Celebrating a Century of Service: Petersburg Public Library’s Enduring Legacy

Nestled in the heart of Petersburg, Virginia, the Petersburg Public Library is more than just a building; it’s a cherished cornerstone of our community. This year, we’re thrilled to mark a major milestone: the library’s 100th anniversary! Let’s take a journey through its rich history and the impact it’s had on generations of Petersburg residents.

Our story begins in the historic William R. McKenney Memorial Building, a place steeped in history. Built in 1859 as a private home by John Dodson, Petersburg’s first mayor, it has seen its fair share of notable figures pass through its doors, including General William Mahone, known as the “Hero of the Crater.” But it was a heartfelt gesture by Clara Pickrell McKenney that changed its course forever.

After the passing of her husband, William R. McKenney, a respected local politician, Clara generously gifted the building to the city in 1924. Her vision? To create a space for learning and community, a library and museum in honor of her beloved husband. Thus, the Petersburg Public Library was born, initially named the William R. McKenney Free Library.

Since then, the library has been so much more than a place to borrow books. It’s been a hub of learning, creativity, and connection. From hosting story times for kids to providing resources for job seekers, the library has been there for Petersburg residents every step of the way.

As we celebrate our centennial, we invite you to join us in honoring our past and looking forward to our future. We’ll be hosting a series of special events throughout the year, from historical exhibits to author talks and more. It’s our way of saying thank you to the community that has supported us for the past 100 years.

So here’s to the Petersburg Public Library: a place where stories come to life, where knowledge knows no bounds, and where community thrives. Here’s to the next 100 years of learning, growing, and celebrating together. See you at the library!

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Get Ready for an Exciting Literary Event with S. A. Cosby at the Sixth Annual Lena M. Whitt Endowed Lectureship!

Prepare for an unforgettable literary experience! The Department of Languages and Literature at Virginia State University proudly presents the Sixth Annual Lena M. Whitt Endowed Lectureship, featuring bestselling crime fiction author S. A. Cosby.

Event Details:
Mark your calendars for April 23, 2024, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., as S. A. Cosby takes the stage at the Petersburg Public Library’s Conference and Event Center. Join us for an engaging evening of readings, discussions, and a book-signing session.

Special Attractions:
In honor of Cosby’s passion for vintage automobiles, we’ll have a display of classic American muscle cars before the lecture. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to blend literature with automotive nostalgia!

Location and Accessibility:
Join us at the Petersburg Public Library’s Conference and Event Center, located at 201 W. Washington, Petersburg, VA, 23803. Can’t make it in person? You can still catch the event via live stream at PetersburgVA.gov. Additionally, a remote-viewing room will be available at Lula Johnson Hall for VSU students.

About S. A. Cosby:
S. A. Cosby is the acclaimed author of four novels, including “RAZORBLADE TEARS” and “ALL THE SINNERS BLEED,” both featured on Barack Obama’s reading list. His work has also earned praise from Stephen King, who reviewed “ALL THE SINNERS BLEED” for The New York Times in July 2023.

Honoring Lena M. Whitt:
The Lena M. Whitt Endowed Lectureship pays homage to the legacy of Professor Lena M. Whitt, a stalwart figure in the Virginia State University community. As a dedicated English professor and advocate for historic preservation, Whitt’s passion for literature and community engagement inspired the creation of this enduring endowment.

Contact Information:
For further information, please reach out to the Petersburg Public Library at 804-733-2387 or contact the Lena Whitt Committee at VSU Languages and Literature at 804-524-6463.

Don’t miss out on this exciting literary event! Join us as we celebrate the power of storytelling and community at the Sixth Annual Lena M. Whitt Endowed Lectureship with S. A. Cosby.

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“Jazz in the Stacks” at Petersburg Public Library

Experience the Rhythmic Melodies of “Jazz in the Stacks 2024”

Jazz in the Stacks 2024!

Get ready to swing into the groove as Petersburg Public Library proudly presents “Jazz in the Stacks,” a series of live music events set amidst the literary haven of our beloved library. Mark your calendars for an unforgettable journey through jazz with an electrifying lineup of bands scheduled to perform on select dates from April 12 to September 13 2024.

The “Jazz in the Stacks” lineup promises to captivate audiences of all ages with an eclectic mix of talented musicians and vibrant performances. Prepare to be serenaded by the following stellar acts:

April 12, 2024 – Corey El and The Fam Band

June 14, 2024 – Kozy Cats Band and Show

July 12, 2024 – Soul Unlimited Band and Show

August 9, 2024 – Brother Blues Band and Show

September 13, 2024 – Dap Mallory Band and Show

Immerse yourself in an evening of soulful tunes, infectious rhythms, and smooth melodies, all set against the backdrop of our historic library. But the experience doesn’t stop there! Indulge your senses with delectable food and a selection of alcoholic beverages available onsite (for a fee$).

Time: Doors open at 6:00 PM-8:30pm

Location: Petersburg Public Library

Admission to “Jazz in the Stacks” is free for all, so gather your friends and family for a memorable night of music, camaraderie, and cultural enrichment.

Join us as we transform the Petersburg Public Library into a dynamic hub of jazz and community spirit. Don’t miss out on the amazing sounds of “Jazz in the Stacks”!

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Partnership for Petersburg: Unveiling a Mobile Grocery Store

Governor Glenn Youngkin recently introduced a groundbreaking initiative aimed at tackling food insecurity in Petersburg, a long-standing issue in the community. The unveiling of the 26-foot-long Goodr Co. truck signifies a significant milestone in addressing the lack of access to fresh food and healthy staples for residents living in the heart of the city’s food desert.

Partnerships Driving Change:
Thanks to partnerships with major companies such as Amazon, Anthem Insurance, Bon Secours health system, and Comcast, the mobile grocery store now offers free food to Petersburg residents. These collaborations have made it possible to provide essential resources to those in need and pave the way for future development in the area.

Community Impact and Future Prospects:
Mayor Sam Parham emphasizes the importance of gathering insights from the community to tailor offerings and inform the development of a permanent supermarket in downtown Petersburg. This feedback loop ensures that resources are allocated effectively and that the needs of residents are met comprehensively.

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Exploring Art & Community: Julian Greene and Nikkea Shareè

Watch this Video!

At Petersburg Public Library, we take pride in celebrating the rich tapestry of talent within our community. One way we do this is by showcasing the work of a local artist each month. As you walk through our library, heading towards the Conference and Event Center, you’ll be greeted by the vibrant colors, intricate designs, and compelling narratives brought to life by our featured artist.

This month, we invite you to immerse yourself in the world of Julian Greene and Nikkea Shareè, our talented spotlight artist. Through a brief video, we delve into the inspiration behind their work, their creative process, and the stories embedded within each piece.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a curious passerby, or simply someone looking to appreciate the beauty of local talent, we encourage you to take a moment to watch the video. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with the artist on a deeper level, gaining insight into their vision and the stories they share through their art.

Join us in celebrating the diverse creativity that enriches our community.

Thank you for supporting local talent and making our library a vibrant hub of creativity. We look forward to sharing more inspiring stories with you in the months to come.

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Little Innovators Robotics Class Flyer

Unlock the Future!

Learn: Fundamental Coding Sequencing Patterns Problem Solving

Are you searching for an exciting learning opportunity to share with your child? Look no further than Petersburg Public Library’s Little Innovators Robotics Classes featuring the Sphero BOLT Coding Robot!

Parents, imagine the joy on your child’s face as they delve into the fascinating world of robotics right here at our library. Our classes offer the perfect blend of fun and education, with the Sphero BOLT serving as a gateway to endless STEM adventures.

Join us as we guide your child through hands-on activities and interactive coding challenges using the innovative Sphero BOLT. Equipped with advanced sensors and a programmable LED matrix, this cutting-edge robot sparks creativity and fosters critical thinking skills in young learners.

At Petersburg Public Library, we understand the importance of providing enriching experiences that ignite curiosity and inspire lifelong learning. That’s why our Little Innovators Robotics Classes are designed to engage both children and parents, creating memorable moments and fostering a love for STEM.

So, parents, don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to bond with your child while exploring the exciting world of robotics. Join us at Petersburg Public Library and embark on a STEM adventure that will leave your child eager to learn and explore!

See you soon!

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