The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Authors and artists enjoy center stage at the Library

     Authors and artists abound in our community, and the Library loves to give them a stage.

     You can count on the Library to introduce you to the latest books by regional authors through book talks and book signings at the various branches. We also invite patrons to send us their email address if they wish to be alerted about upcoming author events.

     Your next chance is at 7 p.m. Monday in the Library Station’s Santa Fe Room. We’re featuring an Ozarks native who is returning from academic pursuits at Harvard University to talk about his new book, “Soldier’s Heart.”

      Jeremy Webb Rusk’s book is a tale of love and conflict in Civil War Missouri. It’s grounded in the lives of his Confederate and Union ancestors. Rusk is a descendent of Webb City’s founding family. His great-grandfather on the Webb family side fought for the South; his great-grandfather from the pioneer Rusk family in Missouri fought for the North. 

     “Soldier’s Heart,” a familiar term to those who survived the emotional scars of the American Civil War, became known as “battle fatigue” in World War II and today is known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. 

     Monday’s talk is free and open to the public. Rusk’s book will be available for purchase.
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     Every month at six library branches, local artists also display their photography, painting, pottery, sculpture, collectibles and more in the reading rooms and cases. Many of them also price their work for sale.

     So many are noteworthy, but one must-see display through November is at the Library Center, and it’s so big it spills from the display case into the reading room. It’s called Whimzees: Recycle Metal and Mixed Media Sculptures by Joan Gentry and Carol Chappell, who go by the name CJ Art. Each whimsical, mechanical figure is so unique, you’ll want to block out some time for this one.
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     The Midtown Carnegie Branch is getting a roof repair beginning Thursday, so the branch will be closed to the public that day and classes in the Edge Community Technology Center have been rescheduled. If it rains or snows on Thursday, work will be postponed and the branch will be open.

     All branches will be closed Friday in observance of Veterans Day.

Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director of the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at

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