Wayne Crocker at Petersburg Public Library with The Bank of Southside Virginia

Celebrating Community Leaders: Wayne Crocker and the Petersburg Public Library

For over a century, The Bank of Southside Virginia (BSV) has been committed to strengthening the local community. “Our mission is deeply rooted in the love and care we have for this area, and we aren’t going anywhere,” says a representative from BSV. “Every day, we strive to drive economic growth for local businesses and residents because we understand that a community like ours stays strong when money stays within it. We are dedicated to ensuring that our community’s prosperity is not outsourced to those who do not live here or care about Southside Virginia.”

However, financial strength alone does not build a strong community. It requires a blend of thoughtful ingredients, including politics, arts, philanthropy, equity, historic preservation, nature, and values-driven community leaders. These elements, when combined, create a vibrant and resilient community.

One such community leader is Wayne Crocker, the Director of the Petersburg Public Library. Wayne embodies the spirit and dedication needed to strengthen the community. Over the past 40 years, he has transformed the library into much more than a repository of books. Under his leadership, the Petersburg Public Library has become a beacon of hope in an area where hope can sometimes be in short supply. His decades of service and commitment to bettering Petersburg are truly humbling.

“It is our honor to work with and celebrate leaders like Wayne Crocker in our own small way,” says the BSV representative. “We believe in highlighting the people and places that make Southside Virginia strong through our marketing campaign, ‘BSV Loves Local.’ This campaign features photos and videos shared across various channels, including Facebook, TV, and outdoor billboards.”

In the featured image taken by photographer Scott Elmquist, Wayne Crocker is seen standing proudly within the Petersburg Public Library, a testament to his enduring impact on the community. As BSV continues to support and promote local heroes like Wayne, they are reminded of the vital role these individuals play in fostering a strong, united, and thriving community.

This year is particularly special as the Petersburg Public Library also celebrates its 100th anniversary. “We are excited to recognize this milestone and look forward to the many ways we will continue to support our community together,” says the BSV representative. “Stay tuned for more stories of incredible local leaders and the initiatives that keep Southside Virginia vibrant. Together, we can continue to build a community where every resident has the opportunity to flourish.”

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40 faces, 40 years Exhibit on Display at Petersburg Public Library!

For the month of May, come and see the 40 Faces, 40 Years exhibit on display at Petersburg Public Library! We had the opportunity to sit down with one of the unique faces of the exhibit: Briana Green, captured through the lens of renowned photographer Glen McClure.

Born in Norfolk and lifelong resident of Virginia, Glen McClure has brought the people and places of the US and Europe into focus through his photography. His path began to unfold after he purchased his first camera at 19, leading him to become a photographer’s assistant at the Studio Center in Norfolk and later the photography manager at Arthur Polizos Associates.

McClure’s portfolio gradually evolved from commercial photography to artistic portraits and landscapes, with his stunning images of “real people” in their natural habitats gaining international acclaim. Influenced by early 20th-century photographers Josef Sudek and Paul Strand, McClure’s work is recognized for masterful techniques and immediate connections between subject and viewer.

His deep love of world travel has inspired haunting, panoramic images of natural wonders across Virginia, Italy, France, and Ireland. With over 65 solo exhibitions and 50 group exhibitions in the US and Europe, McClure’s work is celebrated in private collections and museums worldwide, including the Chrysler Museum of Art, The Polaroid Collection, and The Mariners Museum.

Join us as we delve into Briana Green’s story, captured by the talented lens of Glen McClure, and explore the powerful narratives behind each portrait in the ’40 Faces, 40 Years’ exhibit.

Briana Green, a native of the Richmond area, was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, and grew up in Dinwiddie and Chesterfield, Virginia, alongside her older sister. Placed in foster care as a child, Briana was raised by family members, who received support from the Virginia Department of Social Services for her and her siblings’ care during their school years. This assistance was also intended to facilitate Briana’s higher education, which she pursued at VCU, graduating with a major in criminal justice. Throughout her academic journey, she interned with juvenile probation and now serves as a mental health specialist, leveraging her expertise to intervene in juvenile cases before they escalate to probationary measures.

Despite her dedication and perseverance, Briana faced financial challenges, as she was unaware that her foster family received support for her education. Consequently, she resorted to taking out student loans to cover living expenses on top of tuition costs. Seeking resolution to this family dispute, Briana has turned to the Virginia Poverty Law Center’s family law attorney for assistance.

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6th Annual Lena Whitt Lecture Series featuring S. A. Cosby

S.A. Cosby and an Unforgettable Evening: Recap of the 6th Annual Lena Whitt Lecture Series

The echoes of literary passion and inspiration still linger in the air following the remarkable 6th Annual Lena Whitt Lecture Series, hosted at the Petersburg Public Library. This year’s event was truly extraordinary, featuring the esteemed best-selling author S. A. Cosby. Let’s delve into the highlights and profound moments that made this event truly unforgettable.

Engaging with a Master Storyteller:
From the moment S. A. Cosby arrived, his passion for storytelling was tangible. Sharing personal anecdotes about his beloved 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass and his lifelong love affair with cars, it became clear that his creativity extended far beyond his novels. When he took the stage, Cosby’s down-to-earth demeanor and magnetic presence immediately captivated the audience. With eloquence and sincerity, he shared insights into his motivations, passions, and experiences that have shaped his journey as a storyteller.

Exploring the Depths of Crime Fiction:
Crime fiction enthusiasts and literary aficionados were treated to a thought-provoking exploration of the genre’s nuances and storytelling techniques. Cosby’s ability to weave gripping narratives, complex characters, and atmospheric settings was on full display, offering a glimpse into the artistry behind his acclaimed works. Each aspect of his storytelling, from thrilling plot twists to poignant introspection, resonated deeply with the audience.

Inspiring Dialogue and Connection:
The opportunity for attendees to engage directly with S. A. Cosby during the Q&A session was a highlight of the evening. From aspiring writers seeking advice to avid readers eager to delve deeper into the author’s creative process, the dialogue was rich with curiosity and insight. Cosby’s genuine warmth and generosity in sharing his experiences left a lasting impact, inspiring all present to embrace their creative journeys with passion and authenticity.

Celebrating Literature and Community:
The 6th Annual Lena Whitt Lecture Series served as a powerful reminder of the enduring importance of literature in our lives and communities. Through events like these, we come together to celebrate the beauty of storytelling, the power of language, and the richness of cultural exchange. As we reflect on the evening’s festivities, we are reminded of the profound connections that literature fosters and its transformative impact on our shared human experience.

As we bid farewell to another unforgettable installment of the Lena Whitt Lecture Series, we carry with us the lasting impressions left by S. A. Cosby’s remarkable presence and storytelling prowess. From his engaging anecdotes to his captivating dialogue, Cosby’s passion for storytelling shone brightly throughout the evening. Reflecting on the insights shared and connections forged, we are reminded of the enduring power of literature to inspire, unite, and enrich our lives. The Lena Whitt Lecture Series continues to be a beacon of literary excellence and community engagement, inviting us to celebrate the beauty of storytelling and the boundless possibilities of the human imagination. Here’s to many more moments of inspiration and discovery in the pages of the books we love and the stories we share.

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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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“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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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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