November Book Review Luncheon
Dr. Andrew Leiter, Associate Professor at Lycoming College, will present the November 6, 2015, book review on Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (1998) by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tony Horwitz.
This non-fiction work explores the author’s keen interest in the American Civil War and considers the attitudes people still hold about a 19th-century conflict – – its legacy and its modern implications involving race, sovereignty, and historic landscapes. As one reviewer states:” For the most part this rattling good read is an eyes-open, humorously no-nonsense survey of complicate Americans…”
Dr. Leiter says that in the wake of this summer’s shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, and the resulting controversies surrounding the Confederate flag, Horwitz’s Confederates in the Attic seems as timely as ever. Traveling the American South, Horwitz visits sites of the Civil War and interviews individuals with a vested interest in memorializing the War Between the States. The cast of characters—battlefield re-enactors, a Scarlett O’Hara impersonator, United Daughters of the Confederacy, historians, neo-Confederate racists, Civil Rights activists—sheds light on why the Civil War remains so prominent in American memory and reveals the problems such memory can create for contemporary America.
The author’s inspiration for writing the book stemmed from meeting some Civil War re-enactors after he purchased a house in Virginia in the early 1990s. This chance encounter rekindled his interest in the Civil War; an interest he had shared with his father and grandfather. The book is not without controversy. When Confederates was added to the summer reading list for entering freshmen at the University of North Carolina, the Southern Legal Resource Center filed suit because of information in a particular chapter of the book!
Dr. Andrew Leiter earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and joined the Lycoming College faculty in 2005. His research areas are 20th-Century American literature and Southern literature. Dr. Leiter is the author of In the Shadow of the Black Beast: African American Masculinity in the Harlem and Southern Renaissances, and he is also the editor for Southerners on Film: Essays on Hollywood Portrayals Since the 1970s.
The luncheon will start at noon in the Lowry Theatre of the Welch Family wing of the James V. Brown Library. Those who wish may purchase lunch at noon for $6. To reserve lunch, call Dana at the Library at 570-326-0536, ext. 114 or click here & scroll down to the bottom of the page for a registration form.
Please note that you only need to register if you wish to reserve lunch. You may bring your own lunch or simply attend the book review which will start at 12:30 p.m.
Parking is available in the lot off Market Street, adjacent to the Welch Wing.
Volunteer Appreciation Reception
On April 23, 2015 the Board of Directors of the Friends of the James V Brown Library celebrated and recognized the significant contributions of time and talent that are given by the many volunteers working within the walls of the library and out in the community on behalf of the library and its many programs.
Volunteers can be found daily helping patrons find their way around the library, spending time in the stacks shelving returned books, helping with programs and activities for all ages, working in the Friends Favorites Gently-used Book Store, sorting books for the twice-yearly book sale, and doing many more equally supportive tasks. A reception honored and celebrated these generous folks who work quietly within the library and out in the county.
Friends President Greg Thomas welcomed all in attendance and personally thanked all of the volunteers for their generous service. He then served as emcee introducing the various people taking part in the evening festivities.
Barbara McGary, Executive Director of the Library, and Harold Hershberger, Jr., representing the Board of Trustees, in a conversational style, noted that in 2014 volunteers logged nearly 9,000 hours of work for the library. They called volunteers the “backbone of the library” whose work would be worth tens of thousands of dollars – dollars that are just not there owing to state and federal cuts to libraries. McGary noted that so far in 2015 volunteers have logged 2478 hours of work!
They also thanked the Friends of the JVBrown Library for their consistent financial support of the library’s goods and services. These monies come from the annual membership dues, twice yearly major book sales, and the book store on the third floor of the Welch Family Wing. The Friends have regularly supported the library with annual financial support in the neighborhood of $30,000.00! McGary and Hershberger ended their remarks by toasting the volunteers and Friends as making the Brown Library “the place to be in our community!”
Greg Thomas then gave recognition to all the various committees and their members and helpers who work directly within the Friends organization. Laura Ferringer, Volunteer Coordinator for the library, thanked all the many volunteers who work within the library system from shelvers to program presenters to various outreach programs like the Storymobile and Bookmobile.
Thomas then presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to honor volunteers who have unselfishly given of his or her time to the work of the library for a significant period of time.
Those honorees this year were Jean and Gary Reeder.
Jean works in the book store at least two days each month, helps with the set-up and running of the semi-annual book sale, and re-shelves returned books on a weekly basis.
Gary has been working on the Bookmobile since 2010. He provides support on its longest run to numerous day cares and schools in the outer regions of Lycoming County often putting in nine or ten hour days.
The Carile Brown Award, named for the wife of founder James V Brown, is given to those who have demonstrated sustained dedication to the library thus helping to carry out the goals of its founder. This year’s Carile Brown recipients are Laurie Burkholder and Stephanie Calder. These two tireless and creative women have, for several years, co-chaired the library’s Annual Author Gala held annually in the Fall. It is the library’s major fundraising event. Together these two women have raised almost $200,000.00 for the library’s goods and programs.
As an entertaining close for a delightful reception, Youth Services Coordinator, Nina White, entertained the gathering with a reading of BJ Novak’s The Book with No Pictures. The book lent itself to very entertaining dialogue between the reader and audience members and provided some laughable moments for all. It is one of the more recent acquisitions in the children’s department.
For information about volunteer opportunities at the JVB Library ask at the information desk in the main circulation room or see the Volunteer with Us at the bottom of the page.
Previous Issues – Friends of the Library Newsletter