All Library branches will be closed and the Mobile Library will not make its scheduled stops on Thursday, Nov. 27, in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

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"Voices of Conflict" Reveal Human Dimension of Civil War

“…Our cuntry is in a bad condition I dont know what is to become of us we still have enough to eat and wear for which we aut to be truly thankful i fear it wont last long.”

Leah Hamilton Jenkins brought life these words of Elizabeth Hunter, who wrote to her daughter Margaret Hunter Newberry in 1864 as the Civil War raged. Leah, with the Springfield Area Arts Council, is one of four pros who recorded such excerpts with public radio station KSMU to promote the Library’s Big Read theme, “Voices of Conflict: The American Civil War.”

KSMU, a library partner in The Big Read, airs a recording at 7:30 a.m. every Thursday through April 28. You can always hear them on KSMU.org, click on The Big Read icon. Full print versions are at Community & Conflict: Impact of the Civil War in the Ozarks, along with many other materials focusing on the Battle of Wilson’s Creek.

These recordings lend a realistic and human dimension to our observance of the Sesquicentennial. It’s a reminder that the 150th isn’t a “celebration,” but a sobering reflection on our past.

The Big Read continues this week with a wide range of programs that help promote our understanding of the war:

  • A 7 p.m. Monday panel at the Brentwood Branch Library features authors who will discuss their works: Randall Fuller, author of “From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War Changed American Literature;” William Piston, co-author of “Wilson’s Creek: The Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It;” and Steve Yates, author of “Morkan’s Quarry: A Novel.” Books will be available for sale.
  • At 11 a.m. Friday at the Republic Branch, grades K-5 will learn about the life of a slave girl in “Meet Addy: An American Girl.”
  • On Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Willard Branch and 6 p.m. at the Library Station, historian Michael Price will discuss “The Common Soldier,” his sacrifices, enlistment, camp life and weapons.

See the full Big Read event schedule at thelibrary.org/bigread.


It’s almost here! The big Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale will open its doors April 26-May 1 at Remington’s, 1655 W. Republic Road. Hours are 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, April 26-30; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, May 1. The Friends members preview sale is 5-8 p.m. Monday, April 25.


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