Virtual Learning and Homeschooling Tips program tomorrow

Are you overwhelmed or confused about the current school situation?

JMRL is hosting a Virtual Learning and Homeschooling Tips program on Saturday, October 3, from 10:30am – 12pm to help answer your questions!

Scottsville Library Interim Branch Manager Anne Lindberg said the program will help guide families through virtual learning and/or homeschooling.

“JMRL is excited to partner with educational experts to provide resources and advice about virtual learning and homeschooling,” she said.

“Families are grappling for the first time with a new kind of education for their children and teens, so join us to learn tips, ask questions and find community in this new educational landscape. You’re not alone! “

Participants will also hear from individuals with firsthand experience in homeschooling and virtual learning.

For more information and to register for this virtual event, visit

“Once a story you’ve regarded as true has turned false, you begin suspecting all stories.”

Having read and discussed Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in September 2018, the Central Library Brown Baggers tackled The Testaments at their September 2020 virtual meeting.  Set in the fictional American state of Gilead, and Canada, 15 years after the conclusion of The Handmaid’s Tale, the story is told through three perspectives, (two of whom change names at least once).  Aunt Lydia is a continuing character from The Handmaid’s Tale and provides background information on Gilead as she is writing her life experience for future researchers.  The plot revolves around an underground road to escape Gilead and strategies to bring about the eventual collapse of the oppressive society.  

The group also discussed at some length the various themes including abuse of power, conformity, and gender roles in a dystopian society, especially compared to our modern world. They also considered the literary intentions of both Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments, and whether or not these intentions were clear or successful.

Brown Baggers admitted being confused at first by the various voices telling the tale, and expressed confusion at the shifting timeline and landscapes.  They also felt that The Handmaid’s Tale was a much more compelling story than this sequel.  The ending seemed to happen quickly and was unbelievable for some.  Most did not find this to be a hopeful story, despite Atwood’s conviction that it is. Some were pleased to have more backstory for the character of Aunt Lydia, who appears in both books and the companion TV series, and said the additions to her character were worth reader confusion.

The Brown Baggers will meet again virtually on October 15 at noon to discuss A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. Please email for details on how to participate from your computer or phone.

Books Mentioned:

Homefront by Kristin Hannah

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl


The Lavender Scare 


CBS News: “I Can Never Believe It Can’t Happen Here – David Rothman

Los Angeles Times: Margaret Atwood on Her Virtual ‘Testaments’ Tour Wardrobe, Totalitarianism, and Trump

National Public Radio: Atwood Hints at a Brighter Future in ‘Handmaid’ Sequel – Maureen Corrigan

The Atlantic: Margaret Atwood Bears Witness – Sophie Gilbert

KCRW Radio: ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Testaments’ Author Margaret Atwood on Villains, Aunt Lydia, and Hope  –  Madeleine Brand

Margaret Atwood’s Biography

Celebrate CVille PRIDE with JMRL

The community can celebrate CVille PRIDE from anywhere this year by attending JMRL’s virtual film discussion about an award-winning documentary.

On Thursday, September 17 at 7pm, the “Celebrate LGBTQ PRIDE” event will focus on “The Lavender Scare” (Not Rated, 2017, 77min).

Narrated by Glenn Close, this is the first film to tell the little-known story of an unrelenting mid-20th century campaign by the federal government to identify and fire all employees suspected of being homosexual. This gripping work details the untold story of a brutal witch hunt, and the courageous few who fought back.

This community discussion will be moderated by Gary Nimax, Chair of UVA’s LGBT Committee for faculty and staff.

“In 2020, we were pleased to see the passage of the Virginia Values Act and recent Supreme Court ruling that finally provide some employment protections to the LGBTQ community,” Nimax said.

“Prior to these milestone legal actions, not only could members of our community be fired simply for who they are, we sometimes were proactively targeted for outing and termination.”

“While we celebrate recent progress, it is critical that we understand the long path that led to this moment. This film provides an important look into our history.”

For more details, registration, and how to access the documentary, visit or call 434.973.7893 x3.

While CVille PRIDE celebrations are virtual this year, you can still access online PRIDE and other programs by visiting