LibraryPoint Blog

12/12/2011 - 11:10am
Charles McDaniel

This interview airs beginning Wednesday, December 14.
Charles McDaniel is easily recognized as the president and CEO of the Hilldrup Companies, but he is also outstanding as a community leader in historic preservation. His meticulously restored 18th century home, the Sentry Box, is a magnificent example of his continuous effort to assure that attention and care will be given to remnants of our vital past. Debby Klein learns more when she visits him on CRRL Presents, a Central Rappahannock Regional Library production.

12/12/2011 - 3:30am
Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science

Phineas Gage was truly a man with a hole in his head.  Phineas, a railroad construction foreman, was blasting rock near Cavendish, Vermont, in 1848 when a thirteen-pound iron rod was shot through his brain.  Miraculously, he survived to live another eleven years and become a textbook case in brain science.  

What an amazing story!  The pictures and illustrations add to the narrative, and the cover photograph of his skull is very thought-provoking.  Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story, by John Fleischman, approaches Phineas’s life after the accident from a scientific and psychological viewpoint. Fleischman includes interviews with people who knew Gage before his accident as well as after and observed the changes in his behavior.  The author also presents notes from the doctors who treated him over the eleven years following his accident. It is an amazing story of survival and the resilience of the human brain. Who would have thought that anyone could have survived even a little while--let alone talk, walk and function after such an event? 

07/22/2015 - 3:57pm
Wildwood by Colin Meloy

How five crows managed to lift a twenty-pound baby boy into the air was beyond Prue, but that was certainly the least of her worries.

So begins Colin Meloy’s debut novel Wildwood, in which a girl named Prue journeys into the Impassable Wilderness, a dense maze of a forest outside her hometown of Portland, Oregon, in order to retrieve her brother--with an awkward classmate named Curtis tagging along. Due to some misfortune involving coyotes decked out in military uniforms, the two children must separately navigate this strange world where talking animals uneasily coexist with humans who have never met anyone from the outside. A revolution is about to happen, and Prue and Curtis quickly find themselves on opposite sides.

12/07/2011 - 1:41pm
Google for Veterans screenshot

Transitioning from active duty to civilian life can be a huge challenge for veterans and their families.

Google for Veterans and Families,, a web site created by Google employees who are veterans or have a veteran in their life, aims to help make that transition easier.

Google products and services are organized into toolkits to help facilitate re-entry to civilian life, whether it be job hunting or finding support networks.

A companion YouTube channel also offers transition tips and a place for veterans to tell their story:

02/05/2015 - 12:30pm
Puzzle by Kate Shillingford

See works by the 2011 Teen Art Show Winners, Shannon Debus and Kate Shillingford, this month in the Headquarters Atrium Gallery.

The Teen Art Show is held each year at Headquarters Library.
Students in grades 9-12, living in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland County are encouraged to submit their original artwork.

Shannon Debus
Winner Grades 11-12

Exposed by Shannon Debus

"Exposed," charcoal

12/07/2011 - 3:30am
The Fallen Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

In the early 15th-century Venice of The Fallen Blade, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, no one is safe from the political ambitions of the ruling family--not even Giuliette, beautiful cousin of the Duke. She becomes a pawn in the schemes of her aunt and uncle who are regents for the simpleton Duke Marco. Meanwhile, Venice faces external threats from the Ottomans, the Byzantines and the German emperor. It is Atilo il Mauro's job as head of the Assassini to protect Venice and enforce the will of its ruling family while trying not to be destroyed by that family's internal power struggles.

07/07/2015 - 2:46pm
Soulless by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti finds it terribly inconvenient to happen upon a thirsting vampire while she herself is simply starving at an ill-hosted party with few victuals. She quickly dispatches the vamp with her parasol, a handy weapon that has saved her many times. Of course the vampire was no true danger to Alexia, who, as a rare preternatural without a soul, restores mortality (and therefore vulnerability) to such supernaturals as ghosts, vampires, and werewolves with a single touch. These supernaturals co-exist with humans in an alternate Victorian London in Soulless by Gail Carriger, the first of the Parasol Protectorate series.

12/05/2011 - 8:14am
The Summer I Learned to Fly

The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt is a coming-of-age story in which Drew, the female protagonist, matures into a teenager experiencing both a new love and parental disputes. Drew is a thirteen-year-old girl who spends most of her time with her mother at their cheese shop, unlike most of the girls at her school who spend most of their time angry with their mothers and completely boy-crazy. This makes her less popular with others at her school. Her life basically revolves around the cheese shop where her friend Suwuzie, a middle-aged woman going through a divorce, and Nick, her crush who is a surfer turned pasta maker, work for her mom. School is about to end and she intends to spend the entire summer at the cheese shop.

12/02/2011 - 1:48pm
Star Library Logo

"The Smartest Readers"

Our readers are smart, and we've got the data to prove it.  According to a survey from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), CRRL's readers are extraordinary, ranking fifth out of 546 comparable groups of library users throughout the nation for number of checkouts for each person who lives in the area. In other words, our readers use their library-a lot!      

A Star Library

For the past several years, the professional publication Library Journal has used surveys to decide which libraries are giving the best levels of service to their patrons. Once again, Central Rappahannock Regional Library has earned its stars, according to the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service-all the more remarkable in a period of severe budget cuts. Yet perhaps these hard times make people all the more aware of what their libraries can provide for them when their own financial resources are spread thinner.

CRRL director Donna Cote comments, "We are thrilled to continue to find our library ranked among the nation's best.  When times are tough, people turn to their public libraries more than ever. It says a lot about our staff as well as our overwhelming public support that we have been honored in this way."

12/02/2011 - 9:06am
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown: World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist.

If you like Angels & Demons by Dan Brown, you me be interested in some of the recommended books from book searches from another entry in this series, The Da Vinci Code, available here:

In addition to those books listed, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
Along Came a Spider begins with the double kidnapping of the daughter of a famous Hollywood actress and the young son of the secretary of the Treasury. And that's only the beginning! (



Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage--not by guns or bombs -- but by a code so complex that if released would cripple U.S. intelligence. Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves. (


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