Library news, Jan. 26

January 26th, 2015 by twilson

Volunteers to offer free tax service at librarySeniors, if you need free help to prepare your tax return, AARP volunteers will again be available at the Main Library in Newton through Tuesday, April 14.

Appointment hours are 9 a.m. to noon each Tuesday. Residents must first make an appointment by calling 828-676-6723 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. Due to the volume of requests, walk-ins will not be accepted.

Federal tax forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ are available at Main Library in Newton as well as branches in Conover, Claremont, Maiden, Sherrills Ford, St. Stephens and Southwest (Mountain View). Specialized tax forms from the IRS website may be copied at the library for 10 cents per sheet.

February packed with events at county library
STEAM learning programs, Black History observances and Spanish classes are only part of the offerings at Catawba County Library System during February.

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) programs are planned at Main Library in Newton for school-aged children. Topics include the scientific contributions of George Washington Carver, the science of chocolate and bird study.

Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch will host a documentary series “African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” narrated by Henry Louis Gates during the week of Feb. 23.

Freedom Quilts, a program about messages in quilts at the time of the Underground Railroad, will be held on Feb. 28 at Conover. The session is for ages 7 and older.

Spanish for children continues at Sherrills Ford-Terrell on Saturday mornings, while ESL classes for adults are being offered Monday evenings at St. Stephens.

Adult computer classes, children’s story times and teen programs and more will round out the calendar. For the most current information, check the on-line calendar at

Please pre-register for Maiden events and all computer classes.
Events with * require pre-registration.
Call ahead for Affordable Health Care Act Clinic, 828-624-0538
Make appointment for AARP Tax Prep, 828-676-6723.

Main Library, 465-8664
• Ready to Learn Story Time, Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10 a.m. (age 0-5)
• Paws to Read with Brandy & Maggie*, 2-4 p.m. Feb. 2, all ages. Call for appointment, 465-8668.
• Paws to Read with Nicole*, 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesdays. Call for appointment, 465-8668.
•.AARP Free Tax Prep for Seniors*, Tuesday mornings. Call 676-6723 for an appointment 9-2 weekdays.
• Affordable Health Care sessions, Mondays, 12-8 p.m.
• STEAM George Washington Carver, 5 p.m. Feb. 3, school age
• Red Cross Blood Drive, 11-3 Feb. 6 Call 465-8240 for appointment.
• Friends of the Library, 11 a.m. Feb. 9, adults
• School-Age Story Time, 5 pm, Feb. 10 & 17
• STEAM Science of Chocolate, 4 p.m. Feb. 13, school age
• Southern Pens book club, 10 a.m. Feb. 14, The Girls of Atomic City
• Open Forum: Computer Q & A*, 10 a.m. Feb. 18, adults
• STEAM For the Birds, 5 p.m. Feb. 24, school age

Claremont Branch, 466-6817
• Book Swap Party, 2 p.m. Feb. 14, adults
• Resume Builder*, Feb. 19, adults
• Clifford’s Birthday Party, 5:30 p.m. Feb. 19, age 12 & under
• Affordable Health Care sessions*, 12-3:30 p.m. Tuesdays

Conover Branch, 466-5108
• Affordable Health Care sessions*, 4-8 p.m. Tuesdays
• Little Learning Party story time 11 a.m. Tuesdays, age 2-5
• Baby Bounce, 10 a.m. Wednesdays (3-18 mos.)
• Intro to Computers*, 10 a.m. Feb. 6, adults
• DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts, 6 p.m. Feb. 10, age 13-17
• Resume Builder*, Feb. 20, adults
• Clifford’s Birthday Party, 2 p.m. Feb. 27, age 12 & under
• Pinterest Crafting Party*, 6 p.m. Feb. 24, adults
• Freedom Quilts, 12 p.m. Feb. 28, age 7 & up

Maiden Branch, 428-2712
• Ready to Learn Story Time , 9:30 a.m. Thursdays
• Affordable Health Care Sessions, Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
• Pinecone Bird Feeders*, 11 a.m. Feb. 14, children

St. Stephens Branch, 466-6821
• Ready to Learn Story Time 6 p.m. Tuesdays (preschool)
• Ready to Learn Story Time Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. (preschool)
• ESL Classes for Adults*,12-8 pm. Feb. 2 & 1-8 p.m. Feb. 9
• Wells Fargo House Buying in Spanish, 6 p.m. Feb. 10
• Microsoft Word 2007*. 10 a.m. Feb. 20, adults
• Dinosaurs & Fossils, 4 pm. Feb. 20, school age

Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch, 466-6827
• Ready to Learn, Story Time 10 a.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays (preschool)
• Baby Bounce, 2 p.m. Tuesdays (age 0-24 and parents)
• Young Inventors Contest* Feb. 3 & 17, 4:30 pm, grade 3-12
• Drop-in Computer/eReader Session, 6 p.m. Feb. 3 & 17, adults
• Pawsitive Reading* 3:30 -5 p.m. Feb. 5, kids
• Spanish for Kids, Feb. 7, 14 & 21; Grades K-12 10 a.m.; grade 3-6, 10:45
• Intro to Power Point*, 6 p.m. Feb. 10, adults
• Spa Party for Adults* 4 p.m. Feb. 13
• Valentine’s Day Fun Party* 4 p.m. Feb. 13, grade K-5
• African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross documentary series, 1 pm. Feb. 23-28, all ages
• Intro to Excel*, 6 p.m. Feb. 24, adults
• Affordable Health Care sessions*, 12-8 p.m., Tuesdays

Southwest Branch, 466-6818
• Ready to Learn Story Time, 10 a.m. Wednesdays & 11 a.m. Thursdays (preschool)
• Affordable Health Care sessions*, 9-6 Wednesdays
• Intro to Excel*, 10 a.m. Feb. 13, adults
• Microsoft Word*, 10 a.m. Feb. 20, adults

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Library News, Jan. 20

January 20th, 2015 by twilson

Kick off 2015 with a free computer class
Adults can enhance their computer skills free at the Catawba County Library System next month. Each session is 60 minutes long and pre-registration is required. The topics include:

    Drop-In Computer/eReader Session

—See how to maximize use of your eReader and computer. Librarians are here to help you at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3 and 17 at Sherrills Ford-Terrell.

    Intro to Computers

—Get off to a good start with the essentials of how to use a computer for the beginner or those with little experience. Session scheduled at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5 in Claremont and again at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 6 in Conover.

    Intro to PowerPoint

—Come see how easy it is to create your own illustrated presentations. Offered 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10 at Sherrills Ford-Terrell.

    Microsoft Word

— See how easy it is to create, store and retrieve documents using this basic program. Offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11 at St. Stephens and 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 20 at Southwest.

    Intro to Excel

— Learn how to use this basic spreadsheet program for personal bookkeeping and more. Session scheduled at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13 at Southwest and at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24 at Sherrills Ford-Terrell.

    Open Forum: Q&A about Computers

— Come to the Main Library in Newton for answers to your basic computer questions. Session planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18.

    Resume Builder

—Learn how to put your best image forward on paper and land that job. Class starts at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 at Claremont and again at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 20 at Conover.

Preregister for the classes at the appropriate location or call 465-7938 for Newton, 466-5108 for Conover, 466-6817 for Claremont, 428-2712 for Maiden, 466-6821 for St. Stephens; 466-6818 for Southwest and 466-6827 for Sherrills Ford-Terrell.

County library curbs schedule for staff development
Catawba County Library System will delay opening until 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2 and Feb. 23 to allow library employees to attend staff development sessions.

Main Library in Newton as well as the St. Stephens, Southwest and Sherrills Ford-Terrell branches will be affected by the schedule change. Newton usually open at 9 a.m. on Mondays, and St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford and Southwest at noon. Claremont, Conover and Maiden branches are always closed on Mondays.

Customers may drop off library materials in book drops as well as place holds and renew library materials and access digital media through the library website at any time. For more information about on-line resources, log on to or ask a librarian.

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Library News, Jan. 14

January 14th, 2015 by twilson

Library use skyrockets at Sherrills Ford-Terrell
Sherrills Ford-Terrell residents are in love with their new library branch. During the three months the branch has been open, library use has skyrocketed in that corner of the county.

“We are so pleased that our branch is becoming such a community center,” said Jennifer Patterson, branch manager. Investment in library facilities and services in Southeast Catawba County has clearly paid off. Circulation and library visits are up dramatically and cardholders have grown by the hundreds.

Circulation of library materials grew 27 percent to 12,846 items checked. Library visits have increased even more—up 37 percent from October through December a year ago. A total of 12,484 visits were recorded for the last three months of 2014.

“These are the kinds of numbers we love to see,” said Suzanne White, library director. “Residents wanted a modern library that could serve as an active and collaborative community space, and by all counts, it looks like the community is embracing and enjoying our new expanded offerings.”

The enhanced facility has allowed for programming to increase dramatically. The last three months of 2014 saw programs nearly double and attendance skyrocket by 220 percent. Meeting room use—now that the branch has an actual meeting room—has risen from 106 to 580 attendees. Twenty-nine meetings have been held in the new gathering space, compared to only three at the old facility during the final quarter of 2013.

Patterson reported that 310 children, teens and adults attended 35 library programs at Sherrills Ford during the last quarter of 2013. A year later, 51 programs drew 991 people.

Library customers have enthusiastically embraced the new library facility, as staff report positive comments every day.
“We hear how the new library is so bright and colorful,” Patterson said. “They love coming here.”

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Library updates, Jan. 12

January 12th, 2015 by twilson

Escape winter blahs with library ‘spa’
Conover Branch Library has a perfect program planned for the ladies.

“Mom’s Night Out: Spa Treatment” will give women a chance to relax, chat and snack while making spa treats such as bath bombs, masks and sugar scrubs.

The session should inspire everyone to make luxury beauty care items from simple ingredients that won’t break the bank. Materials will be provided.

Preregister at the branch or call 828-466-5108 to reserve a seat. Conover Branch is located on the top floor of Conover Station along the railroad tracks near downtown Conover.

Library has new DVDs on order
Catawba County Library System expects to have a number of soon-to-be-released movies on the shelves in coming weeks. Now is the time to place a hold on new DVDs to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. And of course checkouts are free!

Coming later this month are Before I Go to Sleep, Downton Abbey Season Five, Fury, Judge and White Bird in a Blizzard.

February’s arrivals will include Get On Up, Homesman, John Wick, Rosewater and Walk Among the Tombstones.

As always, the titles cover the gamut of tastes. Some films will be suitable for children while others are geared toward mature audiences. Learn more about these and other DVDs on the library website: .

A brochure detailing DVDs on order is available at all library locations

Popular authors’ new releases slated for library
Works by several popular authors are scheduled to grace the shelves of Catawba County Library this spring, according to Diane Jennings, collection development librarian.

New novels by dozens of best-selling writers are on order including works by Clive Cussler, Dorothea Benton Frank, Lauren Willig and Stephen King, among others.

Cussler’s Piranha, an adventure thriller in the Oregon files series, is due out in late May. The story begins in 1902 when a volcano erupts, sinking a ship carrying a German scientist on the verge of a big breakthrough. Over a century later, modern hero Juan Cabrillo, must deal with the scientist’s legacy.

Scheduled for June 2 release is another poignant novel by Dorothea Benton Frank: All the Single Ladies. Once again, this writer takes readers into the heart of the South Carolina Low Country where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman’s death.

Lauren Willig’s The Other Daughter will enchant historical fiction lovers with this tale of genteel poverty, love and betrayal in Roaring Twenties London.

Fiction master Stephen King continues his Mr. Mercedes series with Finders Keepers, following Detective Bill Hodges on a murder case. It’s also due out in early June.

Place a hold on these and other upcoming novels. A brochure detailing books on order is available at all library branches.

Tis the season for book lists
Read any good books lately? Maybe you heard that old conversation starter over the holidays and didn’t know how to answer because, to be frank, you haven’t finished a book since you were in school.

Let 2015 be your year to fix that situation. Resolve to read. Catawba County Library can help. You don’t have to invest any money to be well-read. The free public library lets you keep up with your reading at no cost. Checkouts are free. If you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution to read more books, suggested reading lists can be a jumpstart.

Every New Year brings a barrage of lists in the book world. If you surf the web maybe you’ve seen some of the “best of” lists such as the best books made into movies, best-sellers of 2014, best new books for 2015.

Businesses and literary organizations such as Target, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have their own book lists, keeping future sales in mind of course. Many publications and news organizations tout the “best books” of 2014 according to their own editorial standards: Huffington Post, CNN, New York Times, Time Inc., National Public Radio, American Library Association.

The library also has a great new resource called “Books & Authors” to help you get started. This website is available to you free through the library at, click on e-resources from the top menu bar and then select the Books & Authors link on the right. If you want to be better read? Want to bone up on the classics or social issues? Maybe you just want to know which books are most popular. This is a fabulous site to help you find the right book to get you back into reading.

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Dream theme to commemorate King at library

January 9th, 2015 by twilson

Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a two-part program for youth aged 9 and older.

Participants will gather on Jan. 13 and 20 to team and identify a need within the community. With library staff members, they will make a plan to meet the need. The activity will include brainstorming and follow up on Jan. 20 to find ways to put the plan into motion.

“We want to work together to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proud,” said Jennifer Patterson, branch manager.

The program begins at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13 and will conclude at 4 p.m. Jan. 20. Participants should preregister at the branch or by calling 828-466-6827.

Sherrills Ford and other library locations will have library materials on display highlighting King’s life and legacy.

The library system as a whole will be closed on Monday, Jan. 19 to observe Martin Luther King Day.

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Resolve to make reading a priority in ’15

December 30th, 2014 by twilson

Instagram, Twitter, TiVo, texting. How can anyone read books these days with so many distractions?

Ten years ago, author Steve Leveen published The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life, His advice is as relevant today as it was then. Leveen, by the way, is the founder of Levenger’s, a company that sells tools such as bookmarks and pens—things to make reading more simple and fun.

The firs t rule is to take control. Books, like types of candy, are a matter of taste. Leveen gives you permission to not like every book you pick up.

New York University professor Atwood H. Townsend wrote in his Good Reading: A Helpful Guide for Serious Readers, “Never force yourself to read a book that you do not enjoy. There are so many good books in the world that it is foolish to waste time on one that does not give you pleasure and profit.”

Townsend penned that advice about 75 years ago, when America was producing about 10,000 books a year. Today the number is nearly 300,000. The numbers alone beg us to be discriminating. Reading lists help. If you hear of a particular title in a review or from a trusted friend, note that book and author for the next time you visit the library. Likewise, keep a log of what you’ve read. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to recall book titles and authors you wish to share with others.
Social networks such as Goodreads or are options to swap reading ideas. Likewise, try Gale’s Books and Authors database, available on the Catawba County Library website. Log on to and click on eResources at the right. This database can help you discover new authors and titles.

There’s no point feeling guilty about not having read every book you own or every book you want to read. Maturity is realizing that you may never get to certain titles. And just because a book has won an award doesn’t make it a good one for you. Some books naturally resonate with a reader; others do not.

Consider audio books or downloadable eBooks. Seasoned readers know that travel and exercise time can be turned into “reading” hours with eBooks and audiobooks. In fact, some works are more enjoyable as read by the author or a professional actor. Your library has a selection of these books to choose from.

Read aloud to family members. Discover a book you missed as a child by reading it to a youngster.

Professional readers give a book 50 pages. If it doesn’t grab them by then, they give it up. So should you. Conditioned by that same teacher, we feel guilty about not finishing a book, but the time you waste trying to engage in a boring tome could be better spent exploring a book you’d enjoy. Or, you may want to use the rule by Nancy Pearl, librarian and author of Book Lust and More Book Lust. For every year over 50, subtract one page. Thus, a 75-year-old gives a book only 25 pages to prove itself. As you mature, you’re quicker and surer about what you like.

Contact Tammy Wilson at the library,

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STEAM warms up learning at the library

December 29th, 2014 by twilson

Snow globes and stone soup will be part of the STEAM learning programs during January at Catawba County Library System.

Children in grades K-4 are invited to three programs emphasizing “STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) on Tuesdays at Main Library, Newton. Preregistration is not required. The programs include:

Magic of Snow Globes—5 p.m. Jan. 6. Kids will explore the art of snow globes and enjoy making their very own.

Let It Snow—5 p.m. Jan. 20. Children will learn about the elements of snow and snowflakes and perform a science experiment and make snow.

Stone Soup—5 p.m. Jan. 27. Celebrating National Soup Month, kids will read the book Stone Soup and make a hug pot of soup to enjoy.

Two other learning sessions are planned at Southwest Branch on two Thursday afternoons. Astronomy and Astronomy Part II are planned at 4 p.m. Jan. 15 and 22. Participants should be preregistered at the branch on Hwy 127 South in Mountain View or call 828-466-6818.

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