Banjos, TV dinners and more: WRL’s spring Talks@2 lecture series unveiled

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Program Services Director Rob Haas packed the house for his Talks@2 presentation in December, which concluded the fall 2016 season. (Courtesy Williamsburg Regional Library)
Program Services Director Rob Haas packed the house for his Talks@2 presentation in December, which concluded the fall 2016 season. (Courtesy Williamsburg Regional Library)

Williamsburg Regional Library has announced its spring lineup for the monthly Talks@2 lecture series.

The Talks@2 Lecture Series debuted in the spring of 2016, and the series will return in 2017 between January and June, according to a library press release. 

The series of presentations is among the most popular programs at the library and features a wide array of topics.

“The series, which features library staff giving talks on particular areas of interest to them, was conceptualized as a way to share the vast and often surprising knowledge of our librarians and other personnel with the community,” WRL stated in the release.  “As an added bonus, the lectures also give WRL users the opportunity to get to know the people who serve them outside of a typical library setting.”

Talks@2 is free and informal and will include six presentations, beginning January 17 according to the release. The first presentation in the series will be hosted by Adult Services Librarian Jesse Kelley, who will lead guests through an informative seminar about the banjo.

“The banjo is an American instrument — it was created in America and looking at how it was portrayed in American culture can tell us a lot about the country,” said Kelley. “It also sounds amazing.”

Kelley will share the story of the banjo, beginning with its creation by African slaves on Southern plantations to its present-day popularity in country, bluegrass and folk music.

Other topics that will be explored in the Talks@2 series include Iceland, cowboy movie stars, TV dinners, Shakespearean music and Frank Sinatra.

February 6: Jan Murray and Janet Curtis, adult services librarians, will give a joint talk about Iceland at the James City County Library.

March 13: Andrew Smith, an adult services librarian, will share the backstories of famous silver screen cowboys like Tom Mix and Roy Rogers at the James City County Library.

April 3: Eletha Davis, the mobile library services manager, will explain how TV dinners have shaped America at the James City County Library.

May 16: Barry Trott, special projects director, will discuss “Songs and Tunes of Shakespeare’s Times” at the Stryker Center in Williamsburg.

June 6: Melissa Simpson, adult services director, and Cheryl Edwards, adult services librarian, will close out the spring season with a presentation on one of the most influential and beloved singers of the 20th century, Frank Sinatra, at the Stryker Center.

Each of the six presentations will begin at 2 p.m. A list of the Talks@2 presentations and other WRL programming can be found at the library’s website.