Norfolk, VA (May 7, 2008). On Friday, April 25 at the Virginia Public Library Directors Association Conference, the Norfolk Public Library received the Outstanding Public Relations Project Award for Sargeant's Chronicles, a newsletter written and published quarterly by the staff of NPL's Sargeant Memorial Room, Local History and Genealogy Collection.
After joining the Norfolk Public Library system in 2003, Library Director Norman Maas asked the Sargeant Memorial Room staff to establish a newsletter that would promote the collection and Norfolk's rich history. In the 1½ years since its beginning, Sargeant's Chronicles has grown into an informative, professional, well-received publication that serves not only individuals interested in the history of the community, but state and national historical and genealogical collections. Currently, the newsletter has a circulation of 1,100 subscribers, plus another 1000 copies are mailed to city agencies, public and school libraries, and historical groups. The Norfolk Public Library and Sargeant Memorial Room staff involved in the publication of the newsletter are Sean Bilby, Lori Crowe, Robert Hitchings, Peggy McPhillips, Susan Mercer, and Troy Valos.
The writing, editing and publication of Sargeant's Chronicles are, for the staff of the Sargeant Memorial Room, a labor of love, and satisfaction comes from the many people who read and enjoy its contents. In a letter of support, library patron Ms. Emilie Hauser writes "With each of your articles I can smell a spring meadow, I can hear the sounds of horses as they walk across the cobblestone streets, I fear with the citizens as the Yellow Fever epidemic spread across Norfolk. You let the reader hear the residents as they walk along Norfolk's streets. The gifts of your articles in the Sargeant's Chronicles are timeless."
The Norfolk Public Library has received three other awards from the Virginia Public Library Directors Association; the 2006 Outstanding Facility serving a population over 100,000 award, the 2006 Outstanding Young Adult Program award, and the 2005 Outstanding Staff Development Program award.
For more information about Sargeant's Chronicles, please contact the Sargeant Memorial Room at Kirn Memorial Library at 6647323, ext. 43736, or visit us online at www.npl.lib.va.us.