Library donates to Corner Table

July 22nd, 2014 by twilson

Two months into the project, Catawba County Library community garden is making a difference. On Monday, library staff dropped off eight pounds of produce at the Corner Table in Newton to help feed those in need. Zucchini squash, peppers and cucumbers represented the first harvest of the garden located on a plot behind the Main Library on West C Street.

“We were so pleased to see this come to fruition, quite literally,” said April Green, Youth Services librarian who is coordinating the garden project. On Thursday, Green and her staff will host Garden Day at the library with Jack and the Beanstalk story time in the garden. The children’s program begins at 4 p.m.

“This is the first of what we hope will be many donations to the soup kitchen,” said Suzanne White, library director. The community garden is a collaboration of people working together to grow healthy local foods, encourage learning, and provide fruits and vegetables to citizens in need.

The garden, an eco-friendly learning space owned by the county, was launched with private donations and support from the Friends of the Library, and now additional funding is being sought to further its development. The crowd-funding campaign will run through late September.

Donations can be made in person at any library location or on-line through the crowd-funding website,–library . For further information, contact April Green at 465-8668 or by email, .

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Library news, July 21

July 21st, 2014 by twilson

County library seeks crowd-funding for community garden
The Catawba County Library is engaging the community to raise more money to better “seed” its new garden at the main library in Newton. Partnering with Citizinvestor, a crowd-funding and civic engagement platform, the project seeks local residents willing to invest in the community garden.

Mary Furtado, assistant county manager, said that the library project marks the first-ever crowd-funding campaign launched by a Catawba County Government agency. The goal is to raise $4,500 to cultivate plants—and people—through gardening, she said. The garden, an eco-friendly learning space owned by the county, has been started with private donations and support from the Friends of the Library; and now additional funding is being sought to further its development. The crowd-funding campaign will run through late September.

“The garden is a collaboration of people working together to grow healthy local foods, encourage learning, and provide fruits and vegetables to citizens in need,” according to Suzanne White, library director. “Produce will be donated to the Corner Table soup kitchen and to Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministries to feed needy families.”

The library garden began in May behind the Main Library in Newton. A weed-infested lot was tilled and transformed into a productive space to grow produce for needy families and to enhance the Summer Reading program for young readers.

“We are already using the space for children’s programming,” White said, “now we are seeking additional help to enhance the space further, to promote environmental education and offer a pleasant reading space for all ages.”

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.

“Our vision is to host a healthy and engaged community with a garden that will connect children and adults to the wonders of nature and, at the same time, discover the joys of sampling the food they have grown,” White said.

Donations can be made in person at any library location or on-line through the crowd-funding website,–library. For further information, contact Suzanne White at the library, 465-8660.

Teens to give back at library
Local teen-agers will make a difference next week at the library though “give back” opportunities at two locations.

Youth aged 12-18 are invited to help with a Project Linus events at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 29 at Sherrills Ford Branch. Teens will assemble coverlets for hospitalized children. No sewing experience is required. Project Linus is a nonprofit organization that provides blankets, quilts and afghans for critically ill or traumatized children.

On Wednesday, July 30, Main Library in Newton will host a volunteer time at the library beginning at 4 p.m. Participants will assist others by such activities as reading to a child, carry books to a car or help in the library garden.

For more information about the give-back events, contact the Sherrills Ford Branch at 466-6827 or Youth Services in Newton at 465-8668. Summer Reading is designed to keep children and youth engaged in learning and reading when school is not in session.

Harry Potter parties, book raffle at county libraries
Attention Harry Potter fans! Mark your calendars now for birthday celebrations at Catawba County Library and a special drawing of a collector’s edition.

Conover and Claremont branches will host celebrations of the world’s most famous orphan on July 30 and 31.

Children age seven and older will make their own wands, duel in a fantastical spelling bee, hunt for magical creatures and snack on wizardly treats. New or gently used “birthday presents” will be collected for children at Barium Springs Home for Children.

Join the fun at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 30 at Conover Branch or 2 p.m. Thursday, July 31 at Claremont. Preregistration is not required.

Friends of the Catawba Count Library are offering a Harry Potter raffle next month. J. K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard Collector’s Edition will be given away to a lucky winner at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16. The volume is valued at more than $200. Tickets are $1 each and may be purchased at the sale or at various library branches from now through the Friends book sale scheduled in Newton Aug. 14-16.

Ticketholders must present their portion of the ticket as proof of winning. All proceeds from the raffle and book sale will benefit Friends of the Library the supports and advocates the entire county library system. Locations in addition to Newton are Claremont, Conover, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford and Southwest (Mountain View).

For more information about the book raffle please contact April Green in Youth Services, 465-8668. Information about items needed at Barium Springs Home should be referred to Brytani Fraser at 466-5108.

Why children’s books matter

By Tammy Wilson
Public Information Officer
Catawba County Library System

Last month I had the good fortune to tour of the New York Public Library in Manhattan. For those of you planning a trip to the Big Apple, be sure to put it on your next trip agenda. The mammoth building is well worth a stop.

Walk past the famous marble lions, Patience and Fortitude out front. New York Public Library prides itself on being open and available to everyone in the world. The claim has new expanded meaning these days with their extensive website.

The library in Midtown Manhattan is the mother lode of all things literary—88 miles of shelf space including 40 miles of stacks located beneath Bryant Park. That’s right—underneath a city park—a 9 ½-acre oasis of greenery amidst skyscrapers and traffic. This massive marble repository is a short walk from Grand Central Station and major publishers—Simon & Shuster, W. W. Norton and Random House.

One of the library’s attractions this summer is a “The ABC of it: Why Children’s Books Matter,” a gallery devoted to children’s literature. Here are a handwritten letter from Beatrix Potter, the stuffed Winnie the Pooh that belonged to Christopher Robin Milne (son of the author), the first illustrations in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and a life-sized recreation of pages from Goodnight Moon and The exhibit runs through Sept. 7.

“The ABC of It” reminds me that America’s young people became the world’s first to enjoy access to free public libraries, ca. 1900. Literacy rates skyrocketed. Thanks in part to the generosity of industrialist Andrew Carnegie and other forward-thinking civic leaders, Children’s Rooms opened their doors and children’s librarianship emerged as a new, activist profession concerned with accessibility and quality of juvenile books.

Few good juvenile books are only for children. They shape us as adults, stirring and shaping us into the adults we will become. They’re gateways to literature and art and knowledge of the world. Who among us hasn’t been enriched by Pippi Longstocking, A Wrinkle in Time or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

Children’s books teach rhyme and story, but the rich illustrations spark our imaginations and serve as springboards to appreciation for art, stories and life.

The joy of free public libraries is that you don’t have to visit a large metropolitan facility to get acquainted with books. They’re free to check out across our fair county as well. Stop by any location of the Catawba County Library System—Newton, Conover, Claremont, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford, Southwest (Mountain View). You’ll find Winnie the Pooh, Goodnight Moon and other books to relive childhood memories and make new ones with the children in your life.

Contact Tammy Wilson at the library,

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Library update July 16

July 16th, 2014 by twilson

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

Noah—(Adventure/Drama) A man is chosen by his creator to undertake a momentous mission before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the world.
Divergent—(Adventure/Romance) In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, she and the mysterious Four must act before it’s too late.
Le Week-end—(Comedy-Drama) A British couple returns to Paris many years after their honeymoon to rejuvenate their marriage.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman—(Animation/Adventure) The time-travelling adventures of an advanced canine and his adopted son.
One Chance—(biography/drama) True story of Paul Potts, a shy but aspiring shop assistant who becomes a phenomenon after winning “Britain’s Got Talent.”

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

Library robotics engage kids in science, technology

Robot races ruled the day recently at St. Stephens Branch Library. As part of the library’s Summer Reading program, kids were able to experiment with robotics involving science, technology, engineering and math.

Gael Trejo Minor was one of the participants who enjoyed creating a “bot” with a small battery, toothbrush head and other materials. Gael was one of many who expressed interest in furthering his learning with robotic experiments at home.

Gael is the son of Omar Hernandez of Hickory. The session was part of Summer Reading programming that continues into early August at Catawba County Library System.

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Library News for July 15

July 15th, 2014 by twilson

Library events feature Brushbots, Bristlebots
Brushbots and Bristlebots will be the focus of Summer Reading activities at Catawba County Library next week.

The sessions will teach simple robotics involving toothbrush parts. School-aged children are invited to build their own figures starting Tuesday, July 22, at Main Library in Newton. The “Bristlebot Challenge” begins at 4 p.m. Similar activities are planned across the system as follows:

Wednesday, July 23: Brushbots, 2 p.m. Conover and “Building with Building Squares” 4 p.m. Southwest

Thursday, July 24: Brushbots, 2 p.m. Claremont; Brushbot Races, 2 p.m. Maiden, and Build Your Own Bristlebots, 4 p.m. Sherrills Ford.

Parents should preregister their children as space and materials are limited. For more information about Brushbots or Bristlebots, contact Youth Services Librarian April Green at 465-8668.

Time nearing to report Summer Reading tallies
Young readers who have participated in this year’s Summer Reading program at Catawba County Library have a chance to run the bases before the Hickory Crawdads game on July 29.

Participants who have read halfway to their personal reading goal by Monday, July 28 should report their success to their local library branch by get their free ticket to the Hickory Crawdads baseball game. They will be invited to run the bases with Conrad the Crawdad before the Delmarva Shorebirds game. Runners should arrive early at L. P. Frans Stadium—well before the game starts at 7 p.m.

Youth who have logged at least 600 minutes of reading time by Aug. 2 are eligible for grand prize drawings to take place on Aug. 9. There are eight grand prizes including Carowinds tickets and special gift baskets. Winners will be drawn from names submitted no later than Saturday, Aug. 2 at any location of the Catawba County Library System. They include Newton, Conover, Claremont, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford and Southwest (Mountain View).

For more information, contact your local branch or April Green, Youth Services librarian, at 465-8668 weekdays. Summer Reading is an annual reading initiative designed to engage those age 18 and younger in learning when school is not in session.

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Library date, July 8

July 8th, 2014 by twilson

Cool off with unseasonal fiction
Though the dog days of summer have set in, Catawba County Library has plenty of cold-weather stories to check out.

Jack London’s classics, The Call of the Wild and White Fang quickly come to mind when we think of great fiction on a snowy setting. Or James Joyce’s haunting short story, “The Dead,” set during a snowy night in Dublin.

But the story behind the story can be as interesting as the book itself. Frankenstein, the classic novel by Mary Shelley, was written during a cold summer in Germany—1816 to be exact, the “Year without a Summer”—when the world was locked in a long cold volcanic weather cycle caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia. The weather was consistently too cold and dreary that summer to enjoy the outdoor holiday activities, and so Shelley had the perfect backdrop to inspire a sinister monster tale.

Many young readers may think of “Frozen,” Erin Bowman’s young adult novel, or “The Snow Queen,” the Hans Christian Andersen tale that inspired the recent Disney movie, “Frozen.” Yes, we have both the children’s book and the movie version.

The Snow Queen is the title of a Michael Cunningham novel that came out earlier this year. It’s an adult story about the lovelorn set in Central Park. Cunningham, by the way, is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours.

For more chilly fiction, there’s January Thaw, the title of a 2014 release by Jess Loury. Here’s a murder mystery with a frozen body in a freak winter thaw in a Minnesota town.

And how about Winter’s Bone, the story of family dysfunction that spawned the hit movie? You ocan experience this story in print format as well as on eBook and DVD.

Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale offers up an icy New York during the Belle Epoch, when an Irish burglar encounters the daughter of a house on the Upper West Side. The novel is now a major motion picture that’s also available for checkout.

Check availability on-line at For more recommendations, ask a librarian.

Cool teen activities planned at county library
Catawba County Library has the remedy for summer doldrums with an array of cool activities during July. Ages 12-18 are invited and all sessions are free.

Melted crayons will be the medium at 6 p.m. July 15 when Sherrills Ford hosts this teens-only art session.

Cuptar Stars will illustrate the science of music as participants make “guitars” using cups and foam board. The fun begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 15 at Conover Branch. A second session will be held at 5 p.m. July 31 at Claremont.

Teen slogan t-shirts will be made at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 16 at Newton. Teens will create iron-on transfers via computer. All supplies will be furnished.

A teens-only photo workshop is planned at Claremont Branch Thursday, July 17. See how to put your best images forward at 4 pm.

“Guerilla Gardeners” will gather at 6 pm. Tuesday, July 22 at Conover and again at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 24 at Claremont. Youth will harness the beauty of nature with “seed bombs” to scatter in the community and grow “art.”

Sherrills Ford teens will combine laws of physics with their creative genius to develop a complicated machine to perform a simple task on July 22. The 6 p.m. program is inspired by Rube Goldberg, the noted cartoonist who depicted complicated machines to perform simple tasks.

A Hobbit Prom is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 29 at Conover. Teens are invited to come in prom attire (shoes optional) to dance, play Hobbit games and enjoy refreshments.

For more information about the events, contact the appropriate library location: Newton, 465-8668; Conover, 466-5108; Claremont, 466-6817 or Sherrills Ford, 466-6827. All are part of the Catawba County Library System.

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Library updates for July 7

July 7th, 2014 by twilson

Summer Reading sizzles at county library
Summer Reading activities are sizzling at Catawba County Library, with movies, craft sessions, scientific experiments, parties, competitions for ages 0-18.

Professional presenters from Mad Science of Charlotte are at the library this week for a series of hands-on experiments and fun activities.

Green Bean Players will offer live performances of The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales. The shows begin July 12 at 9:30 a.m. at Sherrills Ford and 1 p.m. at the Maiden branch. The Players will return on successive Saturdays to engage audiences at Newton, Conover, St. Stephens, Claremont and Southwest.

Instructors from Catawba Science Center will be on hand the week of July 14 to offer “Fizz Foam Fun” experiments at all seven facilities. Space is limited, so sign up early.

Brushbots and Bristlebots—figures created from toothbrush parts—will be the focus of activities the week of July 21. Again, preregistration is highly recommended at all locations.

Teens are part of the action, too, with Thursday afternoon movies, melted crayon art, photo workshops, scientific experiments with Rube Goldberg, a “hobbit prom” and give-back volunteer opportunities to help members of the community in need.

The programs help support the real reason for Summer Reading—keeping young people learning when school is not in session. Young people who read at least half of their reading goal will earn a free ticket to the July 29 Hickory Crawdads game at L.P. Frans Stadium where then can run the bases with Conrad the Crawdad.

Those who read at least 600 minutes by Aug. 2 will quality for a drawing for eight grand prizes including tickets to Carowinds. The grand prize drawing will be held Aug. 9 and children need not be present to win.

For more information about Summer Reading and/or children’s books in general, contact your local branch or Youth Librarian April Green at 465-8668. Summer Reading is supported by Friends of Catawba County Library.

Green Bean Players to perform ‘Stinky Cheese Man’
The ever-popular Green Bean Players return to Catawba County Library this month with live performances based on the book The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly Stupid Tales.

The Stinky Cheese Man is a postmodern children’s book by Jon Scieszka. Published in 1992 by Viking, it is a collection of twisted, humorous parodies of famous children’s stories and fairy tales, such as “Little Red Riding Hood,” “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Gingerbread Man.” The book won the New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, was a Caldecott Honor book, and has won numerous other awards in various countries. Multiple copies are available at the library.

The Green Bean troupe will present seven shows starting on Saturday, July 12 at 9:30 a.m. at Sherrills Ford and again at 1 p.m. in Maiden. Subsequent performances are scheduled on July 26 at 10 a.m. Conover and 1:30 p.m. St. Stephens; Aug. 2 at 10 a.m. Claremont and 1:30 p.m. Newton and Aug. 9, 10 a.m. Southwest (Mountain View).

The performances are free and open to the public. All ages are invited.

Green Bean Players are affiliated with the Green Room based at the Old Post Office Playhouse in Newton. These and other library programs are being made possible this summer through a generous donation by Friends of Catawba County Library.

Help Friends book sale in August
If you love books, Main Library in Newton is the place to be next month. Friends of Catawba County Library will conduct their annual book sale Aug. 14-16 at the library at 115 W. C Street.

As in years past, the three-day sales frenzy will feature a members-only night on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and sales to the public on both Friday (10-4) and Saturday (10-2). Friends memberships will be sold at the door for $10 per individual, $15 per family and $25 for businesses including booksellers.

The annual sale will consist of deleted library materials and donations from the public. If you have spare materials to donate, bring them to any library location and tell staff that they are for the Friends book sale. The group welcomes hardbound and paperback books in good condition as well as CDs and DVDs for both children and adults. Badly soiled, damaged or mildewed items should not be donated.

Friends group serves as a community liaison and support organization for the entire county library system which includes locations at Newton, Claremont, Conover, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford and Southwest.

Fizz Foam Fun coming to county library
Local kids will learn more about chemistry and physics next week as Catawba County Library System sponsors “Fizz, Foam, Fun” for school-aged kids. It’s all part of the library’s Summer Reading program with the theme, “Fizz, Boom, Read.” Summer Reading is designed to keep children and youth engaged in learning and reading when school is not in session.

Catawba Science Center staff will lead hands-on experiments with vinegar and baking soda, among other ingredients. The free sessions will be held:
Tuesday, July 15—2 p.m. Newton
Wednesday, July 16—10 a.m. Southwest and 2 p.m. Conover
Thursday, July 17—10 a.m. Maiden and 2 p.m. Sherrills Ford
Friday, July 18—10 a.m. St. Stephens and 2 p.m. Claremont

Space and supplies are limited, so parents are encouraged to sign up their children as soon as possible.

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Update for July 5

July 5th, 2014 by twilson

Summer Reading fun piques child’s interest
Children’s programs at the library can be both fun and educational. Just ask Siobhan Loendorf at Catawba County Library.

Recently, a story time activity Sherrills Ford Branch involved the story Little Cloud by Eric Carle. Staff invited children to create their own art on the library’s windows sprayed with shaving cream.

“This is a great activity to build children’s pre-writing and writing skills,” Loendorf said. “It works their finger muscles and dexterity.”

All went well, and after story time had ended, Loendorf received a telephone call from one of the parents who wanted to thank her for offering such a fun activity. Her seven-year-old had been struggling with his muscle strength to use the proper grip when holding a pencil. He didn’t like to practice writing.

“She told me that since that story time activity, he had been re-creating the shaving cream art on windows at home, practicing his letters for long periods of time. “He enjoyed it so much he asked if they could do it every day,” Loendorf said. “It’s another example of how the library is a great resource for entertainment and education for families.”

Summer Reading continues into early August with story times along with art, science and other activities for ages preschool through age 18. For more information, contact any Catawba County Library Branch or Youth Services at Newton, 465-8668. The library system serves more than 17,000 registered users under age 18.

Beat the heat with cool movies at county library
Teens and families can beat the heat this month with free movies shown at the Catawba County Library.

Monday offerings include family-friendly films shown at 4 p.m. at the Main Library in Newton. On the roster are:
July 7: “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” rated PG
July 14: “Meet the Robinsons” rated G
July 21: “The Iron Giant” rated PG
July 28: “The Secret Garden” rated G

Meanwhile, teen movies for ages 12-18 continue at Southwest Branch in Mountain View. The 4 p.m. Thursday films are:
July 10: “Twilight”
July 17: “Iron Man”
July 24: “Thor”
July 31: “Avengers”

For more information about these or other free events at the library, contact your local branch.

Friends to discuss book sale July 14
Friends of Catawba County Library will meet at 11 a.m. Monday, July 14 to finalize plans for the big annual book sale. The group will convene at Main Library in Newton and members of the public who love books and supporting the library are welcome to attend.

The book sale is scheduled Aug. 14-16 in the auditorium of the Main Library. Donated books, CDs and DVDs in good condition are still being sought. Materials should be brought to any county library location and staff notified that the materials are for the book sale.

Proceeds of Friends fundraisers support local literacy by funding library programming and purchasing unbudgeted materials.

Friends is a support resource and community liaison for the library system. The group welcomes interested members of the community. Contact Friends staff liaison April Green at 465-8668 for more information.

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Library updates for June 30

June 30th, 2014 by twilson

Library offers free story times
Catawba County Library continues its tradition of free preschool story times at all seven locations this summer.

Ready to Learn sessions foster early literacy by focus on concepts children need to succeed in school, such as colors, sizes, emotions, opposites, rhyming, numbers, shapes and patterns.

The idea is for young children to develop a love of books and reading and enter school ready to read, write and listen.

The system-wide schedule is:

CLAREMONT – 9:30 a.m. Thursdays

CONOVER– 11 a.m. Tuesdays

NEWTON– 5 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays

MAIDEN– 9:30 a.m. Thursdays.

SHERRILLS FORD—10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays.

ST. STEPHENS– 6 p.m. Tuesdays; 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays.

SOUTHWEST—10 a.m. Wednesdays, 11 a.m. Thursdays.

Parents may log on to the library website ( and click on the Youth Services pages to access Tumblebooks and other free audio/visual services that will help keep kids engaged with good books.

For more information about early literacy and story times, contact Youth Services Librarian April Green at 465-8668.

What should you read this summer?

By Tammy Wilson
Public Information Officer
Catawba County Library System

What new novel should you take on vacation? These days, the “take along” may be an eBook as well as a print version, so you can have room for several titles these days.

California, a debut novel by Edan Lepucki, is getting the buzz in New York. I was in Manhattan for a writing conference this month and an acquisitions editor from Little Brown was all aflutter about this book due out next week. If you like dystopian, post-apocalyptic books, this one’s for you. Lepucki is launching a nationwide book tour including Malaprop’s in Asheville on July 28.

Simon & Shuster, meanwhile, was pushing advance reader copies Be Safe I Love You by Cara Hoffman and an intriguing nonfiction work, The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths are Solving America’s Coldest Cases by Deborah Halber.

We Were Liars shows up on the recommended lists of Publishers Weekly, Huffington Post and Kirkus Review. E. Lockart, a National Book Award finalist, wrote this mystery about a teen-aged heiress summering off the coast of Cape Cod. It’s suitable for ages 12 and up.

The Black-Eyed Blonde, Philip Marlow mystery, is another popular pick. We have it on audio and print. Author Benjamin Black has brought Marlowe back to life for a new adventure in the mean streets of Bay City, CA in the early Fifties. A stunning woman appears in Marlowe’s office asking him to help find her former lover.

O Magazine urges us to read Anne Tyler’s latest work, Ladder of Years, the tale of a middle-aged mother of three who walks away from her marriage

Elin Hilderbrand has already produced a string of beachy novels. Her latest, The Matchmaker, the one with a woman flying a beach kite on the cover, is a New York Times Notable Book. A woman with a gift for matching couples for romance is confronted with mixed emotions when an old love turns up on Nantucket after 27 years.

Check availability of these and other titles at

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Library news June 23

June 23rd, 2014 by twilson

Include library in holiday plans
If you’re heading out of town for Independence Day, you can still pick up and drop off your library materials. The Catawba County Library System will be closed on Friday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

Patrons are encouraged to include library materials in their plans, whether it’s a book for the beach, an eBook for the hammock, audio book for the road or a video for viewing with family and friends. Downloadable books and DVDs are also available on-line to library cardholders. For complete information, check the library website at

Summer Reading fun continues in July
Robot races, kite flying and melted crayon art are just some of the activities planned next month at Catawba County Library System. It’s all part of Summer Reading for ages 0-18—a literacy program to help youth continue to read and learn when school is not in session.

The events are free and open to the public, and it’s still not too late to sign up for Summer Reading and work toward reading goals.

Summer Readers who achieve half their reading goal are invited to make a base run at the Hickory Crawdads Game at 7 p.m. July 29 at LP Frans Stadium. Runners should arrive early.

The library system will be closed for Independence Day on July 4.

For up-to-the minute library information, check the on-line calendar at

Please pre-register for Maiden events.

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. Tuesday evenings by appointment (465-8668)
• Board of Elections run-off voting 8-5 on July 3, July 7-11, and 15. Also, 8-1 on July 12.
• Monday Movie Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, 4 p.m. July 7
• Mad Science, 2 p.m. July 8 (kids)
• Garden Pizza Creations, 4 p.m. July 10 (kids)
• Southern Pens book group, 10 a.m. July 12 (The Cellist of Sarajevo, adults)
• Friends of Library, 11 a.m. July 14
• Monday Movie Meet the Robinsons , July 14, 4 p.m.
• Fizz, Foam Fun (Science Center), 2 p.m. July 15 (kids)
• Teen Slogan T-shirts, 4 p.m. July 16
• Mixed Media Art Mural, 4 p.m. July 17 (kids)
• Monday Movie The Iron Giant, 4 p.m. July 21
• Bristlebot Challenge, 4 p.m. July 22 (kids) Limit 20.
• Genealogy Society, 7 p.m. July 22 (adult)
• Garden Day with Jack & the Beanstalk, 4 p.m. July 24 (kids)
• Red Cross Blood Drive July 25
• Monday Movie The Secret Garden, 4 p.m. July 28
• Teens Give Back, 4 p.m. July 30

Claremont Branch, 466-6817
• Ready to Learn Story Time , 9:30 a.m. Thursdays
• Bazinga Party, 5 p.m. July 10 (kids)
• Mad Science, 2 p.m. July 11 (kids)
• Teen Photo Workshop, 4 p.m. July 17
• Fizz, Foam Fun (Science Center), 2 p.m. July 18 (kids)
• Teen Guerilla Gardening, 5 p.m. July 24
• Brushbots, 2 p.m. July 24 (kids)
• Harry Potter Birthday Party, 2 p.m. July 31 (kids)
• Cuptar Stars, 5 p.m. July 31 (teens)

Conover Branch, 466-5108
• Ready to Learn Story Time 11 a.m. Tuesdays (preschool)
• Teen Photo Workshop, 4 p.m. July 8
• Mad Science, 2 p.m. July 9 (kids)
• Flight School Kites, 11 a.m. July 12 (kids)
• Cuptar Stars, 6 p.m. July 15 (teens)
• Fizz, Foam Fun (Science Center), 2 p.m. July 16 (kids)
• Not a Box, Imagine the Possibilities, 11 a.m. July 18 (kids)
• Teen Guerilla Gardening, 6 p.m. July 22
• Brushbots, 2 p.m. July 23 (kids)
• Green Bean Players, 10 a.m. July 26 (all)
• Hobbit Prom, 6 p.m. July 29 (teens)
• Harry Potter Birthday Party, 2 p.m. July 30 (kids)

Maiden Branch, 428-2712
• Ready to Learn Story Time 9:30 a.m. Thursdays
• Mad Science, 10 a.m. July 10 (kids)
• Fizz, Foam Fun (Science Center), 10 a.m. July 17 (kids)
• Brushbot Races, 2 p.m. July 24 (kids)
• Milk Painting, 2 p.m. July 31 (kids)

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)
• Teen Robot Races, 2 p.m. July 5. Limit 20.
• Knitting Club, 6 p.m. July 7 (adult)
• Mad Science, 10 a.m. July 11 (kids)
• Fizz, Foam Fun (Science Center) 10 a.m. July 18 (kids)
• Tangram Stories, 10 a.m. July 25 (kids)
• Green Bean Players, 1:30 p.m. July 26 (all)

Sherrills Ford Branch, 466-6827
• Ready to Learn, Story Time 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays (preschool)
• Patriotic Story Time, 4 p.m. July 3 (kids)
• Art of the Zentangle, 6 p.m. July 8 (teen)
• Green Bean Players, 9:30 a.m. July 12 (all)
• Melted Crayon Arts, 6 p.m. July 15 (teen)
• Fizz, Foam Fun (Science Center), 4 p.m. July 17 (kids)
• Art Story Time, 11 a.m. July 19 (kids)
• Spark at Reaction with Rube Goldberg, 6 p.m. July 22 (teens)
• Build Your Own Bristlebots, 4 p.m. July 24 (kids)
• Super Science Saturday 11 a.m. July 26 (kids)
• Teens Give Back, 6 p.m. July 29
• It’s Alive Butterflies, 4 p.m. July 31 (kids)

Southwest, 466-6818
• Ready to Learn Story Time, 10 a.m. Wednesdays & 11 a.m. Thursdays (preschool)
• Movie Twilight, 4 .m. July 10 (teens)
• Fizz, Foam Fun (Science Center), 10 a.m. July 16 (kids)
• Movie Iron Man, 4 p.m. July 17 (teens)
• Rolled Paper Beads, 4 p.m. July 30 (kids)
• Building with Building Squares, 4 p.m. July 23 (kids)
• Movie Thor, 4 p.m. July 24 (teens)
• Movie Avengers, 4 p.m. July 31 (teen)

Why bother with your family tree?
By Tammy Wilson
Public Information Officer
Catawba County Library System

Recently I was asked to give a genealogy talk to a local Rotary Club. I had twenty minutes to cover that broad topic.
I approached the assignment from a newbie’s point of view. Why should anyone care about their family tree? I came up with a list of ten reasons. See if you can think of any others:
1. Establish Identity—Deep down, all of us want to know who we are and where we came from. Without our ancestors, none of us would be here.
2. Leave a Legacy—A written family history is a gift relatives will treasure now and years to come. And who knows, you may spark an interest in history among younger family members.
3. Medical Research—What does your DNA say about you? What conditions might you pass along to your descendants? Knowledge and early preventives can help family members live healthier lives.
4. Prove/Disprove a Story—Find out if that family legend about a Revolutionary War soldier or a lost fortune is really true. The answers could surprise you.
5. Solve a Mystery—Closely related to #4, become a sleuth and find out where your family originated? Why did they move to North Carolina?
6. Join a Lineage Society—Membership in patriotic/historic preservation societies such as DAR and SAR require documentation of direct bloodlines to an ancestor who performed certain wartime service. The documentation exercise can open new avenues of search in the process.
7. Write a Book—Aspiring family authors, here’s your chance to become the rock star of the next family reunion. Or at the very least, a popular Santa by giving your family recollections to relatives.
8. Prove Lineage of Property—Find out who owned a treasured heirloom and how they acquired it. The answer may amaze you.
9. Prove Inheritance—Discover your family’s niche in history. Can you lay claim to a European castle or a coat of arms?
10. Be a Star on Grandfather Mountain—Know which clan is yours (if any) at the Highland Games this July. If you’re Scots-Irish, connect with your long-lost cousins at the celebration of your heritage.
As a library staff member, one of my key points was to explain how Catawba County Library resources can help. The Evelyn Rhodes Local History Room is a trove of resources available free to patrons. The genealogy room, located on the ground floor of the Main Library in Newton, is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

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Library News, June 10

June 10th, 2014 by twilson

Wanted: Books to build character
When we think of books, we often consider “character” as an element of a story, a protagonist (good guy) or an antagonist (bad guy). What we often overlook is how books can build model good character traits for readers.

This is particularly important for young people.

Now that Catawba County Library System’s Summer Reading program is under way, you may be looking for easy books to read to young children. That time counts as reading time for Summer Reading goals.

Recently a popular blog, No Time for Flash Cards, listed 75 books that model character without being preachy. As parents and teachers, and librarians, become increasingly concerned with negative aspects of modern life, character-building, and ethics are increasingly important if we are to pass along to the next generation positive traits that make for a harmonious, good-neighbor society.

Some readers would give a son or daughter a Children’s Bible and call it a day. But moral teaching is also available in secular books.

Some are familiar to older readers, such as Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider and Eric Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Both of them made the No Time for Flash Cards list. We know their lessons about bravery, valuing one’s family and goal setting.

Some others to consider:

Pablo’s Tree by Pat Mora. Each year on his birthday, a young Mexican -American boy looks forward to seeing how his grandfather has decorated the tree he planted on the day the boy was adopted. The story is, obviously, about family, particularly relationships with grandparents.

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams. After fire destroys their home, Rose, her mother and grandmother save to buy a nice new chair. This was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983. The value of saving and responsibility are emphasized.

Sheila Rae, the Brave by Kevin Henkes. This old standby is the tale of a girl who usually looks out for her sister, but one day becomes lost and scared herself. Bravery with female characters are the focus.

Piglet and Papa by Margaret Wild. When Piglet’s beloved father chases her away after she plays too rough, all of the barnyard animals try to make her feel better, but Piglet is still afraid that her father no longer loves her.

I am happy to report that these titles and many more are part of the library’s collection. You may check availability at any branch or log on to

For more details about the No Time for Flashcards article, log on to

For suggestions of good reads for any age, ask your local librarian.

Friends announces board
Serving a new two-year term as officers for Friends of Catawba County Library are Susan Anderson, president; Libbie Lynn, vice president; Sylvia King, treasurer, and Helen Brigham, secretary.

Friends of the Library are volunteers who serve as advocates and supporters of the entire library system. The group welcomes residents who are interested in literacy and supporting library programs.

Their major fundraiser is a book sale scheduled Aug. 14-16 at the Main Library in Newton. Proceeds benefit all seven facilities which also include Conover, Claremont, Maiden, St. Stephens, Southwest and Sherrills Ford.

Free Monday movies this summer
Catawba County’s Main Library in Newton will host a family movie series on Mondays this summer.

The films offer area residents a way to enjoy family-friendly entertainment at no cost in the air conditioned comfort of the library. The movies are for all ages, and the public is cordially invited to each showing starting at 4 p.m. On the roster are:

June 16: Jack and the Beanstalk (2010) rated G
June 23: Nanny McPhee (2005) rated PG
June 30: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) rated PG
July 7: Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012) rated PG
July 14: Meet the Robinsons (2007) rated G
July 21: The Iron Giant (1999) rated PG
July 28: The Secret Garden (1993) rated G

The library is located at 115 W. C Street in Newton. For more information, contact Youth Services at 465-8668.

More Summer Reading events at county library
Summer Reading is in full swing at Catawba County Library, with special learning events for ages 18 and under. All events are free and open to the public.

Tweens 9-12 are invited to test their bravery in gross and creepy challenges at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 21 at Conover Branch.

Crime solving with forensic science will be the topic for ages 12-18 on Tuesday, June 17 at Sherrills Ford. Beginning at 6 p.m. teens will get a chance to try out their detective skills.

At the same time, Sherrills Ford Branch will host Super Science Saturday with experiments and more. The fun begins at 11 that Saturday.

School-aged children will learn about the moon and life in space during “Mission to the Moon,” held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 25 in Conover and again at 2 p.m. Friday, June 27 at Claremont.

Youth will enjoy a Big Bang Theory Party at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 24 at Sherrills Ford . Those who love Leonard and Sheldon won’t want to miss the food, games and more.

For more information about these and other upcoming Summer Reading activities, visit your local branch or call Newton, 465-8668; Claremont 466-6817, Conover, 466-5108, Maiden, 428-2712, St. Stephens 466-6821, Southwest, 466-6818 or Sherrills Ford, 466-6827. All locations are part of the Catawba County Library System.

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