May 2011

Friends of the Bedford Public Library and Friends of the Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library sponsor “Meet Mark Twain” programs with re-enactor Gary Robertson

Thomas Edison once said, "The average American loves his family. If he has any love left over for some other person, he generally selects Mark Twain." On June 16th, the Friends of the Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library and the Friends of the Bedford Public Library invite you to revisit this beloved author through a live representation of Mark Twain by Mr. Gary Robertson. Mr. Robertson will perform as Mark Twain at 4:00 p.m. at the Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library and, again, at 6:30 p.m. at the Bedford Central Library.

Hear an American original in his own words and be thrilled by the wisdom and humor that has endured for generations. Mark Twain received his early training as a newspaper reporter and after-dinner speaker. Mr. Robertson continues in that tradition as a former reporter and columnist for Virginia’s largest newspaper, where he earned a reputation as a popular banquet speaker. Kay D. Brooks, Director of Caroline Library, says, “Gary Robertson’s one-man impersonation of Mark Twain is an extraordinary display of the author’s keen wit and humorous satire. Our patrons were mesmerized! Listening to him is like traveling back in time!”

The Friends groups and the Library invite you to take part in this exciting experience and to take a step back in time to the days of pole fishing, steamboats, corncob pipes, straw hats, and tales. View a sampling of Mr. Robertson as Mark Twain by visiting

BPLS is excited to follow these presentations with a series of summer programs for adults entitled, “Learn Something New @ Your Library.” This series will offer the Bedford community an opportunity to learn a variety of new skills from local businesses and organizations. Another feature of the summer programming schedule will be the continuation of free computer classes. The summer schedule of events will be announced in early June in conjunction with the start of the BPLS adult summer reading program.

Registration for the “Meet Mark Twain” programs recommended. Please call library news and events at (540) 586-8911, ext.1111 for registration and/or additional information.

May 2011

Bedford Public Library System Offers Free Computer Skills Classes

Beginning in June, the Bedford Public Library System is offering free beginner, and some advanced, computer classes. Topics include mouse and keyboard skills, eReaders, online digital photo storage, Google, email attachments, Microsoft Word 2007, basic Internet Explorer navigation and more. The courses will vary according to the BPLS library location and will be instructed using Microsoft Office 2007 software products and Internet Explorer 8.

To find a list of classes offered at your BPLS library, please visit or call your BPLS library. Bedford Central Library (540) 586-8911; Big Island Library (540) 425-7000; Forest Library (540) 425-7002; Moneta/SML Library (540) 425-7004; Montvale Library (540) 425-7006; Stewartsville Library (540) 425-7008.


February 2011

Throughout February, the Bedford Public Library System Hosts "The Big Read: Celebrating Black History Month"

The Bedford Public Library System is recognizing February as Black History Month with The Big Read: Celebrating Black History Month.

Come by any BPLS location and check out materials written by, or about, African-Americans and enter a slip for each item read/viewed/listened to in an end-of-month drawing. Each BPLS location will draw winners for an adult, young adult, and juvenile prize. *All entries must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22nd.

Jamboree events at several of the BPLS locations will close out The Big Read. On Wednesday, February 23rd, at 4:00 p.m., the Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library Jamboree will host Timbo Sims, from the Booker T. Washington National Monument, for a discussion and short film on the life of Booker T. Washington. The Forest Library Jamboree will feature a jazz band from the Jefferson Forest High School on Thursday, February 24th at 5:00 p.m. Check the BPLS website ( for information on additional Jamboree events and to view a featured online exhibit, produced by the National Park Service, entitled the Legends of Tuskegee. This exhibit spotlights legends of the African-American race who resided in Tuskegee, Alabama, such as George Washington Carver, the Tuskegee Airmen, and the region's very own Booker T. Washington.


December 2010

Bedford Central Library Hosts Holiday Open House to Decorate Library Christmas Tree

Calling all gingerbread artists!  The Bedford Central Library Christmas tree is in need of decorations.  The Library invites you to its Holiday Open House on December 4th , from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., where you will find candy and gingerbread ornaments galore.  Decorate one ornament for the Library tree and one to take home and enjoy.  We look forward to seeing you there!


August 2010

Bedford Central Library hosts Art Exhibit by Twin Peak Studios

From August 4th through September 25th, the Bedford Central Library is pleased to exhibit works by members of the Twin Peaks Studio, a local art studio owned by well-known local artist Revelle Hamilton.  This group of artists, Revelle Hamilton, Pat Dougherty, Nancy Laurent, Janie Mantooth and M. Lee Walker are showcasing a collection of photography, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media art.  The talents of these artists, combined with their varied experiences and sensibilities, lend a striking uniqueness to each piece and create an exhibition that’s not to miss! Please call (540) 586-8911 for more information or visit


June 2010

Beginning July 6th, The Libraries in Bedford City and County will have new hours.  Library Director, Peggy Bias indicated that overall the libraries will be open fewer hours due to budget cuts,  but the new schedule promises to be easier to remember and convenient for library users.   The new hours of operation will be posted in mid-June.

“Whenever cuts are necessary, it is important to use that opportunity to look at what we have been doing in an effort to minimize the negatives and, if possible, add benefit,” Bias said.  The negatives are that the library is losing a full-time and a half-time position as well as reducing work hours for eleven employees.  “It’s very difficult to turn that into a positive, but since we have to reduce hours in order to control expenses, we will make every effort to make those hours work for the public.”

Budget cuts from state and local governments are affecting most libraries in the Commonwealth. Bias stated that the Bedford Libraries have been fortunate in their stable, local support over the years, but besides the local and state cuts already received this fiscal year, additional state cuts are possible.  At this point, funds normally used for books and materials have not been reduced.

Bias said that the Friends groups at each location have been very supportive of the library.  The Bedford Public Library System Foundation, which was formed as a 501(c)(3) to provide financial support for the libraries, is currently accepting donations to fund the Summer Reading Program.   The Library’s reading program for children is growing each year and the summer reading program for adults has remarkable participation. 


June 2010

Bedford Public Library System Offers Free Computer Skills Classes

The Bedford Public Library System is offering free instructional beginner classes in various areas of computer usage. Topics include social networking, E-materials, online digital photo storage, web design, Microsoft Word 2007, and Internet Explorer. The course topics being offered will vary according to library location. All courses will be instructed using Windows XP and Internet Explorer.To find a list of classes being offered at your library location, please visit or call your library.