Monthly Archive: June 2011

Smartypants: Light Reads by Brilliant Women

Summer Shift by Lynn Kiele Bonasia


Ms. Bonasia holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts and an MA from Florida International University.

Booklist reviewed Bonasia’s Summer Shift, saying “she has a gift for vivid and inventive descriptions and a clear affection for and understanding of her characters, who come across as flesh-and-blood individuals as opposed to typical small-town eccentrics.” The magazine reviewer also points out that the author does, however, try to juggle a few too many subplots. Both statements ring true to me.


You’ll cheer the main character, Mary, on as she deals with past guilt, a new (but old) boyfriend, an aunt with Alzheimer’s, and a wait-staff at the local and popular restaurant she runs in Cape Cod. The writing is charming and friendly, just like many of the characters. The book is light enough, and certainly appropriately set, for a summer read, but will give you plenty to think about as well. Check it out.

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Adult Summer Reading – Week 1 Winner Announced!

Linda K. of Disputanta is the winner of a $25 gas card in Week 1 of Novel Destinations! A new winner will be announced every week until August 12. Redeem one ticket for each book you read and book group discussion you attend this summer. Turn in tickets at your local branch to be entered in the weekly prize drawing.

Join us for these fun and engaging book group events this week:

June 28 @ 6:00 p.m. – Carson*
Featured title: Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
Book group facilitator: Mandy Arnold

June 30 @ 7:00 p.m. – Hopewell*
Featured title: The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian
Book group facilitator: Joan Fleshman

*Registration is required. Call 804-458-6329 X1005.

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Best on the Web – Explore Virginia’s History, Culture & People

A dance group rehearses in one of Richmond's parks. This image is one of 5,675 Virginia scenes contained in the 1939 World's Fair Photograph Collection. Library of Virginia Prints & Photographs Division. LVA C1:1/04/08/024

Encyclopedia Virginia is the first and ultimate online reference work about the Commonwealth. It aggregates in a single resource information on Virginia history, business, politics, and geography, plus the state’s proud heritage in the arts, religion, culture, and folklife. The Encyclopedia is in the early stage of development, but as it grows, it will also explore areas of science, medicine, education, and technology, and interpret the state’s significance to the people of Virginia, the nation, and the world. This website already offers a rich collection of articles, sound and video excerpts, maps, images, and reference—great for Virginia historians and students alike. Users can create personal accounts to track research and cross-reference resources. Teachers can browse entries by state SOLs. And my favorite part of this website is the customizable Google map of Virginia event locations. Simply hover over or click on map markers to view related encyclopedia entries.

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Volunteers Dig in at the Prince George Library Garden Day

ARLS staff member Jan Rowley and library patron Vern Lindquist hard at work.

On bright and warm June 18th, early in the morning, more than one hundred volunteers gave their time and energy to the landscaping of the newest Prince George county library. The Prince George Women’s Club deserve high praise for their organization of the volunteers, the supplies, and the lunch that they supplied. So many eager participants showed up that they long outlasted the work to be done.  Thanks also go out to the many individuals and organizations that donated not only time but tools, funds, plants, and refreshments, including:

Bank of Southside Virginia, Food Lion, Nelsen Funeral Home, IBC-Wonderbread, Farmer’s Foods, Vendors Supply of Virginia, Sebera’s Custard Kitchen, ACE Distribution Center, G. Reid Foster, Jr. Mrs. John G. Kines, Jr., Ms. Judy Oliver, Mrs. Gil Young, Mr. Douglas Miles, Mrs. Beth Lipp, Mrs. Diane Cooke, Mrs. Jackie Woodruff, New York Life (Wayne T. Collins), CLU, Mrs. Helen B. Hoover, R.M. Wilkinson Oil & Propane (Robert Wilkinson and Wayne Pecht), Professional Maintenance Company (Wayne Jennings), The Woman’s Club of Prince George, Tinsley Charter, Prince George County Employees, Boy Scout Troop # 902, Prince George Girl Scouts, Fort Lee, Prince George Rotary Club, Prince George Ruritan Club, Burrowsville Ruritan Club, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Prince George County Volunteer Fire Department- Station One, Prince George County Volunteer Emergency Crew, Riverside Regional Jail Authority, Riverside Criminal Justice Agency, Mr. Alan R. Carmichael, Mr. William F. Gandel, and Mr. William Robertson, Jr.

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Shari’s Nonprofit Pick: It’s Always Personal


People who work in the nonprofit sector often comment about how emotionally charged the workplace can be. This should come as no surprise to any of us. The nonprofit sector should draw highly passionate people; in fact, not much impact has ever been made by passionate-less folks. It follows, then, that emotions in the office can sometimes be highly charged. The author writes, “The neuroscience of emotion is an exiting new field and the conversations I had with people confirmed first-hand what the cutting-edge researchers are discovering. . . Nobody likes working with angry people. And all of us are looking for ways to reduce on-the-job anxiety.”

The author interviews over 200 working Americans as well as experts in the field and comes up with tools to help each of us be our “authentic emotional selves” while building “emotional resiliency.” Check it out.

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Jazz Up Your Summer at the Dinwiddie and Hopewell Libaries!

Get your toes a tappin’!

ARLS welcomes the Ft. Lee Dixieland Band at two of our locations Tuesday, June 28th! Stop by the Dinwiddie Library at 2:30pm and the Hopewell Library at 4:30pm to enjoy a performance of great music in the New Orleans Dixieland style. The performance at the Dinwiddie Library will be held inside the Historic Dinwiddie County Courthouse adjacent to the library. ARLS would like to thank the Dinwiddie Historical Society for their generosity in hosting this event.

Don’t miss the next stop in our Novel Destinations trip around the world! North America will be featured June 27th-July 1st.

Keep reading all summer  to win prizes for reading and be entered to win one of our amazing grand prizes including gift certificates to Swaders, Play N Trade, the Playroom, and the Southpark Mall as well as tickets to area attractions like the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Science Museum of Virginia, King’s Dominion and much, much more! See below for more information about this week’s programs!

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Best on the Web – Save Money on Tutors this Summer

Summer vacation is finally here; but for struggling students, summer isn’t always a welcome break. Just because classes are out doesn’t mean you can put the brakes on learning, especially if you want to catch up by the fall. If you’re having trouble with college level courses, or if you’re the parent of a middle or high school student struggling to keep up, you should know there are websites offering quality instruction at no cost. Tutoring is a great and effective method to improve your knowledge and skills, but if you don’t have the money to spend, or if you prefer self-paced learning, consider Khan Academy and the OWL at Purdue. Khan Academy features 2,100 videos and 100 exercises and assessments covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history. While there are a variety of topics covered, this site focuses on Math and Science. If you need to build grammar and writing skills this summer, the OWL, which stands for Online Writing Lab, is a lifesaver. Topics include beginning writing, conducting research, proofreading, and APA and MLA style guides. Depth and detail of instruction set these two sites apart from other instructional content on the web. There are no simplistic overviews, instead users benefit from comprehensive, interactive, and authoritative learning resources.

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Shari’s Nonprofit Pick: Best of SLA 2011

I just got back from the Special Libraries Association annual conference in Philadelphia. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing a lot of what I learned. Here’s a quick list of some of the best of what I got this year:


  • If you haven’t read Hot, Flat and Crowded by Tom Friedman, do so. Tom is a Pulitzer Prize winning author. He was the keynote speaker and had a lot of great insights into how the internet has “flattened” our world and how we should respond.
  • I have reviewed both Brand Bubble and Spend Shift, and had the chance to attend a workshop by the books’ author. Again, these titles are important reads. I found Gerzema’s five post-recessionary consumer trends particularly enlightening and informative in regard to how we should shape our messaging and the services we provide.
  • I attended a workshop titled “60 Apps in 60 Minutes” by a Yale Librarian Joe Murphy and Social Information Group owner Scott Brown. You won’t want to miss this.


What are some of the best things you’ve learned from conferences?

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Summer Reading Programs Kick Off June 20th!


ARLS invites you to start your summer off right with our Summer Reading Programs for children, teens, and adults June 20th – August 12th at all ARLS  locations!

The Richmond Flying Squirrels’ mascot, Nutzy, will be stopping by to meet and greet children of all ages at Hopewell Library Tuesday, June 21st at 2:30 pm and the Carson Library at 4:00pm.

Don’t forget your camera and autograph book as we host this local celebrity who’s coming to entertain us all!

Don’t miss our first stop in our Novel Destinations trip around the world, starting with Europe June 20th-24th.

Keep reading all summer  to win prizes for reading and be entered to win one of our amazing grand prizes including gift certificates to Swaders, Play N Trade, the Playroom, and the Southpark Mall as well as tickets to area attractions like the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Science Museum of Virginia, King’s Dominion and much, much more! See below for more information about this week’s programs!

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Changes to ARLS Borrowing Policies

The following changes will take effect for all items loaned beginning July 1, 2011.

We hope you will enjoy this simplified approach to borrowing!

All items will be treated equally.

For books, movies, games, music, audio books, & more:

  • 2 week loan
  • No item limits
  • Renew items up to 5 times, as long as item is not on reserve for another patron
  • Late items will be charged $.10 per day per item, not to exceed $4.00 per item
  • Accounts owing more than $5.00 will have library privileges suspended
  • A cost recovery fee of $5.00 will be charged in the following cases: interlibrary loan not picked up, failure to show for reserved class or meeting room, or failure to cancel reserved class or meeting room within 24 hours

For complete access to ARLS policies, please visit Please note that items borrowed from the Petersburg Public Library System are subject to different loan periods and fees.

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