Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Labor Day Library Holiday

From the County:

The library will be closed on Sunday, September 5 and Monday, September 6, 2010 for Labor Day.

The catalog and access to your account will be unavailable on Sunday, September 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for system maintenance.

Monday, August 30, 2010


We love your donations.  We can't do what we do without your donations.  But at this point, just before the sale (we start with Friends Night Sept 22), we can't take in any more of your donations!  Our shed is full!



While you wait for us to re-open, you can see our donations guideline here.  Feel free to print a copy and use it to evaluate what you want to bring us!  It may make your 'pending' stack shorter!

If you just can't wait, or you have items that do not fit our donation criteria, please feel free to donate with another Friends group or charity!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stashing Away Bargains

It's not too early to stash away bargains for holiday gifts. Our RestonFriends1 site at Amazon has some great buys for those of you who have family and friends who like "eclectic."  Take a look at these!

Who doesn't love Flash Gordon? These DVDS are still in great condition as is the slip-case cover. Only $18!

Like making gifts? If you start now, you'll be ready. This book looks like an intriguing opportunity for someone to create some very special hand-made gifts.  $12.75

And to help with a problem that many families are experiencing these days, take a look at this book!

Only $19.50

Remember, all of our items on Amazon are available to current, local Friends of Reston Regional Library, Inc. without shipping. Yep, we'll meet you at the library with the book!

If you're interested, you can:

PHONE US: 703-829-5467

or leave a comment here!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?
A Friends of the Library Mystery
 (To Review, Part I)
(To Review, Part II)
(To Review, Part III)
(To Review, Part IV)
(To Review, Part V)
(To Review, Part VI)
(To Review, Part VII)

Helping at the Friends’ Children’s and Young Adult book sale at the library, the researcher was tickled to hear other volunteers asking about the Emajean story. Hearing of the search had sparked people’s curiosity. One of the ladies who had much more background in genealogy than the researcher started asking about it.  The researcher told her about the information on the man’s photograph.

 “My dad gave me a thorough detailing of that photo, but it only gives me context. I suspect he’s Emajean’s stepbrother, Walter, but I can’t verify that.  And I have to remember that my goal is to find the family in order to return the photos!” she exclaimed. “There are several photos of nurses obviously dressed for some event – graduation probably, but I don’t know who they are. I tried to match the photos with some in the annual and couldn’t be sure.”

Her colleague, intrigued by the hunt, asked, “have you tried . . . “ and named several resources. They agreed to exchange e-mails later to see what they could discover together.

As promised, after the sale, the researcher’s e-mail box contained more information.  Her friend sent information from the mid-century Jackson City Directories.  The 1937, 38, 39 and 1947 all showed Jean Mahoney living with her mother and sister (both named Frances) in Jackson, Michigan.  Her mother was shown as widow of Francis Mahoney. By 1951, all the Mahoney names were gone. What had happened?

It certainly didn’t appear that Emmajean  married. If she didn’t., who did and how on earth did this book get to Reston, Virginia?

One of the resources her friend had mentioned she ought to look at was a site called DeadFred where she could post the photos. This genealogy photo archive allowed people to upload photos of ancestors in the hopes that someone would help identify them. After spending a few minutes, the photos were posted. There!  That’s all I can do for today. Maybe someone will recognize them and contact me.”

As she got ready to close down her efforts for the day the researcher had a horrible thought. What if someone bought this as part of a lot of books at an auction, and then donated it rather than throw it out? We’ll never find the connection to Reston if that’s the case!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Umm...no...not THAT kind of record set. Sheesh.

I'm talking about the Children's and Young Adults Mini-Sale this weekend. This is only our third time doing this and wow, what a success! It gets better and better!

When we contemplated starting a separate sale for these items, we figured it would cut into the total numbers for the huge Semi-Annual Used Book Sales. That was okay with us...

...but our loyal customers (especially young teachers) have latched on to this separate mini-sale and purchase almost every thing we offer! And our loyal Semi-Annual Used Book Sale customers have kept up the pace of their purchasing as well. Of course, we now have more room to offer things at the Semi-Annual Sale because the  space that formerly went to the Children's books corner is available for other things, but it isn't just that we have more space to display.

We have the best sorters, which means we have the best books, which means the best customers come and buy them!

You know I'm talking about you, right?

So Thank You to everyone involved!  See you soon for the Semi-Annual HUGE Sale:

FRIENDS' NIGHT - SEPT 22, 5-7:30pm
SEPT 23-24, 10-5
SEPT 25, 10-4
SEPT 26, 1-3:30

Friday, August 20, 2010

References For You!

Our Children's and Young Adults Used Book Sale starts tomorrow, Saturday, August 21. We will have all your favorite children's book authors, plus teaching materials. And as a special bonus, we have three sets of encyclopedias available for sale.

$250             Encyclopedia Britannica    /  2007, 15th ed  /  black bindings

$150             World Book Encyclopedia    /  2007  /  ex-RRL set

$85               World Book Encyclopedia    /  2002  /  deluxe black bindings

So come to the sale at 10 a.m. Saturday. Leave your scanner at home. Note that quantities will be limited during the first few hours, so that all may shop without frenzy.

August 21-22

Saturday 10-4

Sunday 1-4

at Reston Regional Library

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?
A Friends of the Library Mystery
Part VII
 (To Review, Part I)
(To Review, Part II)
(To Review, Part III)
(To Review, Part IV)
(To Review, Part V)
(To Review, Part VI)

The researcher pursed her lips in frustration. It had been two weeks since she’d had time to work on the mystery of the photos. Now she had a house guest. Why is it that the call of the computer was loudest when the time was the least available?

In desperation she turned to her houseguest. He had done a lot of genealogical research in his day. Maybe he'd have some ideas.

“Dad,” she started, “would you look at this photo and tell me whatever you can about it?” She handed him the photo of the man in large clothes.

His eyes brightened, and he pulled out his jewelry loupe. The researcher started to clue him in but he said, “No! Don’t tell me anything about it!” She shrugged, smiled, and left the room.

When she returned he was furiously writing notes in longhand. She got a cup of coffee, refilled his, and tiptoed from the room.

As she was finishing her last work e-mail of the day, he knocked at her office door upstairs.
She turned to him with a big smile. “What have you found?”

His report was detailed and thorough. It was the type of report that had made him a successful military officer.

Near the time of the maximum growth season: the trees and shrubs are in full growth. What appears to be tomatoes are on the vine; but have not darkened to show the red. Tomatoes are typically a late August ripener in the middle latitudes. The tree on the left is showing some non-productive limbs and the other visible limbs are sparsley leaved. Could well be dying.

The house appears to be a two story structure. There is a window at the upper story level. It shows most likely the rear of the structure. Note the posts with wire climbing limbs to facilitate vine climbing to his right as he faced the photographer. The plant supports to his left are sturdier as indicated by the dowel top support which would be natural with tomatoes. The vines to his right look to be two grape vines which were cut as you walked between them.

There is what appears to be a lean-to outbuilding with one open side (south) for feeding animals. Could be pigs. Note the slop bucket with partially closed lid made of galvanized metal. Usually slop buckets were containers that had outlived their normal duties. To spend money on a commercial “garbage can” is an indication there may have been some money to spare.

Looking at the young man starting at his head, he has a typical haircut of the late 20’s/30’s. A high & tight and combed back in the “valentino” style. His wing type white collar is high and larger than his neck and may be a transferable collar that fit on a usually light blue collarless shirt. The collars and tie were worn for special events (such as a picture taking). The tie collar combination typically was secured at the back of the neck by hook and eye. He has a sporty tie pin which enters the tie at the top, under the front of the tie and emerges about an inch further down and had a cap that fit over the sharp end of the pin.

His bib overalls have a pencil pocket and he has a pencil secured in the pocket. Typical button fly. These may well be used by more than one member of the family. If they were used by one individual the cuffs were usually cut, turned, and secured to the individual’s length. For a family where there was more than one individual working, the cuffs were turned by the using individual when he or she went out to work. They often hung by the back door and were put on or taken off near the main house entry. Under the coveralls the individuals wore house clothes -- light or heavy depending upon the season. Typically a flannel shirt was worn even in the summer to facilitate wicking, evaporation and cooling.

His shoes seem to be his best shoes – they are soft round toe and reflect a shine. There is not any evident wear which would come from wearing mucking boots during the course of a days work in a barnyard.

The hat is leather, lined cap with pull down ear flaps for cold weather. It is billed to provide a bit of sun glare protection.

His jacket is very typical of the more prosperous county man of the time. Heavy denim like material. It has rivet style buttons. The collar can be fastened across his throat as protection against the cold. His cuffs can be fastened down to avoid getting hung up while working. They appear to have a flap, buckle, slide size adjustment capability. The chest pocket has a slash opening without a flap which made for easy access and retrieval of items. The lower pocket has a flap to help keep items from falling out. On his left arm is a slash pocket which has some sort of Identification #. The number 811 is large and can easily be read at a distance. It could well be connected with his employment away from the family.

The jacket seems to be new. It is clean, unsoiled, unpatched, sized both for growth and accommodation of multiple layers of sweaters or undergarments in cold weather.

My guess is he is a younger man 18 to mid-20’s in the early 30’s and the photo was taken as part of an “event’ with a box camera. The clothing, hat, shoes, collar, tie, would indicate a young man who is bridging farm and city world. He appears to be quite serious and determined. He is clean shaven and appears to have come from or is getting ready to go to some special event the family wants to have a memento of.

He is very typical of the young man I used to see as a child in the 30’s in the mid-west, Iowa and Missouri. I am assuming he is from somewhere in the Midwest along the area between northern Iowa or Nebraska and Southern Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, or South Dakota. My strongest guess would be Iowa, southern Michigan or Wisconsin. The steepness of the roof is an indication of heavy snow fall. The family appears to be somewhat better off financially than the average of the time. End.

The researcher put the report down and shook her head. “Dad,” she asked, looking at him. “How on earth do you do that? And what do I do next?”

He just smiled.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Children's & Young Adult Mini Sale

Don't miss it!

THIS Saturday & Sunday

August 21-22

Saturday 10-4

Sunday 1-4

at Reston Regional Library

Be there or be sad.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?
A Friends of the Library Mystery
Part VI
 (To Review, Part I)
(To Review, Part II)
(To Review, Part III)
(To Review, Part IV)
(To Review, Part V)

The names in Ancestry.com were all indexed – not just the adults. When the researcher went to the 1920 Census and put in Emma Jean Mahoney with Michigan as the state, she got exactly one record. Located in Berrien, Michigan, the record showed a nine-year old Emajean’s name, listed with her parents, Frank and Frances Mahoney. Both parents had been born in Michigan, both of immigrant parents. His were from Ireland, and hers from Canada. Emajean’s father’s occupation was listed as a supervisor for the railroad.

The researcher knew that most of the work and expense that had gone into making Ancestry.com's databases so rich had been done by members and supporters of the Mormon Church. Because of their theology, it was very important to them to locate and record ancestors. The result was a fantastic mine of possibilities for genealogists;
and it just showed facts - no shading of truth like so many family histories. The researcher loved dealing with facts.

After recording all the information from the 1920 Census form, she moved to 1930. Ancestry was fully indexed which made the task much easier, and gave lots of leads. Entering "Emma Jean" did not yield any matches. However, when the researcher put in Mahoney and Jackson Michigan, the record came up with a big surprise.

At 529 Crescent Road, Emma J. Mahoney was listed as living with her parents, Frank J. and Frances V. and a younger sister, Frances M, age 9. The census was conducted during her last year of high school, before she went to Loyola to train as a nurse. By 1930, Frank’s occupation was listed as a retail coal merchant. Brrr! I’ll bet he was in great demand in Michigan about nine months of the year, the researcher thought.

On a whim, the researcher put in the parents' names for the 1910 census and discovered another surprise. In Berrien, Michigan, back in 1910, a son, Walter, was listed living with Frank and Frances. Frances was listed as the mother of zero children, and the record said they’d been married two years. Then the researcher saw the notation that indicated this was Frank’s second marriage. Walter was Frances’ stepson.

The researcher dutifully recorded all the information and closed her laptop. The library was closing soon and she wanted to pick up a couple of books on CD for the travel she had ahead of her the next week. She found some that sounded interesting, used the self-checkout, and headed out the automatic doors.  But as the researcher walked out to her car she began to think about Emajean again.

I wonder . . . could the photo of the young girl be Frances, Emajean’s younger sister? And perhaps the photo of the man is her older stepbrother, Walter? But who was the baby?

The difficulty now was that the last census that was indexed by Ancestry was 1930. If Emajean had never married, she might be searchable in the 1940 index when it came out. But if Emajean married after graduation, the census records of 1940 wouldn't be much use without a last name. And that last name was what the researcher needed next.

At home, the researcher fired off an inquiry to Loyola's nursing program hoping it would land in the in-box of a genealogy or mystery buff -- or even someone who volunteered for their local library friends group!

In the back of the annual there were advertising pages. The photographers for the yearbook had a full page ad. Just for grins, the researcher quickly searched for them on Google and discovered that amazingly, they were still in business! She sent an e-mail to them as well, on a fishing expedition at best. So far, the researcher had spent only time on the project, and no actual funds. To go the next step might require some money for birth records, etc. To research her own family, the sleuth would have gladly paid. In this case, she wasn't sure that going that much deeper would be worth it.

As her final task for the night, the researcher methodically went through every page of the annual, gently separating those that resisted her ministrations. She kept an eye open for the girls in the three person photo she had but nothing jumped out. And just when she thought the annual had given up all of its mysteries, she came across another photo. It wasn't significantly different than some of the others, but it made the researcher laugh again at the pull this mysterious 1933 Loyolan had on her.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Too Hot For You?

The library is cool. Yes, it's cool in that symbolic happenin' place to be, but it is literally cool as well. As in the Air Conditioner is on most of the time.

There are still a few weeks to finish up the summer reading program, or attend a fun event.

And of course, we're coming up on the All Fairfax Reads program. To refresh your memory, this year's book is:

If your garden didn't turn out as you had hoped this year, here's a great book on RestonFriends1 that you can peruse over the winter . . .

If you're hot and you want an inspiration to cool off AS WELL AS to learn something about business and entrepreneurship, take a look at this one!

And as always, remember that if you're a current, local Friend of the library, you can get these sans postage! Just call (703-829-5467) or e-mail us.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Great Finds for You

Once again, our Amazon store front is full of great books for you!

Need the perfect "off to college" gift?  How about this?

Poultrygeist -- $15.75.  Here's part of a review on Amazon:
For those of you not familiar with Troma, 
don't be fooled by my 5 star rating. 
This movie is horrible. 
Horrible in the sleaziest, bloodiest, cheesiest way! 
My wife left after 10 minutes (Wahoo!;) 
Classic Kaufman. 

Here's the plot if you need one-- 
A fast food chicken joint is constructed on an Native American burial ground. I guess, although I'm not really positive, that these native's spirits possessed the dead chickens and arose from the grave, seeking double revenge. Chicken zombies from hell!!! Bwaaaaahahahaa..... 

Not your style? How about this for a very nice holiday gift?  Still shrinkwrapped, i.e. NEW!

The Alec Guinness Collection -- $80

Or, do you need to do some re-decorating? Try this one on for size:


All of these items are available to our current, local members without having to pay shipping.  Just e-mail us, or call us and leave a message!  703-829-5467

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?
A Friends of the Library Mystery
Part V
 (To Review, Part I)
(To Review, Part II)
(To Review, Part III)
(To Review, Part IV)

Strolling into the library the researcher smiled at the hum of activity around her. Children were busily perusing books in their brightly colored area. It was so cool that it had furniture designed for tiny kids and books at eye levels for all ages.

Skirting around the reference desk, the researcher approached the wi-fi bar at the back of the library. She sat and opened her lap top and began organizing her stuff while it booted up. Entering her library card number she had instant access to HeritageQuest and Ancestry.com.

She started with HeritageQuest, and clicked “Search Census.” The screen asked for a surname, first name, census year, and a state. Mahoney was a pretty common name, but Emajean may have been spelled lots of different ways in the census, she reasoned. She typed in Mahoney for the surname and left the box for the first name blank.  The annual showed that she was a college graduate in 1933, so the 1920 census would be the first target.  She left the state blank as well.

Whoa! The screen showed 8894 Mahoneys! She scrolled down to Michigan where there were only 230 and clicked through. Although there were two Emmas, neither was the right age. But then the researcher realized that all of the ages listed were over 18. They must only index the adult names. Darn! In 1920 Emajean would have been a minor child and the researcher did not know her father's name. Okay, time for logic. Jackson is in Jackson County. If I go back to the Jackson County subpage, I can try to look for a father's entry. The researcher tried that and got nine results. She quickly clicked through each of them, rejecting the records one by one. Time for a new approach.

Going back to the main screen, she changed her selection to the 1930 census. Rats! Only a few states were listed. The others had a notation “this state is not yet loaded.” Probably a budget thing, she grumbled to herself.

She sat back for a minute to clear her head and organize her next attack. Searching through the photos she pulled out one that showed what she thought was a new nursing graduate, proudly posing with friends and compared it with the yearbook photo. Then the researcher pulled up the close-up she had made by scanning the original and using Photoshop to crop and re-size the face.  Emajean was clearly the girl on the left, and it looked like the other two were sisters. Research note: go through photos of class to find other girls. May provide more clues.

Wow, thought the researcher. These are the women who in a few short years would be nursing the wounded when the war came. I wonder if any of them went to the Pacific...

She shook off her imaginings. As she sat forward to begin again, the researcher glanced to her right. The library had just opened a new “Young Adult” reading area for teens. Each oddly-shaped chair could fit one child only, and each chair was full. In most, the kids had their legs tucked up underneath them, and the kids were each lost in a book. One girl had dark eyes and curls, reminding the researcher of the first photo she had found.

She smiled thinking what Emajean might have thought of today’s students, and what today's students might think of this rabbit trail the researcher was following. Turning back to her screen she backed out of HeritageQuest and switched to Ancestry.com. Finally, she struck gold.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Recent Purchases

The Friends of the Library organization underwrites A LOT of what takes the Reston Regional Library from a functional place to a place where it is a pleasure to spend time. Two of our recent purchases are shown below.

Teen/Young Adult Area
(separate from the little kids)

Friends of Reston Regional Library investment (to date):

wi-fi bar
Friends of Reston Regional Library investment:

Tell us what YOU would like to see at the library. The board will seriously consider any patron request!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Odd Lots For Sale

We have some odd lots of books that we'd like to move out of our work area. Thus, we'll make you a great deal!

First, the rules:

1.  You must be a current member of the Friends of Reston Regional Library. If you're not, we'll be happy to sell you a membership along with the Odd Lot you want. You can click on the link on this page, or do it all as one transaction.

$15 General Membership
$5 Senior (65+)

Donation Levels
$250 Special Friend
$100 Best Friend
$50 Good Friend

2.  Appointment to see the Odd Lot must be at the library during regular business hours (click here for hours)
3.  To make an appointment, e-mail us or call us at 703-829-5467. Leave a message and we'll get back with you as soon as possible.

Now, for the lots:


$65              World Book Encyclopedia / deluxe ed / complete set / copyr 2002
$65               McGraw-Hill Technical Encyclopedia / ex-RRL / complete set / copyr 2002

$10              2009 ed of LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations / 8 vol complete set / ex-RRL

$10               Firsts: The Book Collector's Magazine / lot of 19 issues years 2008-2010

Specialty Magazines 

$48              Starlog magazine / lot of 56 issues, incl anniversary issues, years 1977-1983 / Relive all those sci fi movie & tv favorites from the past! 
                     (from mega-hits like Star Wars and Star Trek to the obscure and the deliriously campy)

$  6              official Dungeons & Dragons publication / Dungeon magazine /lot of 15 issues years 2006-2007 / incl final issue #150 with bonus poster map
$  6              official Dungeons & Dragons publication / Dragon magazine /
                     lot of 16 issues years 2005-2007 / incl final issue #259 (no map)
         OR      $10       for both lots of D&D magazines


$  6              Dwell magazine / lot of 34 issues / approx years 2006-2008
$  4              Radio Control Modeler magazine / lot of 36 issues / approx years 1989-1991 bonus 10 issues of Model Airplane News / approx year 1990


25 cents per copy             DC, Marvel and more    (content rated either Teen+, Adult)


  • Give us a chance to help you find books 'n stuff that you'd like to purchase! Do you need prep books for tests, exams?  SAT, AP, GRE, bar exams, etc

  • Occasionally we receive donations of beautiful coffee table type books that have unfortunately picked up strong cigarette odors.  While we do appreciate the good intentions of the donors, our sale criteria prevent us from offering these at our semi-annual sales. But if you'd like to be notified if such bargain opportunities crop up, please provide your contact info.

  • Do you enjoy crafting "altered art"?  If you are interested in purchasing bulk quantities of unusual materials for your hobby,  please provide your contact info.  Possible materials may include various forms of printed matter, leather book bindings, ephemera and more.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reston Friends on Amazon

It's been a while since we have featured any of the treasures on our Amazon storefront site. also known as RestonFriends1. Wow -- they've really piled up.  There are nearly 700 items listed!

How do we decide what goes there? Donations that come in that can command a good price (over $15) in the used book marketplace are considered for RestonFriends1. The reason is that while we can save them for the Specials Room during the Semi-Annual Book Sale, often many of these are so unique, or the demand for them is so timely, that by the time we get to the Semi-Annual Sale, we will have lost the edge to sell them.

BUT, for many, if they have NOT sold on Amazon prior to the sale, we pull them back in, put them in the Specials Room, often add them to the "Toplist" and give you a price break.

So, it is a test of your gambling stamina:  are you willing to wait and see if you're the first one to get them at Friends Night, or do you want to get it now, while it is available? If you want one or more of them now, and you're a current, local Friends member, we'll meet you at the library and save you shipping. Just e-mail us or call 703-829-5467.

Here are some current treasures that would make GREAT holiday gifts. All three appear to be new, unread:

Whitewater Kayaking, $14.50

 Table Style, $15.00

Lego Mindstorms 2.0 $18.50