Craig County Public Library

Library Updates

2021 Membership Drive

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June is our annual Friends of the Library Membership Drive! Friends of the Library are people who join in supporting and promoting the library.  This support takes many forms: volunteering regularly, advocating on behalf of the library, and, of course, donating time and money to help the library achieve its goals.

The library is very dependent on the financial support of our community and friends.  We hope you’ll consider joining us—we need your expertise and energy!

There are a few tiers of membership:
Youth—$1.00 (up to 18)

Please join us by using this Friends of the Library membership form.  You can mail it to us, drop it in the book return box after hours, or stop in the library–we’d love to see you!

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Staff and Volunteer Celebration

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This year’s Library Annual Meeting on May 10th at 6:00 is going to be an outdoor party, at the library back porch. We are giving our hard working staff and volunteers a big thanks for all they do to keep our Craig County Library thriving.  Letha Persinger, the Library Director, works with her staff, Alex White and Jessica Hunt, to provide for the changing needs of our patrons.  As part-time staff, volunteers are critical for the ongoing operations. Aside from the members of the board, there are nine devoted volunteers who help fill in needed gaps. The nine are Linda Calderon, Marge Lewter, Martha Dillard, Kathi Toelke, Lee Greiser, Martha Adams, Anita Martindale, Tom Spence and Gavin Shires. Their time is committed to financial record keeping, mowing the lawn, keeping the county informed, manning the front desk, book donation management, thanking our donors, and raising funds through Barn Quilts for Books.  Each one’s hours of commitment to the library adds up to keeping us moving forward to better serving our community.

The small library, sitting quietly on the corner of Salem and Main, may not appear to be a hot bed of activity.  The trickle of people in and out is not remarkable. Neither are the one or two cars in the lot tapping the wifi at all hours. We don’t see the patrons take home the telescope or wifi hotspots in addition to books and movies. But the records show that there are 2,016 cardholding citizens in Craig County. That is 39% of our county. They obviously value that small library on the corner and continue coming back. They like all of us, have this small staff and handful of volunteers to thank for keeping the doors open at the corner of Salem and Main.

If you are a member of the Friends of the Library, come join the party! There will be refreshments and laughs guaranteed. If rain moves in, catch us on zoom – check back here or on our Facebook page.

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Is This the Time to Get Your GED?

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Did you or someone you know miss out on a high school diploma? Has this affected your job opportunities? Maybe now is a good time to change that. Invest this down time to be better prepared to get back into the job market. Securing a GED (General Educational Development) is work that will pay off. It is equivalent to that high school diploma you didn’t get.
You can register for free classes at Craig County Public Schools. Currently classes are meeting on Monday and Thursday nights from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. via Zoom, virtual computer meetings. Contact Cynthia Swiney at 540-864-5185. You can leave your name and phone number or email her at and she will help you get registered or answer questions you may have about achieving your GED goal.
The test is given online. It is made up of four parts: Math, Social Studies, Science, and Language Arts. You take them one at a time. If you do not pass, you can retake each section as needed. The full test is $120 or $30 for each part.
On average, people study three months in advance to improve their chances of earning their GED. Three months is a small investment for a diploma that will impact your future potential. There are resources to help you reach this goal.
Study material is available, study guides and practice tests. You can check out the 2021 study guide and practice tests at the Craig County Public Library. There are online classes available, some for fees and others free. Look into for free resources or contact Cynthia Swiney or the regional GED site in Roanoke (540) 767-6161 for more information.
Your library can give you computer access to explore options, participate in Zoom Meetings, or check out a Hot Spot for WIFI access at home.
The benefits of having a GED are huge. Holding a GED means that you increase your earning potential or further your education for career growth. It also means that employers will no longer pass you over as a job candidate just because you did not graduate from high school.
The majority of the people who did not graduate from high school do not lack intelligence. They simply encountered difficulties in high school. Now is the time that you get the second chance you deserve. You can do this.
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Now offering free internet service in your own home!

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A “Hot Spot” is a portable device which gives you Wi-fi signal for internet wherever you are. As long as you can get cellular reception, you can use a hot spot to get access to the internet. Most areas of the county now have US Cellular access and some areas also have Verizon access, and still some areas do not have cell reception at all due to our mountainous terrain.
Believe it or not, everyone in Craig County does not have a smart phone. Families with children may need multiple devices so everyone can attend school from home. Whether that be a smartphone, a tablet, ipad, or a personal computer, a high speed internet connection would be required. Reliable internet is just not available in many parts of Craig County even if you have the devices to use it. And, like it or not, internet is becoming essential in today’s school and business world.
Many people have internet access through their land line which does not depend on the cellular tower to provide access. Still the internet is notoriously slow through the land lines. Higher speed internet is required for some applications to work and for working with photographs and videos. Zoom meetings can be difficult without higher speed internet. Subscriptions for internet cost money and higher speeds cost more.
Because of these challenges, the Library Board decided to purchase two hot spots to be checked out by library patrons. The fees for their subscriptions are paid by the library. This is a new item in the budget, but a highly popular one. We would love to have at least ten hot spots for patrons to check out if we could find funds for that purpose. Each one costs $80 and there is a monthly subscription fee.
Students doing school from home have had hotspots provided by the school, but when these are no longer available, we anticipate a greater need for internet access at home. Otherwise, students must travel to a place like the library or school parking lot where they can receive free high speed internet. Since transportation is necessary for this, then a parent must take the child to such a place. Because our library is so small, we can only allow one patron at a time to enter the building for using the internet, so parents cannot drop kids at the library to use the computers like they used to. Using a portable hot spot can be one solution.
It’ as easy as checking out a book. Anyone with a current library card can check out a hot spot. There is no fee or deposit required. Your borrowed hot spot must be returned in 1 week and the late fees are the same as for movies- a dollar a day. You can call the library if you have any questions at 864-8978.
This is just another way the Craig County Public Library seeks to fulfill its mission of empowering individuals to build a stronger community. Helping students with their education and helping adults to navigate today’s digital world are ways we can contribute to greater prosperity. Creating this ripple effect multiplies your financial gifts and our local tax dollars. Thank you for supporting your library!

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  • Empowering individuals to build
    a stronger community.


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