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News & Updates


On this page, you'll find press releases, news, videos, announcements, and stories of the impact of Handley Regional Library System in the community.  For media inquires, contact Cheryl Nakagawa, Public Relations Manager, at 540.869.9000 ext. 206 or email here.

Recent News & Updates

National Library Week 2024

10 Ways You Can Celebrate National Library Week

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Welcome to National Library Week, a time when communities across the nation join hands to celebrate the cornerstone of knowledge, inspiration, and community: libraries. At Handley Regional Library System, we're thrilled to be part of this annual celebration, and we invite you to join us in commemorating the incredible contributions libraries make to our lives. This year's theme, "Ready, Set, Library!" embodies the excitement and readiness to explore the myriad offerings libraries provide. Here are ten ways you can celebrate National Library Week with us:

  1. Visit Your Local Library: Step into the welcoming embrace of your local library. Whether it's to check out a book, attend an event, or simply bask in the quiet ambiance, your presence is what makes our library truly special.

  2. Attend an Event: Dive into the diverse array of events happening at the library. From author talks and workshops to book clubs and children's storytimes, there's something for everyone. Bring a friend or family member along for an enriching experience.

  3. Explore New Books: Take a leisurely stroll through the stacks and discover your next literary adventure. Whether you're into fiction, non-fiction, or graphic novels, our shelves are brimming with stories waiting to be uncovered.

  4. Get a Library Card: If you haven't already, now is the perfect time to sign up for a library card. Gain access to a treasure trove of resources, from books and e-books to online databases and educational tools, all for free!

  5. Share Your Library Love: Spread the word about the magic of libraries by sharing your experiences on social media. Use the hashtag #loveHRL to join the conversation and inspire others to explore all that libraries have to offer.

  6. Support Library Funding: Advocate for the importance of libraries in your community. Whether it's attending town hall meetings, writing to elected officials, or simply talking to your neighbors, raising awareness about the value of libraries is essential for their continued success.

  7. Volunteer Your Time: Consider giving back to your local library by volunteering your time and skills. Whether it's shelving books, leading a workshop, or helping with community outreach, your contributions make a difference.

  8. Explore Our eLibrary: Can't make it to the library in person? No problem! Dive into our eLibrary, where you can access a wealth of resources from the comfort of your own home. Explore databases covering a wide range of topics and dive into eBooks, movies, and audiobook right from your device at home. Our eLibrary is accessible anytime, anywhere, making it easier than ever to tap into the resources and services your library has to offer. Check out our website for a full list of eLibrary offerings and start exploring today!.

  9. Purchase Books at Our Used Book Sale: Join us for our annual used book sale at Bowman Library from April 13th to April 15th to April 19th. Discover hidden literary gems while supporting your library. Every purchase helps fund our programs and services for the community.

  10. Say Thank You: Last but certainly not least, take a moment to express gratitude to the library staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to make our library a vibrant hub of learning and discovery. A simple thank you goes a long way in showing appreciation for their dedication.

As we celebrate National Library Week together, let's reaffirm our commitment to the power of libraries to transform lives and strengthen communities. Whether you're a longtime library enthusiast or a newcomer eager to explore, there's never been a better time to embrace the magic of libraries. Happy National Library Week!






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Sensory Bag

Handley Branch Enhancing Accessibility for Patrons with Sensory Needs

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Handley Library branch has achieved KultureCity® Certification as a Sensory InclusiveTM space. This certification marks a significant step forward in the library's commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all patrons, including those with sensory processing needs.

Through a partnership with KultureCity®, the Handley Library branch has implemented a range of accommodations and resources to better support individuals with sensory sensitivities. This initiative reflects the library's dedication to raising awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by those with sensory processing needs.

Among the accommodations available are KultureCity® Sensory bags, which include noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, feeling thermometers, and special KCVIP badges. These resources are provided for in-house use and are accessible to patrons at no cost by leaving an ID at designated service desks within the library.

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which can be a major part of the events or services.

"We are excited to reinforce our dedication to serving every patron at the Handley Library branch," said John Huddy, Director of Handley Regional Library System. "By partnering with KultureCity®, we can better serve patrons with sensory needs and ensure that everyone in our community feels welcome and supported."

Patrons can obtain KultureCity® Sensory bags and other accommodations at the Greeter Desk located at the entrance and the Youth Services Information Desk on the Second Floor. Additionally, an extra pair of noise-canceling headphones is available for in-house use at the Information Services Desk in the Adult Reading Room.

KultureCity® is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using its resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs, not just those with autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity® has created over 1,000 Sensory InclusiveTM public and private services, organizations, events, and venues in 6 countries: this includes special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB World Series, and MLB All-Star Weekend.

Prior to their visit, families and individuals can download the free KultureCity® App where one can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them including, how to get a KultureCity® Sensory Bag. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a customized visual preview of what to expect while participating. Access the social story here:

For more information about the Handley Library branch's sensory-inclusive initiatives, please visit or contact 540-662-9041.

For more information, contact Public Relations and Outreach Manager Cheryl Nakagawa at or visit

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Bowman StoryWalk

Check Out Bowman Library's New and Improved StoryWalk®!

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The Handley Regional Library System is thrilled to announce the grand opening of its new, permanent StoryWalk® around the picturesque lake adjacent to Bowman Library. This exciting initiative was made possible through the generous support of the Kiwanis Club of Blue Ridge, Winchester, and Frederick County Parks and Recreation.

The StoryWalk®, previously a beloved feature with a temporary setup, has undergone a remarkable transformation, thanks to the significant funding provided by the Kiwanis Club of Blue Ridge, Winchester, and Frederick County Parks and Recreation. The new StoryWalk® is designed to enhance the reading experience for patrons, offering a sturdier and more visually appealing presentation.

One of the notable improvements is the increased size of the displays, ensuring that patrons can enjoy an immersive reading experience while strolling around the scenic lake. The illustrations from the featured book, "The Mitten" by Jan Brett, come to life in vibrant detail, creating a magical atmosphere for readers of all ages.

Gone are the days of signs falling down or being blown into the lake, as the new StoryWalk® boasts enhanced durability and stability. Patrons can now enjoy a seamless and enjoyable journey through the pages of "The Mitten" without any interruptions.

Library Director John Huddy expressed his excitement about the new StoryWalk®, saying, "We are delighted to unveil this upgraded StoryWalk® experience for our community. The support from the Kiwanis Club of Blue Ridge, Winchester, and Frederick County Parks and Recreation has allowed us to create a more robust and visually stunning literary adventure around the lake. We believe that this enhanced StoryWalk® will become a cherished destination for families, providing a unique way to enjoy literature in the beauty of nature."

The StoryWalk® is set to change seasonally, offering a variety of books and themes throughout the year. Families, readers, and nature enthusiasts are encouraged to explore this enchanting literary trail and immerse themselves in the joy of storytelling against the backdrop of the Bowman Library's scenic surroundings. 

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Discover a World of Cinematic Delights with Kanopy - Your Gateway to Quality Entertainment

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We are constantly striving to enhance your library experience and are thrilled to introduce you to our latest gem – Kanopy, a premier video streaming service that is sure to elevate your entertainment journey. With just your library card, you can now unlock a world of quality, thoughtful content that spans movies, documentaries, foreign films, classic cinema, independent films, and educational videos.

What is Kanopy?

Kanopy is not just another streaming service; it is the epitome of quality and thoughtful entertainment. With an expertly curated collection, it stands out as the go-to platform for those seeking enriching cinematic experiences. But what sets Kanopy apart from the rest?

5 Reasons Why You Should Dive into Kanopy Today:

  1. Diverse and Curated Content: Kanopy takes pride in offering a vast array of content, ranging from timeless classics to contemporary masterpieces. Whether you're a fan of heartwarming dramas, thought-provoking documentaries, or captivating foreign films, Kanopy has something for everyone. The carefully curated selection ensures that every title is a gem waiting to be discovered.

  2. Ad-Free Experience: Tired of interruptions during your movie night? Kanopy understands the value of a seamless viewing experience. With no ads to disrupt your cinematic journey, you can immerse yourself fully in the storytelling without any distractions.

  3. Accessible Anytime, Anywhere: Kanopy caters to your on-the-go lifestyle. Whether you prefer watching on your TV, mobile phone, tablet, or online, Kanopy is designed for flexibility. With just your Handley Library card, you have the power to access this treasure trove of entertainment whenever and wherever you please.

  4. Educational Enrichment: Kanopy goes beyond mere entertainment; it is a valuable resource for lifelong learning. Explore a wide range of educational videos that cover diverse subjects, making it an excellent tool for both personal and academic enrichment. From history to science to the arts, Kanopy is a gateway to knowledge.

  5. Community-Centric Collaboration: By using Kanopy, you are not just a viewer; you become part of a community that values quality entertainment. Our partnership with public libraries like Handley Regional Library System ensures that you receive a service tailored to your interests and preferences. Your participation helps support the library and contribute to the vibrant cultural tapestry of our community.

Ready to embark on a cinematic journey like never before? Click here and start exploring the world of quality, thoughtful entertainment. Your Handley Library card is your ticket to an ad-free, enriching experience that awaits you on Kanopy. Don't miss out – let the streaming adventure begin!

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