Library Happenings – September 2019

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Lots to do at YOUR Rowan County Public Library – take a look for yourself!

Our programming coordinators have been working diligently to offer unique and fun events for you and your family. Download or view the attached PDF titled, “Library Happenings – September” to be in the know about what we are doing at the Library.

Next time you stop by the Library to check out a movie, book, magazine, or even a dulcimer, ask our staff for a copy of our “Quarterly Newsletter” and a printed copy of the current “Library Happenings.”

CLICK HERE –> Library Happenings-September-2019

We hope to see you at the Library!

Teaching Yourself Guitar @Your Rowan County Public Library

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In my last blog, I wrote about Harry Caudill and George Orwell’s books on the coal mining industry and miners. What I didn’t say was my great-grandfather was a coal miner and died in a mining accident when my paternal grandmother was thirteen. As an adult, I asked my grandmother for stories about her father, and she told me he played the guitar after supper every night.  I asked if he had a favorite hymn; she said he liked all songs and also told me he preferred to play music at the African American church on Sunday. He told my granny that “all men come out of the coal mines black.”  I smiled and knew in my heart this explained my love for R & B and Black Gospel Music even though I never met this great-grandfather.

I can easily imagine that my great-grandfather did not have parents who could afford to pay for music lessons when he was a boy, so this man (like many working-class people) was self-taught. In past times, if you were lucky enough to inherit an instrument or acquire one and you had the heart and desire to learn, you would seek out other musicians to befriend. You would watch, listen and learn from other individuals.

Today, because of the internet, many individuals can teach themselves at home more easily. The search for other talented musicians, chords, and tablature is at our fingertips. However, we live in the foothills of Appalachia, and internet service can be a problem in many households.

The answer lies at your public library!  We have books on making guitars, playing guitars, and by or about guitar greats!  There are songbooks with illustrated guitar chords so that you can learn and practice chord changes. In some cases, there are music CDs to match the songbooks we have in the non-fiction section.

Below are listed some of the books from the music section on guitar:

 

  • Learn to play country guitar / Phil Capone
    87 CAPO
  • 100 Country Licks for Guitar: Master 100 Country Guitar Licks in the style of the world’s 20 greatest players
    8719 CLAY
  • 100 Classic Rock Licks for Guitar: Learn 100 Rock Licks in the style of the world’s 20 greatest players / by Joseph Alexander and Pete Sklaroff
    787.8719 ALEX
  • The acoustic guitar handbook: how to buy, maintain, set up, troubleshoot, and repair your guitar
    87 BALM
  • Fingerstyle guitar / Mark Hanson
    87 HANS
  • Guitar exercises for dummies / by Mark Phillips and Jon Chappell
    8719 PHIL
  • All-time favorite parking lot picker’s guitar solos / by Dix Bruce
    87 BRUC
  • The Phoenix Guitar Company’s Guide to Guitarmaking for the Small Shop: A step-by-step approach / George S. Leach
    8719 LEAC
  • CMT 100 greatest songs of country music
    8716 CMT
  • Greatest hits: 19 kids / Keith Urban; director of publications/project supervisor, Mark Phillips
    4216 URBA
  • John Prine: beyond words: lyrics, chords, photographs / John Prine
    4216 PRIN
  • Guitar chords made easy: comprehensive sound links / Jake Jackson
    787.87 JACK
  • Some Devil : [piano, vocal, guitar] / Dave Matthews; piano, vocal arrangements by John Nicholas (We also have the CD)
    42 MATT
  • Best of John Legend
    4216 LEGE
  • The very best of Dixie Chicks : [piano, vocal, guitar]
    4216 DIXI
  • Sting: the best of 25 years
    4216 STIN
  • Top country hits of 2017-2018: piano, vocal, guitar
    4216 TOP
  • Top 100 praise & worship songbook. Volume
    287 TOP
  • The contemporary Christian collection
    25 CONT
  • Bob Dylan anthology
    8716 DYLA

 

~ Article by T.J. Cunning

Library Happenings – August 2019

Library Happenings August Banner

There is lots to do at YOUR Rowan County Public Library- take a look for yourself!

Our programming coordinators have been working diligently to offer unique and fun events for you and your family. Download or view the attached PDF titled, “Library Happenings – August” to be in the know about what we are doing at the Library.

Next time you stop by the Library to check out a movie, book, magazine, or even a dulcimer, ask our staff for a copy of our “Quarterly Newsletter” and a printed copy of the current “Library Happenings.”

CLICK HERE –> Library Happenings-August-2019

We hope to see you at the Library!

RCPL Newsletter Issue 07

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NEW ISSUE is available!

Be in the know of Library news and special events! Sign up for the Rowan County Public Library Quarterly Newsletter by sending an email to marketing@rowancountylibrary.org or by signing up at rowancountylibrary.org for digital issues. You may also download the newest issue below! Or pick up a printed copy at the Library.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW/DOWNLOAD –> RCPL Newsletter Issue 07

Library Happenings – July 2019

Library Happenings July Banner

There is lots to do at YOUR Rowan County Public Library- take a look for yourself!

Our programming coordinators have been working diligently to offer unique and fun events for you and your family. Download or view the attached PDF titled, “Library Happenings – July” to be in the know about what we are doing at the Library.

Next time you stop by the Library to check out a movie, book, magazine, or even a dulcimer, ask our staff for a copy of our “Quarterly Newsletter” and a printed copy of the current “Library Happenings.”

CLICK HERE –> Library Happenings-July-2019

We hope to see you at the Library!

 

SR is here Banner

Marketing Dept.
Dawn Sargent

Exploitation of Nature and Human Beings in Coal Country: Harry Caudill and George Orwell

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We live in one of the many coal regions in the world. If we could read Spanish or Chinese we would discover many corresponding woes have been written about the coal industry, but since we are English speaking, I will focus on two writers in our language—Harry Caudill (1922-1990) and George Orwell (1903-1950).

Harry Caudill is a native son who wrote Night Comes to the Cumberlands in the 1960s. He considered his work a biography of a region and its people. This history of the Cumberland Plateau spans hundreds of years and starts with the people who settled in the mountain areas.  Their frontier way of life continued on in the beautiful isolation of nature. However, like many areas without schools and roads, the people of the region went about their way of life oblivious that the majority of the nation was moving on in education and job skills.

When outside industry came into the region the people were not prepared to stand up for their land or themselves. It started with the timber companies, and then the coal companies followed. Coal became king, and the people became serfs to the companies and the nation’s need for coal.

Though this work was written in the 1960s, I found it full of interesting insights to much of what happened in the mountainous area of our state. However, as I read I had underlying concerns about some things that were being said about the people. On one hand, Harry seemed to state that education of all of America’s citizens should be a priority and the strength of the nation. Yet, he seemed to express some hopelessness in doing so among the mountain people.

This conflict within Harry came from William Shockley’s work on human intelligence and eugenics. Shockley was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, but it was his political views that caught Harry’s attention. These opinions added doubt to the equation of the education of mountain people and of the poor in general. Shockley believed people of low IQs should be paid to voluntarily be sterilized.  He thought that the breeding of lower IQ people added to the weakness of the nation. In Harry’s writing, you can hear an inward struggle over the two opposing views of education vs. sterilization in dealing with America’s poor. He does not speak about such eugenics in his book, but the reader is aware that some kind of conflict is going on as Harry discusses the high birth rate of mountain people, low intelligence, and their use of the welfare system. Yet, he also addresses the need for good schools, better roads, and shoes for the children to wear as they walk mountainous terrain to school.

I believe the power of education won the battle inside Harry’s heart and mind, possibly thanks to the influence of fellow Kentuckian Jesse Stuart, who wrote, “Not let the talent of any pupil born upon this earth with a fair amount of intelligence, be lost to the whole of humanity. Teach them to protect, and where possible rebuild natural resources that had been selfishly destroyed by lust for the dirty dollar. Teach them to think about good, honest government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” As a lawyer, Harry saw a lot of defeat in the eyes of those who walked through his office, when educator Jesse Stuart saw the spark of interest in his poor students.

Whether the student is a turtle or a rabbit or anything in between, education is crucial in making America strong with skilled and informed citizens. Poverty is a smothering state that can suck the life and ambition out of any human being, no matter their level of intelligence. The longer you live in poverty, the more despair and defeat makes you settle with your enemy—a Stockholm syndrome of circumstances. Harry witnessed this defeat daily in the people and children around him.

This brings us to George Orwell and his work The Road to Wigan Pier. Most of us know George Orwell because of his fiction; however, Orwell considered himself a journalist addressing issues and revealing how the lower and working classes lived.  George was raised middle class, and openly confesses he was taught to loathe and mock those “beneath” him.  As an adult, he made it one of his missions to report on the lives of human beings trying to make their way through poverty. Orwell uses dashes of humor, irony, and sarcasm in his reporting as he tries to reach his middle-class peers.

Orwell’s work takes place between the World Wars and is part investigative reporting, and part an epistle to his own social class. The main focus is Wigan Pier, located on the canal between the cities of Liverpool and Leeds in northwestern England. He writes about the working and living conditions of the coal miners and their families, addressing the diet, health, injuries, clothing, bed linens, and human waste, as well as, how coal miners lived when unemployed or homeless. He talks about the British version of the welfare system, and he does not leave out what coal mining was doing to the land in Wigan Pier. In the latter part of the book, George addresses class barriers and how, even during his lodging with the coal miners, it was hard to transcend this barricade.

Harry and George recorded what they observed in their generation regarding the utilization of the land and people by the coal industry. We need to learn from what they wrote and from others who followed them. If we read about the past, we will not be blindsided again and again. We need to do as Jesse Stuart said: “Teach them (the students) to protect, and where possible rebuild natural resources that had been selfishly destroyed by lust for the dirty dollar.” If we teach ourselves and our children our beautiful land will suffer less in future generations.

Jesse Stuart’s quote is from The Thread That Runs So True.

Here are other books to check out at your library dealing with the subject of coal:

  • Stand Up That Mountain by Jay Erskine Leutze
  • Coal Wars by Richard Martin
  • Something’s Rising: Appalachians Fighting Mountaintop Removal edited by Silas House
  • Moving Mountains by Penny Loeb
  • Plundering Appalachia: The Tragedy of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
  • Daughters of the Mountain: Women Coal Miners in Central Appalachia by Suzanne E. Tallichet
  • A Guide to Historic Coal Towns of the Big Sandy River Valley by George D. Torok
  • The Buffalo Creek Disaster by Gerald M. Stern
  • Muddy Branch: Memories of an Eastern Kentucky Coal Camp by Clyde Roy Pack
  • Harlan Miners Speak: Report on Terrorism in the Kentucky Coal Fields by Members of the National Committee for the Defense
  • Work and Faith in the Kentucky Coal Fields by Richard J. Callahan, Jr.
  • Coal Miners’ Wives: Portraits of Endurance by Carol A. B. Giesen
  • Women of Coal by Randall Norris and Jean-Philippe Cyprès

 

~ Article and graphics by T.J. Cunning

 

 

Library Happenings – June 2019

Library Happenings June Banner

There is lots to do at YOUR Rowan County Public Library- take a look for yourself!

Our programming coordinators have been working diligently to offer unique and fun events for you and your family. Download or view the attached PDF titled, “Library Happenings – June” to be in the know about what we are doing at the Library.

Next time you stop by the Library to check out a movie, book, magazine, or even a dulcimer, ask our staff for a copy of our “Quarterly Newsletter” and a printed copy of the current “Library Happenings.”

CLICK HERE –> Library Happenings-June-2019

We hope to see you at the Library!

 

SR is here Banner

Marketing Dept.
Dawn Sargent

RCPL Summer Reading Tees

Never before have we had our very own Summer Reading t-Shirt design- until now!

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When preparing for our annual Summer Reading program, I had an idea to make our own shirt design hence participants would have something themed to wear to our programs and show off their Summer Reading attire. Plus, it’s really cool, too!

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A few years ago, we took orders for themed t-shirts and ordered them with the copyrighted logo from Upstart our Summer Reading vendor. But these were not free and patrons had to purchase them. I wanted to try something different this year that would be cost efficient for everyone. This way anyone ages 5+ could have their own RCPL Summer Reading tee for very cheap- possibly free.

We organized a two-session event where Summer Reading participants would drop off their plain cotton blend tees and they enjoyed a stenciling craft in the Community Room. The children made lots of cool space-themed designs!

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Tees were printed after hours in the Library. Take a peek here at the whole process from design to print!

 

DESIGN & PRINTING PROCESS

First, I looked online at some space themed images and our Summer Reading themed materials for design inspiration. I got the idea of drawing a large Saturn like planet as the focal point of the design. I sketched it out with a light blue erasable pencil then outlined it with a fine point drawing marker. In some areas, I went over it twice and drew the lines thicker (this is essential for the printing process.)

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Next, I scanned the drawing and converted it into a vector image in Adobe Illustrator changing the design a bit and colored in certain areas with the printing process in mind. All the black areas will be ink when the design is on the shirt. All the white area will be the stencil.

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Special thanks to Eddie Johnson at Ole Seasons Shoppe in Morehead, KY for making us the screen for our program! Making a screen is complicated and requires certain chemicals. It was much easier to get the screen made for this event rather than order materials just for one screen.

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Above left – Final design image
Above right – Final design on screen

 

Now it’s time to print some shirts!

Step 1 – gather supplies and set up your area near a water source (preferably a sink with a sprayer.) Stir ink and get it ready for printing. When you stir it helps to soften the ink for transferring through the screen.

Step 2 – Spray the tee board with a washable spray adhesive. Pull the tee onto the board and smooth out all wrinkles.

Step 3 – Place a large amount of ink in the well (inside) of the screen. Spread it evenly on the design without pressure. Pull screen all the way down onto the shirt.
Using a squeegee, apply pressure down and pull the squeegee down (towards your body.)

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Work fast! The ink dries if left out too long! If the ink on the screen dries you will have to wash it out then let it dry before printing again.

NOTE: I suggest not using too much ink because you can flood the screen and your design will bleed. Also, I am using a water-based ink specialized for printing on fabric.

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Step 4 – After, printing be careful when you pull your tee off the board to not smudge your design. Lay the shirt design side up to dry overnight or for a few hours.

Step 5 – Lay a piece of parchment paper on top of the design then iron with the cotton setting.

You can test to see if the ink is dry by rubbing it with your finger. If there is no ink, then it’s dry!

More stencil event photos:

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Provided is a link to my screen printing kit if anyone is interested in doing this as a hobby- it’s a lot of fun! This is a brief description of my process. All details are not listed. If you are interested in more information I suggest researching on YouTube and watching tutorial videos. That’s how I learned to do it!

DIY Screen Printing Kit

 

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Until next time, happy designing!
~Dawn

Article by Dawn Sargent
Project by Dawn Sargent

 

 

Opiate of the People: The Power of “The Story” in the Marketplace

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We all have heard Engels and Marx’s statement, and looking at politics in America arguments can be made. Opiates are in the news as health organizations from the local to the national level are stating that America’s problem is just that—opiates. However, I see the major opiate of America as “the story” and all the market greed involved in the telling and selling of it.  From the real story, the fake story that might be true, the fictional story, to the story that unfolds in the maze of the game, we are enthralled and stupefied by “the story.”

You can say to me, “But you are a librarian in a public library which is filled with the marketed story in many forms.” Yes, this is true.  However, I feel the major function of public libraries is to support schools and continuing education; entertainment is secondary to this scholarly duty.

Andrew Carnegie funded the construction of many libraries.  He believed in providing the means for determined and diligent citizens to better themselves through the pursuit of self-study. Even as I write this I feel I should take the time to explain who Andrew Carnegie is in American history, and I find this the sad state of America.

However, I believe in the education of the lower class and working class citizens of this nation. In every class and race of people, there are bright and gifted minds to which libraries should provide nourishment.  In America, many of the famous people in our history have risen from the ranks of the poor, even Carnegie himself.  This is why he believed in the power of libraries to change lives.

When you are poor in America, there are no safety nets, coaches, or tutors—only an abundance of indifference. This is what Carnegie knew and experienced, himself, as a young man. However, he also knew a poor but talented human being can take control of their own destiny and be single-minded in their pursuit of knowledge and life skills.

This is what I want to encourage in our patrons. We have Pulitzer and National Book Award winners in the library collection. College-bound students or life-long learning students may want to read the good, bad, and ugly of the Western canon. Grassroots citizens with this reading knowledge can understand what the intelligentsia are saying as they name-drop in their writings, discussions, and commentaries.

You may not see the value in reading Plato’s Republic, but there is value in bettering your math, vocabulary, and writing skills. You may not want to read Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations or St. Augustine’s Confessions, but you might want to know how to be a better small farm manager or how to understand a blueprint. At your public library, you can learn more than the new mass media story emerging in fiction, DVDs, video games or magazines; you can learn life skills and build upon your basic educational knowledge.

There are excellent and enriching items in our non-fiction section.  I will be writing a series of blogs on some of the treasures that can be found on our shelves.

 

~ Written by T. J. Cunning
RCPL Catalog Manager

Library Happenings – May 2019

Library Happenings May Banner

There is lots to do at YOUR Rowan County Public Library- take a look for yourself!

Our programming coordinators have been working diligently to offer unique and fun events for you and your family. Download or view the attached PDF titled, “Library Happenings – May” to be in the know about what we are doing at the Library.

Next time you stop by the Library to check out a movie, book, magazine, or even a dulcimer, ask our staff for a copy of our “Quarterly Newsletter” and a printed copy of the current “Library Happenings.”

CLICK HERE –> Library Happenings-May-2019

We hope to see you at the Library!

SR is coming Banner

Marketing Dept.
Dawn Sargent