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 All HCPL locations will be closed Wednesday, June 19 in observance of Juneteenth.

Library News

1930s Open House at Varina Area Library


The Great Depression was a tumultuous, decade-long crisis that brought challenging times to thousands of families across the country. It was also a period marked by resourcefulness and perseverance. Explore the history and pastimes of the Depression era in our 1930s Open House, a series of programs for all ages taking place throughout the day on Saturday, December 3 at Varina Area Library, hosted in partnership with the History Division of Henrico Recreation and Parks.


The 1930s Open House will take place on Saturday, December 3 at Varina Area Library.  We hope you and your family can plan a visit together to enjoy the library on this day.

  • Information Table
  • Taste Test: Candy from the 1930s
    • 10AM -12PM - Varina Teen Department, drop-in program for all ages
    • American candy companies thrived during the 1930s, introducing a number of sweet treats that are still popular today. Drop by the Teen Department and check out which candies made their debuts in the 1930s, try samples, and then vote for your favorite!
  • Brother Can You Spare a Dime?: Music and Society in 1930s America
    • 11AM-12PM - Varina Meeting Room, lecture and performance
    • The tumult of the 1930s can hardly be exaggerated. Americans struggled through the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, labor conflict, and the clouds of war in Europe. Despite this turmoil, the era also saw the development of rich American musical genres such as Swing, Urban Blues, Country, and modern Gospel. Dr. Gregg Kimball and Cluny Brown will explore the songs of the era, and how the music lifted spirits, expressed everyday struggles, and conveyed hope for the future.
  • Handmade for the Holidays: 1930s Vintage Crafts
    • 12-1PM - Varina Conference Room, drop in program for all ages
    • Often out of necessity, handmade items were very much a part of decorating for the holidays in the 1930s. All ages are invited to stop in and create a vintage-inspired ornament or two based on this practice. All instruction and supplies will be provided.
  • Era Exploration: The Great Depression
    • 1-2PM - Varina Meeting Room, lecture
    • The Great Depression was a severe economic downturn that spanned much of the 1930s. Join the Valentine Museum for a discussion about the impacts of this worldwide event on the Richmond area.
  • Make Your Own Monopoly
    • 2-3:30PM - Varina Children’s Program Room, interactive program for all ages
    • Monopoly was first published by Parker Brothers in 1935, but the game was available years before. See how kids were enjoying themselves in the 1930's, learn the history of the game, and then develop your very own board game.
  • 1930s Movie Matinee: Heidi
    • 3:30-5PM - Varina Grand Stairwell, film screening for all ages
    • Heidi (1937, NR, 88 min.) Based on the book by Johanna Spyri, Shirley Temple stars as Heidi, an eight-year-old Swiss orphan who goes to live with her grandfather in the mountains.

If you can’t make it on December 3, we are offering additional opportunities to learn about the 1930s at Varina throughout the month of December. 

  • Something to Talk About: 1930s Candy
    • Tuesday, December 13 from 10AM – 12PM at Varina
    • Come out the second Tuesday of every month for movies, local history presentations, genealogy, and more! Bring your own lunch; the Friends of the Library will provide coffee, tea and water. Following in the footsteps of our 1930s themed programming from earlier in the month, we're going to sample and talk about candy from that era.  American candy companies thrived during the 1930s, introducing a number of sweet treats that are still popular today.
  • 1930s Jewelry
    • Saturday, December 17 from 2-4PM at Varina
    • Recreate elegant and glamorous 1930s jewelry styles with shrinking plastic templates, glass beads, and rhinestones. Make a necklace, earrings, or both!
  • Teen Art Studio: Finger Painting
    • Monday, December 19 from 6-8PM at Varina
    • Drop by our Teen Art Studio for some fun, hands-on creativity! Let's get messy and take a trip back in time and paint with your hands. This special event is inspired by the 1930s programs being held this month at Varina. All artistic skill levels are welcome! This is a drop-in program with no registration required.

Read about the 1930s with both fiction and nonfiction items from our collection.




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