2023 Spring Break Stay-cation at WCPL

Text in blog post below image, Boys and Girl Club logo, Timblerland  Park logo imposed over photo of trees. Two shamrocks and the Williamson County Public Library logo.

Staying in town for spring break? The County Library in Franklin has you covered!

Curious about coding? On Monday, March 13, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee Code Club is bringing a coding event to the Library from 2:30-5:30 p.m. This afternoon event is for kids in grades 4-12. It is a great opportunity to learn by using block coding to program Spheros. Online registration is required. Sign up here now or scan the QR code above in the first column of the image. Limited spots are available!

Staff from Timberland Park will be at the Library on Wednesday, March 15, from 10-11 a.m. to teach us about mammals of Tennessee and have a special opportunity to view and touch their pelts. Animal Pelt Touch & Learn is perfect for kids ages 5 and up. Registration is required. Sign up here via the library website at wcpltn.org.

Put on your green on Friday, March 17, and join us from 10-11 a.m. to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with our holiday-themed St. Patrick’s Day Bingo game! Registration is not required, but space is limited.

Call the Children’s Department at (615) 595-1244 to learn more about these events and for help with registration. There will be no story times the week of the Williamson County School System’s Spring Break. Story Times will resume on March 23.

WCPLtn: Discover Learn Succeed

The Williamson County Public Library is located in downtown Franklin at 1314 Columbia Avenue.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Learn more about this event or other library programs and services by calling 615-595-1243, extension 1, or by visiting the library’s website at http://wcpltn.org.

The library e-newsletter provides library news about programs like this and more.  Sign up to receive it via email.

Photos, screenshots, and videos may be taken at library events and activities for library use and publicity. Anyone not wanting to have their photo taken should notify library staff at the time of the event or activity.

The views expressed in this program are of those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position, or opinions of the Williamson County Public Library System.

Winter Reading Challenge 2022-2023

Winter forest scene, Winter Reading Challenge, Williamson County Library, Dec1 through Jan 3.

If you are new to the reading challenges –

The beanstack homepage will show you the available reading programs at the library. You may choose from the Children’s program, the Teen program, or the Adult program.

The Account Creator is the person whose log in information will be used to access all accounts registered. Multiple readers can be added to the same account, even if they are registered for different programs.

*Example* A parent may sign up for the Adult program as the Account Creator and add children as Readers, or vice versa. Both the Account Creator and Reader will use the same sign-in information.

Following the prompts, register both the Account Creator and Readers, if any.  A green band at the bottom of the screen will alert you that you are successfully registered.

Now you’re ready start exploring beanstack!

Logging Books/Minutes:

At the top of each Reader’s account, there is a green “Add to the Log” button.

  1. Click on the button when you are ready to log reading or activities. A window will open to allow you to log.
  2. If an account has more than one Reader, the first question will ask which account you wish to log under. Choose the appropriate Reader’s account. Then choose whether you are logging reading or an activity.
  3. Write the title and author of the book and decide if you want to write a review.
  4. Click the green “Log” button and watch for the green band at the bottom of the screen for  successful logging. If you are unsure whether it logged successfully, close the window and click on “The Log” button at the top of the screen, under your name.

You will be notified by email when you earn a prize, what the prize is, and how to redeem that prize.

If you have any questions, please contact the library and we will be happy to assist you!

🀄️November is International Games Month

November is not just the month between Halloween and Christmas, Indigenous Peoples’ Month, or the month of Turkey Day. November is also International Games Month.

International Games Month is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) in an effort to forge community connections through games. These include tabletop classics like Monopoly, Sorry, or Candy Land as well as Role Playing Games such as the popular game Dungeons and Dragons that plays a central role in Netflix’s Stranger Things. Card games, video games, and folk games all engage communities and strengthen skills. Even the US Department of State advocates for International Games Month for encouraging social interaction and communication.

In the spirit of the month, here is a brief history of several popular games.

Monopoly: The board game that turns friends into enemies began based on homemade versions of Lizzie Magie’s 1904 the Landlord’s Game. In Magie’s original game, the point was not to achieve a monopoly but to point out the exploitation of tenants by greedy landlords. Other variations slowly added in monopolization. Charles B Darrow combined this game with the unpatented game Finance and created Monopoly in 1935.

A pile of dice, all different colors and shapes. Some have numbers and others have symbols on them.

Dungeons and Dragons: The first role-playing game was invented in 1974 by Ernest Gary Gygax. It introduced dice as a game mechanic and the use of character sheets for role playing games. The game’s founding itself is not unusual, but it has faced its share of criticism. The game was heavily inspired by Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings universe, and there was a lawsuit with the estate over terminology taken from the high fantasy series. It was also noted and refuted for involvement in the disappearance James Dallas Egbert III in 1979 as a part of the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. It has most recently found historical acclaim for its role in the Stranger Things franchise from 2016 to present.

Life: Invented in 1860 by Milton Bradley, the game of Life featured a checkered board that traced a lifespan from infancy to ideally Happy Old Age, but, of course, your life could be cut short in a number of ways. Bradley got his idea from games like Chutes and Ladders (which originated in India a thousand years ago) and the 1790 New Game of Human Life where vices sent you back in age and good deeds hurtled you forward. Bradley’s original version of the game was turned into a pocket edition for Union soldiers during the Civil War. The version we are most familiar with came out in 1960 in commemoration of the original game, but had few similarities. What was once a game about vice and virtue became one that highlighted the consumerism and idyllic life of the 1950s. View an image of the original game board HERE.

Mahjong: the tile-based game was invented in the 1800s in China based on discard card games from the 1700s. The goal of the game is to create melds. The game increased in popularity through the rest of the nineteenth century and jumped the ocean to become popular in the United States in the 1920s. The game was introduced to the elite whites of the United States and helped later create a bridge to modernity. The game helped younger Chinese Americans connect to their community (and provided a source of income for Asian college graduates who in the 1920s could not get jobs, so they taught people how to play the game). In the 1950s, the game became associated with suburban Jewish women who played the game weekly. While the game was banned during the Revolution in China, Mahjong remains a popular pastime in China and the United States today.

Twister: This Pretzel party game was invented in 1965 and manufactured by the Milton Bradley Company (remember him from the Game of Life). The game was considered too racy to appear in the Sears Roebuck Catalog, but not too inappropriate for Johnny Carson to play on the Tonight Show. In the 1980s, Twister Competitions would were held on college campuses; they were so popular that the Guinness Book of World Records had to remove the category for most contestants after a match in Massachusetts had over 4000 participants.

Hopscotch: This hand-drawn game originated in India as a game forbidden by the Buddha. Roman children played the game as well during the height of the Roman Empire. Both of these instances are based on archaeological finds. The fist written instance of hopscotch is in 1672 in the Book of Games. This game became a COVID pastime in Edinburgh where a court stretched almost 200 yards.

A colored hopscotch grid with the number blocks one to 8 visible.

With such a rich history of all the different games that have become popular pastimes, it is no wonder that it’s almost impossible to avoid celebrating International Games Month. To honor this month, register for Chess Club this month on Saturday, November 19th at 3:00pm and the Teen Department is hosting a one-shot Dungeons and Dragons campaign on November 12th and encourages beginners to attend.

Some of the books in our Nonfiction collections:

Dungeon Master’s Guide by Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, and James Wyatt (Call Number: YA 793.93 CRA) *In online catalog, click Browse Shelf for similar.

How to Play Chess [DK/Penguin Random House] (Call Number: J 794.1 HOW)

Ivory Vikings: the Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancy Marie Brown (Call Number: 736.62 BRO)

The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game by Mary Pilon (Call Number: 794 PIL)

Seven Games: A Human History by Oliver Roeder (Call Number: 794 ROE)


By Paige Hurley, Reference


Summer Shakespeare Festival 2022

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival
Kennie Playhouse Theatre present

Summer Shakespeare Festival 2022

In Franklin, at the Williamson County
Performing Arts Center at Academy ParkLogo of Acedemy Park Square in Williamson County,Franklin, Tennessee. Pink, blue, yellow, and green ribbons entwined to resemble people.

August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean

September 15-16, Directed by Chuck Smith
in collaboration with Kennie Playhouse Theatre
(Rated MA)

William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline

September 17-18, Directed by Leah Lowe

Join us just outside of Nashville in beautiful Franklin, Tennessee as we bring
TWO of the greatest playwrights of all time to Academy Park!
This will mark the 6th year that Nashville Shakes has
toured its summer festival to Williamson County.

5:30pm INSIGHT
5:30pm Vendors open
6:00pm Pre-show Entertainment
6:50 – ApCo Performance (Cymbeline only)
7:00pm Main Performance

General Admission is FREE

Check the Season Calendar for Franklin Vendors and Entertainment.
Academy Park is located at 112 Everbright Avenue, Franklin, TN


Bring your own chairs/blanket and pick your favorite spot to watch the show – FREE

Grab a spot on the limited bleacher seating available in the rear – FREE

Reserve a Noble Seat, behind the blankets and the Royal seating – $40

Experience Shakespeare like Royalty with the VIP Royal Package – $100
A Royal Package includes: VIP parking, catered dinner and comfortable,
reserved seating, all for one price that supports the Festival!

More information at NashvilleShakes.org


Franklin Light Opera presents THE BEST OF GILBERT & SULLIVAN

"Franklin Light Opera Presents The Best of Gilbert & Sullivan" dark red background with white outline of large old sailing ship. September 9 - 11 at Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park

Following FLO’s successful production of Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon last season, the company is presenting a concert of favorite Gilbert and Sullivan selections from shows that are performed around the world. They include HMS Pinafore, the Mikado, Pirates of Penzance and more. Gilbert and Sullivan’s celebrated partnership produced fourteen comic operas and have inspired theatre audiences for more than one hundred years with their memorable melodies, clever lyrics and enduring social commentary.

Performed by an outstanding cast and hosted by Mr. Gilbert & Sir Arthur Sullivan themselves, with Musical Direction by Mark Ring and Staging by Susan Weisbarth, the music is at once relatable, satirical and funny. Join us for a night of silliness and song! Appropriate for all ages.

Friday, September 9th at 7pm
Saturday, September 10th at 7pm
Sunday, September 11th at 2pm
General Admission: $20
Seniors: $16.50
Students: $12


Author Talk, Monday, Aug. 29 at 5:30

Ronnie Erwin, the author of Stars Over Tennessee, will be here to talk about his new book and how it came about on August 29 at 5:30 pm.Stars Over Tennessee book cover, black with a large gold star in the center

This book is a comprehensive compilation of the county sheriffs who wear the star of Tennessee’s ninety-five counties, beginning in 1776 up to present day. Included is the history of the county sheriff’s origin, the badge, and the uniform patch they wore. Intermingled throughout the pages are pictures  of current and former sheriffs and the historic jails that they oversaw.  Stars Over Tennessee unveils some of the challenges that the county sheriffs of Tennessee have faced for almost 250 years.

The book is dedicated to Ronnie’s beloved wife and co-author Lynn M. Erwin, who died before the book was published.

Printed in the United States, Stars Over Tennessee is a hardcover, full color, 516-page book with more than 2,200 images, illustrations, and pictures of current and past county sheriffs. Books will be for sale at $125.00 each, plus tax. Mr. Erwin will accept cash, check (with driver’s license verification), or credit card (additional fee added).  All proceeds from the sale of the book go to The Lynn M. Erwin Education & Training Fund for the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association. The perpetual fund provides an annual payout to one of the 95 sheriffs selected each year by the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association.

His visit is presented by the Special Collections Department
on the second floor of the Main Library.
Registration is requested to ensure your seat in the first floor Meeting Room.

2022 General Election Voting Information

Voter Registration for the 2022 General Election is October 11.


🌼August is National Wellness Month

Two vials of essential oils on a board with sprigs of lavender.

It seems like everywhere we look these days there is a new diet or exercise craze. It can feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be! Studies show that small changes over time can have lasting effects on a person’s physical and mental health. Simple changes like adding a piece of fruit to a meal or taking 500 extra steps a day make a difference because they are easy to keep doing. There are numerous other ways to make those small changes, too:

  • Increase your water intake.
  • Add veggies to your meals.
  • Monitor your sleep and make adjustments for better sleep habits.
  • Join a yoga, walking, or aerobics class.
  • Learn to meditate.

Fortunately, it is easier than ever to access help making those changes. Many smart phones today can track your fitness activity and heart rate. There are a multitude of apps for your devices that help you monitor eating and sleep habits. Some apps connect you to exercise and meditation experts. If you are not the kind of person who easily remembers to check in on your progress, your smart phone or fitness watch can send you reminders to stand up during the day or wind down in the evening.

Of course, not everyone has access to a smart phone or fitness watch. Luckily, the Williamson County Public Library has numerous books on the subjects of health and wellness. Visit the second floor display to find a resource, a few of which are listed below, to get you started on a new healthy habit today!

Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek Murthy, MD, 158.2 MUR

Vibrant: A Groundbreaking Program to Get Energized, Own Your Health, and Glow by Stacie Stephenson 613 STE

The Joy of Movement : How Exercise Helps us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage by Kelly McGonigal, PhD., 613.71019 MCG

The Better Brain: Overcome Anxiety, Combat Depression, and Reduce ADHD and Stress with Nutrition Bonnie J. Kaplan, PhD, Julia J. Rucklidge, PhD.,  616.85 KAP

By Kathy, Reference Department

Book Clubs!

Woman pulling books off bookshelf and putting them in a cloth bag
Too many books, not enough time!

Merriam-Webster defines a club as “an association or organization dedicated to a particular, common interest or activity.”  Clubs bring diverse communities together to learn and discuss something that matters to them, and a book club is no different.

According to Goldberg and Pesko, being present with other people in conversation is something everyone needs to experience often (2000).

There are continuous benefits to joining a book club. For starters:

Reading is good for your brain.

Animated brain lifting weights
One, Two, One, Two

There are many studies that show reading is good for strengthening both the physical structure of the brain and social soft skills like intelligence and empathy. Why wouldn’t you want to benefit from regular reading?

Book clubs are social by nature and provide a place to have conversation about topics all enjoy.  By virtue of attending, people are expressing interest in the theme and the activity.

Just hanging out and talking about your own lives in relation to the book you’re reading is healthy and enjoyable. Sometimes reading as a social activity can bridge differences of opinion and bring people together in new ways. Medical experts assert that the companionship and intellectual stimulation, thinking quickly during book club discussions are beneficial.

Reading things you might not have otherwise can expand your horizons.

In a book club, you can discover new books that you might have otherwise completely overlooked – you may find a new favorite by reading something you might not have read. Or, you can encourage the other members of your club to read and discuss your own favorite book that you’ve been dying to talk about with somebody! Also, having a deadline to get a book done can help to get you going on your reading, even in our busy world.

Book clubs offer a way to peaceably reflect on our society today.

You can have healthy, respectful debates in a book club. And instead of dry reports, you can read juicy, exciting fiction (and nonfiction) that deal with social issues in different or complex ways. Hearing other readers’ perspectives on the same story might change your own ideas about what a book means.

And the most compelling reason to join a book club.

Older woman nodding head.

According to a research from the University of Queensland in Australia, evidence from a long term study shows that social group memberships after retirement are associated with reduced risk of premature death – wow. Not only does the membership in groups keep you lively, it has a positive impact on your quality of life.

The Williamson County Library System offers many book club opportunities. We have a variety of clubs at five of our locations; there are a selection of times, genres, and locations, all listed on our Book Club page. If you have a suggestion for something new or any questions, contact the Reference Desk at Main at 615-595-1243, or send an email.




Petrich, Nathaniel R.. (). Book Clubs: Conversations Inspiring Community. i.e.: inquiry in education:
Vol. 7: Iss. 1, Article 4.
Retrieved from: http://digitalcommons.nl.edu/ie/vol7/iss1/4


Six Reasons to Join a Book Club

Computer Classes at WCPL

The Main Library Branch in Franklin offers monthly computer classes that cover the basics of Microsoft Word and Excel and a variety of the classes to help people get started on the Internet, with PowerPoint, Publisher and more!

Two hands on a computer keyboard

Visit our Computer Classes page to learn more about the classes and register to attend. Registration is required so everyone can be computer for practice and receive handouts on the class material covered.

Know Before the Class

Class participants must know how to:
Use a keyboard and mouse
Open and close a program
Find and use menus

Register: July Classes

Registration is required for all classes.

Click on the class description links to register online.
You may also register by calling the Reference Desk at 615-595-1243.
Microsoft Office 2016 is used to teach all classes.
Classes with fewer than 4 registered to attend will be canceled.

🎸2022 Summer Tribute Series lineup at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center

Williamson County Performing Arts Center Building at Academy Park, Franklin, TN

The Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department has announced the 2022 Summer Tribute Series lineup at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center.
This series will feature performers that celebrate and pay homage to the music of a particular artist or group.

Three concerts have been scheduled for June:

June 5 – Sail On: The Beach Boys Tribute

June 12 – End of the Line: Allman Brothers Tribute

June 19 – Sweet Baby James: James Taylor Tribute

All three shows will start at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the first two shows are $25 for adults and $22.50 for seniors (55 and older), children 12 and under, and groups of 10 or more when purchased in advance.

Tickets for the Sweet Baby James show are $22.50 for adults and $20 for seniors (55 and older) and children 12 and under.

Purchase tickets at www.wcpactn.com.


📖Summer Reading Program Kickoff this Thursday!

Adult man reading book, text says Oceans of Possibilities

Our Summer Reading Program is here! Did you know that the history of Summer Reading programs for children can be traced back to the 1890s? This is a long standing tradition that libraries take part in every year, however they can. Summer Reading programs originally started to keep children reading throughout the summer when school was not in session. However, Summer Reading isn’t just for kids anymore! We have Summer Reading Challenges for babies, children, teens, and adults- so the whole family can join in the fun.woman reading book while sitting, boat in word bubble above her head

This year’s Summer Reading theme is Oceans of Possibilities and we’re excited to have you join us for a summer of fun. This year’s program starts on May 19th and runs through July 30th. The program is open to everyone! Track your reading to earn prizes and participate in activities to earn badges. Sign up starts on May 19th at williamsoncounty.beanstack.org; log in with your existing account if you’ve made one in previous years or create an account for first-time users.

We’re excited to announce that this year, at the Main Branch in Franklin, we’ll be having a very special kick-off event to start off Summer Reading and we would love for you to join us! The kick-off is on Saturday, May 21st from 11-2. We’ll have lawn games provided by Games to Go Nashville, including 9 hole putt-putt golf! We will also have several food trucks on-site, Smokey Dawwgs who makes gourmet hot dogs (including a vegan option), Bradley’s Creamery serving old-fashioned ice cream, and Franklin’s Fruit Tea serving Southern style fruit tea and lemonade. Join us for some family fun, good food, check out the Friends of the Library Book Sale, and sign up for Summer Reading!


Source: https://libguides.ala.org/summer-reading

MAY is National Stroke Month

MAY is National Stroke Awareness Month, red letters on cloud background, the A of May is red ribbon
MAY is National Stroke Awareness Month


As the leading cause of disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the US, stroke is a disease of the arteries leading into and around the brain. When the artery clogs or bursts, that affected area of the brain no longer receives oxygen and nutrients.  Time is of the essence with a stroke, the sooner you can get medical attention for yourself of a loved one, the better the potential outcome.

Using F. A. S. T. to spot the warning signs of stroke can save a life and reduce the potential for severe damage and disability:

F = Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?

A = Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred?

T = Time to call 911

Other symptoms, with sudden onset, can be:

NUMBNESS or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

CONFUSION, trouble speaking or understanding speech

TROUBLE SEEING in one or both eyes

TROUBLE WALKING, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

SEVERE HEADACHE with no known cause

Please visit the American Stroke Association for more information.

Among many, here are some books at WCPLS that are informational and/or anecdotal using STROKE as a search term:

The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found by Frank Bruni, 362.41 BRU on the New Book Shelf at both our Franklin and Fairview locations.

The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone in Biographies at Main in Franklin.

Black Health Matters: the Vital Facts You Must Know to Protect Your Health and Those of Your Loved Ones by Richard W. Walker, Jr., MD.,  613.08996 WAL on the New Book Shelf at Main.

Between Heaven and Hell: the Story of my Stroke by David Talbot,  616.810092 TAL on the second floor at Main.

What You Must Know About Strokes: How to Recover from a Stroke and Prevent Another Stroke by Amytis Towfighi, MD, Laura J. Stevens, MSCI., 616.81 TOW in the general collection at the Leiper’s Fork branch and the second floor at Main.

Mental Health Awareness Month, MHA

May is Mental Health Month 2022; take time to screen and check in on your mental health. mhascreening.org image of man looking at mobile phoneMay has been observed as Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States since 1949 to reach people through various media, local events, and available resources and screenings. Mental health is something we all should care about. While 1 in 5 will be directly affected by mental illness during their lifetime, we all face challenges impacting our mental health.

Mental Health America is a great resource that provides tools for all segments of our society to help care for ourselves and each other along with the most recent news, information and resources. MHA is a nationwide community based nonprofit helping address the needs of people living with mental illness and promoting mental health awareness.

The 2022 theme for MHA’s 2022 Mental Health Month Toolkit is Back to Basics. The following are excerpts from an article, as part to their toolkit, I am allowed to share:


Since the start of the pandemic, more and more people are talking about mental health. An increasing number of folks are starting to see it for what it is: one important component of your overall health and well-being, just like your physical health. But mental health conditions, resources, and conversations can still feel complicated and out of reach.

Many people are learning about mental health topics for the first time. Having a widespread understanding of the topic can help you be more informed if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health condition or crisis. Around half of people in the U.S. will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life, so everyone should know what to look out for.

Communities that have been historically and presently oppressed face a deeper mental health burden because of the added impact of trauma, oppression, and harm.

There’s often no one single cause for a mental health condition. Instead, there are many possible risk factors that can influence how likely a person is to experience a mental health condition or how serious the symptoms may be.

Some risk factors for mental health conditions include: trauma, which can be a one-time event or ongoing; your environment and how it impacts your health and quality of life (also known as social determinants of health like financial stability and health care access); genetics; brain chemistry; and your habits and lifestyle such as a lack of sleep.

Take time to ask yourself about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to see if this is part of a pattern that may be caused by a mental health condition. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Have things that used to feel easy started feeling difficult?
  • Does the idea of doing daily tasks like making your bed now feel really, really hard?
  • Have you lost interest in activities and hobbies you used to enjoy?
  • Do you feel irritated, possibly to the point of lashing out at people you care about?

Our society focuses much more on physical health than mental health, but both are equally important. If you are concerned about your mental health, there are several options available. You are not alone – help is out there, and recovery is possible. It may be hard to talk about your concerns, but simply acknowledging to yourself that you’re struggling is a really big step.

Taking a screen at https://screening.mhanational.org/ can help you to better understand what you are experiencing and get helpful resources. After that, consider talking to someone you trust about your results, and seek out a professional to find the support you need.

While you may not need this information today, knowing the basics about mental health will mean you’re prepared if you ever need it. Go to mhanational.org/may to learn more.

Never forget the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) is ALWAYS available to ANYONE. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

🏹The Tennessee Renaissance Festival

By Chelsea Bennett, Reference Department

Two medieval knights passing one another at a jousting tournament

May is the month for the “Best Festival of Middle Tennessee” [1] : the family-friendly Tennessee Renaissance Festival. Every weekend in May, visitors flock to Arrington for a chance to step back in time – and into another world.

Renaissance Festivals (AKA Renaissance Faires, RenFaires, or RenFests) have been a “thing” in America since the mid-1900s. The country seemed to become interested in the Middle Ages in general, after World War II. There was an early music revival in the 1950s, out of which America’s mid-century folk music scene emerged. And in 1962, “[the] first true Renaissance Faire, as we know them today” took place: the Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California, which is still going strong today. [2, 3]Woman dressed as a nymph at a renaissance festival

Renaissance Faires host a wide variety of merchants, craftspeople, entertainers, games, and interactive educational events. They take place all over the country, usually in the spring and summer months. The website Renlist.com lists over 200 events taking place this year! [4] Some of them have specific themes that aren’t really from the Renaissance period – Vikings, Celts, and fairies being among them – which indicates that “RenFaire” is something of an umbrella term these days. Whatever the theme, these events attract all kinds of people, some of whom travel the circuit as vendors, actors, and fans.

Our own local fair has been going since the 1986. The action takes place in 16th century England, in the wooded village of Covington Glen. Paths wind through the trees, taking visitors past merchant booths, food stalls, performance stages, games, a jousting field, and even a fairy garden. But there was magic in the land well before any festival came to town: Castell Gwynn, the residence of its designer, Mike Freeman. [5, 6, 8]

Arial view of Castell Gwynn in Arrington, Tennessee

Mr. Freeman realized a lifelong dream when construction began on the castle’s first tower in 1980. The castle is now a multi-tower fantasy in limestone and copper, brick and stone, timber and leaded glass. Its distinctive peaks are visible from I-840, and Swifties will recognize it from Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video.  But visitors to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival have the opportunity to get a lot closer: the price of admission includes a tour of the castle grounds and gardens. [6, 7] As of 2022, Tennessee Renaissance Festival is now a Williamson County-run event. The festival grounds have become Castle Park, which will continue to host the RenFest, as well as other events in the future. [8, 9]

When you attend the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, you can expect to be surrounded by in-character reenactors, guests wandering around eating giant turkey legs, unique handcrafted goods, and general whimsy. Not into costumes? Don’t worry. Many visitors show up in their ordinary clothes (to the amazement of the wandering fairies). Some add a single element as a nod to the spirit of the place – a shirt with ruffles, say, or some knee-high boots. And I’ll never forget the man I met there who paid for everything with golden $1 coins! However you show up, it’s all part of the fun: a community of people hanging out and writing a giant story together.

Towers adjacent to entrance of medeival castle in Arrington, TennesseeThere’s plenty to enjoy besides the people and atmosphere, too. You can cheer for jousting knights, meet trained birds of prey, watch knife-throwers and swordfighters, practice your archery, listen to a comedy show, and so much more. The county has expanded the children’s area this year, with a petting zoo and pony rides. And there’s a brand-new event: Tea with the Queen! By registering ahead of time, you can enjoy a special afternoon tea with Queen Elizabeth I. [8, 10] Or if the idea of hanging out with a bunch of pirates or Celts tickles your fancy, check out the dates for the themed weekends at http://www.tnrenfest.com/theme.htm.

To make the most of your trip back in time, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. At the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, all food, beverages, rides, games, and some souvenirs, are cash only. If a weapon is part of your costume, it needs to be peace-tied the entire time. Being a county event, there is no alcohol served, and you can’t bring your own. (No other outside food or drinks are allowed, either.) And leave all non-service animals at home. Pets can’t be on the premises, and you definitely can’t leave them in your vehicle. To read more about the “Rules of the Realm,” visit http://www.tnrenfest.com/rules.htm.

So, one weekend this May, take a break from your everyday routine. Brush up on your “thees” and “thous,” make up a character, and don at least a little bit of leather before heading down to Covington Glen. It’s an adventure you won’t soon forget.



Two men and a women in medeival attire posing at a Renaissance festival in Arrington, Tennessee


[1] https://www.tnmagazine.org/bestoftennessee-2019/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_fair#History_in_the_United_States

[3] https://www.buycostumes.com/ideas/everything-you-need-to-know-about-renaissance-faires/

[4] https://www.therenlist.com/all-fairs

[5] https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2015/05/10/tennessee-renaissance-festival-turns/27096157/

[6] http://tnrenfest.com/pressReleases/CastleGwynn_infosheet.pdf

[7] https://williamsonsource.com/10-things-know-tennessee-renaissance-festival/

[8] Email interview with Kerri Hudson, Public Information Coordinator for Williamson County Parks and Recreation.

[9] https://www.newschannel5.com/news/williamson-county-now-operating-the-tennessee-renaissance-festival

[10] http://tnrenfest.com/entert.htm

All photos courtesy of tnrenfest.com

🐎MONTANA’S NEW DAY Book Reading and Signing at Main Library

Montana’s New Day Book Reading and Signing Saturday,

April 30, 10:30 -11:30 am

book cover of Montan's New Day by Pamela Nightingale

Kids ages 5-10 are invited to hear a reading of  Montana’s New Day by local author Pamela Nightingale; a true story based on her real-life Tennessee walking horse. Meet the author, and learn about the book’s art with an activity.


Please note that photos may be taken by staff at library events. If you wish not to be in a photo, notify the staff person with the camera so as to not have to bust out any fancy ninja moves to avoid being photographed. Photos may be used on social media, the website, and library promotions. To request reconsideration of a photograph, email ref@williamson-tn.org with a description of the photo and where you saw the Library using it.


📜Tennessee Poets Day at WCPL

Poets From the Neighborhood in outline of TennesseeJoin the Poets from the Neighborhood for their Sixth Annual Tennessee Poets Day –

The onsite celebration will be on April 30, Saturday at the Williamson County Public Library (WCPL – Main Branch) in Franklin, TN. The event runs from 10a-3p in the meeting room on the first floor of the Library. This annual National Poetry Month Celebration features the PFTN Awards, open-mic poetry, keynote poetry by Jeff Hardin, authors’ books signings, plus poetry and songwriting with Tennessee Poet Laureate Margaret B. Vaughn. Please visit the PFTN site for detailed information; a schedule of events and speakers.

WCTV will be on-site to record the event.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Learn more about this event or other library programs and services by calling the library at 615-595-1243, extension 1, or by visiting the library’s website at http://wcpltn.org.

Please be aware that photos, screenshots, and videos may be taken at library events and activities for library use and publicity. Anyone not wanting to have their photo taken should notify library staff at the time of the event or activity.

Puzzles at Main

By Susie Walden

Puzzles, a popular pastime, were a staple in my home all throughout my childhood. My mother loves puzzles, my grandma loved puzzles, and I think that love of puzzles has passed down from one generation to the next. Clearly this has been a pastime that my family has enjoyed for over 70 years, but how far back do puzzles go? According to Britannica.com, jigsaw puzzles were first created in 18th century England and were used to teach geography, with copies of maps making up the puzzles. The name “jigsaw puzzle” refers to the tool used to cut the pieces of the puzzles originally, a jigsaw. The jigsaw tool is able to cut curves into metal and wood and it was able to make the pieces of the puzzles unique.

Puzzles have waxed and waned in popularity over the years, with resurgences in popularity during the Great Depression, after WWII, and during the Covid-19 Pandemic. There are jigsaw puzzles to satisfy every person’s taste and interests, and in varying difficulties. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest commercial jigsaw puzzle is made by Disney. Coming in at a whopping 40,320 pieces (and 140 square feet when all put together) it’s no wonder the estimated completion time is 600 hours.   

Did you know that the Williamson County Public Library, at the main branch in Franklin, has an ongoing puzzle at all times? The puzzles vary in piece count, theme, and difficulty- so you never know just quite what you might be working on until you get there.

The community puzzle is located on the table nearest the elevator in the rotunda on the 2nd floor, feel free to stop by and try your hand at the puzzle!

Spotlight on Poetry Month: Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou reciting poem at presidential inauguration of William Jefferson Clinton
Maya Angelou reciting On the Pulse of Morning at inauguration of President Clinton. Photo from William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928, Maya Angelou was one of America’s most famous and celebrated poets, an author and a civil rights activist. She was the Northern Coordinator for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Some may not know that she was also a San Francisco streetcar conductor, singer, dancer, actress, composer, playwright and director.

As a natural storyteller and performer, Angelou’s poetry benefited from her recitation of it. Her poetry focuses on personal narrative and themes such as hardship, oppression and loss, as well as the resiliency and beauty of African American women. “Once I got into it I realized I was following a tradition established by Frederick Douglass—the slave narrative—speaking in the first-person singular talking about the first-person plural, always saying I meaning ‘we.’” Angelou told George Plimpton in an interview.

She is the first woman to be featured on a series of quarters called the American Women Quarters Program issued by the U.S. Mint. She was awarded over 50 honorary degrees before her death in 2014 and was also awarded the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2010.

Some of Angelou’s most famous poems are: Still I Rise, Phenomenal Woman, Alone, and On the Pulse of Morning (which she wrote and then recited for the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993.)  During her lifetime, Angelou published ten poetry collections, eight single poem publications, and a series of seven autobiographies (along with cookbooks, children’s books, and recitations of African literature). The Williamson County Public Library System holds many of these works along with several that have been adapted for children’s poetry collections.  A few of the more popular are below:

By Holly, Reference Department


Spotlight on Poetry Month

Rupi Kaur reading an excerpt from her book Milk and Honey in 2017
Image provided by Joe Carlsonhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/vibc/35391745276/

Rupi Kaur is a Canadian poet who was born in Punjab, India in 1992. Her family fled India when she was 3 years old because of the persecutions of Sikh men. Rupi was trained in the art of poetry and painting by her father and mother respectively. She began performing her poetry in 2009 at the young age of 17. She is a well-known “Instapoet,”a poet who has promoted themselves and gained their following on the social media platform, Instagram. Kaur is a pseudonym she adopted when she began distributing her poems anonymously in high school. She stated, “Kaur is the name of every Sikh woman – brought in to eradicate the caste system in India – and I thought, wouldn’t it be empowering if a young Kaur saw her name in a book store?” Her short poems explore her South Asian identity, relationships, immigration, and femininity.

WCPL has two of her published books of poetry, they are on a poetry display on the second floor. We are replacing her first publication, Milk and Honey (2015)

By Kathy, Reference Department

Community Conversations: Homelessness in Williamson County

Picture of Pastor Kevin Riggs

Pastor Kevin Riggs

By Susan Walden

On Sunday, March 27, 2022 from 3-5 PM Pastor Kevin Riggs from Franklin Community Church and the Williamson County Homeless Alliance will be at the Main branch of the Williamson County Public Library to give a presentation and engage in a community discussion on homelessness.

Pastor Kevin has spent many years working directly with the homeless community in Williamson County. He founded and operates a local men’s group home, helped coordinate hotel stays for people experiencing homelessness throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and has recently opened the first transitional group home in Williamson County. This transitional group home, the John and Joyce McMillen house, provides people with a place to stay for 90 days while they receive services to help them apply and get jobs, request government documents they may not have, and support them as they secure more permanent housing.

Williamson County Homeless Alliance LogoHomelessness is often out of direct line of sight in Williamson County, and therefore there may be an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when it comes to dealing with the issue. The fact remains that as the cost of living increases in Williamson County, and wages are slow to keep up, that housing continues to be a growing concern. An estimated 4% of Williamson County inhabitants live in poverty, with the median rent in 2019 costing $1,500 per month and those costs have only increased since then. Pastor Kevin stated, in an article in The Tennessean last year, that “To live in Williamson County without any help, the livable wage is $30 an hour,” Riggs said. “People get upset talking about $15 an hour. If you’re making $15 an hour for a family of four, you need two adults working full-time.” This is a multi-faceted problem and there are no easy solutions, but we can start by having a community conversation and learn more about the issue, and some ways in which we can make an impact.

Please join us for Community Conversations: Homelessness on Sunday, March 27, 2022 from 3-5 PM in the Meeting Room at the Williamson County Public Library. You can also watch the Facebook livestream of the event by visiting the Library’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wcpltn.




Williamson County Emergency Management Names New External Affairs Officer

External Affairs Officer Jill Burgin photo
Williamson County Emergency Management (WCEMA) is excited to announce Jill Burgin as the new External Affairs Officer for the agency.  

Burgin, a deep-rooted Williamson County resident, comes to WCEMA from The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County as their Director of Advocacy and Government Relations and has over 15 years of previous communications experience as a journalist. She also served as the Mayor of Brentwood from 2017 to 2019. 

“We are extremely grateful to have Jill on our team,” says WCEMA Director Todd Horton, “She has served Williamson County in many capacities, as a journalist, public servant, and advocate over the years. We know that she will do the same in her new role with WCEMA; communicating before, during and after disasters that impact our community.” 

Burgin has a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, English Education.  She also has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Memphis in Journalism.  

The External Affairs office numbers have not changed. You can contact Jill via phone at (615) 721-3003 or email her at jill.burgin@williamsoncounty-tn.gov


Williamson County Fire and Rescue Squad Logo

The Williamson County Rescue Squad Board of Directors appointed Robert “Bob” Galoppi Jr. as the Chief of the Williamson County Rescue Squad at a special called board meeting on March 8th.

Bob Galoppi has served in the fire service since 1984. Galoppi began his career in the fire service by serving as a fire cadet at the age of 16 for the Hauppage Fire Department on Long Island in New York. He continued this work as well as attending the Suffolk County Police Academy to begin a career in law enforcement. After serving as a volunteer firefighter and patrol officer, Galoppi moved to middle Tennessee in 1998 and began his work with the Hendersonville Fire Department. While at Hendersonville, Galoppi served as the head of Homeland Security, coordinated the city’s emergency management operations, conducted fire investigations, and supported many other functions of the department, and was then promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief.

In the year 2000, he joined the Williamson County Rescue Squad in order to continue his work as a volunteer firefighter. Although Galoppi was working full-time for Hendersonville Fire, he was passionate about serving the community in which he lived. With the rapid growth happening in Williamson County, he knew the importance of creating a fire codes and prevention program for the county volunteer fire service. He is proud to have established and maintained this program for the past 22 years in Williamson County serving as the Fire Marshal for all volunteer fire departments in the county. Upon his appointment, Galoppi stated “I am humbled to be chosen as the chief of the Williamson County Rescue Squad. It is a privilege to serve not only as a firefighter, but also as chief. Thank you for entrusting me with this role.”

Currently, Galoppi works at Mars Petcare as the Health Safety Environmental Lead in which he is responsible for the development, management and execution of Safety, Environmental & Security within two of Mars sites (Mars Petcare North American HQ and the Global Innovation Center).

Most currently, Galoppi has served as Assistant Chief and Interim Chief (along with Assistant Chief Bill Almon) of the Williamson County Rescue Squad. During this time, he has been working together with Assistant Chief Almon to better the Department in creating improved programs for response, training, prevention, and equipment management/maintenance and working directly with the Board President to ensure continuity of business and public safety and continuing to liaison with other public safety agencies both at the local, state, and federal levels.

President of the WCRS Board, Jamie Carter, stated, “We want to thank both Assistant Chief’s Bill Almon and Bob Galoppi for serving in an interim capacity while the Board went through an extensive interview process. Chief Galoppi will lead us into the future with strategic vision and operational excellence that will serve the citizens in all of our WCRS districts. Coupled with the fantastic leadership that we have in our assistant chiefs, captains and lieutenants, our organization, due to all of our volunteers, is poised for success now and for the future.”


Dinah Wade     
Public Information Officer
Williamson County Rescue Squad


March 8 is International Women’s Day


Updated March 8 2022

Image from Pixabay

Bringing awareness to gender equality and parity, International Women’s Day is also a celebration of the social, economic, and political achievements of women all over the world.  This day also plays a significant role in highlighting fundraising for charities that work toward the advancement of women and girls.

The 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD) theme is #BreakTheBias. This theme emphasizes IWD’s urge to choose to imagine a gender equal world, free of bias, stereotypes, and of course, discrimination.  Imagine a world where differences are valued and celebrated – a world where our diverse cultures nurture and promote equability and inclusiveness. The theme of Break The Bias is to encourage a more inclusive world and raise awareness against bias and discrimination.

The first National Women’s Day was declared in the United States in 1909 on February 28 and continued to be the last Sunday in February until 1913.
The Intentional Women’s Day was born at a conference in Copenhagen in 1910 by women representing 17 countries. On March 19, 1911, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in Europe and the US. In 1913 the date was changed to March 8.
1975 saw the first recognition of IWD by the United Nations – and 1996 saw the first annual theme, “Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future.”

International Women’s Day has six specific Missions

Women Creatives : To celebrate the work of women creatives and elevate visibility for commercial projects and commissions,

Women and Technology: To celebrate digital advancement and champion the women forging innovation through technology,

Women and Sport: To celebrate women athletes and applaud when equality is achieved in pay, sponsorship and visibility,

Women’s Health: To assist women to be in a position of power to make informed decisions about their health,

Women at Work: To forge inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and achievements are celebrated, and

Women’s Empowerment: To shine a spotlight on activity encouraging and uplifting women to pursue goals without bias or barriers.

Courtesy of International Women’s Day

Women in Movement:

Cassandra Speaks: When Women are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes
by Elizabeth Lesser 305.42 LES

Dangerous Women: the Rhetoric of the Women Nobel Peace Laureates
by Ellen Gorsevski 327.172092 GOR

The End of Bias: A Beginning: the Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias by Jessica Nordell New Shelf 303.3 NOR

Keep Marching: How Every Woman Can Take Action and Change Our World
by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner 305.42 ROW

The Next Smart Step: How to Overcome Gender Stereotypes and Build a Stronger Organization by Kelly Watson and Jodi Ecker Detjen 658.30081 WAT

They Didn’t See Us Coming: The Hidden History of Feminism in the Nineties
by Lisa Levenstein 305.42 LEV

Women Making History: The 19th Amendment
From the Eastern National Association 324.6 WOM

D Duff

Irish-American Women in History

by Chelsea Bennett, Reference Department

Hand shake

March is Women’s History Month. When it comes to writing a blog post honoring half the world’s population, it can be hard to know where to start. On this occasion, I’ll take my inspiration from another March celebration – St Patrick’s Day (a very Irish-American holiday, as you learned in this blog post) – and introduce you to some pioneering Irish-American women in our country’s history.

In my research, I learned that the very first person to be “processed” through the Ellis Island immigration center on the day it opened in 1892 was a teen-aged girl from Ireland named Annie Moore. [1] You could say that, for as long as Irish women have immigrated to America, they have been blazing trails!

Black and white image of Mother JonesOne of my favorite Irish-American women was born Mary G. Harris, but became better known in the second half of her life as fiery activist Mother Jones. From County Cork, Ireland, she came to America with her family as a child – one of more than a million families arriving as refugees of an gorta mór, Ireland’s “Great Hunger” tragedy, in the mid-1800s. She became a young widow in 1867, and lost her house and possessions in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Her many hardships must have fueled her to become a social activist and union organizer. She worked to expose the miserable, deadly conditions of child labor workers, and devoted herself to improving the working conditions of coal miners all over the country. Her “organizing methods were unique for her time,” as well. “She welcomed African American workers and involved women and children in strikes.” [2] Because of her fierce dedication to reform, she was called “the most dangerous woman in America” and “the grandmother of all agitators.” [3] But – if you’ll indulge the metaphor – when you’re washing clothes, agitation is how you get the dirt out. I’d say Mother Jones did her fair share towards getting some dirt out of America’s labor system at the time. [4, 5]

black and white image of woman with boat captainAnother famous Irish-American philanthropist was known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” although her given name was Margaret, and her friends called her Maggie. The daughter of Irish immigrants, Margaret came from humble beginnings. She married a “poor man” who struck it rich in the mining industry, elevating them to a prominent position in Denver, Colorado, in the 1890s. Margaret loved her socialite life, but also became active in charities for miners and women. But she rose to fame due to her actions as a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic. After helping others board lifeboats, Margaret had to be persuaded to get into a lifeboat herself. But she took up an oar and threated to throw the lifeboat’s crewman overboard if he didn’t turn back to find more survivors! After she boarded the rescue ship, The Unsinkable Molly Brown organized other first-class passengers into a survivors’ committee. “The committee worked to secure basic necessities for the second- and third-class survivors, and even provided informal counseling.” [6]

Author Kate Chopin was born in 1850 as Katherine O’Flaherty, the daughter of a businessman from Galway, Ireland. (She used her Creole mother’s maiden name for her writing.) Living in late 19th century Louisiana, Kate Chopin denied being a feminist or a suffragist. But she viewed the culture around her with a probing eye. With a knack for clear, compassionate observation, and the boldness to write honestly – even if some subjects were deemed controversial, even immoral, at the time – Chopin nonetheless helped pave the way for 20th century feminist authors. The Awakening, about a young woman who determines to discover her identity beyond “wife” and “mother” despite societal conventions, is a staple in English literature classes. She also published several important short stories. [7, 8]

image of book cover of Seventeenth Summer by Maureen DalyAuthor and journalist Maureen Daly was born in 1921 in County Tyrone, Ulster (currently Northern Ireland). She lived most of her life in America and became a naturalized citizen. As a young woman, she published a book called Seventeenth Summer (which she started writing when she was 17 herself). Although it was published for adults, the book “has been credited with beginning the modern period of young adult literature,” a genre that wouldn’t become widely recognized until the 1960s. [9] I wonder if Daly knew that writing books especially for teenagers was even ground that needed breaking?

Black and white photo of Louise BoganThe first female Poet Laureate in the USA was a woman named Louise Bogan, whose father was of Irish origin. Because of her gender, her family’s lower-middle class status, and her Irish background, she faced discrimination in the academic and literary communities. Nonetheless, she became a well-known poetry critic and poet, developing a style that was completely modern while still constructing her poetry in a deliberately traditional way. She was appointed our country’s fourth Poet Laureate (then called the “Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress”), the first woman to be awarded that honor, in 1945. [10, 11, 12, 13]

These six women may be long departed, but I found an Irish toast to thank them for their contributions to our culture and history. It’s often used to bless newlywed couples with children, but there’s one translation I really like, and I’ll apply it to the legacies they have left behind. To each one, I say, “Blessings on your posterity.” (Sliocht sleachta ar shliocht bhur sleachta in Irish. You’ll have to get someone else to pronounce it for you.) [14]



[1] https://www.womenshistory.org/articles/raising-glass-irish-american-women

[2] https://aflcio.org/about/history/labor-history-people/mother-jones

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Jones

[4] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mother-Jones-American-labour-leader

[5] https://aflcio.org/about/history/labor-history-people/mother-jones

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Chopin

[8] https://wcpltn.wordpress.com/2017/12/08/classic-southern-fiction-writers/

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maureen_Daly

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Bogan

[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Poet_Laureate

[12] https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/louise-bogan

[13] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Louise-Bogan

[14] http://irish.spike-jamie.com/gaelic.html


  • Women Shaking Hands, Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
  • Mother Jones with the Miners’ Children (NBY 1299), c. 1912. Photographer unknown.
  • Margaret Brown hands Captain Arthur Henry Roston of the Carpathia a silver cup for his role in the rescue of Titanic Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (file no. LC-USZ62-121013)
  • First edition cover of Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly, published by Dodd, Mead & Co.
  • Louise Bogan, U.S. Consultant in Poetry, 1945-1946. Photo credit: New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).



David Fish, Communications Director/PIO

SPRING HILL, Tenn., March 2, 2022 –The City of Spring Hill plans to update the popular memorial to Casey Marie Sneed, the eight-year-old city resident who died 22 years ago while playing in the snow near her home.

The brown, wooden edifice, “Casey’s Castle,” sits near the entrance to the playground at Evans Park. Built the year after its namesake’s death, it shows its age and is becoming a safety hazard.

Never intended as a structure for kids to climb on, it has become one, creating splinters and potential fall risks. A recent professional assessment indicates the memorial could begin to collapse in the near future.

“After some thought and collaboration with residents, we feel it may be time for the old wooden structure to be replaced with something more enduring,” says Kayce Williams, Spring Hill’s Parks and Recreation director.

The update plan features a butterfly garden, walkway and permanent, cast aluminum plaque at the current location, next to Casey’s favorite park.

“We commissioned a memorial plaque surrounded by a beautiful butterfly garden in honor of Casey’s playful spirit,” said Williams. “We hope residents like the updates shown in the designer’s renderings.”

Members of the Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Alderman are aware of the proposal and are likely to take part in a public dedication of the monument. A date has yet to be set for the ceremony.

Funds for the updates will come from the Parks and Recreation budget.

the logo of spring hill tennessee
199 Town Center Parkway
Spring Hill, Tennessee 37174 931-486-2252, ext. 222


How-To Guide: Biblioboard Community Boards📌

by Amy Shropshire

Biblioboard is a new tool we’re using at the library. It allows us to post to a community message board, like a small social media platform but only for the local community. If you’re in the county, or you log in with a library card, you can post to it too!

Here’s how it works.

First, find Biblioboard on the library webpage. Go to our website, wcpltn.org, and find it under Reader’s Corner.

Biblioboard on Website



Featured Authors Section

Next, find our Community Collections under the Williamson County Public Library Featured Authors collection. Here you can also find the boards that we currently have running and are currently accepting submissions, like the Winter Memories board running now to post all your Holiday Cheer!


Community Collections




Under Community Collections you can see all the anthologies we’ve created. Currently there are only two, but we’re hoping to build more! Click on our Spooky Stories Anthology or our Winter Memories Anthology to browse the content or submit your own!





Here in the Winter Memories Anthology, you can browse the content by category or as individual posts, and you can submit your own content using the “Submit to Project” button towards the top.

Winter Memories Anthology




If you have any suggestions for future community bulletin boards or collections of content submitted by Williamson County residents and library members, feel free to let us know! Submit a suggestion using our Ask a Librarian tool.

🍭Winter Reading Begins December 1st, 2021

Children, Teen, and Adult Winter Reading Challenges Dec. 1, 2021 - Feb. 2, 2022

Join us for Golden Ticket-Themed Winter Reading!


Welcome to Winter Reading, with Challenges for all ages.


We have separate challenges for:

Children ages birth – 7th grade

Teens ages 7th – 12th grade

Adults ages 18+


The challenges run from December 1 – February 2.

Join the fun by Registering now with Beanstack:


Or visit your local Branch for paper logs and participation options.

10 hours of reading earns a free book for all ages!

Optional reading and activities earn other small prizes.

When you earn a prize, visit your local Branch to pick up your prizes.

Adults pick up their prizes at the end of Winter Reading from February 2 – February 19.

The deadline for picking up all prizes is February 19.

Prizes must be picked up in person at a library branch.


Sponsored by the Williamson County Library Foundation

Williamson County Health Department Offering COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Moving Operations to Franklin Clinic

Williamson County Health Department Offering COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Moving Operations to Franklin Clinic


The Williamson County Health Department will begin distribution of COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 on Wednesday, November 10th.  Tennesseans ages 5 and up are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals seeking a vaccine may schedule an appointment at vaccinate.tn.gov or search vaccinefinder.org to find a local vaccine provider in Williamson or surrounding counties.

Beginning Monday, November 15th, the health department will permanently move COVID-19 operations from the Williamson County Agriculture Center to the Franklin Clinic located at 1324 W. Main Street.  Vaccinations will be available at the health department Monday through Friday from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. by appointment only.  COVID testing will be offered Monday through Friday from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. by appointment only.  Those wishing to schedule a COVID-19 test may call the health department at (615) 465-5318.

The COVID site will be closed Thursday, November 11th in observance of Veteran’s Day.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health. 


Connect with TDH on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn @TNDeptofHealth!

Williamson County Health Department • 1324 W. Main Street

Franklin, TN 37064 • Tel: 615-794-1542 • http://www.tn.gov/health

🐶Third Annual BARK N’ SPLASH BASH Returns in October🐶

The Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department (WCPR) will partner with the Williamson County Animal Center to host the Third Annual Bark ‘n Splash Bash on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at the Longview Recreation Center at Spring Hill, 2909 Commonwealth Dr., from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Due to popular demand, this “paw-some” event returns, after a year-long hiatus, for all dogs to have a chance to paddle and play while raising money for the animal center.

Evan Hampton, Aquatics Superintendent for WCPR said his staff is excited to host the event. “We know people love their dogs and the Bark ‘n Splash Bash gives them a chance to enjoy playing with their dogs in a fun aquatic environment.”

During the special event, the pool area will be open only to pre-registered adult handlers (18+) and their dogs. Spectators are welcome to observe from the “Bowwow Boosters” section (free).

For more information and to register visit www.wcparksandrec.com. Space is limited, and participants must pre-register using Activity Code #21695.

The entry fee is $20 per pet.

Proof of rabies vaccination is required for entry (no exceptions).

Participants should review all rules and waivers during online registration.

National Preparedness Month, Week 4


It’s the final week of National Preparedness Month, and we’re dedicating this week to talking about preparing youth for disasters. We all know that disasters can be difficult physically, financially, and emotionally, and the uncertainties that come with that can be especially stressful for kids.

Creating a plan with your family can help kids of all ages, from elementary to high schoolers. Keeping your kids in the loop when preparing can go a long way to keeping your family unit steady during a disaster.



Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.


We’re addressing how to prepare youth for disasters with three steps:

  1. Preparing with kids and teens
  2. Creating a family communication plan
  3. Providing resources for parents


The process of preparing your family for an emergency can be quite the task! Plus, preparing with young children and preparing with teenagers can be very different. Help small children feel prepared by talking to them about the most common hazards in Williamson County (from our Week 1 Newsletter).

For each hazard, create a plan of action that includes a point of contact. This should be a friend or family member who lives far enough away that they wouldn’t be affected by a disaster in Williamson County. Choose someone your family feels comfortable talking to under stress so you can keep them updated during a disaster. Make sure your kids know how to contact this individual in case your family is separated.

Discuss with your child the items you will need in an emergency and what each item is for. If you feel they are old enough, show them how to use a flashlight and radio.

Want an interactive tool? Visit ready.gov/kids/games and play a few games to help kids understand how to build a kit and face any disaster to become a Disaster Master!

Also, visit ready.gov/kids/prepare-pedro and download Pedro the Penguin’s Disaster Preparedness Activity Book, which is available in six different languages.


Assign certain responsibilities to your teenager that you feel he or she is mature enough to handle. These could include:

Checking the emergency kits monthly to make sure they are in good condition

Updating emergency contact lists if there are any changes

Specific tasks in the event of an evacuation, such as grabbing kits or pets

If you have a teenager who wants to take preparedness one step further, the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) is a great way to get involved. The YPC was created in 2012 to bring together teenagers who are interested in disaster preparedness. For more information, visit ready.gov/kids/youth-preparedness-council.


Families are often tested during emergencies so it is important to plan for several different scenarios. For example, every household should discuss safe evacuation routes and a common meeting location in the event of a house fire. This plan will be different than an evacuation plan for an incoming natural disaster, or a shelter-in-place plan for a tornado.

Review the importance of cell phones as a life saving tool, not just something for games or social media. Discuss the advantage of texting during an emergency instead of calling since phone lines may be tied up with the high volume of calls.

Identify an emergency contact within each family member’s cell phone contact list. It may be helpful to place “EMERGENCY CONTACT” next to the saved name within the phone. Some phones also have ways of quickly identifying emergency contacts, such as with a red star. The “medical ID” setting on iPhones allow first responders to view emergency contacts on a locked phone.


As a parent, it is important to identify how each of your children responds to emergency situations, which can be very different for each child. You can help kids cope by utilizing several strategies:

  • Talk to your children and encourage them to talk back. Validate what they are feeling and make sure they feel heard. If they ask questions and you are not comfortable sharing full answers, give them the level of information you feel is appropriate at the time.
  • Try to keep to a routine. Routines are safe and provide structure. In a changing and shifting environment it is important to have something steady in daily activities.
  • Make time for your kids, even if it means putting off chores and other tasks. This can help them feel safe and secure during and after a difficult time. If you are having difficulty with supporting your child in this way, find support with family and friends.


Kit loves to help kids be prepared, not scared! His backpack is always stocked with emergency supplies. What are some items that need to go in your emergency kit?

📓September is Tennessee Literacy Month!

To highlight the importance of reading for students, the Tennessee Department of Education has introduced Reading 360, Tennessee’s comprehensive literacy initiative, which provides grants and resources for districts, teachers, and families looking to help students develop strong phonics based skills, or sounds-first instruction.

There are 92 Tennessee school districts participating in the Reading 360 Early Literacy Network, making them eligible for the $80,000 to provide direct support to school leaders and teachers.

Reading 360’s goal is to get all children reading by the 3rd grade. Penny Schwinn, the Tennessee Commissioner of Education states, “Tennessee is deeply committed to building strong reading skills in our youngest students, and Reading 360 has already reached 50,000+ families through free, at-home reading resources and 9,000+ Tennessee educators through summer literacy trainings.” One of those free resources is the At-Home Decodable Book Series– available for all Tennessee families of Kindergarten through Second grade children.

The department would also like families to meet Riley the Reading Raccoon, who shares their favorite books and favorite places to read. Families can follow Riley on social media using the hashtag #TNReadingForAll.

September 21-23, 2021 Reading 360 will hold a virtual summit  that is free and open to all Tennessee educators, district and school leaders, higher education partners, and education stakeholders. This summit is designed to highlight best practices for the Reading 360 comprehensive literacy initiative.

K. Lineberger



Attention Williamson County Gardeners!

We’re having a Plant Swap on Friday, September 17 in our Meeting Room on the first floor.

🌻 Drop off plants 9:00 – 10:30 (Enter the Meeting Room through the door to the right of the Library’s main entrance)
🌻 Plant swap 10:30 – 12:30 (unless we run out of plants earlier)
🌻 Between 12:30 and 4:30, unclaimed plants will be put out for anyone to take.

It’s the perfect way to find a new home for some of your extra plants or to try out new ones!

 Registration is required to give us an idea how many plants to expect. Click here to register.

We’ll accept:

  • Divided or dug up perennial flowers, shrubs, vines, herbs, fruits and vegetables
  • Houseplants
  • Plant clippings
  • Seedling
  • Bulbs

Before bringing your plants to the Library, please check to be sure they are healthy and free of pests and diseases.

For each plant you bring, you’ll be given a ticket that lets you take a new plant. Provide as much information as you can about each plant you bring, including Common Name, Botanical Name, Type of Plant, Water and Light Requirements, Size and Color. Plant info templates that can be used as labels are available at the Library or you can download them here

Williamson County Health Department Moving COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Operations to the Ag Center

Beginning Tuesday, September 7th, the Williamson County Health Department will move COVID-19 vaccine and testing operations from the Franklin Clinic to the Williamson County Agricultural Center at 4215 Long Lane. Vaccinations and testing will be available in a drive-through fashion on weekdays. Entrance to the testing and vaccination site is located off Long Lane, just past the main entrance to the Agricultural Center.

“Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, we are moving testing and vaccine operations to an offsite location in order to accommodate more people,” said Williamson County Health Department Director Cathy Montgomery. “We hope the residents of Williamson County will continue to take proactive measures to keep themselves and others safe.”

Health Department administered PCR tests will be available from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, Mondays through Fridays.  Consent forms for testing are available to print at and fill out in advance at williamsonready.org/Coronavirus, which will help expedite processes at the Agricultural Center.  Individuals 16 and over may also pick up Everlywell PCR self-test kits at the test site from 8:00 am to 10:00 am or at the Franklin or Fairview clinics during normal business hours.

Vaccines will be available at the Ag Center from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Individuals may schedule an appointment at vaccinate.tn.gov, but appointments are not required for vaccination.

Please note that lightning or severe weather may cause the site to be temporarily closed. As hours of operation are subject to change, please visit williamsonready.org/Coronavirus for the latest schedule.

Tennesseans age 12 and up are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals seeking a COVID-19 vaccine may schedule an appointment at vaccinate.tn.gov or search vaccines.gov to find a local vaccine provider in Williamson or surrounding counties.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.


William Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT

Presented at

Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park

September 18 & 19, 2021

Directed by Jim Warren

Join us just outside of Nashville in beautiful Franklin, Tennessee to enjoy this
great playwright at Academy Park! This will mark the 5th year that Nashville Shakes has toured its summer festival to Williamson County.

5:30pm INSIGHT
5:30pm Vendors open
6:00pm Pre-show Entertainment
6:45 – Elf & Fairy and ApCo Performances (12th Night only)
7:00pm Main Performance

General Admission is FREE ($10 Suggested Donation)

Nashville Shakes is also bringing August Wilsons’s play JITNEY: Thursday and Friday, September 16th & 17th

JITNEY is an unflinching look into the stories and struggles of Black life in 1970’s Pittsburgh through the lens of a group of tight-knit, independent cab, or jitney, drivers. Please be advised that JITNEY is rated MA for mature audiences.

Check the Season Calendar for Franklin Vendors and Entertainment.
Academy Park is located at 112 Everbright Avenue, Franklin, TN

Bring your own chairs/blanket and pick your favorite spot to watch the show!
There is limited bleacher seating available in the rear.

For more information on performances in Nashville, please visit The Nashville Shakespeare Festival website.


Investment Research Database Available to WCPL Patrons

Value Line’s Investment Research platform offers access to financial data, news, expert analysis, and more!

Image from Pixabay

DYK that Williamson County Public Library card holders have online access to Value Line, an database resource for investment research and an unbiased authority on financial data for free with your Library card?

Value Line offers four key assets to our patrons:


Value Line includes a vast array of financial measures for over 5,500 stocks, 18,000 mutual funds, 500,000 options, and other securities. The investment research platform includes expert estimates, projections, and historical data to help its users discover opportunities that match their investment strategy.


Value Line’s investment research is designed to work for the individual. Customization tools allow library patrons to view statistical analyses, projections, and insightful commentaries in a way that is most visually sensible to them. Users may consult pre-defined screens for quick ideas. Graphic indicators bring trends and comparisons to life to help judge investment opportunities. 


Performance-tested ranks and ratings allow library patrons to make decisions with confidence. The platform includes a Timeliness™ Rank feature to help users anticipate a stock’s relative price performance potential for the coming six-to-12 months, while gauging risk with its Safety™ Rank. In addition, Financial Strength and other Value Line ratings help users fine-tune their insights.

Expert Analysis

The Value Line platform includes commentaries on companies, industries, markets and economies by a team of 70 analysts, researchers and statisticians to make company financial pictures and future earnings potential clear. One of the world’s largest teams of stock experts will provide information updates.

Available only to Library card holders accessing the database through our website (wcpltn.org) and our institutional account. The navigation is Reader’s Corner –> Homework and Research –> Articles & Databases (choose Business as a topic) OR Databases by Title.

Any Williamson County resident can receive their free library card at any WCPL branch. For help accessing Value Line or any of our databases call the Reference Desk at 615-595-1243. Again, card holders have access to these fabulous subscription databases through our website at wcpltn.org, whether at home or in the library.

About Value Line

Value Line is an investment research platform that helps position its patrons for financial success. As an authority in reliable, unbiased information, Value Line offers accurate and insightful investment research on companies, industries, markets and economies. Using the latest data, sophisticated tools and proven ranks to expert analysis and guidance, Value Line provides its users with the ability to evaluate investments with confidence.


Mobile Printing Now Available at Main Library in Franklin

Blue printer with library logo for a button. Sheet of paper at top with a green seal that has the text New! in the center of it. Lined sheet coming out the front of the printer. Gold background.
Printing is easy at the Main Library in Franklin!

With our new MobilePrint Service™, you can use your personal computer or mobile device to print to the library’s printers from anywhere. Simply submit documents for printing and come to the library to release and pick up your document using your library card.

How to print from a laptop or desktop computer at home or work:

  • Select the printer and enter your email address.
  • Browse your computer to find and select the file you wish to print.
  • Click the green printer icon. You will see the status of your print job.
  • Proceed to the Print Release Terminal in the library and provide your email address to retrieve your print job.

How to print from tablet or smartphone app:

  • Visit your device’s ‘store’ for apps, install and launch the PrinterOn App.
  • Click “No printer selected”.
  • Click “Search”.
  • Search for Williamson County Public Library or enter the library’s zip code.
  • Select your desired printer.
  • To print:
    • Documents: when viewing the document, click in the upper right corner and upload the document to the PrinterOn App.
    • Photos from your phone: open the app, click on “photo” and select a photo to print.
    • Select the printer and click the print icon.
    • Enter an email address and click on the check mark (you will receive a notice that the job started, and shortly after another message stating “Job Success”).
  • Proceed to the Print Release Terminal in the library and provide your email address to retrieve your print job.

How to use email to send something directly to library print system:

  • Email from any device directly to the library’s print system at:



  • Proceed to the Print Release Terminal in the library and provide your email address to retrieve your print job.

Tennessee Disability Pathfinder Launches New Website

Pathfinder Launches New Website

Tennessee Disability Pathfinder is launching its updated website design, with a more accessible URL – TNPathfinder.org – and plenty of interactive features to make finding resources, service providers, and community events easier for individuals with disabilities and their families.

New features of the Pathfinder website make their database of more than 3,500 agency resources across Tennessee more accessible and searching for information has been made more customizable. Users can tailor their search to be as broad or as narrow as they’d like, using criteria such as:

  • Stage of Life: Choose from Prenatal/Infancy, Early Childhood, School Age, Transition/Young Adult, Adulthood, or Aging;
  • Topic of Interest: Twenty service categories to select, with a text box to type keywords;
  • Diagnosis: Type of disability or health condition;
  • Benefit/Payment Options: Forms of payment accepted by the agency provider, such as health insurance, government program, private pay, or no cost; and
  • Service Area: Select counties where services are provided.

Getting the information and support you or a loved one needs can make a positive difference in your lives now and in the future.

Start your journey today!


💻Adult Computer Classes

Computer Classes in Adult Services have resumed, registration is required for all classes.

This month’s classes include Introduction to Microsoft Word, Introduction to Power Point, and Excel Basics. These three Microsoft productivity introduction classes are each split into three sessions, one hour each.


We are also offering a class in Internet Literacy and eReading Application Help. Check them out and sign up before they fill up!

Follow this link to view available classes for the month of August, 2021.

Click on the class link for descriptions of the classes and to register online. You may also register by calling the Reference Desk at 615-595-1243.


Spend Your Tickets! – Beanstack Instructions

As we’re nearing the end of Summer Reading, don’t forget to spend your Summer Reading prize tickets! You earned them. Put them toward drawings for fabulous prizes.

Several prizes for adults are based on tickets only.  Put your tickets toward anything you want to win! Prizes include an hammock, camping lanterns, and multiple book sets that you can choose to put your tickets toward.

Here’s how to spend those tickets!


Mobile App

First, find the word Discover at the bottom of the app and push that. Then in the Challenges Tab find the description for the Summer 2021 Challenge you’re enrolled in and push View Challenge.

View of Challenges on Mobile


Next, push Drawings, to see what drawings are available.

Drawings Circled in Red in Challenge


Here, you can view available ticket prizes. You can distribute your tickets to any of the prizes you want. When you see a prize you like in the list, like this Camping Hammock, just push it.

Prizes Available for Ticket Drawings on Mobile


Now we Add Tickets.

Camping Hammock Details on Mobile


A little box will pop up showing you how many tickets you have available, and you can add as many as you like. Then push Add Tickets again.

Adding Tickets to Camping Hammock on Mobile


You’ll know when you’ve spent all your tickets, when it says Max Entered.  You can still remove tickets to put them toward another prize. Just make sure all your tickets are used by the end of the challenge.

Max Entered on Mobile




Desktop Browser

Finding the Ticket Drawings is a little easier on a computer than it is on the mobile app. First select the Summer 2021 Challenge you’re working on in the Challenges tab.

Challenge Details on Desktop


Next, click on the Ticket Drawings tab below the Challenge title to see what prizes are available for drawings.

Ticket Drawing Tab on Desktop


Just click on the prize you want to add tickets to. Here’s an example with that cool Camping Lantern. Then click on Add/Remove Tickets.

Enter Ticket Box on Desktop


Like on mobile devices, you can add as many as you have to whichever prizes you want, so you can spread it out, or put all your eggs in one basket! When you see 0 Tickets Available, you know you’ve spent them all.

Adding 1 Ticket on Desktop


At the end of the Challenge, we’ll draw from these tickets for these prizes.  Don’t forget to spend all the free tickets you’ve been earning while completing Activities, and Logging your Reading. If you’ve signed up for the Challenge, you have a few tickets to use!


If you haven’t been involved in our 2021 Summer Reading Challenges this year, now’s your chance to enter the reading you’ve done, do some fun Activities, and win fabulous prizes. Head on over to our Beanstack Virtual Challenges, but hurry. The Challenge ends August 8th.

“Christmas in July” Pop-Up Book Sale Underway

Hi, Friends.

Come shop the Friends “Christmas in July” Pop-Up Used Book Sale now underway at the Williamson County Public Library. The “Holiday-Themed” sale is located in the hallway outside of the large meeting room, near the library entrance.

A wide assortment of Christmas fiction for adults and children, crafting and holiday entertaining books, DVDs and CDs are on sale for bargain prices, ranging from 50 cents to $3. The sale is underway now and open during regular library hours – ending on Monday night, July 26. Shoppers are asked to pay with cash or check using the honor box located at the Friends Book Store in the lobby mezzanine area.

When visiting the library, shop the Friends Book Store…new inventory added weekly!

SAVE THE DATE for the August Used Book Sale!

Watch your email for details to volunteer for the next book sale scheduled Friday, August 20 to Sunday, August 22. A sign up genius request is coming this week so please sign up for a shift or shifts to help out with the sale.

Mark your calendars for the Winter Used Book Sales scheduled Friday through Sunday, November 19 through 21. Boo Books will be on Saturday, October 30.

See you at the library!

Thanks, Board of the Friends of the WCPL

WCPLS Closings for President’s Day

The Williamson County Public Library System will be closed in recognition of President’s Day on the following dates:

  • The Main Library in Franklin, College Grove, Fairview, and Nolensville Branches will be closed on Monday, February 20.
  • The Bethesda and Leiper’s Fork Branches will be closed on Saturday, February 18.

The Main Library and all Branches resume normal hours of operation on Tuesday, February 21.  

Our e-Library is available 24/7 online.  Call 615-595-1277 to verify that your account is in good standing before the holiday to ensure access to our online collections. 

Star Crossed Lovers: 10 Tragic Couples To Read (And Cry About)

Have you heard the phrase “star-crossed lovers” before? Have you ever wondered what it means, where it came from, or how did it become one of the most popular romance tropes in pop culture?

The phrase “star-crossed lovers” describes a couple whose relationship is often thwarted by external forces. The phrase was coined by Shakespeare in his 1595 play Romeo and Juliet:

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;

Whose misadventured piteous overthrows

Do with their death bury their parents’ strife


It is crucial to remember here that “star-crossed” does not equate to Disney’s “meant to be” or “happily ever after.” In fact, it is quite the opposite. Shakespeare’s “star-crossed” equates to “doomed to die” or “destined to fail”; representing a cautionary tale for those not to become or pursue for such a fate in romance. Of course, modern pop culture has referenced the star-crossed lovers archetype from songs such as Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and No Doubt’s “Gravity” to major cinema pictures including Jack and Rose from Titanic and Satine and Christian from Moulin Rouge.

The star-crossed archetype is found not only in music and movies but in literature as well. From classic to contemporary, here are 10 tragic literary couples we can’t help but to read and cry about.



  1. Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Bronte

wuthering heights

It’s all doom-and-gloom as Wuthering Heights is set in the gothic moors of England. Heathcliff, an orphaned gypsy raised by the Earnshaw family, falls in love with their daughter Catherine. Despite their seemingly romance, Catherine chooses to marry for status rather than for love; leaving Heathcliff in rage lashing out in vengeance and violence. A selfish and self-destructive love at it’s best.




  1. Augustus and Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene

fault in our stars

Romeo and Juliet are not the only star-crossed teenagers to have a tragic ending. When Hazel meets Augustus at a cancer patient support group, the two of them embark on a romantic journey together to Amsterdam in search of their favorite author. Despite their limited time together, Augustus and Hazel both learn that hurt in this world is unavoidable. The Fault in Our Stars does not end with dry eyes or an unbroken heart.




  1. Gatsby and Daisy from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

the great gatsby

Set in the roaring twenties, Gatsby and Daisy became one of the most doomed star-crossed lovers in modern literature. Gatsby and Daisy are in a delusional love affair as all odds are stacked against them including mysterious millionaires, selfish flappers and jealous, murderous husbands. Their tragic ending is so beautifully and symbolically written that we keep coming back to it decades after its initial publication in 1925.




  1. Winston and Julia from 1984 by George Orwell


Love cannot bloom in a totalitarian state, but that doesn’t stop Winston and Julia from trying. Winston and Julia secretly engage in a passionate affair, hiding their love from the government. These star-crossed lovers truly believe they can conspire to overthrow their dystopian dictatorship. However, the tortuous tyrannical Big Brother is ultimately stronger (and more powerful) than any emotional bond the lovers might share. To Big Brother, love is corruption. Still bleak and relevant.




  1. Tess and Angel from Tess of the D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy


Tess is unlucky from beginning to end. From the birth of her child by rape to her eventual demise in seeking revenge on her attacker, Tess’s tragedies remind her that she cannot (and never will be) with her true lover, Angel.  Readers beware, Tess of the D’ubervilles is not for the faint of heart.




  1. Louisa and Will from Me Before You by JoJo Moyes


After Louisa loses her steady job at a cafe, she takes on a job as a caretaker for a quadriplegic man named Will Traynor. Will, despondent about his physical condition, wants to end his life in Switzerland. Louisia is distressed by what she hears, and tries to convince Will that there is a point to living by taking him on mini adventures; showing him how wonderful life can be. Get ready for the tissues.




  1. Cecilia and Robbie from Atonement by Ian McEwan


It’s all one big misunderstanding after another. Once Cecilia reveals her romantic feelings for the gardener, Robbie, things go quickly wrong from there. One night at a dinner party, Cecilia’s younger sister accuses Robbie of raping Cecilia’s cousin out of suspicion and fear. The wronged Robbie, who could have jumped the social gulf and lived happily ever after with Cecilia, instead goes to prison, then to the front lines in WWII, and…well, it doesn’t end happily for either of the lovers.




  1. Inman and Ada from Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

cold mountain

Set during the Civil War, Cold Mountain is an odyssey of estranged lovers struggling to reunite with one another. Searching for the other, Inman and Ada fight for their survival (and for their love) by showing perseverance throughout their journey. In the end, Inman teaches us that losing something you already have is far worse than not getting what you want.




  1. Anna and Vronsky from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy


Noblewoman and socialite, Anna Karenina, has a scandalous love affair with a dashing military man named Count Vronsky.  Vronsky is eager to marry Anna if she agrees to leave her powerful government official husband, Count Karenin. It all turns into a downward soap opera spiral, except it’s Tolstoy, which means it ends on a tragic note.




  1. Noah and Allie from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks


Set in pre- and post- World War II, Noah and Allie fall in love at the wrong place and time. Separated due to their socio-economic status, Noah continues to write letters to Allie, confessing his love for her, and the letter goes unanswered. Time passes, and Noah and Allie are finally able to reconnect but at a higher cost.




         10. Romeo and Juliet from Romeo and Juliet

rome and juliet

Last, and tragically not least, the star-crossed superstars themselves — Romeo and Juliet! Although the two love birds weren’t historically the first star-crossed lovers (nor the last), Romeo and Juliet set the bar high for tragic romance. Their tragic fate has become the blueprint staple for star-crossed lovers as we have seen here in multiple examples.



No matter what the external forces are (war, family, status, bad luck, etc.) there is a reoccurring theme with star-crossed lovers — and that is, no one ends up happily with the other. What are some of your favorite star-crossed couples?


Further Reading and Sources:

Star Crossed Lovers of China’s and Japan’s Literary Traditions https://scroll.in/article/891308/photos-the-star-crossed-lovers-of-china-and-japans-literary-traditions

Star Crossed Lovers https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/star-crossed-lovers

Star Crossed Lovers Not Written by Shakespeare https://www.toptenz.net/top-10-tales-star-crossed-lovers-written-shakespeare.php

8 Epically Doomed Relationship in Literature https://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2014/02/8-epically-doomed-relationships-in-literature.html

Love against All Odds in Books, A Valentine’s Day Special https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/feb/12/love-against-the-odds-in-books-valentines-day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Blind Date with a Book Display

Two photos of service desk on the second floor with a book display, Blind Date with a Book. The books are wrapped in white paper with clues as to the content written on them and have a red yarn wrapped around them that is tied with a bow. Text Happy Valentines Day with a heart

Visit the Blind Date with a Book display on the second floor of the Main Library in Franklin and treat yourself to a surprise reading!

(And remember if it turns out to be a dud like some dates do, you don’t have to read it, just return it. Best date ever anyways, because no one’s feelings are hurt!)

Williamson County Public Library System Winter Holiday Closings

The Main Library will be closed on December 24 and 25.  The Main Library in Franklin will be open on Friday, December 23, and on Monday, December 26.

The College Grove Branch is always closed on Saturday and Sunday per their normal hours of operation. The Branch will be closed on Friday, December 23, and Monday, December 26, for the holiday.

The Fairview and Nolensville Branches are closed on Sundays per their normal hours of operation.  These Branches will be closed on Saturday, December 24, and Monday, December 26, for the holiday.

The Bethesda and Leiper’s Fork Branches are closed on Sundays per their normal hours of operation.  These Branches are closed on Friday, December 23, and Saturday, December 24.

No Branches are open on December 24 and 25.

All Branches will close at 4p on December 31st. The Main Library will be closed on Sunday, January 1, and all Branches will be closed on Monday, January 2.

Have a library card? Visit us online and access our e-Library resources.   Your PIN is the last 4 digits of your library card number. We have e-audios, streaming videos, e-books, e-magazines, and more.  Call us at 615-595-1243 extension 1 before the holidays to learn more.

Williamson County Convenience Centers and the Landfill Closed on Friday, Dec 23rd

Convenience Centers and the Landfill will not open Friday, Dec. 23, because of the extreme cold weather that employees would have to be outside working in.  Facilities were already scheduled to be closed Christmas Eve and Day.  All facilities will open at 7 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 26.

Wednesday, Dec. 7, Spring Hill Christmas Tree Lighting

City of Spring Hill Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, Dec 7 at 5:30 at Harvey Park, Spring Hill. Image of green and gold Christmas Tree

Located at Harvey Park, this free event kicks off at 5:30 pm. Harvey Park is at 4001 Miles Johnson Parkway.

Bring your family and friends to enjoy the sights of the season!

The views expressed in this program are of those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position, or opinions of the Williamson County Public Library System.


Friday, Dec 2 Franklin Tree Lighting and Dec 3 Parade

Outline of green Christmas tree with red movie theater sign, text is Franklin, Tenn Christmas Tree Lighting on the Square.

The city of Franklin is excited to light up the square Friday, December 2nd, for the 2022 Christmas tree lighting at 6 pm!

Freedom Intermediate School Honors Choir will sing with special guest performances from five-time Grammy nominee, and Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner Matthew West.

On Saturday, December 3 is the

Franklin Kiwanis Christmas Parade

Historic Main Street, 2 – 5 pm.

The Franklin Kiwanis Club, partners with the WCS Fine Arts Programs, presenting holiday fun to welcome Santa Claus to Franklin, TN.


The views expressed in these programs are of those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position, or opinions of the Williamson County Public Library System.


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