Library Blog Archive


Visit this space to find out the latest happenings at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries!

Summer Space Spectacular Star Party – June 27, 2018

Join us at Thistle Cottage for a fun family celebration of the universe beyond our planet! The Explore Space exhibit will be open from 7 p.m. until about 9 p.m., and we will have games and activities for children and adults. Spacy snacks will also be available.
When the sky is dark enough, we will gather outside Thistle Cottage for stargazing. A telescope and sky maps will be available, but you are encouraged to bring your own telescopes and binoculars, as well. Don’t forget a chair or blanket!
Cross your fingers the weather cooperates! The moon will be nearly full, reducing our ability to view fainter stars and galaxies, but we will be able to get a good look at the moon itself, as well as plenty of brighter stars and several constellations. We may even be able to spot Mercury, Venus, Jupiter or even the dwarf planet Ceres. Even better, if the skies are clear, we should be able to get a good look at Saturn and its rings!
Visit the interactive sky map at for more information about what you can expect to see in the skies on any given night.
Street parking will be available. The parking lot will be closed for this event.
This event is subject to change due to weather. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for July 12, 2018. Follow us on Facebook or call us at 270-338-4760 for more information!

Ky. Chautauqua’s Mary Carson Breckinridge – June 7, 2018

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will host another Kentucky Chautauqua program this week as part of their ongoing “Thursdays at Thistle” series.

Janet Scott will present “Mary Carson Breckinridge: The Frontier Nursing Service” at Thistle Cottage on Thursday, June 7 at 7 p.m.

Mary Carson Breckinridge was born in 1881 into the prestigious Breckinridge family. Her father, Clifton Rhodes Breckinridge, was a U.S. Congressman and ambassador to Russia, and her grandfather, John C. Breckinridge, was Vice President of the United States under James Buchanan.

Despite her privileged upbringing, Mary Carson Breckinridge suffered her share of unhappiness. She was widowed at the young age of 25, and neither of the children she bore with her second husband lived past the age of 4. Her grief over these losses, coupled with a desire to serve others, led Breckinridge to dedicate her life to improving maternal and child welfare.

A trained nurse, Breckinridge joined the American Committee for a Devastated France in 1918. She specialized in caring for mothers and children. She helped expand medical service to more than 70 small villages in France in the years following World War I, as well as implementing an improved hygiene and preventative care program for children.

During this time, Breckinridge was influenced by the work of British midwives. After leaving France, she obtained a postgraduate degree in midwifery from the British Hospital for Mothers and Babies in London, England. When Breckinridge returned home to the United States in 1925, she settled in the Appalachian region of Kentucky, where she felt she could provide valuable medical service. She established the Frontier Nursing Service in Hyden. She and her “angels on horseback” served as midwives and provided low-cost general nursing care to almost 10,000 rural Kentuckians in the mountainous southeastern portion of the state. She later founded the Frontier Graduate School of Midwifery in Hyden to help train future generations.

By 1989, Breckinridge’s Frontier Nursing Service had provided more than 90,000 patients with affordable, accessible health services and assisted with more than 20,000 births. Of those, only 11 mothers were lost in childbirth.

The Frontier Nursing Service became a global example for rural healthcare, and the model Breckinridge set forth is still in use today.

Janet Scott portrays Mary Carson Breckinridge for the Kentucky Chautauqua program. Scott worked in New York City as an actress, playwright and teacher for 30 years before moving to Lexington, Ky. She previously portrayed Mary Settles, the last surviving Shaker at the Pleasant Hill community, for Kentucky Chautauqua. Scott also performs as part of the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and coaches other opera singers from around the world.

Bo List authored the script for Scott’s portrayal. List has previously written works performed in Florida; Memphis, Tenn.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Chicago and New York City as well as his home state of Kentucky.

List also wrote the scripts for Kentucky Chautauqua’s Daniel Boone and Jefferson Davis, both portrayed by Kevin Hardesty, and Nancy Green, portrayed by Debra Faulk.

This Kentucky Chautauqua program will be presented free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information about this program, contact Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.

Kentucky Chautauqua is a presentation of Kentucky Humanities. Local funding is provided by the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation.

Explore Space exhibit and Summer Reading Program


Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is excited to announce the next in a series of special traveling exhibits to be displayed at the library this year.
“Explore Space: A Cosmic Journey” will open at the library’s Thistle Cottage branch on June 4, coinciding with the library’s annual Summer Reading Program kick-off. The “Explore Space” exhibit will be available during normal business hours from June 4 through July 27.


Due to the timing, this year’s Summer Reading Program will feature space-themed programming as well. Summer Reading signups will begin May 29. Programming begins June 11 and lasts through June 29.


An open house for the exhibit and Summer Reading kickoff will be held June 4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Thistle Cottage. Crafts, activities and refreshments will be available, and someone will be on hand to accept sign-ups for Summer Reading and pass out all required materials.


Summer Reading programs will serve all ages, with programs planned for preschool/elementary students, teens and adults throughout the month of June.


Regular weekly Summer Reading programs will be held according to the following schedule:

  • 18 mo.-5 years: Mondays, 10 a.m. (Harbin Memorial location) and Thursdays, 10 a.m. (Central City location)
  • K-2nd grade: Mondays, 1 p.m. (Harbin Memorial location) and Thursdays, 1 p.m. (Central City location)
  • 3rd-5th grade: Tuesdays, 10 a.m. (Harbin Memorial location) and Fridays, 10 a.m. (Central City location)
  • 6th-12th grade: Mondays, 3 p.m. (Central City location) and Tuesdays, 1 p.m. (Thistle Cottage location)


Program themes for children include rockets, outer space and aliens. Teen programs include games, crafts, a “Space Snack Bar” and even an escape room program.


Programs for adults will include a movie night on June 12 at 6 p.m. at the Central City library and a discussion program led by Ron Elliott on June 28 at 6 p.m. at Thistle Cottage. Elliott will talk about his experiences working with NASA on the Apollo space missions in the 1960s.


The Central City library will also host free all-ages Movie Days each Wednesday in June. Children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult. Popcorn and drink will be provided. The movies will begin at 3 p.m.


On July 12, the library will host a finale for the children’s and teens’ programs with a book fair beginning at 9 a.m. and Animal Tales at 11 a.m. Both of those programs will take place at the Central City library.


The adult Summer Reading finale will be held July 20 at noon at the Central City library.


The library will present awards to participants during the Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie night at Lu-Ray Park in Central City on July 27. The library will also be present during the movie night with games and activities for everyone.


A full schedule of summer programming is available on the library’s website or Facebook page.


“Explore Space” is a national exhibit traveling across the country through the end of 2018, visiting a total of 14 libraries throughout the U.S. The exhibit includes informational panels appropriate for all ages, as well as a computer kiosk with games and a Discover Station with hands-on materials, including a plush solar system, a miniature telescope and more.


For more information about the exhibit or upcoming programs, visit the library’s website at, visit Muhlenberg County Public Libraries on Facebook or call 270-338-4760.


“Explore Space: A Cosmic Journey” is part ofthe STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. Exhibit partners include the American Library Association, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and Afterschool Alliance. Explore Space is supported through a grant from the National Science Foundation.


Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is currently hosting the “Science in Play2Go” exhibit from the Kentucky Science Center. That exhibit closes June 2.


The library will also receive the Smithsonian-created “Hometown Teams” exhibit celebrating local sports. That exhibit arrives at Thistle Cottage in August 2018.



“Kentucky and the War of 1812” program to be held May 17

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ popular “Thursdays at Thistle” program continues May 17 with an afternoon discussion program about the War of 1812.

Dr. William H. Mulligan Jr. will visit the library to discuss Kentucky’s important role in the war.

Mulligan’s program, “Kentucky and the War of 1812,” will focus on the impact the war had on Kentucky as well as how soldiers from Kentucky impacted the course of the war. While many textbooks focus on sailors and clashes over sovereignty as the main causes of the War of 1812, two-thirds of American casualties in the war came from Kentucky. Mulligan contends that the events preceding the war had a huge impact on Kentuckians, leading them to join the military in droves and fight for what was important to them. Mulligan will use contemporary evidence to demonstrate that Britain’s support of Indian raids on frontier settlements was a hot topic and major contributing cause to the war and Kentucky’s involvement thereof.

Mulligan is a 25-year veteran of Murray State University’s History Department. He has extensively studied and lectured on America’s military history, among other topics. He has served on Kentucky’s State Historic Preservation Board as well as serving as president of both the Jackson Purchase Historical Society and Murray State’s Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Mulligan has lectured at programs and conferences across the world and now sits on Kentucky Humanities’ Speakers Bureau, for which he developed the “Kentucky and the War of 1812” program.

This Speakers Bureau program will be held May 17 at 2 p.m. at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ Thistle Cottage. The program will be presented free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information about this program, contact Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.

The Speakers Bureau is a presentation of Kentucky Humanities. Local funding is provided by the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation.


Dr. William H. Mulligan Jr.

Spring Victorian Tea to be held May 12

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is preparing for their annual Spring Victorian Tea, an event people look forward to all year.

This year’s tea will be held May 12 at 2 p.m. at Thistle Cottage.

Ticket sales begin April 23.



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. The event is held at Thistle Cottage, which was built in 1912, soon after the end of the Victorian era – a perfect setting to evoke just the right feel for the event, according to Muhlenberg County Public Libraries staff. Attendees are treated to a light meal and a variety of carefully chosen teas.

“This is an opportunity to do something a little different from most of the parties or events people normally get to attend in Muhlenberg County,” library director Janet Harris said. “We try to be as authentic as possible to a real, elegant, Victorian-era afternoon tea.”

Afternoon tea became popular in England during the reign of Queen Victoria as a way to bridge the gap between meals, and the tradition continues today. Menus typically involve small portions of both sweets and savories, including such items as miniatures cakes, sandwiches, etc.

Harris said planning the tea menu is a balancing act. Staff work hard to design a menu that includes enough familiar items to be attractive and comfortable to the less adventurous while still including things that aren’t available every day.

The menu changes slightly each year. This year’s menu is inspired by the upcoming royal wedding between Britain’s Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle.

“We want to treat our guests like royalty, too,” Harris said. “We really try to make sure everyone feels special and has a great time at all our events.”

The menu also includes a selection of hot teas sponsored by the Louisville Tea Company from Louisville, Ky.

Harris pointed out that the timing of the tea – the Saturday before Mother’s Day – makes it a perfect event for a family outing. “We have a lot of people who come every year as a family to celebrate Mother’s Day,” Harris said. “We especially see a lot of mother and daughter groups, and some sibling groups.” However, Harris said, the event is open to anyone who wants to attend.

The tea also includes a hat contest. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite fancy hats. A prize will be given away at the end of the event.

Tickets for the tea are $10 each 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 as soon as possible.

For more information about the Spring Victorian Tea, call Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.

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