Presidential Murders: discover the intriguing details of two assassinations that changed the course of history

This summer Henrietta Hankin Branch Library is happy to host local historian, lecturer and teacher emeritus, Roger W. Arthur for Presidential Murders, a 2-part lecture series that begins with “Part 1: Abraham Lincoln” on Monday, July 26th; and finishes up with “Part 2: John F. Kennedy” on Monday, August 2nd. Both programs will be presented virtually on Zoom from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

“These two presidential murders have been thought to have much in common,” explains Mr. Arthur. “Both victims were shot in the head. Both were attacked from behind and on a Friday.   Both were killed in the presence of their wives. One was the first Republican ever elected, while the other was the first Roman Catholic ever elected. Both were elected in a ‘zero’ numbered year. The national shock of these murders stunned the country. Other comparisons between them have been offered but most of those are either false or contrived.”

“With the advance of technology the news of the killings soon spread quickly across the land. One by telegraph,  the other by television. Americans craved more news in both cases. The unknown killer of Kennedy was captured within hours. While the nationally famous killer of Lincoln escaped into the night and stayed at large from nearly two weeks. Both murderers were killed before they came to indictment, trial and conviction. Lincoln’s killer was shot by a soldier on duty. Kennedy’s killer murdered him in cold blood in the presence of the police who were there to protect him.”

Mr. Arthur has been fascinated by American history all of his life. He studied it in college, taught it in school and has traveled the country learning about it first hand. He currently teaches Modern American History at Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown, PA. In the evenings in the Spring and Fall, he offers a variety of adult enrichment courses at the Chester County Night School, and from time to time is an instructor at Manor College and the Mainline School Night. He is also a special presenter for libraries, clubs and civic groups. Mr. was nominated to be “American History Teacher of the Year” by the Gilder-Lehrman Institute in 2012. His passion for history—and his desire to share it with others—continues to be a central motif of his life.

Register now for one or both of these thought-provoking, interactive programs that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home! To register for Part 1: Abraham Lincoln, click here. To register for Part 2: John F. Kennedy, click here.


Census 2020 Update

Starting August 11th, census takers will begin to visit homes that haven’t yet responded to the 2020 Census. To learn what to expect if a census taker visits your home, please click here for information from the United States Census Bureau’s website.

Every household in the United States is required by law to complete the 2020 Census. One person from each home, who is at least 15 years old, should respond. Census participation determines congressional representation and helps to ensure our communities get their fair share of funding for schools, hospitals, and other education and health programs we need to support strong families and the wider community. There are no citizenship or immigration status questions on the 2020 Census and residents’ responses to the Census questionnaire are private and confidential. Federal law keeps any personal information collected by the Census Bureau confidential for 72 years.

Self-responding is the easiest and safest way to make sure you are counted amid the COVID-19 situation. Self-response is fast and easy and can be done online, by phone or by mail. Residents responding online or by phone do not need a Census ID. In light of the COVID-19 situation, the Census Bureau has extended the self-response period through August 14. Don’t delay! Stand proudly in your identity and have yourself counted for the your own good and for the good of your community.

Virtual Event: Summer Origami Surprise!

Curious about origami? Love a little mystery in life? Join us for live instruction on folding a mystery origami surprise on Tuesday, August 4 at 6:30 pm. No one will know what it will be until the evening of our Zoom event, although you can try to guess! Hints will be posted once a day, Monday through Friday the week of July 27, on the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library Facebook page.

All you need is a square piece of paper (6″ x 6″ or larger is recommended) and a pair of scissors. A special set of 5 pieces of quality, multi-color origami paper will be available to registrants while supplies last at the Reference Desk at Henrietta Hankin Branch Library from Friday, July 31, through 5:00 pm on the day of the event.

Please register for the program: Tuesday, August 4 at 6:30 pm.

A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants 2 hours before the program starts.  Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link.  You do not need a Zoom account to attend the virtual program.

Virtual Program: Cool Vintage Places, Good Eats and Retro Fun… with Mod Betty!

Join us Thursday, July 30, at 7:00 pm as Mod Betty presents “Cool Vintage Places, Good Eats & Retro Fun” within a daytrip distance of Chester County. Vintage diners, roadside ice cream stands, miniature golf, drive-in movie theaters, many of these authentic vintage places that have survived the decades with their vintage charm intact are hidden in plain sight, and make perfect destinations for a summer drive.

Beth Lennon (writing as Mod Betty) is the creative mind behind the Retro Roadmap website and travel guide book series, where she shares “Cool Vintage Places, Good Eats and Retro Fun!” with readers and online Facebook and Instagram followers across the country – and the globe!
Featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Sunday Globe, Huffington Post, the BBC, WHYY-TV, WLVT-TV she has written for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Vintage Camper Trailers magazine, and starred in the Retro Roadmap Video Series on Youtube.

In addition she delivers live Retro Roadmap presentations, like the one she will be doing for us on July 30, to delighted audiences across multiple states. When she’s not on the road exploring you can find her online at or seated in her vintage 1964 vintage travel camper planning her next adventure and writing her next Retro Roadmap Roadbook!

Please register for the program: Thursday, July 30, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants 2 hours before the program starts.  Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link.  You do not need a Zoom account to attend the virtual program.

AARP Tax-Aide Program Offers Free Virtual Assistance

With taxes due July 15th, the AARP Tax-Aide program is now providing online methods for the preparation of taxes—at no cost. You can request the help of a volunteer coach in preparing your tax returns.  Visit and click on the “Get Help Online” button for additional information.

For the safety of both customers and volunteers, the AARP will not be resuming their Tax-Aide program at the Chester County Library or Henrietta Hankin Branch Library this year.

Warner Bros. makes the movie ‘Just Mercy’ free to stream for the month of June

In light of the ongoing George Floyd protests, Warner Bros. has announced that for the month of June it will make the movie Just Mercy available to rent for free across digital platforms. “We believe in the power of story,” representatives from Warner Bros. said in a statement. “Our film Just Mercy, based on the life work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, is one resource we can humbly offer to those who are interested in learning more about the systemic racism that plagues our society.” (Shaffer, Claire. “Warner Bros. Makes ‘Just Mercy’ Free to Stream to Educate Viewers on Systematic Racism.” Rolling Stone, 2 June 2020) To learn more, visit the Warner Bros. website at

The movie Just Mercy is a 2019 civil rights legal drama derived from the book Just Mercy: a story of justice and redemption, written by Bryan Stevenson, which was published in 2014. This book is available to borrow in either ebook or e-audiobook in our Overdrive collection. There is a version of the book adapted for young people available in ebook format as well.

A related read is The Sun Does Shine, a memoir written by a client of Bryan Stevenson, Anthony Ray Hinton. This book details the harrowing account of Mr. Hinton’s 30 years on death row for a crime that he did not commit. Available to borrow in OverDrive in both ebook and e-audiobook format.

Next Chapter Book Club has gone virtual!

The Next Chapter Book Club is a program that welcomes adolescents and adults with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate in reading and discussing books together in a fun and informal social setting. It is the largest community-based book club program of its kind in the world with hundreds of clubs meeting weekly in North America, Australia and Europe. The Chester County Library and Henrietta Hankin Branch became an affiliate in 2019 and Henrietta Hankin Library has been hosting a club that has been meeting since June 4th, 2019.

As we approach our Next Chapter Book Club’s one-year anniversary, we find ourselves adjusting to the times and have begun meeting virtually via Zoom from 5:00-6:00pm on Wednesdays. We are always open to accepting new members as well as volunteers to help co-facilitate. This June is a particularly opportune time to join in the fun, as we are in the process of selecting our next long book which we hope to begin reading in July. For more information or to sign up, please contact Henrietta Hankin Branch librarian, Claire Michelle Viola at For more information on the Next Chapter Book Club program, check out their website at

World Book access during COVID-19

World Book is currently offering free access to ALL our Digital resources to support patrons, educators and parents during COVID-19 distance learning through the end of May.  

Click here  or use the username and password below to access your free World Book Online resources:
Username:  wbsupport
Password:  distancelearn

Visit the World Book Online  Training & Support Guide  to learn more about these resources and other  Distance Learning Support for Parents and Schools.

Have fun exploring and learning!

eBooks on EBSCOhost (Power Library)

Did you know that with your library card you have instant access to over 16,000 eBooks from the world’s leading publishers across all major subject areas? It’s true! Just go to our the Tools and Research tab on our website at chescolibraries and select “All CCLS databases.”

eBooks on EBSCOhost (POWER Library) includes both fiction and nonfiction books for children, young adults and adults. It’s a great way to find a book to read for a book club or reading group, since it is always available to any number of readers. Give it a look! Just click on this link and scroll down to eBooks on EBSCO.

Here are just a few of the many tantalizing reads available through this database:

New Kitchen Basics : 10 Essential Ingredients, 120 Recipes – Revolutionize the Way You Cook, Every Day / by Claire Thomson

This is just one of over 1,000 cookbooks available.

Book Jacket

Nancy : A Comic Collection / by Olivia Jaimes

Over 680 comic books and graphic novels

If I Were a Park Ranger

Book Jacket

If I were a Park Ranger / by Catherine Stier & Patrick Corrigan

Thousands of colorfully illustrated nonfiction books for kids on all kinds of topics.