I love history, especially the history of the county I live in. Six years ago I asked a local author and clerk of court to speak at the Live Oak Public Library, and now the discussions have expanded to a Lunch ‘n Learn series, with each presentation covering approximately 10 years of Suwannee County history.
We had several books  in the library about the history of Suwannee County written by Eric Musgrove. When I initially asked Eric to speak at the library, he gave a one-hour general overview of Suwannee County history. Since then, he has created 24 programs.
The Lunch n’ Learn series is held the second Thursday of each month. Eric comes once a month, so it takes two years to complete the whole history of the county. He has just begun on his second two-year presentation.
Fliers are printed with five months of presentations listed. (View the flier under Attachments at right.) The program is publicized on our library's website and in our email newsletter and local newspaper.
Bottles of water are provided for Eric and audience members.
We cover tables with plastic tablecloths and set up chairs so they're facing the podium at the front of the room. The set-up takes about two minutes.
Eric uses our computer and large-screen TV to show his PowerPoint presentation. We also make his county history books available during the presentation.
Eric shows a PowerPoint presentation with text and images of the county's history. Since he is also employed by the clerk of court, he has access to historical documents housed in the county's archives. He brings documents and shares them with the audience. He also takes questions from audience members throughout the presentation. (View pictures from the presentation under Slideshow at right.)
People always seem to be interested in their county’s history. The audience loves Eric; he is very personable. Many of the elderly folks in attendance start a lively discussion because they lived during the time period the presentation covers. Home-schooled children also attend.
The formal presentation lasts approximately one hour, but general discussions continue past the hour. Sometimes audience members bring in show-and-tell items (historic items they have in their possession). Our average attendance is 15 to 20 people, and there are at least 15 of the same people that attend each session; they look forward to seeing each other.
Don’t give up. There is always someone willing to talk about their county. Local authors, the historical society or just a panel of “old-timers” make for a good start. As a token of our appreciation, the Friends of the Library give Eric a $100 gift certificate each year.
About This Library
The Suwannee River Regional Library System  provides free services and materials of varying format to meet the educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs of the resident populations of Hamilton, Madison and Suwannee counties. The Live Oak Public Library  is the headquarters branch located in Suwannee County. There are seven other library locations in Hamilton, Madison and Suwannee counties.