April 2015: Appomattox Court House and Bennett Place


Throughout the years of 2011-2015, the United States has been observing the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, a defining struggle that crippled the South, while bringing the country into the modern era of industrialized war, as sobering a lesson to nineteenth century Americans as the atom bomb would be to  twentieth century ones.

April 2015 marks perhaps the most poignant month of this commemoration as the armies of the Union and Confederacy finally faced the ultimate outcome of its four years of carnage in April 1865.

On April 6, 1865, facing the complete annihilation of his army, Confederate General Robert E. Lee offered his surrender to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia.

The Battle of Bentonville, just outside of Goldsboro, North Carolina on March 19, 1865 was one of the last major engagements of the war, leading ultimately to the final surrender agreement on April 26, 1865 by Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and his remaining forces with Union General William T. Sherman at Bennett Place near what is now Durham, N.C.  This last event marked the true end of the Confederacy, as it was the largest troop surrender of the war.

Thus ended what is sometimes considered to be the final classic struggle of not only two military commanders, Lee and Grant, but two ways of viewing American society as a whole, whether to remain in a slave-holding century, or enter a new one promising freedom to all of its citizens.

For more resources, please visit the Erwin Library’s book exhibit area and consult The American Civil War and Reconstruction bibliography, which contains many links to related periodicals and videos.

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March 2015: Women’s History Exhibit

“In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed a Public Law (Pub. L. 100-9) which designated the month of March 1987 as Women’s History Month.  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.  Since 1995, U.S. presidents have issued annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.” (Wikipedia.  Web.  9 March 2015)

Currently, the Erwin Library offers books in the Reference Exhibit Area, all about the lives of women from various eras and backgrounds, each of whom has made some significant contribution to her society as a whole.  From Madam C.J. Walker to Rachel Carson, women have invented, improved and excelled.

And, as you learn more about this year’s National Women’s History Project list of honorees, presented along with this year’s theme “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives,” remember those women in your own life who may never have a book written about them, or be recognized by a national organization, but who work within their families and communities to create better lives for all future generations, steadily passing on their inspiration to all of us.

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February 2015 Exhibit: Presidents’ Day

Launch Presidents Slide Show

Thus far, the United States has had forty-four Presidents, which should make this holiday simple … right?

Okay, so how many U.S. Presidents does it take to make a federal holiday of the third Monday in each February, including this year’s on February 16, 2015?

Actually, only one, since the holiday is still considered by the federal government to be “Washington’s Birthday” (which actually should be celebrated every February 22nd, if truth be told, unless you get into a discussion of the Georgian and Julian calendar dates for his birth…).  After all, he was the first U.S. President, and pretty much defined the office, even to the extent of standing his ground for it to remain a Presidency and not become a kingship.

Popular opinion, however, traditionally and often quite diversely expressed by the individual state governments, has variously designated the holiday as everything from ‘Presidents’ Day” in Alaska, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming, to “President’s Day” in Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Washington, to “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas.

President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was also in February, making him a fairly logical addition to the original lineup.  According to History.com “the Uniform Monday Holiday Act also included a provision to combine the celebration of Washington’s Birthday with Abraham Lincoln’s, which fell on the proximate date of February 12.”  For more confusion, consult the Wikipedia article for a dizzy trip down the “Presidents Day’ rabbit hole.

Another great place to find more information about all of our U.S. Presidents is the Erwin Library, in particular the book exhibit currently in the Reference Exhibit Area.  Check out a biography or history book and learn as much as you can, then come back for more!

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October 2014 Exhibit: Teen Read Week/Hispanic Heritage Month

Teen Read Week

This year the theme for October’s  Teen Read Week is  Turn Dreams into Reality @ your Library.  This “national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) … began in 1998 and is held annually during the third week of October (October 12-18 in 2014). Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.”  On the YALSA website  you’ll find a Teen Corner which offers you a chance to vote from among twenty-five nominated titles, to help determine the Top Ten Young Adult books.  Most of those books can be found in the Erwin Library.

To enrich your experience of Teen Read Week, the selection of Young Adult books on display in the Erwin Library Circulation Desk area are either about Hispanic culture, or written by Hispanic authors, since September 15-October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S.  To learn more about other Young Adult books on Hispanic themes, or by Hispanic authors, explore YALSA’s YA Fiction for Hispanic Heritage Month.

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New! Faculty Guide to Erwin Library

Screenshot of Faculty Guide

Not sure how to share streaming videos with your students? Or, would you like to learn more about resources in all formats that the Erwin Library offers to WCC faculty in support of student learning?

Perhaps the library’s newly created Research GuideFaculty Guide to Erwin Library, available on the Erwin Library homepage under LIBRARY GUIDES AND RESOURCES will help you.

There, you will find step-by-step guidance for locating and using streaming videos from the library’s many databases, making reservations for information literacy sessions, and leading your students to helpful library resources, both print and electronic.   Once you explore the new Faculty Guide, feel free to let us know if there are other topics you would like to see covered in that guide; or, if you would like to have a similar Research Guide created specifically for one of your classes, to include in your students’ Moodle class page

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August 2014 Exhibit: The “Wizard of Oz” Movie 75th Anniversary

Wizard of Oz

As of August 2014, it has been 75 years since children first shuddered at the sight of flying monkeys, and even adults teared up at the winsome melody of “Over the Rainbow” as a young Judy Garland sang to her little dog Toto in The Wizard of Oz.

And just as with other movies in that impressive group of classics which appeared in 1939, including Wuthering Heights and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, this movie was based on a classic book, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, published in 1900 by L. Frank Baum.

In the Erwin Library you will find two book exhibits:  one full of books about The Wizard of Oz, both the movie and series of books, the other about more writers of classic juvenile fiction, including Louisa May Alcott, Lewis Carroll and Beatrix Potter (you know you’re never too old to read it!).

You might also take some time to enjoy the Warner Brothers Wizard of Oz website, where you’ll encounter lots of information, interactive games, music and videos … and maybe a flying monkey or two.

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September 2014 Exhibit: September is Honey Month!

September is National Honey Month, and what a sweet celebration it is!  Also, unlike most sweet foods we’re warned away from, honey can be downright therapeutic.

According to the National Honey Board “More than ever, people are looking for natural ingredients and it’s hard to imagine anything more pure and natural than one-ingredient honey … In addition to being a great natural sweetener, honey has a multitude of benefits that many people don’t know about.  Have you ever had an unrelenting sore throat? Honey has been proven to be a natural throat soother! Are you an athlete looking for a natural energy boost before the big game? Honey’s unique blend of natural sweeteners gives it the ability to provide quick energy in any circumstance.”  Use the Honey Locator to find a beekeeper or vendor near you who sells honey made by local bees.

Did you know that the Erwin Library at WCC is the official library for the North Carolina State Beekeeper’s Association (NCSBA)?  As a result, we hold an extensive collection of DVDs and books about bees and apiculture which are loaned by request to affiliates of the NCSBA for training of their chapter members.  Explore the books on the Erwin Library shelves about bees and honey; you might become a beekeeper yourself someday!

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August 2014 Exhibit: National Aviation Day


In 1939 National Aviation Day was first proclaimed by President Franklin Roosevelt as August 19, Orville Wright’s birthday.  Mr. Wright, born in 1871, was still alive when his birthday was first designated as National Aviation Day.

This August 15-21, 2014 is National Aviation Week, observed each year during the week of Orville Wright’s birthday.

With Orville making his first successful flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. in 1903, and Seymour Johnson AFB located right here in Goldsboro, N.C., this commemoration has particular significance to us for reminding us of how taking to the air has changed the way we think about the world, and what we take for granted these days, such as not having to row to Hawaii, and next-day mail delivery.  In the Erwin Library Circulation Desk book exhibit area find wonderful and colorfully illustrated histories of the development of aviation, as well as biographies of famous aviators.  Make sure to search the Erwin Library’s OPAC to find even more books available for you to check out about these topics.

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New! Student Guide to Using Erwin Library Resources

Created by Erwin Reference Librarians, and now available in both the Library User Services section of the Erwin homepage, as well as in the “Support Information” section of all WCC Moodle class pages, the new Student Guide to Using Erwin Library Resources is a one-stop guide for your library adventure.

We take you through applying for a library card using an online form application, through focusing on a paper topic, to finding a wealth of scholarly articles, books, and streaming videos, to documenting all your resources in the final paper.

A new video tour of the Erwin Library, and many video and PDF tutorials, supported with links to other authoritative online help sites, will carry any student from his or her first Erwin Library card to a fully researched paper with properly cited resources.

As always, we also encourage you to visit, phone (919-739-6890), or email (wcc-library@waynecc.edu) the Erwin Reference Librarians if you have any questions, or need any help with your library research!

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January 2014 Exhibit: The Struggle for Civil Rights

On January 20, 2014, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and work are celebrated.  The Erwin Library’s January book exhibit, now on display in the Reference area, highlights Dr. King’s contributions to the African American civil rights struggle within the comprehensive and ongoing fight to gain civil rights for workers, women, and other cultural and ethnic minorities in the United States.

In Going Down Jericho Road, Michael Honey looks at King’s personal and public experiences in the events surrounding the Memphis Strike and King’s final days. Readers may also gain inspiration from King’s famous quotations and speeches in The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Learn more about the events at Little Rock Central High School when the “Little Rock Nine” worked to break down the walls of segregation in Turn Away Thy Son by Elizabeth Jacoway. Take a more personal look at the effects of this momentous occasion in Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock by David Margolick, as he follows the lives of the two most prominent figures in the photograph from that famous day in Little Rock and their later reconciliation and friendship. Several volumes deal with school desegregation and its place in the Civil Rights Movement.

Other books on display also relate aspects of the African American experience in America during the Civil Rights Movement. A fascinating history containing copies of speeches, brochures, and other primary materials from the experience of Lewis Michaux, a bookseller in Harlem during the turbulent 1960s, No Crystal Stair deals with the creative and intellectual exchange taking place in the African American community. Covering events in the South, We Shall Not be Moved by M.J. O’Brien discusses the Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-In, its effects, and the life of Medgar Evers.

Find out more about the various groups still struggling to define their civil rights at the The Leadership Conference’s website, “the nation’s premier civil & human rights coalition.”  Many more books, streaming videos and online journal articles are available in the Erwin Library’s collections; the History of Civil Rights in the United States bibliography will provide a list and guide for your research.

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