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Family History Corner

Researching Common Surnames:

May 2022

My last name is Smith.  I have been told that our ancestors changed our surname before immigrating to the United States from Poland.  I have hesitated to attempt any research because I feel like I truly have a generic name.  Would it even be possible to learn anything about this family?

-A Researcher

Your question really has two parts to it.  How can I find the original Surname of my family? If it is a common surname, how do I research it properly?  Having a generic surname can be very fr...

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Which records should I be trying to get? Where do I get the records I need for my genealogy work?

Q: Which records should I be trying to get?

 Where do I get the records I need for my genealogy work?

Like any good artist there comes a time in the creative process where a decision must be made.  Should I put a mountain here or a tree over there?  What colors should I use, etc. to make everything look beautifully balanced on the canvas.  So also, should a genealogist make vital decisions to have their family canvas develop beautifully. 

Once you have identified what you already know about your family from your personal memories and f...

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Our Feathered Friends

February is a good time of year to turn our attention to our local birds. With the leaves off the (deciduous) trees, birds cannot hide from us as easily. We are more likely to spot birds and be able to look for field marks to identify them. February is also when the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) takes place. The GBBC provides an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to contribute to our knowledge of birds. Each February, “citizen-scientists” from all over the world count their local birds and submit data via the internet. This year’s GBBC runs from February 18th to the 21st. Blog Type: Homepage Adults News

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Free Rapid Covid-19 Antigen At-Home Test Kits

Handley Regional Library System is now distributing free rapid Covid-19 Antigen at-home test kits at all three library branches starting today as a partnership with the Virginia Department of Health and several other libraries state-wide.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this free Covid-19 home test kit to do our part to help ensure a safer community,” said John Huddy, Director of Handley Regional Library System. “We want to make this process as quick, easy, and safe as possible to get these kits in the hands of those who need it.”

Not just limited to library patrons...

Blog Type: Homepage News Services
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Marvelous Us! Part I



Marvelous: superb; excellent; great: a marvelous show.  Such as to cause wonder, admiration, or astonishment; surprising; extraordinary; improbable or incredible. That is us alright. The human body is a marvel. If you really think about our bodies, they should cause wonder, admiration, and/or astonishment. The human body is surprising, extraordinary, improbable, and incredible. Scientific research continually expands our knowledge of the human body and makes for some interesting reads. Here are a few recent titles that feature aspects of our marvelous ...

Blog Type: Homepage Adults News
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Don't Miss These Jolly Holiday Events!

Handley Regional Library System will be presenting several programs for adults, kids, teens, and families for the month of December to reflect the holiday season.

Chanukah Lights is a program to celebrate the Chanukah holiday of lights. Hear the story "If the Candles Could Speak." Make a menorah and play the dreidel game. Bowman Library, December 2, 5:00 PM.

A Who-ville Christmas will Celebrate the holiday with the Whos! Come dressed in your Whoville holiday finest. Stories, puppets, and singing around the tree. Bowman Library, December 4, 11:00 AM.

During A C...

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Celebrating Library Card Sign-up Month!

This September, Handley Regional Library, the American Library Association, and libraries around the nation have been celebrating Library Card Sign-up Month. Since 1987, Library Card Sign-Up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. We encourage every child to sign up for a library card. This month many did at our local libraries.

We wish to remind students, parents, and caregivers, that your library card is the most important school supply of all. A library card provides access to technology, multimedia content. and educational programming that ...

Blog Type: Kids Teens Adults News
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Author Talk at Handley: Southern Fried Russia: From Communism to KFC

The Friends of Handley Regional Library System will be presenting an informative and entertaining talk with author Robert Linkous in the Handley Robinson Auditorium at the Handley Library branch on October 6, 2021 in person at 6:30 PM. The program is entitled “Southern Fried Russia: From Communism to KFC.”

Author, Robert Linkous will read and discuss the first chapter in his book “Southern Fried Russia: From Communism to KFC”. There will be time for Q & A.

Robert Linkous was born in Radford, grew up in Roanoke, read Jack Kerouac, and hitchhiked the length of the...

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Tech Tuesdays are Back!

Handley Regional Library System is pleased to announce the return of its Tech Tuesday Series, free, in-person workshops held at both Bowman and Handley Library locations over the next couple of months for anyone in the community. This series will concentrate on a particular technology topic at each program event and will be run by local technology experts from Experimax and Tech Team Solutions.

The first session will be held on September 21 at 10:30 AM at Bowman Library, and the topic will be iOS Devices. Helpful tips and tricks and answers to any questions about iPhones and iPads...

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12 Ways to Save with Your Handley Regional Library System Card

National Library Card Signup Month runs Sept. 1-Sept. 30. Getting a library card is free and easy. Just stop by with an ID or a utility bill with your current address. Everyone knows you can borrow books from the library with your library card, but did you know there are many other ways to save money with your library card? Here are 12 of them:


PrintMe: Print, Copy, Fax, or Scan at Bowman and Handley Libraries or send documents right to the library from home! Much cheaper and more convenient than the big box stores; it’s a benefit we can all use. ... Read Full Post

Welcome to Hoopla flex!

Our digital collection just got better! Starting June 23, 2021, library patrons have even more to love about the digital collection on hoopla. Hoopla is a web and mobile library media streaming platform that allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, eBooks, comics, and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone, even your TV. 

New hoopla Flex Borrows!

In addition to the 3 hoopla Instant borrows you receive each month with your library card, you will now have 6 hoopla Flex borrows you can use on thousands of specially marked hoopla Flex eboo...

Blog Type: Homepage News
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We are Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Bowman Library!

Handley Regional Library System is thrilled to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Mary Jane and James L. Bowman Library, which opened to the public on July 16, 2001. An anniversary celebration will be held on Saturday, July 17, at Bowman Library from 11 AM to 1 PM. The festivities will include a live, old-time music jam session, so community members are encouraged to bring an instrument and join the fun, or just come to enjoy the music. There will also be an indoor family photo booth, a “History of Bowman” outdoor story walk, Mattie’s Mobile Soft Serve for purchase, displays of the ...

Blog Type: Homepage News
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New Virtual Exploring the Library Adult Summer Reading Series

In conjunction with the 2021 Adult Summer Reading Program, library staff held a series of virtual workshops about Exploring the Library to help patrons best utilize the library and its resources. 

Programs in this series focused on Library platforms that provide digital content to our patrons including eBooks, Audiobooks, Magazines, Music, Comics, and streaming video. The three platforms explored were Libby (for iOS and Android, Hoopla, and Amazon Kindle).

Below is a list of the workshops with a link to the video recordings of each.

Workshop 1: Blog Type: Adult Program Page Homepage Adults News

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Express Picks Service Launched for Popular Titles in High-Demand

Handley Regional Library System announces today the launch of Express Picks at all 3 library locations – Bowman Library, Clarke County Library, and Handley Library.  Express Picks is a specific collection of books and DVDs that are in high demand, have a shorter borrowing timeline of 7 days, and are extra copies of popular materials to help ensure availability.  An individual can borrow up to 2 books and 2 DVDs at a time, and renewals/holds are not allowed due.  Patrons will see displays at each library.  Late fees are .50 per item to encourage quick return.  Blog Type: Homepage News

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New Library Out Loud! Podcast: Adult Summer Reading 2021

We sat down with an amazing group of librarians and lovers of literacy to talk about our community-wide Adult Summer Reading Program, new books at the library, programs for adults, and reading recommendations.

Listen to this episode on our website now.

Other Ways to Listen:

Sound Cloud Apple Podcasts Spotify IHeartMedia

Special thanks to our podcast media sponsor:

Blog Type: Homepage News
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