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Civil War Focus of Big Read 2011

The nation this year will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. Missouri and the Ozarks figured prominently from the outset, 1861, so the region will rumble with Civil War-themed events including the Battle of Wilson’s Creek reenactment in August and the Missouri Literary Festival in September at The Creamery.

The library district will invite public conversation about the Civil War during a month-long series of events in April, using it as the theme for our annual community-read project, The Big Read. Details are available on thelibrary.org/bigread, and richer details about the war’s impact on the Ozarks are on ozarkscivilwar.org.

You can get a preview of what’s to come at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, at the Library Center auditorium. It begins with the end, in a way. Missouri State University Professor Emeritus Hal Funk will talk about “The Confederate’s Last Surrender: The Incredible Story of the CSS Shenandoah.”

The Shenandoah was the last of the Confederate Sea Raiders, and continued to sink Union ships for several weeks after the war officially ended in spring 1865, and didn’t surrender until November 1865.
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In keeping with a historical theme, the Sunday Sounds concert at 2 p.m. today, (Sunday, Feb. 20) at the Library Station, will feature the Mountain Dulcimer Players and instrumental folk music on American instruments developed in Appalachia in the 18th and 19th centuries. The concert is sponsored by Friends of the Library, with refreshments provided by Panera Bread.
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Ozarks Food Harvest is more than 4 tons of food richer this week, enough to provide more than 6,400 meals for hungry people in the Ozarks. And all because of overdue library fines.

During Jan. 23-29, the library district forgave 50 cents on library overdue fine balances for each item of nonperishable food patrons brought in for Ozarks Food Harvest. The result: a whopping 8,357 pounds of food, beating the 2010 total of 6,261 pounds. In turn, the library forgave about $3,400 in overdue fines.

So, thanks for the 7 lb. can of pork and beans, the 30 Gillette deodorants, the cans of Spam and mountains of mac ‘n cheese. We thank you, and Ozarks Food Harvest thanks you.


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