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!
May is here, and at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries, that means it’s almost time for the annual Spring Victorian Tea!
This year’s tea is scheduled for May 14 at 2 p.m. at Thistle Cottage.
The Spring Victorian Tea is held each year to give visitors a glimpse of what it would be like to attend a traditional Victorian afternoon tea. Thistle Cottage, which was built soon after the end of the Victorian era, is decorated appropriately with photos, fresh flowers and more. Attendees are treated to a light meal and a variety of carefully chosen teas.
“It’s an opportunity for people to try things they may not have experienced before … it’s not just an everyday meal,” Muhlenberg County Public Libraries director Janet Harris said. “We make sure our menu isn’t too far out of anyone’s comfort zone, but we also try to make sure we serve things that people don’t get every day.”
In addition to the menu, Harris said, the event itself is something out of the ordinary for the region. Most places in this region don’t serve a daily afternoon tea, she pointed out, and many people who attend the tea at Thistle Cottage have never been to anything else similar. She said library staff work hard to make sure that everyone who attends the tea feels special.
“We really try to make sure everyone who attends has a great time and gets to experience something unique.”
Additionally, the event features a hat contest. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite fancy hats, and a prize will be given away at the end of the event.
Harris said, “This event is something that people look forward to all year long, every year.”
“We get a lot of compliments after the event each year.”
Since the tea is typically scheduled around the same time as Mother’s Day, many people bring their mothers as a special treat, Harris said, but the event is equally great for sisters, friends or even the whole family.
Tickets for the tea are $10 each, and proceeds benefit the Muhlenberg County Public Libraries Friends of the Library. Tickets go on sale May 2 and may be purchased at Thistle Cottage (122 South Cherry St. in Greenville). Seating is limited, so anyone interested in attending is encouraged to purchase their tickets early.
For more information about the Spring Victorian Tea, call Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.
Earlier this year, we asked patrons to write poems about where they’re from, in the style of Kentucky 2015-16 Poet Laureate George Ella Lyon’s Where I’m From. The poems are a part of a statewide project sponsored by the Kentucky Arts Council. Poems were collected from many counties across the state, and they are being posted online this week in honor of Kentucky Writers’ Day on April 25.
The Arts Council will continue posting as many submissions as they can throughout the end of the year. Poems can be submitted throughout Dec. 1, 2016 to Muhlenberg County Public Libraries or directly to the Arts Council. More information, as well as several of the submissions from Muhlenberg and other participating counties, can be found on the Arts Council website.
Muhlenberg County’s submissions can be read below. Watch for posters in our library branches featuring the poems and authors!
Where I’m From
I am from striving to touch the clouds
swinging high, never reaching
but I still try
I am from running wild with my imagination
made up games, new personalities
laughing together, my cousins and me
I am from baking brownies, sweeping floors
setting tables and cleaning up
helping my mom when she needs me
I am from being a big sister
wagon rides, a big hill, a swing set on a sunny day
Band-Aids on scraped knees
I am from old TV shows
snuggled in bed
my pillow is fluffed and my covers are warm
I am from bus rides with my best friend
a shared seat and shared laughs
our creativity runs free
I am from long drives to Grandmama’s house
telling stories and sharing about our days
all the way up the gravel driveway
I am from the legacy of my grandmothers
great and greater
I am an artist in the making
Where I’m From
I am from Mason jars,
sweet tea and blackberry thorns.
I am from coal dust off the conveyor,
putting food on the table and driving us mad.
I am from the apple tree in the backyard,
holding us up and shading our hearts.
I am from canning in the kitchen,
katydids and fireflies too.
I am from snuff chew’in,
gourd grow’in, and wrestl’in on the TV.
I am from the deer in the tree,
shotguns and Leave Us Alone!
I am from four wheel drive,
Stripper Pits and High Walls too.
I am from fried pies on Sunday,
Sit Up Straight! and fear of God.
I am from chicken and dumplings,
thumb pick’in and homemade wine.
I am from the quilt on my grandmother’s bed,
mothballs in the closet and the garden out back.
I am from the sweet rain of summer,
trips to the Dairy Freeze and barefoot in the grass.
I am from drive all night,
bootleggers and love’in by the lake.
I am from Get Out of Here,
Make Something of Yourself!
I am all that was and all that will be.
I am the questions that I didn’t ask,
callused hands long gone.
I carry them with me —
till death do us part.
Where I’m From
I’m from the wrong side of the tracks,
That carried the coal in a county that at one time
Was the world’s largest producer, but they are no longer there.
I’m lived behind the school I attended twelve years, but due to
Progress it is now shuttered and empty.
I’m from parents who believed in hard work
but not a lot of love and praise.
I’m two of two, different and distant.
I’m a coal miner’s daughter, but have never been
a coal miner’s wife due to the bust.
I’m a mother, grandmother, believer, volunteer, employee, friend.
I have known grief for parents, grandparents,
a best friend and a granddaughter.
I’m where I want to be, in this county
where the sun rises in the Green
and sets in The Pond.
Sonnet 2: Belfry
Fording two creeks, Whiskey Run and one,
Descended Adam from green Paradise.
He eyed a vast Frame whose shell was the sun,
And Creation remembered, was enticed.
The Silhouette offered Adam a drink,
And feeling parched, he could not quite say no.
“Ay, ‘tis dark, yet not starless, I should think.”
“Here, the rivers are but compeers of coal.”
Inspired by the easterly winds of steam,
Adam heard thumbpicking that reached Heaven.
This song replaced by that of budding dreams,
Echoing tones spoke the Form, times seven.
Adam looked down the chalice and saw me
And up shrouded columns a great belfry.
Where I’m From
I am from mountains,
from creeks and hollers.
I am from front porch sitting,
lightening bus, crawdads
and butchered hogs.
I am from the Willow tree,
the soft breezes and
the fog on the mountain.
I am from pop and bologna,
from Arthur and Altie.
I’m from preachers, Aunnies and give me sugars.
From in or out one and shut that door!
I am from bluegrass
I am from Linefork and Kingscreek,
lettuce and onions, cornbread and beans.
From the warmth of the pot-bellied stove
to homemade quilts.
I am from the yard of
Voices of those long gone
Reminding us of a loving family
I am from those times.
I am from those people.
I am those memories.
Where I’m From
I came up hard and fast,
rough, rowdy and ready,
born and bred country,
true blue tomboy to the bone,
rockin’ bibs, boots and flannel,
diggin’ fat, slimy fishin’ worms,
and plantin’ delicate ditsy daisies.
Guess that might make a body
curious-minded ‘bout my upbringin’
ponderin’ where a girl might be from
who digs worms and plants daisies?
Well, givin’ this opportunity to brag,
it would be my privilege to reveal
precisely where I do come from:
I come from a place called, Paradise …
raised up in the midst of
Haul Roads and Slack Piles,
Strip Pits and Air Shafts,
down a long line of
risk takin’- deal makin’
Straight outta Shantytown,
Foot Paths and Dirt Roads,
Penny Pinchin’ and Scanty Livin’
barefootin’ round Shotgun Shacks
down low in Train Track Bottoms,
on the outskirts of Company Row.
I come from Feed Sack Dresses,
Cast-Iron Skillets and Wood-Fired Stoves,
Butcher Knives and Mason Jars,
forged offa’ Smoke Houses and Home Grown Cookin’
Soup Beans, Turnip Greens and Cornbread Fritters,
Country Ham, Red Eye Gravy and Buttermilk Biscuits.
Scarcely survivin’ the Backwoods,
Feedin’ Chickens and Sloppin’ Hogs,
Fetchin’ Water and Scrubbin’ Rags with
Lye Soap on knuckle-bustin’ Washboards,
and air-dryin’ Laundry on the Line,
no matter the weather, even in the freezin’ cold.
I come from the Company Store,
Warm Mornin’ Heaters and Potbellied Stoves,
Wringer Washers and Galvanized Washtubs,
suppliers of Coal Oil, Carbide, and Kerosene,
fuel for the hard-workin’ simple man,
bartered in return for Back Breakin’ Labor.
Brought up on Company Script,
Coupon Books and Metal Flickers,
Store Credit and Unendin’ Debt,
caught up in a Coal Baron’s Monopoly,
selfishly swellin’ the pockets of the rich,
and dauntly drainin’ the life out of the poor.
I come from a Hard Day’s Work,
Picks and Shovels, Sweat and Grit,
Rooms and Pillars, Tunnels and Slopes,
belly crawlin’ through Low Ceilings,
hustlin’ butt bustin’ train loads of
Black Diamonds and Dust.
Raised on the “Hoot Owl Shift”
Hard Hats and Draglines,
High Walls and Sludge Pits,
eatin’ Lunch Bucket Leftovers, and
diggin’ Pay Dirt from dusk till dawn
in the swampland round River Bottoms.
I come from the ragin’ Radicals,
Labor Disputes, Union Strikes, and Picket Lines,
Layoffs, Shutdowns, and Unemployment.
infamously fueled by High Sulphur Coal
bein’ hauled ‘way on a long black train,
billowin’ thick, gray smoke down the tracks.
A genuine product of perilous times,
livin’ hard and dyin’ young with
Emphazema and Black Lung
battlin’ a hellacious fossil fuel,
a million years in the makin’
in the heart of the West Ky Coal Field.
I come, from a jaunty line of outright Originals,
a fortified descendent of the legendary
play hards, love hards, and work hards,
tobacco smokin’ snuff dippin’ chaw spittin’
Bible believin’ Sunday preachin’
Down-Home, Home-Grown, Legends.
Bred on Larger than Life Reputations,
the Jokesters and the Pranksters,
the Nicknamers and the Storytellers,
makin’ the most outta’ expectin’ the least,
runnin’ trot lines and scoutin’ game
tradin’ Pocketknives and whittlin’ Hickory Sticks.
I come from God’s Greatest Generation,
taught the value of John L. Lewis, and
witnessin’ the glory days of the UMWA,
takin’ pride in a good day’s work,
lovin’ Family and holdin’ Friends dear,
learnin’ bout Jesus and bein’ proud about
knowin’ how to work with my hands.
Been watchin’ all my life how mankind
pursues the ever-present quest for survivin’
noticin’ early on how bread winnin’ possesses
no age limit, markin’ up the strong willed with
Calloused Hands, Dirty Nails and Dingy Faces,
from packin’ Coal Buckets, Cinders and Ashes,
but never failin’ to provide, no matter the cost.
Spent most my life livin’ on the edge,
dodgin’ hard knocks, killin’ precious time,
never givin’ a second mind to bein’
lost in the midst of toil and despair,
rackin’ up sufferin’… stock pilin’ pain,
and gamblin’ every moment away like
a Canary tappin’ a new Coal Seam.
Yet, when I recollect where I come from,
my inner spirit soars at the thought of the
Precious People who shaped my mindset,
taught me right from wrong, and watched in
anticipation of what I would make of myself,
and for the sacrifices they made so that
I can stand today and pay tribute to our home.
In honor of all those I grew up with:
like the front porch Checker pushers,
leanin’ back in Ladder Back Chairs
drinkin’ Pop Bottles full of peanuts,
talkin’ big, Thumbpickin’ by ear,
and Singin’ Country by heart,
I can proudly say: I come from Paradise…
The entries have been reviewed, and here are the winners of our spring coloring contest!
Jayla Wilson 1st Place
Bertha Nelson 2nd Place
Emily Wood 1st Place
Seth Wilson 2nd Place
Madison Wilder 1st Place
Toniann (Last name not given) 2nd Place
Jaxen Rust 1st Place
Caysen Peterson 2nd Place
This week Muhlenberg County Public Libraries, together with the American Library Association (ALA), will officially launch a new initiative to promote awareness of the many roles libraries can play in today’s society.
The initiative, called Libraries Transform, is a national campaign that highlights the transformative nature of our nation’s libraries and emphasizes the critical role libraries still play in the digital age.
Muhlenberg County Public Libraries joins libraries of all types in this national, unified effort to increase awareness of the changing role of libraries and the ways in which libraries are transforming to meet the needs of their users.
Rapid advances in technology are fueling a library renaissance. No longer just places for books, libraries across the country now offer an assortment of free digitally-based programs and services including 3-D printing, ebooks, digital recording studios and technology training. Such tech-based resources are transforming lives through digital literacy and lifelong learning, contributing to education, employment, entrepreneurship, engagement and empowerment. Yet libraries are often overlooked as catalysts for powerful individual and community change.
Muhlenberg County Public Libraries cardholders have access to a vast, growing catalog of ebooks, digital audiobooks and digital videos. They are also able to access Mango language-learning software and can even sign up for online computer skills classes through popular provider Teknimedia. All of these services, among many others, are provided for free to all Muhlenberg County Public Libraries patrons.
The library system also hosts a wide variety of programs for all ages throughout the year. In addition to traditional events such as storytime and Summer Reading programs, the library hosts game days, indoor and outdoor movie nights, teen dances, book and movie clubs, musical and dramatic performances and more. Library staff can be found at many of the local community festivals and events, including the annual Squash and Gobble and the upcoming 2016 Lifestyle Show, with fun games and activities to engage patrons and potential patrons. And the library is always looking for new and innovative ideas to better serve Muhlenberg Countians.
“Today’s libraries are not just about what we have for people, but what we do for and with people,” ALA President Sari Feldman said. “The goal of the Libraries Transform campaign is to change the perception that ‘libraries are just quiet places to do research, find a book, and read’ to a shared understanding of libraries as dynamic centers for learning in the digital age.
“Libraries of all kinds foster individual opportunity that ultimately drives the success of our communities and our nation.”
The idea of the Libraries Transform initiative is to change the perception of libraries, Feldman said. Too many people see libraries as just nice to have or, even worse, obsolete, she said, when they should be seen as essential.
As part of the Libraries Transform initiative, Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will be making a concentrated effort to increase outreach opportunities and keep Muhlenberg County residents informed of all that their local libraries can have to offer.
The campaign launches this week, during National Library Week. As part of the week-long celebration and campaign, the libraries will be holding giveaways throughout the week. Visit the library to be entered!
For more information about Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ programs and services, call 270-338-4760 or visit http://www.mcplib.org.
For more information about Libraries Transform please visit http://www.librariestransform.org.
You can also participate in the campaign yourself for a chance to win a $100 prize! Just tell us why libraries are important to you. Visit http://www.ilovelibraries.org/national-library-week for details.