Archive for Exhibits

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 “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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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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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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August 2013 Exhibit: Vicksburg and Gettysburg

Throughout the years of 2011-2015, the United States is observing the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War (1861-1865), a defining struggle, after which the country was forever changed.

Highlights of events commemorated in 2013 are the major battles of Gettysburg, fought in Pennsylvania during July 1-3, 1863, and Vicksburg, a campaign and siege which lasted from April 1862 to July 4, 1863 in Mississippi. The surrender of Vicksburg meant the loss to the Confederacy of a vital port on the Mississippi river, and cutting its territory in half. The defeat at Gettysburg marked the last attempt of the Confederacy to invade the northern states.

The victory at Vicksburg also brought General Ulysses Grant to the attention of, and eventual appointment by Abraham Lincoln to lead the Union armies. Thus began what is considered to be the final classic struggle of the two commanders who eventually met to determine the end of the war at Appomattox, Virginia in April, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Union General Ulysses S. Grant.

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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June 2013 Exhibit: The Pulitzer Prizes

Hungarian-born journalist and newspaper magnate, Joseph Pulitzer believed that “our republic and its press will rise or fall together.  An able, disinterested, public-spirited press with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery.” (North American Review, May 1904)

To honor courage and excellence in all forms of American publishing is the purpose of the Pulitzer Prizes awarded each year.  The first awards, provided for in Mr. Pulitzer’s will, were made in June 1917, in the midst of the turmoil of World War I.

Today, awards are made yearly for new publications in Biography or Autobiography, Drama, Fiction, General Nonfiction, History, Music, Poetry and, of course, in nearly twenty categories of Journalism, unless no publication in a category is determined to meet the standards of the prize for that year.

Many of these books are available now in the Erwin Library’s book exhibit displays for June 2013.  You may check one out and savor the joys of a truly well-written, intriguing piece of writing.  To find out more about the Pulitzer Prizes, their history, as well as all the winners and finalists, investigate The Pulitzer Prizes website, maintained by Columbia University.


May 2013 Exhibit: Asian Pacific-American Heritage Month

Designating the month of May as a time to honor the contributions of Americans of Asian-Pacific descent to the history and culture of the U.S. began in June 1977 with a House resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week.  Another resolution was introduced soon afterwards, and, by October 5, 1978 a joint resolution made this an annual commemoration.

In 1992, an extension of the week to a month-long celebration was signed into law.  May was chosen since the first Japanese immigration to the U.S. occurred on May 7, 1843, and the transcontinental railroad was officially completed on May 10, 1869, built mainly by Chinese laborers.

Of course, the Asian-Pacific area includes not only Japan and China, but all of Asia, the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, producing an incredibly varied and fascinating melange of customs, art, and beliefs.

For more on current events marking this year’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, see the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month website sponsored by the Library of Congress, or the Smithsonian Education Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website.

Find both fiction and non-fiction books for all ages by and about Asian-Pacific Americans in WCC’s Erwin Library book exhibit area on display all this month beside the Reference section.

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