Visit this space to find out the latest happenings at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries!
Harbin Memorial Library
117 South Main St
Central City Public Library
108 East Broad St
Genealogy & Local History Annex
111 South Main St
122 S Cherry St
Visit this space to find out the latest happenings at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries!
Have you seen all the new programs we’re trying out here at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries? We’ve done cooking programs, games, crafts and a plethora of other events, and the fun isn’t over yet! We have plenty to tide you over through Spring Break and beyond. Events coming up include:
And that’s just in the next two weeks!
Head over to our event calendar or our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) to check out all of our upcoming events and make sure you don’t miss out!
If you have an idea for a different program you’d like to see us offer, or if you have a suggestion to improve what we’re currently doing, let us know! You can contact us here or call us at 270-338-4760 with feedback.
Thistle Cottage’s February spotlight features acclaimed screen actor Warren Oates.
“Warren Oates” was never a household name, but he made his mark all the same. Oates worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood: Peter Fonda, Bill Murray, Diane Ladd, Jack Nicholson, Sidney Poitier, the list goes on and on. He was Dillinger in the 1973 biopic of the same name about the famous gangster. He was Sergeant Hulka in 1981’s Stripes.
And before all of that, he was Warren Oates of Depoy.
Oates was born in 1928 to Sarah and Bayless Oates. Bayless owned and operated a general store in the small rural community of Depoy, near Graham.
The family moved to Louisville, where Oates developed an interest in acting. As an adult, he moved to New York City and then Los Angeles to pursue a career. He scored several TV guest spots in the 1950s on shows such as Rawhide, Gunsmoke and others. Oates made his first movie appearance in 1959, but he was primarily a television actor until the mid-to-late 1960s, when he earned roles in The Shooting (1966) with Jack Nicholson, Return of the Magnificent Seven (1966) with Yul Brynner, In the Heat of the Night (1967) with Sidney Poitier and director Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969) with William Holden and Ernest Borgnine.
Even though he was primarily a supporting actor with only a few starring roles, Oates continued acting in movies and TV until the 1980s. He died of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 53, with more than 40 movie credits to his name as well as numerous TV roles. His last two movies, Blue Thunder and Tough Enough, were released posthumously in 1983, and both were dedicated to Oates.
The Warren Oates exhibit, featuring memorabilia related to Oates’s life and acting career, will be on display in the gallery at Thistle Cottage through the end of February.
For more information about the exhibit, contact Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ Thistle Cottage at 270-338-4760.
It’s been a long time coming, but Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is finally ready to unveil the new Harbin Memorial library in Greenville.
For the past two and a half years, Muhlenberg County Public Libraries has been working on major renovations to the building that houses Harbin Memorial. The library had been experiencing structural and space issues before renovations began, forcing the library to do something to alleviate the problems. The new building should be a more secure and spacious solution that will benefit the community for years to come.
Library director Janet Harris said, “We are so excited about what we’ve done with the building. We can’t wait for everyone to come see it!
The library will host an open house this coming Friday, Jan. 11, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will reopen to the public with regular business hours on Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. Light refreshments will be provided during the open house, and there will be a ribbon-cutting at 4 p.m. No library services, such as item checkout or computer use, will be available during the open house, Harris said, but it will give everyone a chance to walk through the much-changed building and see all the improvements.
Harbin Memorial is still located in the same building at 117 South Main Street in Greenville, but the building received a face-lift inside and out. Some interior walls were also removed to create more space; the library expanded into the building next door that previously housed the library’s History and Genealogy Annex. The Annex is relocating to the also newly renovated lower level of Thistle Cottage and will open there soon.
The library has also made technological improvements to streamline services and allow staff more time to focus on providing new services and events to the community. The library installed self-service checkout kiosks for patrons who want to get in and out more quickly without having to wait in line, but Harris noted that librarians will still be available to help patrons who need or want assistance. “We understand that changes like these can take some time to get used to, but we think it will be a huge improvement in the end,” she said. “Once you’ve done it a time or two, the self-checkout system is very easy and quick to use.
“We will, of course, still be on hand if we are needed, but we wanted to give patrons more options.”
A self-service pay machine is also available for patrons who want to print or copy documents, eliminating the need to wait in line at the desk to pay for these services.
Harris stressed that even though more library resources have a self-service option now, no changes are being made to the library staff. “We’re still going to be here!” she said. “If you need us, please don’t hesitate to ask. And when we aren’t assisting patrons, we will be working to improve and expand the services we have available.”
These improvements have already been implemented at the Central City library.
Once reopen to the public, Harbin Memorial library will operate with regular business hours of Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (open until 6 p.m. on Thursdays) and Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
For more information about the newly renovated Harbin Memorial library or any other questions about the library’s services, contact the library at 270-338-4760.
Children visited with Santa in the crisp late afternoon sunlight Wednesday at Martin Grounds Summer House, where a pop-up event hosted by SOAR came with a surprise for one of their local partners.
SOAR is the early childhood education program created in 2011 by the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation. The program focuses on early childhood literacy and kindergarten readiness. SOAR not only hosts the county-wide Ready! for Kindergarten program but has also given over 250,000 books to local children through the last decade.
Wedneday, Muhlenberg children enjoyed talking with Santa and getting a free book. A campfire was lit, and families enjoyed roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.
During the event, the Foundation recognized the support that Muhlenberg County Public Libraries provides for early childhood education, presenting the library system with two grants totaling $1,000 to benefit the storytime program. Muhlenberg County Public Libraries hosts four storytime programs each week for eager youngsters. Storytime meets twice each week at Harbin Memorial and twice at the Central City library.
The gift to the storytime program was part of the Martin Foundation’s 10 Days of Giving event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Foundation.
Christmas is coming, and Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will be ready!
It’s almost time for the Jubilee of Trees at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ Thistle Cottage.
The Jubilee of Trees features trees decorated by local businesses and organizations, each with a different fantasy children’s story as the theme. Each organization chooses their own theme, and every tree is different. This year’s Jubilee features trees decorated by:
Visitors to the Jubilee of Trees will have the chance to vote for their favorite tree. At the end of the year, after the Jubilee of Trees closes, the organization that gets the most votes gets a certificate and bragging rights for a year.
The library also gives away a book for each tree. One name will be drawn out of the votes for each tree, and the winner receives the appropriate book for that tree.
The Jubilee of Trees opens Dec. 1 with an open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will remain open through the end of the year. Cookies and hot chocolate will be available during the open house.
Santa Claus will also visit the Jubilee of Trees during the open house. Guests are welcome to visitwith Santa and take pictures with him.
In the past, a professional photographer has been on hand at Thistle Cottage to take photos of visitors with Santa Claus for a fee, but Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ Amie Waltrip said the library is trying something different this year. “We’ve had several people ask about just taking their own photos, so we’re going to give that a shot,” Waltrip explained. “Our photographers have been fantastic about getting photos sorted, edited and printed as quickly as possible, but we understand that some people need their pictures right away.
“This way, there’s absolutely no wait time. They have immediate access to their photos.”
Visitors who want to take pictures with Santa will need to bring their own cameras. Each guest will have a few moments to sit with Santa and to take the photos they want before Santa has to move on to the next guest.
The Jubilee of Trees is free to visit and after the open house will be open to the public during regular business hours, Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information about the Jubilee of Trees, contact Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ Thistle Cottage at 270-338-4760.