Library Blog Archive


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

NASA exhibit coming to Thistle Cottage


Update: The NASA exhibit will officially open Wednesday, September 6 at 11 a.m. with everything except for the spacesuit. The spacesuit will be added to the exhibit upon its arrival later in the week. The exhibit should be complete by the end of the week.

The NASA exhibit will be available during regular Thistle Cottage hours through September 25. Thistle Cottage is open Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed 12-1 for lunch) as well as for special events. The building may also be available for appointments outside these hours for group visits. Call 270-338-4760 for more information.


Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is over the moon about their upcoming exhibit at Thistle Cottage.

September’s featured exhibit at Thistle Cottage will include a space exploration-related exhibit provided by NASA, as well as a meteorite display from Greenville’s House of Onyx.

The exhibit will include items from NASA Langley’s artifact collection, including a replica Apollo-era spacesuit, several spacesuit gloves and other astronaut apparel, food and drink containers designed for use in space, a training helmet and a model of the Space Launch System used by NASA.

House of Onyx will provide pieces from their collection that originally came from a meteorite.

According to library director Janet Harris, library staff are looking forward to the exhibit. “We are beyond pleased to be chosen as a recipient of this NASA exhibit!” Harris said. “We hope this will allow families and school groups to visit and see this exhibit without traveling out of town.

“The experience of seeing actual items from NASA is one that will be a lasting one for our families and students who will visit.”

Amie Waltrip, archivist at Muhlenberg County Public Library’s Thistle Cottage and exhibit coordinator, echoed Harris’s sentiments. “I’m so excited, “Waltrip said. “I can’t wait to get this exhibit and be able to share it with everyone.”

Harris added that one goal for the exhibit is to encourage more interest in science-related topics. “We hope that families and educators will take advantage of this exhibit to teach and encourage questions about science and space,” she said.

“Who knows? Someday we may have an astronaut from Muhlenberg County.”

Waltrip noted that this exhibit is only one of several science-related exhibits coming up for Muhlenberg County Public Libraries in the next year. The Central City library will host the Kentucky Science Center’s “Science in Play 2 Go” exhibit, featuring several interactive elements for children, in March, April and May 2018, and Thistle Cottage will host “Explore Space: Our Solar System and Beyond” from the Space Science Institute in June and July 2018.

September’s NASA exhibit is made possible by NASA Langley Research Center’s traveling exhibits program, with additional exhibit support from the House of Onyx. “We are so grateful to NASA and the House of Onyx for allowing us to borrow these items,” Harris and Waltrip agreed.

“Beyond Earth: NASA’s Space Exploration” will be on display at Thistle Cottage throughout the month of September. Opening and closing dates for the exhibit are pending as the library awaits final notification from NASA that the exhibit has been shipped, but the exhibit is expected to open in early September. Dates will be announced as soon as possible.

Follow Muhlenberg County Public Libraries on Facebook for more information and continued updates on this exciting exhibit.

August Featured Artist – Lucinda Scharf


August’s featured artist at Thistle Cottage is Lucinda Scharf, commonly known in the area as Rooti Patooti.

Scharf, a local artist, is well known in the region for her artwork. Her show at Thistle Cottage opens Aug. 1 and will remain open throughout the month of August. She will visit Thistle Cottage from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 17 for an open house and reception in honor of her show. Light refreshments will be provided. Everyone is invited to join us to meet the artist and view and discuss her work!




Sunrise on Sunflowers


Scharf’s biography and artist statement is posted below.

Artist Lucinda Scharf, a.k.a. Rooti Patooti, is celebrating her 15th year as a fulltime artist. She
lives in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, among the rolling farmlands leading to Lake Malone and
finds endless inspiration there. She creates the majority of her paintings in her home studio and
then transports them to where they are to be displayed and sold. Other artwork is sold directly
from her studio to customers shopping online via facebook.
Lucinda Scharf has been creating her entire life, but it wasn’t until moving to Rosewood,
Kentucky, 15 years ago, that she had an actual art studio and allowed creating art to take over
her life. In short order, Scharf had a multitude of paintings that needed an audience, and with
the aid of her ever-supportive husband, Dr, Craig Scharf, they opened their home to the public
to view her paintings. For seven years, the weekends were dedicated to open studio visits, talks
and tours and the remaining time to painting and tending their homestead. It was always
interesting and a rewarding time. But when the dream opportunity presented itself for Scharf to
become a working store artist for a new business in an old historic downtown, she couldn’t resist
the new challenge. So Scharf closed her home gallery and began welcoming the public to
experience her art in a new setting at the store called On Main.
Many have come to associate the name “Rooti Patooti” with this bustling On Main store in
downtown Greenville, Kentucky, where Scharf has been store artist since 2009. On Main is
owned and run by the highly creative mother and daughter team of Vicki Slinker and Sabrina
Scott. Scharf collaborates with them to design art that complements the store’s seasonal look
and vibe or to fill niches and needs within the community. The store is a hub of ideas and
activity for home and lake decor, fashion, gift giving, and of course Rooti Patooti’s Art. Scharf
also fills special order commissions as time permits. At Christmastime, many people have
created the tradition of gifting Rooti Patooti’s original whimsical snowmen and delight in telling
the artist about who they are giving them to this year. Scharf especially enjoys being in the store
during the Christmas season and will pull up a spot in the store to create small original art as
she visits. Customers are free to watch and ask questions and she is often able to design a
special snowman gift while customers do their downtown shopping.
This August is Scharf’s first exhibit at Thistle Cottage in Greenville, Kentucky, but she is no
stranger to this location. Scharf was artist in residence at this location for seven years when it
was known as the Duncan Cultural Center. She exhibited numerous times over the years,
created yearbook cover art, taught soft pastel art classes and volunteered time and resources.
Scharf is a self-taught artist who has always found ways to express herself with her hands.
Everything she sees is art! As a child, she was imprinted with the love for being outdoors, the
awesomeness of nature, and places less traveled, especially old downtowns. While growing up,
she spent her free time playing outside with siblings in their big yard, farmers’ fields, and in the
river and mountains by her home. Tending to a variety of animals at home and helping in family
gardens also cultivated a respect and fascination for living things and their characteristics.
These early life experiences and sense of wonder, respect and humbleness, are always
evidenced in the paintings she creates and how she lives out her adult life.

As you look at Scharf’s paintings in this month’s exhibit, you’ll notice that they are behind glass,
but look like they could be oil paintings. These paintings were created by using soft pastels (dry,
pure pigments that have been pressed into what looks like chalk). These paintings could
actually smear if displayed without the protection of glass. Since Scharf is a very hands on
person, she finds painting with soft pastels (pastels) to be a satisfying way to get her hands
dirty. When she paints, she picks up the pastel with her bare fingers and rubs it upon a rough
textured surface, layer-after- layer, one color at a time. The building up of layers of different
colors is how the pastel medium mixes, unlike with other forms of painting which require blobs
of wet paint to be mixed on a pallet and then applied to a painting with a brush. Soft pastel
painting is hands on, no brushes are required, and no drying time is needed.
What is also unique about pastel art is that it began as a primitive art form; think caveman
drawings made with plant pigments smeared onto walls. In later centuries pastels were used to
make sketches that were then painted over with oil paint. Pastels were not even considered a
painting medium until the 19th century. Scharf gives thanks to some of her favorite artists like
Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt who made her passion for pastel painting a viable and valuable
art medium today.
Scharf’s body of artwork for this month’s exhibit represent the land and observations in nature
that are close to her home and heart. The essence of Rooti Patooti’s art is joyfulness,
brightness and reverence which spills forth from rambles among quiet lanes, gardens, hillsides,
rivers, fields and streams. Don’t be surprised if after viewing the exhibit that you find the sudden
urge to go out for a walk!


(Photos and artist statement/bio courtesy of Lucinda Scharf)

Great American Eclipse coming to Muhlenberg County Public Libraries

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is ready to celebrate the Great American Eclipse this summer!

The library has programs planned all through the month of August to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The fun starts Aug. 1 with an outer space-themed coloring contest. Coloring sheets will be available at either library location and may be returned to either location any time before close of business on Aug. 18. Winners will be announced the day of the eclipse.

A presenter from Nashville’s Adventure Science Center will visit the Central City library on Thursday, Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. for a kickoff family program. This program will feature important eclipse information for families who want to watch the eclipse, including what an eclipse is, what causes it and safe viewing tips. The library recommends that any families who intend to enjoy this unique event make plans to attend the kickoff program on Aug. 10 and get this crucial information.

The library will have games and crafts available the week prior to the eclipse. The Central City branch will host a children’s galaxy scavenger hunt Aug. 14-18, and both library locations will have craft supplies to make a glow-in-the-dark color-changing bracelet available all week Aug. 14-18. Both of these activities may be completed any time during normal library hours.

The library is also planning a couple of online contests requiring patrons to like and share the library’s Facebook page and answer eclipse-related trivia questions for a chance to win a prize.

Even the library’s Teen Craft Night for August will have an eclipse theme. Craft Night is scheduled for Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. at Thistle Cottage. Participating teens will make pinhole projectors, which, among other uses, may be used to safely view a partial eclipse. Since totality only lasts such a short time (1 minute, 44 seconds in downtown Greenville and 45 seconds in downtown Central City) these can be helpful.

Each library branch will also host a children’s eclipse party for ages 18 months to 5 years with snacks, games, crafts and activities. These parties will be Aug. 17 at 10:30 a.m. at Central City and Aug. 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Harbin Memorial. These fun events will include snacks, games, crafts and activities for children.

The main event goes down on Aug. 21, 2017. Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will host free public viewing sites at the Central City library and at Thistle Cottage. Free eclipse gear, including snacks, drinks and eclipse glasses, will be available while supplies last. The library is planning several games and activities to coincide with the lead-up to the eclipse, culminating in the total eclipse. The viewing parties will begin at noon and last until 2 p.m., with totality occurring just before 1:30 p.m. at both sites.

The library has also created custom eclipse-specific filters for Snapchat and Facebook Camera so visitors can mark this special event with a one-of-a-kind photo. These photo filters will only be available to those who are physically at the library’s eclipse viewing sites on Aug. 21.

All of the activities listed above are provided for free by Muhlenberg County Public Libraries with support from Pizza Plus, Brother’s BBQ, IDK Family Restaurant and Stellian’s.

This summer’s eclipse is an incredible opportunity. Total solar eclipses occur about once every 18 months somewhere in the world, but many experts, including those cited by the Hayden Planetarium’s Joe Rao in a column on ( estimate that a particular location may only see a total eclipse once every 360 years or more. The last total solar eclipse visible anywhere in the United States was in 1991, and that one was only visible from part of Hawaii. For many Americans, this is the only total solar eclipse they will see in their lifetime.

During a total solar eclipse, the sun is completely blocked by the moon as it travels between the sun and Earth. Only the sun’s atmosphere, which is described as looking something like a diamond ring in the sky, will be visible. The sky will darken to a deep twilight, and some stars may be visible even in the middle of the day. This is the only time humans can look directly at the sun without protective eyewear and not risk permanent injury to their eyes. At all other times, including partial eclipse, protective filters such as eclipse glasses must be worn to protect the eyes. The library is providing these protective glasses for free during the eclipse while supplies last.

For more information and details about Muhlenberg County Public Libraries’ eclipse programming, watch this page and follow the library on Facebook.

Fourth of July

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will be closed Tuesday, July 4, 2017 in observance of Independence Day. We’ll reopen Wednesday (July 5) at our normal time. Have a great Fourth of July!

Thistle Cottage closed June 12-16

Aside from previously scheduled activities, Thistle Cottage will be closed June 12-16 for collection maintenance and training. All planned activities will take place as scheduled. Thank you for your cooperation!

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