About the Prince William Public Library System The Prince William Public Library System is a ten-branch library system serving the citizens of Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. We offer a world of information! For more information, visit our website at www. pwcgov.org/library or call or visit any of our local Prince William Public Libraries. A Tribute to Small-Town Librarians By Alissa Allen Stribling It Takes a Village The small town in North Carolina where I grew up reflected politeness and respect for family. Children played safely in the yard or down the street. Exploring in the woods before dinner was never a safety issue. The charm of small-town America was influenced by many talented and dedicated professionals who touched the lives of every student in our education system, even beyond our dedicated teachers. For example, when our town mayor came to visit our school, we felt important that he took the time to talk to us about leadership and town management. And when local firefighters drove their fire trucks up to our school and presented a fire safety demonstration, we were so excited. One person who encouraged my creative thinking and who I remember with great reverence was my wonderful elementary school librarian, Mrs. Ruth Eddy. I was somewhat in awe of her and intrigued by her kindness and understated confidence. She masterfully maintained order among energetic school children. She was a key contributor to my love of learning and an inspiration to me and countless other children in our community. In those days before cell phones, the Internet, and laptops, we entertained ourselves by employing our powerful imaginations, and it was Mrs. Eddy who encouraged us to lose ourselves in books. I’ll forever be indebted to Mrs. Eddy for introducing me to traditional children’s books and award-winning literature that transported me on marvelous adventures. Reading these books helped me develop crucial skills that I have used successfully throughout my career: the ability to think creatively, to understand concepts in my mind in several dimensions, to achieve insights through other’s experiences and to sit still and concentrate. The World of Books Upon reading animal books like The Call of the Wild by Jack London, I connected with the plight of the characters, their challenges in the wild, and the dignity of the creatures London described. The Black Beauty book series and movie still move me with their insights about this remarkable horse. I also traveled on marvelous adventures between the time that school ended and dinner began. I entered the imaginary world of a space adventure when an astrophysicist disappeared in the novel A Wrinkle in Time, a science fiction fantasy written by American author Madeleine L’ Engle. I also knew what it was like to hide out in the New York City Metropolitan Museum after I embarked on an adventure with several kids in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, an awardwinning children’s tale by E. L. Konigsberg. Whether I traveled to space or to New York City through the pages of a book, I could still make it home in time for dinner. Librarians continued on page 27 Community Expresses Gratitude for Culpeper County Library Services By Laini Bostian It is not often that we get the opportunity to acknowledge how grateful we are for the daily interactions we have with wonderful people from our community. The public has been so forthcoming with their compliments, especially on the surveys we conduct annually. You have told us things like: “I stay here while my daughter does exams. A great place for me. Read mags, newspapers, use computer & talk to staff who always makes time for me.” “Only recently found out about the free downloads. You all do a great job! I once heard that ’libraries are the bedrock of democracy!’ Please keep up the good and valuable work, especially for those not fortunate enough to be online or have reading materials of their own! Thanks.” “I love the Culpeper Library. I believe it is the staff that makes it so. When you hire, please keep the merits of your current staff in mind as they are tops. I come mostly on Friday/Saturday and it is busy but never too busy to get help if needed.” “I enjoy coming to the library, and have been bringing my kids to the kids’ programs for years now. I always find something to read and my older son always finds the books he wants.” We are so indebted to all of the people who are friends of the Culpeper Library, to all of our volunteers, and to everyone who has made a donation – you have made it possible for the library to remain open during its current hours. Thank you to our precious community members, one and all – come and see us again soon! 2013 • Issue 6 Piedmont Family Magazine 7