussion group every 3rd Thursday of the month at noon for a discussion of Appalachian, current fiction, and other works. Capitol Reads meets at noon in the J.D. Waggoner Reading Room at the West Virginia Library Commission, in the Culture Center.

The schedule for 2013 is listed below.

Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts

Beekeeper's Lament by Hannah Norhaus

Clay's Quilt
by Silas House

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer &
Annie Barrows


Wild Sweet Notes, WV poetry anthology

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

Ballad of Tom Dooley by Sharyn McCrumb

Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

For further information, check out the Capitol Reads page on the WVLC website or email the group facilitator

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WV Reads 150 starts NOW

Happy New Year and Happy Reading, West Virginia!!

West Virginia Librarians, Supporters, Book Sellers and Others:

We are very proud to announce the launch of West Virginia Reads 150, a reading challenge that celebrates West Virginia’s 150th birthday in 2013. This program is being sponsored jointly by the West Virginia Center for the Book at the West Virginia Library Commission and the Kanawha County Public Library. Additional support comes from the West Virginia Humanities Council and the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services.

The year-long reading initiative encourages West Virginians to read 150 books in any format (printed book, e-book, audiobook, downloadable text, etc.) from any source, during the course of 2013, West Virginia’s sesquicentennial year. Books can be on any topic, fiction or non-fiction; they must be read between January 1 and December 31, 2013.

People can read 150 books individually, or create teams to read 150 books collectively. Libraries across West Virginia are encouraged to form teams to compete. Teams, which can have up to 15 members, must choose a name and select a leader to keep track of the books read by team members.

All ages and groups can participate – friends, coworkers, book clubs, classmates, seniors, etc. If children are too young to read on their own, kids can have their parents read to them. Families can use their Summer Reading Program reading toward their West Virginia Reads 150 tally.

WVLC, with the support of KCPL will provide libraries with West Virginia Reads 150 artwork, templates, window clings, reader’s advisories, a Good Reads web site, social media support and program ideas. Libraries are free to customize West Virginia Reads 150 for their own needs and/or develop their own programs and initiatives. Prizes, certificates, etc. will be up to participating libraries and sponsoring organizations.

The program is not limited to public libraries – bookstores, school and academic libraries, literacy organizations, youth services providers and more are encouraged to participate in West Virginia Reads 150.

For complete details about the program, guides, and other information, please visit the program website. If your library, school, bookstore, or agency decides to join us in WV Reads 150, please let us know and provide us with contact information so that we can include your information in the program website and in program mailings. Please also let us know of your West Virginia Reads 150 programs and activities so that we can help publicize them as “sanctioned” events.