National Library Week will be observed this year during April 7-13 and The Union County Library has several programs and activities during the month of April to celebrate the importance of our local library. 

First, the library along with New Albany Main Street Association will be hosting an Easter Egg Hunt on the Union County Courthouse Lawn at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 6. The egg hunt will be for children 10 and under. All you need to bring is your basket. Participants may want to attend the New Albany Home and Garden Show going on. 

Preschool story time will continue to be held every Wednesday at 10 a.m. The schedule for the month of April is as follows: 

April 3 We Love Eric Carle! Happy 50th to The Very Hungry Caterpillar! 

April10 Celebrate Books! Celebrate NLW! 

April17 Happy Easter! 

April 24 April Showers Bring May Flowers! 

They will be having a Collage Like Eric Carle! Workshop on Saturday, April 13, at 10 a.m. This workshop will be led by Andi Bedsworth of Oxford. The workshop is for children ages 12 and under. 

Andi Bedsworth is an artist who grew up in Louisiana and has been teaching in Oxford since 2004. She owns Art to Go, an arts education business that provides arts programming for local and regional schools, community centers, and other organizations. She offers summer camps in partnership with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. She also offers year-round programming at the Powerhouse in Oxford as well as at her home studio in Oxford. 

2019 is the 50th anniversary year of the publication of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. The book was published in 1969. 

Also on April 13, Dr. Barbara L. Howard, author of the books Wounded Sheep: How to Calm a Storm and Wounded Sheep: How to Heal Church Hurt will hold a book signing at noon. 

She is a New Albany native, and a 1987 graduate of New Albany High School and will have books at the library to purchase. 

Dr. Howard was the first in her family to attend college earning a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from The University of Mississippi in 1992 and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Mississippi in 1994. She continued her education and received a Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision from Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro) in 2001 and a Doctorate degree in Administration and Supervision from Tennessee State University (Nashville) in 2005. Dr. Howard has been in the field of education since 1994 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Jackson State University. She became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in 1989 at the University of Mississippi, Tau Eta Chapter and is also a member of the Heroines of Jericho. She is a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 

Dr. Howard currently attends New Horizon Church International in Jackson where she is a licensed minister. One of her major projects is the Books to Prisons Ministry, where she provides Christian literature to prison libraries for men and women who are incarcerated. 

The monthly Luncheon With Books program will be April 16.

R. J. Lee will review Grand Slam Murders at noon at the Union County Library. 

Lee, a mystery writer, is a native of Natchez, now living in Oxford. Growing up in Natchez, he had much fodder for his stories and characters. He graduated with a B.A. in English from Sewanee (University of the South) and studied creative writing under Andrew Lytle, then the editor of the Sewanee Review. He has written 12 other novels, first as Robert Dalby for Putnam, and then as Ashton Lee for Kensington. 

Grand Slam Murders is his debut Bridge to Death Mystery novel, all of which will have some connection to the game of bridge. The novel has been enthusiastically reviewed by Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers’ Weekly, as well as Mystery Scene Magazine. 

A light lunch will be served at 11:30. 

Next, the Autism Center of North Mississippi will host an awareness program on April 23 at 6 p.m. at the Union County Library. This program is an effort to promote autism awareness and offer opportunities for assistance to our patrons. This program will discuss services provided by their center located in Tupelo. The Autism Center is a non-profit organization providing hope, support, and empowerment for individuals with all levels of Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families through the science of Applied Behavior Analysis. April is Autism Awareness Month. 

The 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week will be observed April 29 through May 5.

Sarah Frances Hardy will be guest reader for Preschool Story time on May 1 at 10 a.m. 

Hardy lives with her husband and three daughters in Oxford where she is surrounded by a community of writers and readers. After retiring from the practice of law, Sarah Frances dusted off her paintbrushes and writing notebooks, and pursued her dream of writing and illustrating children’s books. With a juris doctorate cum laude from the University of Mississippi School of Law, a Bachelor of Arts in fine art from Davidson College, and subsequent studies at Parsons School of Design in New York and Paris, Hardy took an early retirement from practicing law to paint and write full time. 

Sarah Frances’s paintings are characterized by vivid colors and expressive brushstrokes. She has exhibited her work in galleries throughout the Southeast as well as at a gallery in Soho. Her corporate clients include Steve Wynn who purchased several of Sarah Frances’s paintings for the Beau Rivage Resort in Biloxi. 

Most recently, Sarah Frances has redirected her creative juices towards writing and illustrating books for children--picture books as well as middle grade and young adult novels. 


Terry Vandeventer, popularly known as “The Snake Man,” will be at the library at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4, for Children’s Book Week with his reptiles. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Vandementer has asked that children ages 5 and under sit with an adult during the program. 

As always, all programs are free of charge at the library. 

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