Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Opens

September 30th, 2014 by twilson

The long wait is over. Catawba County Library System opened the new Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Monday evening to the delight of more than 800 visitors.

Library Director Suzanne White formally greeted guests along with Kitty Barnes, chairman of the Catawba County Board of Commissioners; Amy Smith of the Library Board of Trustees and Ellen Dewey, president of the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Friends of the Library.

After a ribbon cutting, the crowd moved into the new 10,000-square-foot facility for a long-awaited look at the inside. According to Assistant Library Director Siobhan Loendorf, the branch recorded 302 checkouts of materials in three and a half hours—more business than is normally done on a typical business day at Sherrills Ford-Terrell. Monday’s visitors perused a special “lucky day” collection of popular, brand-new materials for both children and adults.

The new branch officially renamed “Sherrills Ford-Terrell” provides ample space for materials and services including up-to-date technologies for children, teens and adults, a meeting room, kitchenette, children’s space with outdoor patio, both adult and young adult sections and study rooms. The new structure at 9154 Sherrills Ford Road is a short distance from the former facility that opened in 1975.

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Library News, Sept. 29

September 29th, 2014 by twilson

Library, Green Room partner to honor Anne Frank
Newton is saluting the legacy of Anne Frank next month, thanks to a partnership between the Catawba County Library, the Green Room and Catawba County Museum of History, among others.

The Green Room production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” prompted the effort to draw attention to the history of the Holocaust and the legacy of a young Jewish girl who wrote a heart-wrenching diary that has become one of the world’s best-selling books of all time.

The Main Library in Newton is hosting an exhibit of informational panels on loan from the Anne Frank Center in New York this month. Panels depicting the story of Anne Frank’s life will be on display in the lobby. An opening reception will take place in the lobby from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7. Student Rabbi Dennis Jones of Temple Beth Shalom in Hickory will bring greetings at 5 p.m.

Mars Hill adjunct professor Dr. Walter Ziffer will share his personal experience as a Holocaust survivor at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 at the library in Newton. His talk is free and open to the public, thanks to a grant from the N.C. Humanities Council.

The play opens in the Old Post Office Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 10 and runs on Oct. 11, 17 and 18. Matinees will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12 and Oct. 19. A pair of free tickets to the Green Room play will be given away at the library on Oct. 9 and Oct. 16.

Anne Frank, a young diarist and writer, is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust of the 1940s. Her wartime diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, has been the basis for several plays and films. Born in 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany, she lived most of her life in or near Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She gained international fame posthumously after her diary was published. The book, a long-standing reading assignment for high school students, documents her experiences in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Anne Frank died in a German concentration camp shortly before the end of World War II.

Free showings of two Holocaust-themed productions will be held at library locations this month. They include an episode of “The Diary of Anne Frank” (2009 BBC Series) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9 in Newton. “The Monuments Men” will be shown at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 at Conover and again at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27 at the new Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library. Both videos are rated PG-13.

Some artifacts related to the European Theatre of World War II will be displayed at Main Library in Newton during the month of October, thanks to a local private collector.

Vote early at county library locations
Three Catawba County Library locations will serve as polling places for early voting this coming month. Main Library in Newton along with Southwest Branch in Mountain View and municipal space adjoining Conover Branch Library will be open for early voting as of Thursday, Oct. 23. The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Catawba County registered voters may cast ballots for the General Election at any of these library locations during early voting regardless of home precinct. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at each location on Oct. 23 and 24. Abbreviated hours–8 a.m. to 5 p.m.–will be offered on Saturday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 26 from noon to 5 p.m.

All-day voting (8 to 7) resumes on Monday, Oct. 27 through Friday, Oct. 31 at all three locations.
The final opportunity for early voting will be Saturday, Nov. 1 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. only at Main Library in Newton.

Due to the increased traffic, library customers are asked to use extra caution when entering or exiting library property during early voting. For information about voter eligibility, visit the Board of Elections at the Government Center in Newton or call 464-2424.

Affordable Care Act Clinics scheduled this month
Five informational clinics concerning the Affordable Care Act health insurance plans will be held at Catawba County Library locations in mid-October.

One-hour clinics will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14 at Southwest Branch in Mountain View, as well as four locations on Wednesday, Oct. 15: 10 a.m. at Main Library in Newton, 12 p.m. at Conover, 2 p.m. at Claremont and 4 p.m. at St. Stephens. Appointments must be made by calling Catawba Family Care at 828-624-0538. Individuals should NOT call the library.

Representatives of the Catawba Family Care will conduct the question-and-answer sessions for those who need more information about enrolling in the public-funded health care plans. The clinics will allow residents to get answers, check options, share experiences and be pre-screened for open enrollment.

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Library update, Sept. 25

September 25th, 2014 by twilson

Branch library to open Monday with activities for all

Catawba County Library System’s newest branch will open to the public Monday evening, Sept. 29 with something for everyone. The official ribbon cutting will take place at 4 p.m. with a brief speech from Library Director Suzanne White and County Commissioner Kitty Barnes and others, but that’s just the beginning.

Visitors to the new library location will be invited to tour the library and visit interactive stations where they can sign up for a library card or learn how to use on-line services including Hoopla and the NC Digital Library. Participants can complete a community survey and be entered in a drawing for a Kindle Fire tablet to be given away later this fall.

Customers of all ages will be able to sign up for a library card on the spot.

Ongoing story times and crafts will engage youngsters who will also have a chance to read to Nicole, a Pomeranian therapy dog used in the library’s “Paws to Read” program.

Visitors may mingle with area writers in the “Author Alley” where seven authors will have books available for sale and signing. They include children’s author Denise Surratt, award winning author of “Blue” Joyce Hostetter, young-adult author Charity Tinnin, romance author Elizabeth Michels, Southern fiction author Tamra Wilson, novelist and poet Anthony S. Abbot and local historian Dr. Gary Freeze.

Sherrills Ford-Terrell Friends of the Library will be on hand with information about their group. Visitors may also pick up a bargain at the Friends’ book sale. Refreshments will be catered by Two Sisters Café and sponsored by the Friends group.

The branch phone number remains as 828-466-6827. The new facility is located near the intersection of Sherrills Ford Road and Highway 150 at 9154 Sherrills Ford Road.

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Library News, Sept. 23

September 23rd, 2014 by twilson

Grand opening for new branch library set Sept. 29
Catawba County Library System will officially open its newest facility Monday, Sept. 29 with activities for all ages.

County officials will cut the ribbon at 4 p.m. in the lobby of the new building at 9154 Sherrills Ford Road.

Business hours will be expanded to noon to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The new facility is located near the intersection of Hwy 150 and Sherrills Ford Road.

Gold bugs, this program’s for you
Whether you have invested in gold, enjoy its beauty or fancy yourself as a Forty-Niner, you won’t want to miss “If Picks and Shovels Could Talk” on Sept. 25. Gold mining historian Vivian P. Hopkins will share her knowledge of gold mining research over much of her life. Her talk begins at 6:30 p.m. that Thursday at Catawba County Library in Newton. The program is free and should interest students and history buffs alike.

Her presentation is presented thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Hopkins, vice president of the Historic Gold Hill Foundation, has authored several books on the topic. If you’ve never visited Gold Hill, consider this your prompt to put it on your bucket list. If you’re lucky you may get Hopkins to give you a guided tour of the place that includes historic buildings and re-creations of structures that existed during the gold boom of the early 1800s southwest of Rowan County.

The accidental discovery of gold on the Cabarrus County farm of John Reed in 1799 began a century of wealth, prosperity, heartbreak and deceit for many families and businessmen in North Carolina. Hopkins will outline the fame and fortunes of the most prominent NC gold mines, their owners, investors and the people working in the mines. It traces the history of Gold Hill, which by the early 1840s was becoming known as North Carolina’s Great Gold Mining Capital, with the richest, most famous mines east of the Mississippi. It was a town of such prominence that the mayor of Charlotte boasted he had hopes that Charlotte would one day be as big and prosperous as Gold Hill.

But don’t assume that gold mining was restricted to Gold Hill. Catawba County figured into the story with the Cansler and Shuford mine in southeastern Catawba County. It was in operation along Sherrills Ford Road prior to the Civil War and into the later 1800s after a discovery of the metal by a slave. The mine was quite an operation. Some $900,000 was paid out to workers extrapolating gold from the quartz veins.

More information about that operation and other sites can be found in the Rhodes Local History Room at Main Library in Newton. The facility is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Library joins on-line reading project
Catawba County Library System will take part in the Big Library Read program next month. Library card holders will be able to borrow and read the young adult romance, Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Pores beginning Oct. 13. The program allows Overdrive users the chance to read a new release for free. The book was published on Sept. 2.

The novel will be can be accessed and uploaded to an eReader between Oct. 13 and Oct. 28 with no waiting. The book has been described as similar to the popular titles, Mean Girls and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Big Library Read is an international program that gives libraries and library patrons unlimited simultaneous access to a popular title during the program dates, creating a virtual, global book club. Interested patrons will be able borrow Anatomy of a Misfit For using a valid library card, and read on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Nook®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindle® without worrying about wait lists or holds. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period with no late fees. The audio version will also be available.

The Big Library Read program is made possible through a partnership between the North Carolina Digital Library and HarperCollins, Portes’ publisher. Print copies of the book will also be available within the county library system.

To borrow the eBook version of Anatomy of a Misfit, visit the library website http://www.catawbacountync.gov/library and click on the eBook download tab.

Fall Fest planned at Sherrills Ford-Terrell
Autumn will be celebrated in Sherrills Ford when Friends of the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Library Branch hosts its annual Community Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 at the new branch location, 9154 Sherrills Ford Road. The branch, opening Sept. 29, is located near the intersection of Sherrills Ford Road and Highway 150.

The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. On the agenda are games, prizes, face and pumpkin painting, cookie decorating, bake sale, and more.

Pirate Bob will wow the children with balloon sculptures, Setzer’s Landscape Nursery will host a plant sale and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Rain date is Sunday, Oct. 12 from 12 to 4 p.m.

Time to sign up for free computer workshops
October will bring several opportunities for adults to enhance their computer skills at Catawba County Library System. Each session is 60 minutes long. Consider preregistering for:

    Technology Petting Zoo

—Get acquainted with iPads, Nooks, Kindles and more. Try them out for free before you buy. Offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1 at St. Stephens.

    Rocket Languages

—Learn a foreign language free on-line. See how this program can enhance your life at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1 at Conover and 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 at Claremont. Another session is planned at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28 at Sherrills Ford-Terrell.
Managing Digital Pictures—Discover how easy it is to download, save and enhance images taken on your cell phone or digital camera. Session begins at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 3 at Southwest.

    Microsoft Word 2007

—An introduction for those new to word processing. Schedule one-on-one training with library staff from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8 at St. Stephens and 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24 at Southwest.

    Hands-on Banking

—An introduction to making payments, balancing accounts and more using a computer. The class begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14 at Newton.

    Job & Career Accelerator with NC Works—

On-line training for those wishing to gain valuable computer skills to increase their marketability using this portal through the library website. Offered at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14 at Sherrills Ford-Terrell. A second session will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Southwest.

    Local History on-Line

—See how on-line resources are essential to historical research. Offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Conover and again at 2 p.m. Oct. 16 at Claremont.

    Intro to Computers

—All the basics for the rank newbie. Workshop begins at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 17 at Southwest.

    Computer Question & Answer

—Come to the Main Library in Newton for answers to your basic computer questions. Session planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8.

    Computer & eReader Questions Drop-In Session

—All the questions you have about computing and eReading but were afraid to ask. No question too simple or complicated. Drop in at 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 at Sherrills Ford-Terrell and 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22 in Newton.

    Home School Resources

—Find out how the public library can enhance home teaching. This workshop begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday Oct. 29 at Conover and 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30 at Claremont.

To register, contact the appropriate location: Newton at 465-7938, Conover at 466-5108, Claremont at 466-6817, Sherrills Ford-Terrell, 466-6827 or St. Stephens at 466-6821.

Library shares October calendar of events

The month of October will be chock-full of activities focused on Halloween, crafts and more.

A wreath-making workshop is planned Oct. 8 at Conover. Adults are welcome to participate. Materials will be furnished.

Sherrills Ford-Terrell Friends of the Library will host their annual fall festival on Oct. 11. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Rain date is Oct. 12.

Kids are welcome to trick or treat the library from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31 at all library locations.

Cookie decorating for preschoolers and their parents will be held Oct. 28 at St. Stephens.

In addition, the library system joins The Green Room Community Theatre and others to honor the legacy of Anne Frank with an exhibit on loan from the Anne Frank Center of New York during the month of October. A Holocaust survivor, Dr. Walter Ziffer, will share his experiences on Oct. 16 at Newton and showings of “Diary of Anne Frank” and “The Monuments Men” will be presented at various locations.

For the most current information, check the on-line calendar at http://www.catawbacountync.gov/library

COMING ATTRACTIONS
Please pre-register for Maiden events and all computer classes.

Main Library, 465-8664
• Ready to Learn Story Time, Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10 a.m. (preschool)
• Ready to Learn Story Time 5 p.m. Tuesdays (preschool)
• Paws to Read with a dog, 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays by appointment (465-8668)
• Anne Frank Exhibit, lobby during regular business hours
• Computer Q&A, 10 a.m., Oct. 8
• Episode of the BBC series, “Diary of Anne Frank,” 6:30 p.m., Oct. 9 (age 13+)
• Southern Pens, 10 a.m. Oct. 11, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
• Friends of the Library, 11 a.m. Oct. 13
• Hands-On Banking, 6:30 pm, Oct. 14 (adult)
• Affordable Care Act Clinic, 10 a.m., Oct. 15 (adult)
• Walter Ziffer, Holocaust Survivor, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 (N.C. Humanities Council) (teen & adult)
• Computer eReader Questions, 10 a.m. Oct.22 (adult)
• Early Voting Oct. 23-24, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Early Voting, Oct. 25, 8-5
• Early Voting Oct. 26, 12-5
• Early Voting, Oct. 27-31, 8-7

Claremont Branch, 466-6817
• Rocket Languages, 2 p.m. Oct. 2 (adult)
• Local History On-Line, 2 p.m. Oct. 16 (adult)
• Star Trek Challenge, 3:30 p.m. Oct. 16 (teens)
• Sugar Skulls, 5 p.m. Oct. 30 (teens)
• Home School Resources, 2 p.m. Oct. 30 (adult)

Conover Branch, 466-5108
• Little Learning Party story time 11 a.m. Tuesdays (preschool)
• Rocket Languages, 10 a.m. Oct. 1 (adult)
• Dance & Learn Story Time, 1 p.m. Oct. 4 (age 2-7 & parents)
• Baby Bounce, 10 a.m. Fridays (infants & parents)
• Do -It-Yourself Wreaths, 4 p.m. Oct. 8 (adults)
• Jedi Training, 11 a.m. Oct. 11 (school age)
• Star Wars Origami & Crafts, 3:30 p.m. Oct. 15 (teens)
• Action Figures Comics, 6 p.m. Oct. 14 (teens)
• “The Monuments Men” movie, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21 (age 13+)
• Sugar Skulls, 5 p.m. Oct. 28 (teens)

Maiden Branch, 428-2712
• Ready to Learn Story Time , 9:30 a.m. Thursdays
• Financial Literacy for Seniors: Budgeting, 10 a.m. Oct. 8
• Halloween Science, 11 a.m. Oct. 18 (school age)
• Financial Literacy for Seniors : Fraud, 10 a.m. Oct. 22

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)
• Technology Petting Zoo, 10 a.m. Oct. 1 (adult)
• Knitting Club, 6 p.m. Oct. 6 (adult)
• Microsoft Word 2007, 10 a.m. Oct. 8 (adult)
• Affordable Care Act Clinic, 4 p.m. Oct. 15 (adult)
• Turn Nightmares into Dreams for Halloween, 3:30 pm Oct. 17 (kids)
• Cookie Decorating, 6 p.m. Oct. 28 (preschool & parents)

Sherrills Ford Branch, 466-6827
• Ready to Learn, Story Time 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays (preschool)
• Sherrills Ford-Terrell Friends Fall Festival, 10 am-2 pm Oct. 11
• Job & Career Accelerator, 6 p.m. Oct. 14 (adult)
• Computer & eReader Questions, 6 p.m. Oct. 21 (adult)
• Movie “The Monuments Men,” 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 (age 13+)
• Rocket Languages, 6 p.m. Oct. 28 (adult)

Southwest Branch, 466-6818
• Ready to Learn Story Time, 10 a.m. Wednesdays & 11 a.m. Thursdays (preschool)
• Managing Digital Pictures, 10 a.m. Oct. 3 (adult)
• Affordable Care Act Clinic, 3 p.m. Oct. 14 (adult)
• Intro to Computers, 10 a.m. Oct. 17 (adult)
• Computer & eReader Questions, 6 p.m. Oct. 21 (adult)
• Microsoft Word 2007, 10 a.m. Oct. 24 (adult)
• Early Voting Oct. 23-24, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Early Voting, Oct. 25, 8-5
• Early Voting Oct. 26, 12-5
• Early Voting, Oct. 27-31, 8-7

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Library news, Sept. 15

September 15th, 2014 by twilson

Banned Book Week begs freedom of choice

By Tammy Wilson
Public Information Officer

You can’t please everyone.

That’s especially true when it comes to books. One person’s gem is another’s must to avoid. When it comes to reading, there are many examples of intolerance. From The Hunger Games to Captain Underpants to the Holy Bible, all have been banned at one time or another.

Celebrating the freedom to read is the idea behind National Banned Book Week, Sept. 21-27. The annual observance by the American Library Association draws attention to censorship issues. Catawba County Library will observe the week with a display of banned books at Main Library in Newton as well as St. Stephens Branch.

Some banned titles may surprise you: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. The Merriam-Webster dictionary is there too, by the way. It contains inappropriate words for children, objectors say.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank has been banned over the years. Nevertheless, that play will be presented next month as a main stage production by the Green Room in Newton. Catawba County Library in Newton will support the project with a display from the Anne Frank Center in New York all month. The library will also host Holocaust survivor Dr. Walter Ziffer at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 16. Ziffer, a Road Scholar with the N.C. Humanities Council, will share his experiences in a talk, “Witness to the Holocaust.”

Through history the usual reasons for banning books are offensive language, sexuality, religious viewpoints or themes that raise uncomfortable questions. In the process of censoring, values of one group are imposed on another—an age-old conflict for which there are no easy answers.

Freedom to read what one chooses is one of the tenets of a free society and the focus of Banned Book Week. A particular title may paint a certain group in a less-than-glowing light. A book may raise issues some would rather leave in the closet. Language used in the past may offend 21st century sensibilities just as the name of one author may rile potential readers. But in the end, we are all better off for having the opportunity to share our viewpoints and to learn how others view the world.

Such knowledge allows us to avoid repeating history’s mistakes.

Register to vote at the library
In celebration of National Voter Registration Day, Catawba County Library will have displays and voter registration forms available at all library facilities.

The registration drive encourages citizens to sign up in time for the November elections. Library locations include the Main Library in Newton as well as Conover, Claremont, Maiden, Sherrills Ford, St. Stephens and Southwest (Mountain View).

National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, Sept. 23. The observance is sponsored by a nonpartisan group to ensure that as many potential voters are properly registered by Election Day, Nov. 4.

According to the Pew Center on the States, an estimated one in eight registered voters have registrations that are incorrect or are ineligible for some reason. For example, if you’ve moved, you must update your address.

Library staff will make the registration forms available. Individual voters must return the forms to the Board of Elections office by hand delivery or through the postal service. Questions about voter registration should be directed to the Catawba County Board of Elections Office at the county Government Center or by calling (828) 464-2424.

County library offers learning for seniors
Catawba County Library System will host a series of programs for senior citizens later this month. The non-commercial sessions are offered free as a community service.

“Plan and Prepare for Long-Term Care” will be presented at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 at St. Stephens Branch.

“Money Management: Financial Literacy for Seniors” will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24 at Maiden.

“Being a Safe Senior at Home” is scheduled at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at St. Stephens.

Reservations are not required. For more information, contact the St. Stephens Branch at 466-6821 or Maiden at 828-428-2712.

Watch for these DVDs
Several new DVDs are coming to Catawba County Library. Place your “holds” now on movies soon to be available for free checkout, such as:

Ida—(Drama) A young Polish noviate learns a dark family secret before taking her vows.

Earth to Echo—(Adventure, Sci-Fi) After receiving a bizarre series of coded messages, kids embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help.

Edge of Tomorrow—(Action, Sci-Fi) An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with aliens. His union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer to defeating the enemy.

Persecuted – (Drama, Mystery) An evangelist finds himself framed for murder and on the run after he refuses to back a senator’s proposition calling for sweeping religious reform.

The Rover—(Crime, Drama) Ten years after a world economic collapse, a hardened loner pursues the men who stole his only possession, his car.

Place a hold on these and other movies at http://www.catawbacountync.gov/library or visit any county library location: Newton, Conover, Claremont, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford or Southwest.

Gold mining, highways topic of library history programs
History buffs are in luck this month as Catawba County Library System offers two free programs of local interest.

Gold mining in North Carolina will be discussed by Vivian P. Hopkins on Thursday, Sept. 25, while Dr. Gary Freeze will address bypasses and highways in Catawba County on Tuesday, Sept. 30. Both presentations begin at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Main Library in Newton. The public is cordially invited.

Hopkins, vice president of the Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation of Rowan County, will present her Road Scholar talk “If Picks and Shovels Could Talk: Gold Mining History in North Carolina.” The Wilkes County native has spent much of her life researching gold mining history in the state and has authored several books on the subject.

She currently serves as vice president of the Historic Gold Hill Foundation. Her appearance is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Freeze, a professor of history at Catawba College in Salisbury, will share research about the impact of Business Route 321, Interstate 40 and other local highways. He is at work on his third book of Catawba County history—The Catawbans Volume III due out next year.

Freeze, a Salisbury resident, is regarded as Catawba County’s historian, having written several volumes concerning Catawba County history over the years. Other topics in his program series will be baby boomers on Nov. 11 and shopping malls and mass merchandisers on Dec. 2.

Both programs are suitable for students and adults. For more information about either program, contact Tammy Wilson, public information officer, at 465-8661. .

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Library news Sept. 8

September 8th, 2014 by twilson

Youth: Learn robotics free at the library
It’s not every day that local kids get a chance to learn robotics for free. Catawba County Library is offering that opportunity to 63 lucky students this fall.

Cyberkids Robotics will teach students in grades 5-12 how to use the latest Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots . Nine lucky young people will be assigned to each of seven library locations: Newton, Conover, Claremont, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford-Terrell and Southwest (Mountain View).

Consider this STEM learning on steroids. Participants will not only learn practical physics, but they’ll enhance their computer skills as they solve complex problems. A key part of the agreement is to serve as a mentor for other students, so that first group will boost their leadership and mentoring skills as well.

Once training is over in January, the students will be asked to serve as a volunteer mentor for others who wish to learn robotics at the library, so the program is a great way for youth to gain leadership experience and earn volunteer hours.

Library staff is taking applications through Friday, Sept. 15. Those selected must be committed to the program and promise to attend all of the weekly classes starting in October. The selection staff will also be looking for young people who are willing to work in a team environment and show a desire to help other kids learn about robotics.

Lego Mindstorms EV3 is the third generation robot in the Lego robotics line which enables users build robots and manipulate them with computer software. The product was released a year ago.

The Cyberkids robotics program is supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

Applications may be picked up at any Catawba County Library location. For more information, contact Youth Services at 465-8668 or your local branch library.

Still time to invest in library garden
Library fans several more weeks days to participate in a crowd-funding campaign to benefit the library garden.

More than $3,100 has been raised thus far. Goal is $4,860. Both individuals and community groups may give at the library or on-line at http://www.citizinvestor.com/project/growing-plants-and-lives–library The site accepts credit card donations.

The veggie patch, initiated this spring, is designed to provide a learning/reading space for the public as well as a food source for needy families.

The library project marks the first-ever crowd-funding campaign launched by a Catawba County Government agency. The garden, an eco-friendly learning space owned by the county, was started with private donations and support from the Friends of the Library; and now additional funding is being sought to further development.

Tax-deductible donations will help purchase materials, supplies, and plantings to fully bring this garden to life, which will include vegetable, fruit, herbs, and flowers and materials needed to build, contain, and maintain the garden area. Youth and volunteers will continue to tend and share the plants in the community, connect to the garden through literacy programs, and learn about organic gardening, composting, stewardship, healthy eating and the natural world.

For more information about the library garden, contact April Green, Youth Services librarian, at 465-8668 or Suzanne White, library director, at 465-8660.

Conover Branch to host Family Day Sept. 13
Family fun will rule the day this Saturday, when Conover Branch Library sponsors a Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Librarian Brytani Fraser has arranged a full three hours of activities for all ages, including crafts, safety demonstrations, dancing and refreshments.

The morning begins with a car seat safety session at 10 a.m. Professionals from Catawba Valley medical Center will be on hand to show parents the proper way to restrain children in the family vehicle.

Simple make-and-take crafts will be offered at 10:30, followed by a family dance party at 11 and cup cake decorating at 11:30.

Children will get to meet Minnie the library bunny at 12:30 p.m. and help make an obstacle course for the rabbit at 12:30 pm.

Representatives from Conover Fire Department, Catawba County Social Services and local Boy Scout troops will also be available to talk with families.

Conover Branch is part of the Catawba County Library System. For more information, call 466-5108. Conover Branch is located at 403 Conover Station along the railroad tracks near downtown Conover.

Author visit planned at St. Stephens Branch
New England novelist Jean Moore will visit St. Stephens Branch at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 for a discussion of her book, Water on the Moon. The presentation is free and open to the public. Copies will be available for sale and signing.

Her book has been described as a “fusion of history, romance, and mystery that dazzles.” She spins a bewitching tale of hope, tragedy and family secrets

Moore contracted the “writing bug” in elementary when her first “novel” was published in the school newspaper. A former high school English teacher, Moore went on to earn her Ph.D. in English literature and taught college English for a time before turning to telecommunications where she was an executive in education and training for many years.

Now she has returned to her first love and has published fiction, poetry, and non-fiction in literary journals, magazines, and newspapers. She lives in Greenwich, CT. In the summer, Jean teaches yoga in the Berkshires. Water on the Moon is her first novel.

St. Stephens Branch is part of the Catawba County Library System. For more information, call 466-6821.

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News for Sept. 2

September 2nd, 2014 by twilson

Grand Opening for new Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch
It’s official. The Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library will open its doors to the public at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29.

County officials including Library Director Suzanne White and branch librarian Jennifer Patterson will be joined by County Manager Tom Lundy, County Commissioners and others for a grand opening celebration to welcome guests to the new facility in Southeastern Catawba County.

The building, located at 9154 Sherrills Ford Road, replaces the 39-year-old facility a short distance away. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will mark the opening of the $3.1 million facility that more than doubles the space for library services for that growing part of the county. The name will officially change to “Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library” on that day to better identify the communities served by the facility.

Visitors will have a shop the Friends of the Library book sale in the new lobby, enjoy refreshments and visit with authors in the community meeting room, or just browse the new adult, teen and children’s spaces including an outdoor patio. Visitors will join hands-on technology sessions, obtain a library card and join Friends of the Library at stations throughout the facility. Families can enjoy drop-in story time sessions featuring songs, stories and crafts.

The 10,000-square-foot facility was designed by Jenkins-Peer Architects of Charlotte and built by David E. Looper Company of Hickory as general contractor.

The branch phone number will remains as 466-6827. Expanded operating hours will be Monday and Tuesday from 12 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The existing branch building will be closed from Sept. 22-28 to enable the move. Library materials may be returned at the drop box at the new location during that time. Customers may use any one of the Catawba County Library locations that week: Claremont, Conover, Newton, Maiden, Southwest or St. Stephens.

Cyberkids Robotics to be offered at county library
Local students can learn robotics at the Catawba County Library for free, thanks to a grant from the State Library of North Carolina.

Sixty-three youth in grades 5-12 will be selected this month to attend robotics classes focused on Lego EV3 Mindstorm robots.

Students will how to use the latest EV3 robots during weekly classes held from October to January. Participants will sharpen their skills in physics while gaining valuable leadership experience and volunteer hours.

Library staff is taking applications through Friday, Sept. 15 to select the nine students to participate at each location. Students selected must be committed to the program and promise to attend all of the classes. In addition, they must be willing to work on a team and volunteer in the robotics labs to teach others about robotics.

The Cyberkids robotics program is supported by grant funds from the under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources

Applications may be picked up at any Catawba County Library location. For more information, contact Youth Services at 465-8668 or your local branch.

L-R speaker to explore teaching careers
If you’re considering a teaching career, make plans now to attend “To Teach or Not to Teach” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16 at Catawba County Library in Newton. The program is free and open to the public as a joint venture with the library and Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Master of Arts in Teaching program.

Dr. Summer Carrol, assistant professor of education at Lenoir-Rhyne, will present a talk on identifying one’s potential to become a teacher.

“Creative, caring and courageous people make good teachers,” Carrol said. “Becoming an educator means you can help close the opportunity and achievement gaps in North Carolina schools.”

Carrol will help attendees determine whether or not teaching is right for them and share information about how qualified individuals can earn a North Carolina teaching certificate in as little as one year—even if their undergraduate degree is not in education.

Carrol, who directs the L-R Master of Arts in Teaching Program, joined the faculty last year having previously served as an instructor and affiliate faculty member at the University of Maryland in College Park, Loyola University of Maryland and McDaniel College, respectively. She holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Maryland.

She has presented talks on education topics including diversity, equity and social justice in education. She has a particular interest in teacher identity, linguistic diversity, history of American education and desegregation and re-segregation of schools.

Patterson to serve as Sherrills Ford-Terrell librarian
The Catawba County Library System has welcomed Jennifer Patterson as the new Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch librarian, according to Suzanne White, library director.

A native of Winston-Salem, Patterson most recently served as technical services coordinator for Union County Public Library. She had several years of retail experience prior to entering Winston-Salem State University for a bachelor’s degree in history. From there she earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

History and reading top her list of interests. While a student, Patterson completed a nine-week internship at Connemara, the historic home of Carl Sandburg at Flat Rock, NC—an experience that allowed her to work closely with an historic collection and put her research skills to use.

“I have always been an avid reader,” Patterson said. “My mother taught me how to read at a very young age and ever since I have had my nose in a book.”

These days she enjoys an array of writers, from Anne Rule to Nora Roberts, and Suzanne Collins to Kimberla Lawson Roby to the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. She also likes graphic novels and multi-cultural novels and enjoys discussing all types of books. She I passionate about librarianship and looks forward to recommending good reads to local patrons of all ages.

Patterson will be closely involved with the move from the current Sherrills Ford facility to new quarters at 9154 Sherrrills Ford Road in late September. Grand opening is set for Sept. 29.

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Library news Aug. 28

August 28th, 2014 by twilson

Free computer workshops continue at county library
Local adults can upgrade their computer skills at no cost, thanks to free 60-minute sessions at Catawba County Library. Pre-registration is required. Sessions on the roster include:

Intro to Computers— A how-to class for the PC novice. Session starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3 at Conover or 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4 at Claremont.
One-on-One Sessions Q&A
—Let a librarian become your computer tutor. Offered 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10 and Sept. 24 at Newton.

Exploring the Internet—Learn how to effectively navigate the world-wide web and its many offerings. Offered Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. at the St. Stephens Branch.

Money Management Banking—Get a better handle on personal finances with this non-commercial workshop. Offered at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10 at Newton.

Job Searching with NC Works—Check out the options available free to NC residents. The learning begins at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17 at Southwest.
Email Basics—This beginner session will show you how to set up an email account, sent, receive and store messages. The learning begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17 at Newton.

Resume Builders—Free individual instruction on how to best sell yourself on paper. Call ahead for your time slot at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17 in Conover or 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 in Claremont.

How to Use Hoopla—Hoopla, the amazing new streaming service, offers free access to movies, eAudiobooks and music through the library website. See how to use it at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24 at St. Stephens.

Intro to eBooks— A beginner’s session for navigating the world of electronic reading. Held at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26 at Southwest.

To sign up for any workshop, contact the appropriate location: Conover, 466-5108; Newton, 465-7938; Southwest, 466-6818; St. Stephens, 466-6821.

Library card: Best things in life are free
This month the Catawba County Library System joins libraries across the nation to promote literacy through the Smartest Card campaign.

Your library card, the “Smartest Card,” allows you to check out books and audio/visual materials, but also allows access to a wealth of information without leaving your home or office. With a library card, you can access free books, magazines, journals, videos, recorded music available through your local library. Indeed that one card can help you become a, well-rounded citizen.

Catawba County Library cardholders may place holds on materials through the library website www.catawbacountync.gov/library. You can download books directly from the site for use on an eReader or other device. You can also access special tools such as NC LIVE, the state-funded data base that’s an information goldmine for students and other North Carolinians. The library’s subscription to this service gives you free access to Heritage Quest, Healthlink Plus, Learning Express Library and more.

The library website also offers free access to Hoopla, a service that streams music, audio books and TV programs and movies to your smartphone, tablet, computer or other mobile device.

Can’t find the materials you need? Local librarians can help you find out-of-print books, journals and other rare materials from lending libraries around the country. For the cost of postage, you can borrow those key resources for an important report or research project.
Catawba County Library offers free computer workshops, too. These adult sessions are held 10 months of the year across the library system that operates facilities Newton, Conover, Claremont, Maiden, Sherrills Ford, Southwest and St. Stephens.

Another facet of library service is free programs. Among this month’s offerings are a visit by author Janisse Ray on Sept. 4 in Newton, a talk by Dr. Summer Carrol of Lenoir-Rhyne College on Sept. 16 and a reading by author Jean Moore on Sept.23 at St. Stephens.

For more information about library cards, services or programs, call your local branch or Siobhan Loendorf, assistant library director, at 828 465-8692.

‘The Grapes of Wrath’ turns 75 this year

By Tammy Wilson
Public Information Officer
Catawba County Library System

Recently the Catawba County Library acquired a commemorative copy The Grapes of Wrath, a 75th-anniversary edition. That’s right—the John Steinbeck classic has been around since 1939.

The landmark novel won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to inspire an Oscar-winning motion picture. Henry Fonda starred as Tom Joad, the patriarch of a poor “Okie” family displaced from the family farm during the Great Depression. In desperation, they pack up their belongings to head west on Route 66 to Bakersfield, CA . There they become migrant farm workers.

The tale of struggle and survival captured the spirit of hard times no one cares to repeat. Those years of severe drought would lay waste the Great Plains and affect generations to come.

The Grapes of Wrath is a gritty tale but an American one to the core. When trouble knock, head west. There’s always more opportunity over the next ridge. It is a story line from the earliest days of the nation. Remember too that there is safety in numbers. Don’t set out alone—travel in a group, in this case the extended family.

The trip isn’t easy and the land of opportunity may not be welcoming, but it’s better than doing nothing. In the end you will overcome.

But what a time it was! Dystopian novels and apocalyptic and end-time doomsayers can’t top what really happened to America’s midsection during those grim times. The Dust Bowl was Trouble with a capital T. If you’re not familiar with this chapter in history, read Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time, winner of the 2006 National Book Award for Nonfiction. The library has is in print and audio formats, but I’ll guarantee the story will make life in 2014 seem like a luxury vacation.

Dust Bowl storms of the 1930′s raced in at 50 mph to blast paint off buildings; crush trees, dent cars and form 50-foot dunes. But there was more. Swarms of grasshoppers devoured anything that drought, hail and tornadoes had spared. Families couldn’t huddle together for static electricity would knock them down. Children died of dust pneumonia, and livestock suffocated on dirt. Women hung wet sheets in windows, taped doors and stuffed cracks with rags. Housecleaning was performed with a shovel.

Dust blew from the Great Plains to the Atlantic Ocean on May 11, 1934 when a massive dust storm rolled from the Midwest to the East Coast. For five hours, a fog of prairie dirt enshrouded landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol, inside which lawmakers were debating a soil conservation bill. I know, you can’t make this stuff up.

Some other Dust Bowl-inspired books and movies to consider at the library:
Dust Bowl: An Illustrated History by Dayton Duncan
House of Earth, a novel by Woody Guthrie
Rainwater by Sandra Brown
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Dust by Arthur G. Slade
Surviving the Dust Bowl (DVD)
The Great Depression (DVD)

Library tells September schedule
Catawba County Library offers an array of September activities from author visits to computer classes, story times and more.

The new Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch will officially open on Sept. 29 near the intersection of Highway 150 and Sherrills Ford Road. The public is invited to attend from 4-8 p.m.

Janisse Ray, author of The Seed Underground, will appear at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4 in Newton. Her landmark book focuses on biodiversity relating to heritage plants and copies of her book will be available for sale and signing that evening.

Jean Moore, a new Massachusetts novelist, will visit St. Stephens Branch at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 for a discussion of her book, Water on the Moon. She will be available to answer questions and to sign her book as well.

Computer classes have resumed for the season. The free workshops are for adults and are offered free of charge at various library locations. Participants should pre-register.

The library system will be closed on Sept. 1 in observance of Labor Day. For up-to-the minute library information, check the on-line calendar at http://www.catawbacountync.gov/library

COMING ATTRACTIONS
Please pre-register for computer workshops.
All Locations Closed on Labor Day, Sept. 1

Main Library, 465-8664
• Ready to Learn Story Time, Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10 a.m. (preschool)
• Ready to Learn Story Time 5 p.m. Tuesdays (preschool)
• Paws to Read with a dog Tuesdays evenings by appointment, 465-8668. (Kids)
• Author Janisse Ray, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 4 (adults)
• Friends of the Library, 11 a.m. Sept. 8
• Hands-On Banking: Money Management for Seniors, 3 p.m. Sept. 10
• One-on-One Q&A, 10 a.m. Sept. 10 & 24 (adults)
• Southern Pens, 10 a.m. Sept. 13 (adults discuss Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen)
• To Teach or Not to Teach with Dr. Summer Carrol, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16 (adults)
• Email Basics, 10 a.m. Sept. 17 (adults)
• Gold Mining with Vivian Hopkins (NC Humanities Council), 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25
• Bypasses: Local History with Gary Freeze, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30 (teens & adults)

Claremont Branch, 466-6817
•Intro to Computers, 2 p.m. Sept. 4 (adults)
• Resume Builders, 2 p.m. Sept. 18 (adults)
• Spy Night, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25 (age 5+)

Conover Branch, 466-5108
• Little Learning Party 11 a.m. Tuesdays
• Family Dance & Learn, 11 a.m. Sept. 6 (age 2-7 & parents)
• Baby Bounce, 10 a.m. Sept. 10 & 26 (infants & parents)
• Family Day, 10-1, Sept. 13 (all ages)
• Intro to Computers, 10 a.m. Sept. 3 (adults)
• Resume Builders, 10 a.m. Sept. 17 (adults)
• Game of Thrones Un-Book Club, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 (adults)
• Teen Writers Guild, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30 (age 12+)

Maiden Branch, 428-2712
• Ready to Learn Story Time 9:30 am Thursday (preschool)
• STEM: Make Your Own Bouncy Balls, 11 a.m. Sept. 20 (school age)
• Money Management: Financial Literacy for Seniors, 10 a.m. Sept. 24

St. Stephens Branch, 466-6821
• Ready to Learn Story Time Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. (preschool)
• Ready to Learn Story Time 6 p.m. Tuesdays (preschool)
• Knitting Club, 6 p.m. Sept. 8 (adults)
• Identity Theft for Spanish Speakers, 6 p.m. Sept. 9(adults)
• How to Get Cash from your Life Insurance Policy, 1 p.m. Sept. 16 (adults)
• Exploring the Internet, 10 a.m. Sept. 10 (adults)
• Plan & Prepare for Long-Term Care, 1 p.m. Sept. 23 (adults)
• Author Jean Moore, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 (adults)
• How to Use Hoopla, 10 a.m. Sept. 24 (adults)
• Being a Safe Senior, 3 p.m. Sept. 30 (adults)

Sherrills Ford Branch, 466-6827
Branch Closed Sept. 22-28 to move to new facility
• Ready to Learn, Story Time 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays (preschool)
• Sherrills Ford-Terrell Friends of the Library, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16
• Open House at new facility on Sherrills Ford Road, 4-8 p.m. Sept. 29

Southwest, 466-6818
• Ready to Learn Story Time, 10 a.m. Wednesdays & 11 a.m. Thursdays (preschool)
• Job Searching with NC Works, 2 p.m. Sept. 17 (adults)
• Intro to eBooks, 10 a.m. Sept. 26 (adults)

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Library update Aug. 25

August 25th, 2014 by twilson

Visiting author advocates seed saving, heritage plants
By Tammy Wilson
Public Information Officer

Janisse Ray’s wake-up call came in the 1970s, when she realized her seed saving hobby was more than a passing fancy. Her campaign has become far more than a plea to eat local. It’s a movement to preserve plant varieties and our biodiversity—a movement with global implications.

You can meet her on Thursday, Sept. 4 at the Main Library in Newton when she discusses her book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free, thanks to sponsorship by Friends of Catawba County Library. Books will be available for sale and signing.

Because of hybridization and genetic engineering or agriculture, we no longer enjoy the flavorful unique varieties of fruits, vegetables and grains our ancestors once did. In addition, modern varieties are not as nutritious. Today’s farmers lose control of the ability to save seeds year after year and to breed plant varieties ideally suited to a place.

Beginning in the 1930s, American agriculture began a winnowing process to grow only the sturdiest, most marketable varieties of fruits, grains and vegetables, reducing biodiversity exponentially. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the loss of variety is already staggering: 95 percent of vintage cabbage, 96 percent of field corns, 94 percent of peas and 81 percent of tomatoes. And that’s just the beginning.

In 2012, Ray published her book is a voyage to the country of seed-saving driven by stories, from individuals and groups who are waging a lush and quiet revolution in thousands of gardens across America. They’re fighting a battle to preserve what’s left of our traditional cornucopia of food.

Ray’s writing has been described as calming, wise and strong for she is on a mission: to educate the public about the harm that’s being done by corporate food providers that have left us with less flavorful, less nutritious food that is in danger of disaster should pests or disease wreak havoc on vast fields of one crop. Anyone remember the Irish potato famine?

I discovered Ray through her 2000 memoir, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood. It’s a well-crafted, readable account of growing up in a junkyard in a poor white fundamentalist household. And when I learned she had published The Seed Underground and the library was embarking on a garden project, I had to invite her to Newton.

Seed Underground has received several “green” accolades, the Nautilus Gold Book Award from Better Books for a Better World, American Horticultural Society Book Award and the American Society of Journalists & Authors Arlene Eisenberg Award for Writing that Makes a Difference.

Ray is a down-to-earth sort who travels the country giving talks, conducting workshops and advocating for sustainable, organic food that is not only good for us, but good for the world in general. Her Newton appearance is open to the public. Come be part of the discussion.

Library to observe Labor Day holiday

Catawba County Library System will observe the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 1.

Library staff encourages residents to include library materials in holiday plans including books for the hammock, audio books for the road or a video for evening viewing. Downloadable eBooks are also available on-line to Catawba County Library cardholders as well as access to NC Digital Library, Hoopla and the Rocket Languages program. Log on to: www.catwabacountync.gov/library.

All seven library locations will be opened normal hours on Saturday, Aug. 30. Library materials can be returned anytime at any location using the designated drop boxes.

Regular business hours resume on Tuesday, Sept. 2. For more information about library services, contact any branch of the Catawba County Library System headquartered in Newton.

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Library updates for Aug. 18

August 18th, 2014 by twilson

Freeze history series to start with desegregation program

Historian Gary Freeze will begin a four-part lecture series at Catawba County Library with a talk on “Ebony and Ivory,” a history of segregation and integration in Catawba County on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

The program begins at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Main Library in Newton. It is free and open to the public. His appearance is sponsored by Friends of Catawba County Library and the Catawba County Genealogical Society.

Freeze will share research for his third book of Catawba County history—The Catawbans Volume III due out next year. Other topics in the speaker series will be the impact of highway bypasses on Sept. 30, baby boomers on Nov. 11 and shopping malls and mass merchandisers on Dec. 2.

Freeze, a Salisbury resident, is regarded as Catawba County’s historian, having written several volumes of county history over the years.

A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Freeze has taught history at Catawba College for 20 years and has won numerous teaching awards for his depth of knowledge and engaging presentations. He is also active in state history circles.

Expand your horizons with local nonfiction
A patron sent me an email wondering if I would be interested in a recently published book about Rock Barn. As a library staff member, I’m always interested in new books and certainly efforts by people in our area. The Catawba County Library System has a number of books by area residents.

Most prolific is Mary Ellen Snodgrass. This local sage has published dozens of references guides, literary companions and other works on a range of amazing topics. The county library’s holdings alone take up more than four pages at 12 items per page. Her topics range from author Jamaica Kincaid and the Underground Railroad to juvenile books about solid waste and water pollution to translations of Shakespeare and signs of the zodiac. Clearly, Snodgrass is in a category of her own.

Non-fiction is a natural for area folks who wish to preserve history that would otherwise be lost. That’s true of Conover histories by Don Barker and The Catawbans series by Gary Freeze. In fact the Rhodes Local History room has compiled volumes of work by writers who have contributed materials over the years: family histories, church histories, county histories, cemetery inventories, will abstracts and more. Without the generosity and painstaking work of these dedicated people, the Rhodes collection would be far slimmer.

Catawba County Tales , for example, is the compilation of memories by more than 200 residents a few years ago. Such anthologies will be invaluable to future researchers who wish to add texture to cold facts and figures.

But there’s more.
Dr. Robert Hart’s Hart Square: One Man’s Passionate Preservation of North Carolina’s Pioneer Heritage was edited by Nathan Moehlmann. Most of the images were shot by local photographers Reggie Thomas and Glen Walker.

Speaking of visuals, Catawba Journey was the remarkable illustrated book following the history of Catawba County, from the early Indian days into the 20th century. It was written by Linda Baker Huffman and illustrated with paintings by Barry Gurley Huffman.

A Pocketful of Memories: the story of Catawba County , was written more than 20 years ago by Marcia Copper of Hickory. It’s geared toward children, but will delight all ages.

Dorothy Sigmon Holbrook drew from her own local experiences to write a memoir, Yesterday’s Child : Growing up in a Mill town During the Great Depression. Freeze wrote the intro, by the way.

Other local work in our stacks include that book I referred to earlier, Rock Barn: from Fields to Fairways, by Michael and Sharon Smith. Proceeds of sales, by the way will benefit the Conover Branch Library in memory of Jerry and Jody Bullin by Jody’s Book Club.

Check for these and works by other local authors at Catawba County Library System.

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