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Library Heading On Road

The Ohio County Public Library’s popular Lunch With Books series has expanded beyond the traditional speaking format into lively multimedia presentations.

Lunch with Books it taking one such program “on the road,” actually just down the street, specifically to West Virginia Independence Hall, at 16th and Market streets in downtown Wheeling.

Library and community representatives plan to offer a reprise of a Black History Month program, “The African American Experience in Wheeling,” in the hall’s courtroom at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 25. The hour-long program is free and open to the public.

Featuring photographs, video, music, art and readings of primary source material, the presentation tells the story of African American life in Wheeling from the era of slavery until the current day.

Ron Scott Jr., cultural diversity and community outreach director at the YWCA Wheeling, will serve as narrator. Sean Duffy, a local history specialist at the library, created the multimedia presentation. Erin Rothenbuehler, also a local history specialist at the library, provided supplemental research and design work.

The program was performed at the library last year as part of the Wheeling 250 series for Black History Month. Later, the presentation was repeated by request at Wheeling Park High School and Triadelphia Middle School for nearly 500 students.

Another engaging multimedia presentations, “A History of Black Music in America,” drew a large audience at the library Tuesday. Scott researched, wrote and narrated that program. Well-known area singer-guitarist Ezra John Hamilton performed musical selections from some of the genres mentioned by Scott.

On a different note, Duffy, Rothenbuehler and others created an interactive, multimedia presentation last year as a localized version of Orson Welles’ famous “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast. The special Lunch with Books session was offered on Halloween; audience members participating enthusiastically, filling speaking roles and supplying sound effects. Later in the year, the “War of the Worlds” program was repeated at the library for students from St. Clairsville.

Meanwhile, the library’s Lunch With Books series will have an international sound at noon on Feb. 25, when the Quaternaglia Guitar Quartet performs.

Duffy related that the guitarists from Brazil are on tour in the United States and wanted to make a stop in Wheeling.

Looking ahead, a Statehood Day celebration on June 20 at the West Virginia and Regional History Center in Morgantown will focus on the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote.

The program will feature a forum and the opening of an exhibit dedicated to women’s suffrage and women’s history. The center’s exhibit will feature items from the papers of the late Lenna Lowe Yost, who was one of the leaders of the suffrage movement in the Mountain State. A Morgantown resident, she also became the first woman to preside over a Republican state party convention in 1920.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net

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