Public Art Friday, Sep 25 2009 

Earlier this week, I attended the dedication of the sculpture “Hidden in the Pages” by Williamsburg area artist Cyd Player. This large sculpture consisting of a book with pages flying from it graces the wooded area across from the front entrance of the James City County Library.

The sculpture is a project of the Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation and was made possible through the Estate of Lawrence J. Bour and the generosity of Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation donors. It is  the result of a long process that included the efforts of a Foundation committee in soliciting concepts from sculptors, working with the Foundation Board in selecting a winner, determining with James City County the proper site for the work, contracting with Michael J. Hippel Builders to construct the base for the work and obtaining the assistance of the James City County Grounds staff for its installation.  Throughout the whole process Benjamin Goldberg, the Library’s Development Officer, spent many hours coordinating the project.

At the dedication ceremony several individuals approached me to express their appreciation for the Library having a piece of public art at the facility. I was delighted to hear their response.

In 2002 the Foundation coordinated through a similar process  the purchase of two works by Willy Ferguson for the Williamsburg Library. These works were made possible by a generous donation from Louisa F. France. The armillary sundial and the book sculpture have received many positive  public comments since then. The book sculpture has been highlighted in local publications.

Click here for a view of these sculptures.

As a library director, I view the library as a place for the presence of art on both a short-term and permanent basis.  Patrick Golden, Program Services Director, coordinates the use of the Williamsburg Library Gallery space. Each time I come through the area, my spirits are lifted. I am in awe at the wide variety of  media and artistic talent on display here throughout the year.

Art is an essential aspect of the human experience. Through its presence the lives of those who work here or use us are enriched in ways that we often can not comprehend.

I am thankful for the thoughtful generosity of individuals such as Louisa F. France and Laurence J. Bour and for the work of the Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation in providing permanent public art for our library locations.

So long for now!

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Its Summer Again! Tuesday, Jun 30 2009 

Summer means many things to each of us.  It is a time of relaxation, vacations, family reunions, picnics, and trips. In Hampton Roads Virginia it can be a time of heat, humidity, mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks and a strong desire to head inside and place oneself next to the nearest air conditioning vent!

For those with children who have been released from the educational system until after Labor Day, it can be a challenge. I remember those long days with our kids and what was involved in keeping boredom at bay.

As always, the library has a solution to keeping young minds active and contented. It is called the “Summer Reading Program”. At both our locations and through our Mobile Library Services vehicles, Williamsburg Regional Library staff have planned an active and challenging program for youth from birth through entering grade 12 who reside in the City of  Williamsburg, James City County or York County.

For youth from birth through entering grade 5  there is our “Some Enchanted Reading” program.  For specific information on program activities click here .

For youth entering grade 6 through entering grade 12 the library provides the “Wheel of Reading” program. For specific information on program activities click here.

The library also comes to a variety of community locations to provide programs and reading activities for youth. The Williamsburg/James City County Schools summer school program receives an in class daily reading program, as well as weekly visits from Mobile Library Service vans. Each class reads everyday and records it on a special poster. The students in classes that read everyday will receive a poster at the end of the program. Youth Services and Mobile Library Services Staff are visiting James City County Parks and Recreation sites each week with a variety of programs that promote books and reading. The library is also participating in Camp Discovery, run by the James City County Parks and Recreation, by providing a series of storytimes. During their neighborhood and childcare center stops Mobile Library Services staff are promoting the summer reading program with storyhours and programs.

The Williamsburg Regional Library is able to provide these programs and events for our youth due to the support of the Herbert Friedman Library Fund, Friends of Williamsburg Regional Library, and over 50 local individuals and businesses who provide financial assistance, incentive items and prizes for program participants. Without these fine organizations and individuals the Library would not be able to provide the quality and depth of  summer reading programming that we do. My thanks go out to each of these sponsors and to our hard working and dedicated staff.

So long for now!

Programming Thursday, Jun 5 2008 

Thanks to wonderful community support and an outstanding staff, the Williamsburg Regional Library is known for the variety and excellence of its program offerings. The Dewey Decibal Concerts are completing another successful season. Patrick Golden, Program Services Director is hard at work on next season’s concert schedule. Patrick will post new concerts on the site as they are confirmed. Each year it is a delight to see new talented groups grace the auditorium stage as well as welcome old favorites back for another exciting evening’s performance.

Over the years Williamsburg Regional Library has been host to many exhibits on a wide variety of topics. These high quality exhibits have covered subjects as diverse as jazz, women in Virginia and George Washington. Beginning in June, the Library will be on of 40 sites in the country and one of two public libraries in Virginia to host a traveling exhibit on Alexander Hamilton. The exhibit will be available from June 26 to August 8 at the James City County Library on Croaker Road in Norge. Thanks go to Friends of Williamsburg Regional Library for funding the exhibit and the programming associated with it.

Our Youth Services Division is nationally known for the quality and variety of its program offerings. Regular story hours are held at both library locations. Our summer reading program mentioned in an earlier post is a highlight of the season for children and parents alike. The program calendar for this summer’s activities includes a one-man band, a ballet, and a wide variety of storytimes and crafts.

Our Adult Services Division has a popular Thursday afternoon film series as well as a Third Thursday program.

The Outreach Division provides programming for individuals who can not come to the library. This programming is provided to preschools, child care centers and continuing care facilities. Programming includes story-hours, book talks and holiday themed events.

Thus, when you think of the Library remember that quality programming is an essential part of what we offer to the community.

So long for now!