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The People's University

 Lifelong Learning at Your Library!

The People's University logo The People's University
  Andrew Carnegie called the public library “The People’s University," believing it to be an essential institution of learning for people of all ages. Today, the Ohio County Public Library seeks to continue to assist local residents in the pursuit of knowledge and education.

In keeping with the mission of public libraries as sanctuaries of free learning for all people, the Ohio County Public Library created The People’s University, a free program for adults who wish to continue their education in the liberal arts. 

The People’s University features courses (taught by experts in each subject) that enable patrons to pursue their goal of lifelong learning in classic subjects such as history, music appreciation, philosophy, and literature. Patrons may attend as many classes as they wish. There are no tests of other requirements and all programs are free and open to the public. 

The People's University Programs

In October, 2010, the Ohio County Public Library launched the new People's University series at the Ohio County Public Library, with Dr. David Javersak, retired professor of history at West Liberty University, presenting a nine-class "History of Wheeling" at the library. That entire lecture series is available to view online by following the link below.

The People's University logo
Fall 2010:   ▶ The History of Wheeling with David Javersak

New People's University, "Wild, Wonderful, & Weird Stories of Wheeling," Starts April 9, 2019

People's University: Wild, Wonderful, and Weird Wheeeling Stories

See the full line up of classes for this 8-week course.

The People's University has presented lecture series on:

  • The History of Wheeling (Fall 2010)
  • World Geography (Spring 2011)
  • American Literature (Summer 2011)
  • Music Appreciation (Fall 2011)
  • Government (Spring 2012)
  • American History I: Pre-colonial, Colonial, and Founding periods (Fall 2012)
  • Art History (Winter 2012/13)
  • American History II: The Civil War & Statehood (Summer 2013)
  • A Cartoon History of the United States (Fall 2013)
  • World Philosophy (Winter 2013)
  • Astronomy (Spring 2014)
  • American History III: The Gilded Age Through the Jazz Age (Summer 2014)
  • Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust (Fall/Winter 2014)
  • The Civil War 1865 and the Lincoln Legacy (Spring 2015)
  • Archaeology (Summer 2015)
  • Biology, Regional Flora and Fauna (Fall 2015)
  • Shakespeare (Spring 2016)
  • Appalachian Music & Folklore (Summer 2016)
  • The History of Wheeling Reprise (Fall 2016)
  • The First World War (Spring 2017)
  • West Virginia History through Archives: Preserving the Mountain State’s Stories (Fall 2017)
  • Mathematics 1: Making Sense of Math (Winter 2018)
  • World War II (Summer 2018)
  • Human Rights (Late Fall 2018)
  • Wild, Wonderful, & Weird Wheeling Stories (Spring 2019)

See the Program Calendar.


People's University "WWII" Runs May 29-July 24, 2018

The next subject in the Ohio County Public Library's popular People’s University series will be the Second World War. This series, featuring an impressive array of historians and experts, will run in conjunction with the “We Can Do It! WWII” Traveling Exhibit from the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, on display at the Ohio County Public Library May 26 through July 24, 2018.

People's University - Summer 2018: World War II
Click here to view a pdf of the full class schedule.

Photos from A History of Wheeling, Class 1: Frontier Wheeling, A Clash of Cultures

Everything Old is New Again at the People's University!

New People's University: A History of Wheeling With Dr. David Javersak (November 01-December 20, 2016)

The latest series in the People's University program at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling will explore the history and culture of Wheeling, West Virginia. Classes will meet on Tuesday evenings at 7 PM, from November 1 through December 20 in the library's auditorium. The series, which will be presented entirely by Dr. David Javersak, is a new edition of the first ever and most popular People’s University series, first offered six years ago. 

Classes begin on Tuesday, November 1 at 7 PM with Frontier Wheeling, the Clash of Cultures.

The remainder of the schedule for People’s University, A History of Wheeling:

Instructor Dr. David Javersak is emeritus Dean of Liberal Arts and professor of history at West Liberty University, where he taught a very popular class on the History of Wheeling from which this series was adapted. 



The People's University was created to help fulfill the library’s mission to be a sanctuary of free learning for all people. It is a program for adults who wish to continue their education in the liberal arts, through courses — taught by experts in each subject — that enable patrons to pursue their goal of lifelong learning in classic subjects such as science, history, philosophy, and literature. The program is free and open to the public. To rsvp for The People’s University A History of Wheeling, please call the library at 304-232-0244, send an email to [email protected], or visit the Reference Desk. Remember, classes are free and open to the public. There are no grades, and registration is not a commitment. You are welcome to attend all or only some classes. Complimentary refreshments will be provided. For more information, visit

RSVP for People's University A History of Wheeling, Now.

Back to Calendar

Photos from Appalachian Music & Folklore

Week 3, Doug Van Gundy

Week 2, Phil Jamison

Week 1, Travis Stimeling

Scenes from People's University, Shakespeare, Spring 2016:







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