ID Required for Late-Night Access


New for the fall semester: Beginning on August 30, 2016, a VMI ID card will be required to enter Preston Library after 10 p.m. Access will be available only to current VMI cadets, faculty, and staff from 10 p.m. until closing. Library hours are posted here.


Welcome, STP participants


Preston Library welcomes members of the next Rat class who are on Post for STP. All of you will be visiting the library for a tour and some may have a library workshop as well. You all have library accounts set up, so if you want to check out a book or DVD, we’re ready for you.

We encourage you to visit the library (and enjoy the AC!), look around for some good study areas, and let us know if you’ve got any questions.


Holiday hours

Preston Library will CLOSE at 1630 on Friday, July 1 for the Fourth of July weekend.  The library will remain closed all day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, July 2-4.

We will reopen at 0800 on Tuesday, July 5.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Preston Library Recognizes 2016 First Classmen

Preston Library hosted a pizza luncheon on May 5, Reading Day, for its cadet assistants. Library staff recognized first classmen for their outstanding work and contributions to the library. Joining the celebration were Col. Susan Hastings, who retired in March, and Col. John Brodie, who brought a small brass ensemble to serenade Col. Hastings with Sweet Caroline.

Getting ready to dine

The serenade

Firsts with Col. Samdahl

A good time was had by all and good luck on exams!


Friends Recognize Cadet Ryan Poffenbarger for 2016 Camper Award

Col. Samdahl, Mr. Poffenbarger, Mr. Camper (l-r)

The Friends of Preston Library awarded Cadet Ryan Poffenbarger, ’16 with this year’s Camper Award on 5 May, Reading Day. Representatives of the Friends’ Board, Col. Don Samdahl, library staff, and Mrs. Camper’s son, Bob, recognized Mr. Poffenbarger for his leadership and service to Preston Library. Cadet Poffenbarger served this past year as Preston Library’s Head Library Cadet Assistant.

The award’s namesake, Mrs. Frances Camper, was a great teacher and role model for library cadet assistants. Cadet Poffenbarger received a letter of recognition, a certificate, and a cash award. Mr. Poffenbarger is an Applied Mathematics major who will commission in the United States Army Reserves as a Medical Service Corps officer in Ft. Meade. He will be working in air and missile defense at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. We wish all the best to this outstanding cadet.


Preston Library Cadet Survey 2016

Col Samdahl with Cadet Thers, winner of $150.
Col Samdahl with Cadet Thers, winner of $150.

Cadet Nickolas Thers, ’16 was our lucky winner in our survey drawing for taking the Preston Library Cadet Survey. The prize was a check for $150. Cadet Thers is an IS major and will be graduating this year. Congratulations!

We received input from 345 cadets in this year’s survey. Thanks to all cadets who participated in the survey. We value your input in evaluating library resources, services, and facilities and use your comments to help us improve.


Survey Results: Preston Library Cadet Survey 2016.


The Friends of Preston Library 2016 Spring Program

Dan Pezzoni at the FPL Spring Program
Dan Pezzoni explained the architectural styles of Rockbridge County at the FPL Spring Program

The Friends of Preston Library hosted its Spring Program on Friday, 22 April at 3:00 p.m. in the Turman Room of Preston Library. Our guest speaker was Mr. Dan Pezzoni, who gave a talk based on his recently published book, The Architecture of Historic Rockbridge.

Mr. Pezzoni gave a stimulating, educational, and engaging program about the architecture of Rockbridge County. Many architectural styles are represented by buildings in the county and Mr. Pezzoni showed examples and talked about their history. Mr. Pezzoni answered a number of questions and signed his new book which was for sale. A good time was had by all.

Architecture of Historic Rockbridge
The Architecture of Historic Rockbridge

Mr. Pezzoni’s abundantly illustrated volume captures the rich and diverse architectural history of Rockbridge County including the cities of Lexington and Buena Vista. His book has filled a long-recognized void by tracing the area’s architectural heritage from the eighteenth century to the post-World War II period. It is a beautiful, modern work and an essential complement to the earlier work (1977), The Architecture of Historic Lexington.


eBooks from JSTOR


Books_at_JSTOR_Ad_SmallAre you an eBook user?
Since the beginning of the fall semester, we’ve had access to some wonderful JSTOR eBooks. Anyone familiar with JSTOR will recognize the nice easy-to-use interface and depth and breadth of coverage.

We’ve put together a guide to JSTOR eBOOKS here, where you can virtually “shelf browse”:

Let us know if you have any questions bout the JSTOR eBooks or other eBooks at Preston Library.



The Friends of Preston Library 2015 Fall Program

Col. McCleskey makes a point.
Col. McCleskey makes a point.

The Friends of Preston Library hosted its Fall Program on Tuesday, 27 October at 3:00 p.m. in the Turman Room, Preston Library. Our guest speaker was Col. Turk McCleskey, who gave a talk based upon his recently published book, The Road to Black Ned’s Forge: A Story of Race, Sex, and Trade on the Colonial American Frontier.

Turk McCleskey provided context and background of historical and social relationships in his talk on Ned Tarr, an enslaved Pennsylvania ironworker who purchased his freedom in 1752 and moved to Virginia on the upper James River. One main point of his presentation was that social relationships were more varied and less rigid in the 18th century than what the became in the 19th. Turk’s remarkable account of this true story was enjoyed by all. It provided fresh insight and greater understanding about complexities in social and race relations in early America.

Col. McCleskey is a professor of history at VMI. His well-received book tells a fascinating and unlikely story of frontier life.

The Road to Black Ned's Forge
The Road to Black Ned’s Forge

“With keen insight and thorough research Turk McCleskey vividly recovers the frontier world of Black Ned. Bold, proud, and clever, Black Ned lived at a crossroads in time and place. On Virginia’s colonial frontier, a forceful black man could prosper as a blacksmith, defend his freedom in court, and marry a white woman. But that defiance eventually provoked resentments that, during the next generation, would close loopholes in the system of racial slavery, gaps that Ned had exploited so resourcefully. McCleskey has worked wonders in recovering and telling Ned’s powerful story.”—Alan Taylor, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, University of Virginia.