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 Library Closing         

Middlesboro branch will be closed Saturday, October 5th for activities related to the Cumberland Mountain Fall Festival.

No items have been marked due on that date.  Perhaps seeking to borrow books, movies, magazines, etc. or to access the Internet are invited to visit Pineville branch.

Get Caught Reading



Renae Lively, a librarian from the Harlan County Public Library shared this great photo of her cousin Bella (also from Harlan) "caught reading."

Bella is the daughter of Bill and April Leath.

Lots of you will remember former Bell Co. resident, graduate teaching assistant and musician Chad Money, reading with Julian in Louisville.

Richard "Dick" Mills and his granddaughter, Addison Mills
(7 months old) during one of their evening reading session.

Goodnight Moon always grabs her full attention.

Thanks, Caleb...

For several years, Caleb Nantz has faithfully reviewed and recommended books for our younger readers, including new material, but always remembering the modern classics from a generation or two earlier.    Now that Caleb has begun college, there's no time to continue his CALEB'S CORNER page on this website.  Thanks, Caleb, for being so dependable after others gave up the task after a couple of reviews.   Good luck in college; such a voracious reader should do very well.


Thanks, Lions...

Thanks to Pineville Lions Club for the donation of three of these table  units (in maroon) for the patio area at Pineville branch.

While the community room tables can be taken outdoors for groups wishing to meet al fresco during days of good weather, these units will be permanently in place for groups or individuals who wish to take the air while having a committee meeting or just reading their newspaper and enjoying a cup of coffee.

Success in Children's Programming

A statistic to make Kentuckians proud: Our state has the highest per-capita attendance at children's library programs in the South and is one of the top 15 states in the nation. 

See how other states compare here.    Scroll down for our library district's program schedule for children & teens.

The Price of Libraries is Cheap Compared to That of an Ignorant Nation / Abigail Tarttelin : 
Lincolnshire's library cuts do not make economic sense because growth relies on a literate public, 
argues author
This article from a British newspaper (The Guardian) will ring familiar to many Kentuckians:

I come from a large, isolated, rural county with some of the lowest property values and average salaries in the UK. Much of Lincolnshire's population lives in small villages, with no access to museums and art galleries. Those living in London can enjoy such cultural treats only a short walk or tube ride away; my local Waterstones is 25 miles from my front door.

We have 44 libraries serving more than 1 million people. Our local council aims to slash that number to 15 and shorten opening hours as well. These libraries are no grand stone edifices: they are often equivalent of local village shops. The council proposes one tiny library to serve every 66,667 people.

Our majority Conservative council suggests the 29 libraries it is targeting should either be run by volunteers for six hours a week or traded in for fortnightly mobile library visits. Hundreds of households will be offered a tier four service, what I would deem "end of the line" provisions, with a mobile library visiting for just one hour a month.

It makes sense to have a moral reaction to the closing of libraries: literacy underscores the universal declaration of human rights, including the right to education, the right to work and the right to freedom of opinion and expression. But I wonder, too, whether these proposals make economic sense.

In Britain, where 16% of adults are functionally illiterate, trained librarians and fully stocked libraries play a vital role in educating both children and adults, which enables social mobility and supports efforts to end child poverty, something the UK government promised to do by 2020.

For Lincolnshire, with high unemployment levels and median wages hovering at £16,000-£19,000, social mobility is key to economic growth. Citizens need to self-educate, train and retrain and have access to jobsearch resources online.

A third of people on jobseeker's allowance in the county are 16-24, and £9,000 per annum university fees can be intimidating and impractical. It is free public services that pick up the slack, allowing young people access to an education.

Economic growth relies on a literate public, social mobility and innovation, and so, too, does our benefits system. Libraries are free, accessible education, preparing the unemployed and young people for the world of work and saving us untold millions on benefits and jobseeker's allowance.

Let's not forget they also encourage a love of books and reading, something that is both wonderfully pleasurable and underscores Britain's world-class publishing industry.

These cuts do not make sense from an economic perspective. Libraries are worth more to the taxpayer in the long term than the council will save in the short term by closing them.

Lincolnshire county councillors here demonstrate a typically Conservative response to economic adversity, which is to suggest that by ceasing to invest in our country, our people and our public services, our economy will somehow grow. Their policy is to invest less and still expect gains.

Has it not occurred to this council that their goal should be to encourage library use? They should be introducing more convenient opening hours, better accessibility, educational and events programming with music, theatre, film showings, partnerships with schools, colleges, universities, local businesses. Such spending could easily be justified.

I urge the council to reconsider its plans, and I urge councillors to think of our local community as their local community, fellow Britons, and to sign the petition to save Lincolnshire's libraries.

As journalist Walter Cronkite once said: "Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation."

Author Meet & Greet at Middlesboro / Quilt Show & Book Sale

Friends of the Middlesboro Library Book Sale and Quilt Show will be held Oct. 9-15, 2014 in the library's Community Room. 

Friends of the Middlesboro Library will host an Author Meet & Greet Event on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the library's Community Room.  Guest author, Janene E. Nielsen will talk about the Appalachian coal mining novel The Burying Man which she co-authored with her father, Cleudis Robbins before his death in 2012.  Mr. Robbins grew up in the 1930's coal mining camps of southeastern Kentucky.



A special message from Christina Partin about October programs::

"We haven't decided anything definite yet, but we hope to be getting the Ghost Hunter we had over the summer to come back and do an actual ghost hunt as a joint program for both libraries! Details still have to be worked out, but ages 12-18 can call the Pineville Library and speak to me for details. 

I will be having regular programs through most of October, but I will not be having any programs the week of October 7th-11th. 

We are also planning to have the Teen Halloween Party on Monday, October 21st at 6pm. They should plan to come in costume and enjoy free food, refreshments, music and prizes! We will be having our Children's Halloween Party on Tuesday, October 22nd at 4:30pm. Kids ages 2-12 can come in costume and enjoy free food, drinks, and treats! Due to the Halloween Parties that week, we will not have regular programs in addition to the parties."


Morning Story Time:  Preschool and homeschoolers, Join us every Tuesday at 11 am.   (No program October 8th.  See announcement at left.)

Afternoon Story Time:  Ages 5-11.  Elementary School age kids join us every Wednesday at 4:00pm.      (No program October 9th.  See announcement at left.)

Teen Advisory Group:  Ages 13-18. High school students can take advantage of this group to help fulfill Community Service Hour requirements for school or clubs. It looks great on College applications too!  We will meet every Monday at 4:00pm.     (No program October 7th.  See announcement at left.)

There will be special programs throughout the school year around holidays and special events as well as occasional teen programs organized by the TAG.   Download a programs schedule flyer

In September, members of our teen group created this bleach-printed t-shirt designs, and created scarves from t-shirts:


Here are images of some of the activities our Story Time kids made to accompany the stories we read:

Pineville Adults
  • "Mystery Loves Company" Book Club - Join us on Friday, October 11th  for a discussion of the book Arsenic and Old Puzzles by Parnell Hall.  We'll start at 11 a.m.  Registration required.
  •  "The Book Bunch" Book Club - This month we'll discuss Sarah's Key  by Tatiana de Rosnay.  Join us at noon on Wednesday, October 30th at noon.   Registration required.
  • Computer Workshop--Join Stephanie on Wednesday, October 2nd  at 10:30 a.m.  for a class on the basics of using a computer.   Because of a limited number of spaces available, pre-registration is required--337-3422.
  • Knit Together--Bring your yarn and join like-minded hobbyists as we "knit together" on Friday, October 25th from 4-6 p.m.
  • Frugal Fridays --Friday, October 18th:   Preparing Pumpkin --Learn how to cut, cook and puree your pumpkin and make a pie. Yummy, delicious and healthy for your family.

    (Download the full 2013 schedule.)
    On Thursday, September 19th,  Randell Jones discussed his book IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DANIEL BOONE: HIS 40 YEARS BEFORE KENTUCKY at
    Pineville branch in a program sponsored by the Bell County Historical
    Society, who provided this photo.

Middlesboro Children--

From Cindy Wyatt Hatchell, Youth Services Librarian: 

Weekly Activities:

  • 52 Weeks of Giving on Fridays @ 4:00.     --  All ages.  We are trying to change the world a little bit at a time.  We need your help!  Come join us as we perform random acts of kindness each week. We are having a lot of fun.  Hope to see you Friday!

  • Toddler Time for ages 2-4, Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.--Come join us for stories, fingerplays, games and crafts each week.

  • Storytime (ages 5-8), Thursdays at 4 p.m.-- Don't miss the fun! We have stories, poems, snacks, games & crafts each week.

Monthly Activities:

  • The 39 Clues Reading Club for ages 9 - 12.   First Wednesday of each month.   The 39 Clues sends a pair of likable orphans on a world-spanning treasure hunt.  The series includes books, collectible playing cards, and online puzzles.  Sign ups are at the circulation desk at Middlesboro branch. 

  • Doctor Who Book Club for ages 12-18:  Calling all Whovians or those who just want to have fun!  Join us the 4th Tuesday of every month at 4 p.m. for a Doctor Who book club.  Geronimo!  Our book club is bigger on the inside!  

    Download a schedule


  • From the Rainbow Warriors, Middlesboro's teen group:  The second issue of their 'zine IRIS is online and can be read here.













Middlesboro Adults

“Mondays R Murder” is a monthly BOOK CLUB for mystery lovers that began its third season on Monday, September 16, 2013It’s not too late to join us for our October  14th meeting at 10:00 a.m. at the Middlesborough-Bell County Public Library.  At our September meeting we read Damaged, by Alex Kava.  If you haven’t read this book, we have a copy at the library.  Call 248-4812 if you’re interested in joining us this season, and to get your name put on the waiting list for Skeleton Justice.  

   Picture of our refreshment table at our first session on Sept. 16 ... body parts in a cooler? 
   If you want to know why, check out "Damaged" by Alex Kava!


October 14: Skeleton Justice, by Michael & Linda Baden
November 4: 
Winter Kill by C. J. Box
December 9:  What’s in your mystery package?
January 6: Mystery MOVIE and discussion
February 3:
 Hiss and Hers by M. C. Beaton
March 3:
The Runner by Thomas Perry
April 21:
Dead Heat by Dick Francis
May 19: Mystery MOVIE and discussion             
June 9:  any mystery by Patricia MacDonald

Download the schedule

Michele Lawson (left) and Pamela Blank (right) are the hosts for Middlesboro branch's
TIME FOR TEA & THEE reading club.

Time for Tea & Thee :  The popular monthly reading club, “Time for Tea and Thee”, resumes October 22, 2013 at the Middlesborough-Bell County Public Library. Join program leaders, Pam Blank and Michele Lawson, for the book club’s ninth season. Set aside leisurely time for yourself to enjoy twinkling lights, a hot cup of tea or coffee with light refreshments, and the pleasure of talking with a group of adults about the book we’ve read each month. Books are made available for loan approximately one month in advance of the scheduled meetings, and may be checked out for one (1) week only.  Registration is required for this program in order to accommodate seating. Come by the library during the remainder of September to register and pick up the reading list, or call 248-4812. Programs will be on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. each month.

October 22, 2013: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender
November 19, 2013: Velva Jean Learns to Drive, by Jennifer Niven
December 17, 2013: Snow Globe, by Sheila Roberts
January 14, 2014: My Name is Mary Sutter, by Robin Oliveira
February 11, 2014: Queen of the Big Time, by Adriana Trigiani
March 18, 2014: Gilead, by Marilyn Robinson
April 15, 2014: Any book by Dixie Cash
May 13, 2014: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein
June 24, 2014: The Lost Saints of Tennessee, by Amy Franklin-Willis

Download the schedule


Friends of the Library Book Sale and Quilt Show

Oct. 9th - 11th         9 am-6 pm
Oct. 12th                10 am–4 pm

 Mon.    Oct. 14th - 15th     9 am-6 pm

Middlesboro-Bell County Public Library  / We will  have books, videos & other miscellaneous items for sale.


Computer Basics with Bonnie Banks

Computer Basics with librarian, Bonnie Banks will be held on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.  Those interested in the classes should call the library at 248-4812 to register.  Please bring your own laptop if you have one.



01:  World Vegetarian Day
02:  Walk to School Day
04:  Blessing of the Animals Day
04:  National Diversity Day
05:  World Teachers Day
06:  Mad Hatter Day
07:  Child Health Day
09:  Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work or School Day
10:  International Newspaper Carrier Day
11:  National Coming Out Day
11:  Southern Food Heritage Day
11:  World Egg Day
12:  Columbus Day (traditional)
14:  Columbus Day (observed)
14:  National Kick Butt Day
15:  International Day of Rural Women
15:  I Love Lucy Day
16:  National Boss's Day
17:  Black Poetry Day
17:  Pasta Day
17:  Wear Something Gaudy Day
18:  Mammography Day
18:  Chocolate Cupcake Day
20:  Birth of the Bab
20:  Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day
24:  United Nations Day
26:  National Forgiveness Day
29:  National Cat Day
30:  National Candy Corn Day
31:  Halloween
31:  Books for Treats Day
31:  Caramel Apple Day
31:  Samhain

October birthstone:


October  flower:

October is:

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
AIDS Awareness Month
Apple Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Children's Magazine Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Home Eye Safety Month
LGBT History Month
National Book Month
Caramel Month
Down Syndrome Month
National Reading Group Month
Raptor Month
Sausage Month
Vegetarian Month
Fire Prevention Week (6-12)
Mystery Series Week (6-12)
Freedom from Bullies Week (13-19)
Teen Read Week (13-19)
National Friends of Libraries Week (20-26)

Library Store

Both libraries have a "library store" where a wide selection of items can be purchased (often at near-cost) to support
your public libraries.

Pineville's library store is displayed in the short display case near the circulation desk.  Items available include:


  • Reusable Tote Bags (Library Definition and Multilingual Read) for Adults $2.50 (The Cat in the Hat Read ) for Children $4.50
  • Just Dewey It and Smiley Read t-shirts,  Adult  Sizes  $16
  • Read and Cool Reader Stadium cups $1.00
  • Magnetic photo frames    $1.50
  • Plastic Book Bags     50¢
  • Frisbees   $1.25
  • Bentcils (bent pencils)  $1.10
  • Read keychains $1.00
  • Just Dewey It Lanyard $2.00


Middlesboro Library also has a variety of items for sale.  Ask at the Circulation Desk to see:

  • Plastic Book Bags   75¢
  • Bentcils (bent pencils)  $1.10
  • Mugs   $3.00
  • Friends of the Middlesboro Library canvas totes,  $6 / 2 for $10

  • Taming Yellow Creek, by Maria Campbell Brent,   $5
  • 1920 Bell Co. Census    $21.20
  • 1910 Bell Co. Census   $26.50
  • 1900 Bell Co. Census  $21.20
  • 1880 Bell Co. Census  $19.08
  • 1870 Bell Co. Census  $18.02
  • 1860 Harlan Co. Census $16.96
  • History of Bell Co., by H. H. Fuson vol. 1    CD-$26.50
  • History of Bell Co., by H. H. Fuson vol. 2   CD-$26.50

Bell Co. Public Library District
Middlesborough Branch--126 S. 20th St., Middlesboro KY 40965-3677   606-248-4812
Pineville Branch--214 Walnut St., Pineville KY 40977-1490  606-337-3422