Inman advocates for libraries

November 18th, 2014 by twilson

Recently Conover novelist, screenwriter, playwright and essayist Robert Inman advocated the value of public libraries on his blog. His words are reproduced here with permission from the author.

Robert Inman: We’d Better Speak Up For Libraries

Some friends in a community not too far from mine told me the story of a candidate for local political office a couple of years ago who said, at a candidate forum, “I think people who use the library ought to pay for it. I never go in there.” This candidate got elected, along with some others of like mind, and sure enough, when it came time to pass a budget, library money was drastically slashed.

The impact was immediate and drastic. The library had to lay off workers and cut operating hours. When folks who needed the library’s resources showed up, they often found the doors closed, or no staff member available to help and answer questions.

Looking for a job to support your family? Good luck being able to use a library computer to look up online job listings. A student working on a term paper that requires current reference material? Good luck getting access in the evening or on a weekend. Looking for that new book by your favorite author? Sorry, the library doesn’t have money to buy it.

The impression I got from my friends is that the frustration level is high, and that a grassroots effort is underway to get library funds restored. I hope they’re successful. Like me, they share the view that a library is an essential community service, just like police and fire protection, the health department, road maintenance, garbage pickup, etc. I think of a library as a vital part of the school system, which in its broadest term includes adults as well as young folks.

I would not be a writer if it were not for the influence of the library in my hometown as I was growing up. It was a modest operation, a single room tucked between the fire station and the city clerk’s office, staffed by a dear woman named Miss Glennie. She was not a trained librarian in the modern sense, but she knew every book in the place, and she was an ardent advocate of reading. She challenged me by pushing good literature on me, had me reading Faulkner and Hemingway when I was in junior high. Those books not only entertained me, they taught me what good writing looked like. Those books, and Miss Glennie, helped shape the writer I would become.

Libraries have changed a lot since my youth, when they were mostly places where you put books on shelves and patrons came in and checked them out. They’re now firmly in the grasp of the digital age, and much of what they hold is accessed through a keyboard, a collection of knowledge — much of it sight and sound — that has to be updated at lightning speed. But in the broadest sense, the role of the library hasn’t changed. It’s a repository of the community’s wisdom, there for every soul in the community to use.

No community service exists unless the people in the community insist on it, work for it, and support decision-makers who share their views. I don’t think we’re inclined to let crime run unchecked, houses burn down, garbage pile up at the curb, or ceilings fall in at the schoolhouse. The question is, do we also think knowledge and wisdom are important? If we do, we’ll back our libraries to the hilt.

    Visit Robert Inman’s website at

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Library news, Nov. 17

November 17th, 2014 by twilson

Get help signing up for Affordable Care insurance at library
Catawba County Library will host free learning sessions about Affordable Health Care act starting this month through the end of December.

A representative of Catawba Family Care of Hickory will show participants how to access the Affordable Care website, and how to understand what is being offered.

Sessions are planned as follows:
Newton: Mondays starting Nov. 17 from noon to 8 pm
St. Stephens: Mondays starting Nov. 17 from noon to 8 pm
Sherrills Ford: Tuesdays starting Nov. 18 from noon to 8 pm
Conover: Tuesdays starting Nov. 18 from 4 to 8 pm
Claremont: Tuesdays starting Nov. 18 from noon to 3:30 pm
Maiden: Wednesdays starting Nov. 19 from 9 am to 6 pm
Southwest: Fridays starting Nov. 21 from 9 am to 6 pm

To enroll for Affordable Care Act insurance, participants must provide their Social Security Numbers, W-2 forms or paycheck stubs, policy numbers of any health insurance policies, employer contact information. The data should be gathered before attempting to sign up for Affordable Health Care coverage.

Librarians are available at any library location to help customers find information and navigate the Affordable Care website. Those who do not have an email account may set one up for free at the library.

Library announces powerful new on-line resources
It’s always a pleasure to announce new services that library patrons can enjoy. Four new online resources are being offered free through the library website: .

Books and Authors is the go-to-place for finding good books. Readers looking for a good book to read next will enjoy using this tool to browse books by genre (mystery, history, etc.) as well as author, title and “read-alikes.” Look here to be matched with an author who writes similarly to ones you already enjoy. Here’s your chance to fall in love with a new author! What’s more, Books and Authors isn’t for adults only. This site lets readers browse books suitable for infants up to and including Pulitzer Prize winners.

Chilton Online isn’t as entertaining as “Car Talk,” but it’s a good substitute for auto repair instructions. This site goes beyond the standard Chilton Auto Repair manual to provide videos, audios and access to information about the most recent vehicle models.

Job hunters and those wanting to move along a career path should check Career Transitions. This portal offers powerful information and videos on topics and tasks including career overviews, resume tips and simulated interviews.

Meanwhile, North Carolina Legal Forms gives up-to-the-minute information suitable for North Carolina residents pertaining to legal issues involving personal loans, real estate, divorce and more.

All four sources are accessible on-line at the library, at home or mobile devices on the go. Questions about these data bases? Just ask a staff member at your local branch.

Fines amnesty weeks coming
Local libraries will accept canned goods in place of payment for overdue fees for two weeks next month, from Dec. 1-12. Food for Fines Amnesty Weeks will offer library customers a break with overdue fines while helping the hungry.

Catawba County Library and Hickory Public Library systems are partnering to allow patrons to pay their fines with canned goods at the rate of one item for each dollar in fines. The food will benefit local food pantries.

Fines will be waived on any overdue materials returned no matter how long ago the materials were due. However, donated food may not be used to pay for lost or damaged items.

Customers need not have outstanding fines to participate in the food collection. Receptacles will be placed in each location of both library systems. Acceptable food should be nonperishable and in date (not expired). Welcome items include canned meat, soups, canned vegetables, canned fruits, boxed cereals, grits, dried beans, rice, pasta, spaghetti sauce, baby food, Jell-O, jams, or small bags of flour or sugar.

Also welcome are individual-serve pop-top cans and other ready-to-eat foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking such as peanut butter, cheese/cracker combos and individual fruit cups.

All public library locations in Catawba County and Hickory are taking donations: Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and Ridgeview Library in Hickory and any location of Catawba County Library System: Newton, Conover, Claremont, Maiden, St. Stephens, Southwest and Sherrills Ford-Terrell. For more information about the library amnesty weeks, contact your local branch.

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View library videos online

November 11th, 2014 by twilson

If you missed any of the Gary Freeze local history programs at Catawba County Library this fall, you may be in luck. These programs are being captured on videotape and shared through the library website, and are available for viewing free at

On the main page is Freeze’s discussion of I-40 and local highways on Sept. 30. An earlier lecture by Gary Freeze, “Ebony and Ivory: From Segregation to Integration in Catawba County” given on Aug. 26 may be seen on the library’s local history and genealogy page. Freeze’s upcoming programs will also be videotaped and posted online.

Additionally, the standing-room-only program “Witness to the Holocaust” given by holocaust survivor Walter Ziffer on Oct. 16 may be viewed on the library main webpage. Ziffer appeared as a Road Scholar with the N.C. Humanities Council.

Video coverage of the opening of the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch on Sept. 29 may be viewed there as well.

Catawba County Library System is headquartered at 115 W. C Street in Newton and houses the Rhodes Local History Room on the ground floor.

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Library update, Nov. 8

November 8th, 2014 by twilson

Library: Learning is job one
Learning never stops at Catawba County Library, and free adult computer classes are an important part of the mix. Ten months of the year—from August through May–adult classes are offered on such topics as downloading movies to navigating an Excel spreadsheet.

“We offer sessions on topics customers want,” said Regina Reitzel, reference librarian in Newton. She and several other library employees schedule sessions focused on the latest gadgets as well as the basics for those who are new to computers.

“The goal is to make users more comfortable with computer and software so they can enhance their lives and take advantage of technology that’s available,” she said. Classes are developed from staff suggestions, past enrollment figures and customer requests. This month topics range from iPad Basics, mobile apps, Excel, building a resume’, eBooks, foreign language software and Hoopla, the4 new service that allows customers to download audiobooks, movies and music from the library website.

And there’s also an introductory class to computers tucked into the schedule for the rank newbie who has never used a computer.

Sessions are offered at all library locations: Newton, Conover, Claremont, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford-Terrell and Southwest (Mountain View). Reservations are required because space is limited. To learn more about upcoming classes, visit or call any library location or visit the website at .

Some other learning opportunities at the library include preschool story times, STEM learning for school-aged children (science, technology, engineering, math), teen programs, adult craft and book discussions and an ongoing speaker series. Main Library in Newton also offers Read to a Dog session for reluctant young readers by appointment on Tuesday evenings.

There’s a lot of good news at the library
Happy customers abound at Catawba County Library.

Recently staff members have shared anecdotes from pleased patrons who want to share how the library has affected their lives in a positive way. Stories run the gamut, from adults hired from job applications they were able to fill out on-line at the library to young children who grasp the joy of learning.

Rich Haunton’s stories from Claremont involve adults who have found employment. One forty-year-old has started an on-line business without a home internet connection. The man visits the library branch to update his listings and check orders and print the corresponding paperwork.

Another Claremont customer frequented the branch for several months to check job listings on the public computers. The man was eventually able to land a retail position.

Some are a bit more unusual. Earlier this fall Regina Reitzel of Information Services in Newton said that a grandfather stopped by to ask about finding a newspaper article that would have mentioned him playing the basketball game of his life 60 years ago. Wanda Rozzelle placed an interlibrary loan request to Winston-Salem librarians who were able to locate the article on microfilm and copy it, thus enabling the Catawba County man the actual story to share with his family.

Meanwhile at Conover, Debbie Hovis helped a customer with a bookmark template. Elated, the customer returned later to show the finished bookmark that had been professionally printed for a book she had published.

Conover Branch Manager Brytani Frasier was pleased to receive a heartfelt compliment from one of her youngest customers. A preschooler shared that she had taught her mother some rhymes and songs learned during library story time.

“This was a big deal for me since she always comes to story time with her grandmother,” Brytani said.

Staff at Southwest Branch was able to help two customers identify bits of plants they brought in.
One turned out to be an Indian turnip or “Jack in the pulpit”–not ginseng as the customer had hoped
The other request involved a Mexican petunia which both librarian Kim Wetmore and the customer are considering adding in our gardens next year.

“The plant does seem quite large, hardy, long-blooming and colorful,” Wetmore said, which shows how customer assistance can reach both ways.

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Fun learning at the library this month

November 6th, 2014 by twilson

An array of programs will make learning time fun at Catawba County Library during November.

Free ESL classes for adults begin Monday, Nov. 10 at St. Stephens Branch. Cindy Lee Scala of Hickory will lead the sessions from 5:30 to 7:30 each week through Dec. 29. Participants should pre-register at the branch or call 466-6821.

Historian Gary Freeze continues his lecture series at Catawba County Library at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, with a talk on the Baby Boom generation and their impact on life in Catawba County. The free program will be held in the auditorium of Main Library in Newton and the public is cordially invited.

Adults will gather at Conover Branch on Nov. 12 to learn more about tailgate snacks. The “Cookbook Club” begins at 4 p.m. that Wednesday and reservations are required. Sign up at 466-5108 and be sure to bring your favorite tailgate snack (and recipe) to share.

School-aged children are invited to “Please and Thanksgiving,” a program about the faith- and family-focused American holiday at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11 at Newton. Children will learn etiquette and how to properly set a table. A craft time will be included.

School kids will also hear pumpkin stories and learn more about the math of mixing and the science of cooking at a “pumpkin STEM” program Nov. 18 at Newton. The fun begins at 5 and participants will enjoy a pumpkin dish. More information is available in Youth Services at 465-8668.

Teen scribes will want to be part of a writing group on Nov. 18 at Conover Branch. Writers aged 12-18 are invited to hone their talent with writing prompts starting at 6 p.m. More information is available at 466-5108.

That same Tuesday evening, January Costa of Lincoln County will share her expertise in archaeology and regional history with a free program focused on a dig at Holly Bend in Mecklenburg County. Older students and adults will gather at 6:30 p.m. at the Maiden Branch.

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Update for Nov. 4

November 4th, 2014 by twilson

Library seeks community input at public forums
Catawba County Library System seeks your input for a comprehensive strategic planning process to include four public forums in coming weeks.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:
Wednesday, Nov. 12, at St. Stephens High School Media Center
Monday, Nov. 17 at Sherrills Ford Elementary School Media Center
Wednesday, Nov. 19 at Fred T. Foard High School Media Center
Monday, Dec. 1 at Adrian Shuford YMCA Community Center, Conover

Each session will begin at 6 pm and is expected to last approximately an hour.

“Getting broad input from the community is extremely important for shaping the future of our library system,” said Suzanne White, library director. “Part of that process involves face-to-face communications. The idea is to gather as much input as possible.”

Catawba County Library System has engaged the services of Dr. Anthony Chow with Strategic Performance Systems and UNC at Greensboro to guide the process that includes focus groups as well as paper and on-line surveys.

The library’s strategic planning project 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.

Friends to meet Nov. 10
Friends of Catawba County Library will hold their monthly meeting at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 10, at the Main Library in Newton. Members will discuss upcoming fundraisers and support of library projects.

Friends of Catawba County Library is a support resource and community liaison for the library system and sponsors author readings and other events. This year proceeds from the book sale and other fundraisers have been used for programming and to enhance the collection system-wide. The group welcomes interested members of the community. For more information call 465-8292.

The Main Library is located at 115 West C Street in Newton.

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Library updates, Oct. 27

October 27th, 2014 by twilson

Maiden Branch to host archaeologist
If you like pottery or history or archaeological digs—or maybe all three—don’t miss January Costa’s pottery talk Nov. 18 in Maiden Branch Library. Her program begins at 6:30 p.m. that Tuesday.

Young and old alike will enjoy Costa’s investigation of pottery from two centuries ago. Costa, a Lincoln County archaeologist, has been involved in a dig at Holly Bend in Mecklenburg County that has produced a number of recovered ceramics. The Catawba Valley stoneware makes up part of the story of earthenware in the Piedmont.

Holly Bend, a frame plantation house along the Catawba River near Cornelius, is associated with the Davidson family of the late 1700s and early 1800s. The ongoing dig has involved a team led by Dr. Alan May as well as support from the Schiele Museum and Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department to survey and excavate the plantation site.

The pottery talk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Maiden Branch at 828-428-2712.

Adults, kids: Get crafty at the library
Fall crafts will rule during free programs at Catawba County Library System during November.

Knitters will gather at St. Stephens Branch for their monthly meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3. All needle crafters are welcome to join the stitching session.

DIY Wreaths will be created at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 at Claremont Branch. Adults are invited to produce an attractive wreath to adorn the home for Thanksgiving. More details are available at the branch or by calling 466-6817.

Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch will host four crafting events next month. They include:
Fall Leaf Candle Holders, 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10 for ages 7-12.
Bejeweled T-Shirt Tote Bags, 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19 for ages 12-18.
DIY Faux Flower Candle Wreath, 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20 for adults
Fall Wreath Making, 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24 for ages 7-12.

To reserve a spot, stop by the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch or call 466-6827.

Free computer workshops continue
If you’d like to brush up your computer skills, Catawba County Library is the place to go. Free 60-minute sessions will be offered next month. Pre-registration is required. Classes include:

Computer and eBook Drop-in Session— This is an opportunity for private instruction on how to use an eReader or computer. Offered at Sherrills Ford-Terrell at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4 and 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18.

Hoopla—Learn to stream movies, music and more through this free on-line service. The workshop begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5 at Newton.

Intro to Computers— A how-to class for the PC novice. Session starts at 10 am Wednesday, Nov. 5 at Conover and again at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 at Claremont.

IPad Basics—Learn some quick tips on how to use your iPad. Class starts at 10 a.m. each Wednesday in November at St. Stephens.

CFI College Financial Aid—Learn how to navigate the on-line application process for college financial aid. Offered 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 at Newton.

“App”-alooza—Learn the ropes of mobile apps during this hands-on class. Scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11 at Sherrills Ford-Terrell.

Intro to Email—See how easy it is to send and receive messages electronically. Class planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 at Maiden.

Intro to Excel—Get oriented to this popular spreadsheet program. Offered at 10 a.m. Friday Nov. 14 and Friday Nov. 21 at Southwest.

Resume Builders—Free individual instruction on how to best sell yourself on paper. Call ahead for your time slot at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19 and in Claremont on Nov. 20 by appointment.

Rocket languages—Try out this amazing on-line learning tool to learn French, Spanish or other foreign languages. The class starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19 at Newton.

EBook Extravaganza—Find out how to read a book electronically and how to use various reading devices such as Nook, Kindle, iPad and so on. The session begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25 at Sherrills Ford-Terrell.

To sign up for any workshop, contact the appropriate location: Conover, 466-5108; Claremont, 466-6817; Maiden, 428-2712; Newton, 465-7938; Sherrills Ford-Terrell, 466-6827; Southwest, 466-6818; St. Stephens, 466-6821.

Library to host college aid sessions
Catawba County Library System will host two financial aid workshops Nov. 8 to help students and their parents prepare for college expenses.

A representative of College Foundation of North Carolina will lead the discussion at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 at Maiden Branch Library and again at 1 p.m. that same day at the Main Library in Newton. All college-bound students and parents are welcome to attend the free sessions. Reservations are not necessary.

Topics will include college applications, filling out the FAFSA, avoiding too much debt, finding scholarships and grants, saving for college, choosing a career and more.

CFNC offers information and resources to guide students and their families through every step of the college application process and help them make wise choices.

Those who cannot attend the workshop may check the CFNC website at or call toll-free 1-866-866-CFNC to talk with a telephone representative.

‘Deep reading’ makes us smarter, nicer
If you’re an avid reader, you’re in good company. Recent research shows that literature makes you smarter and nicer.

We readers have known this for a long time (ahem). The good news is that less than avid readers can get on the self-improvement bandwagon at Catawba County Library. This past year we circulated some 371,000 books in print, audio and electronic formats.

The study is the work of two Canadians: Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University and Keith Oatley, professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto. Their studies published in 2006 and 2009 show that people who often read fiction in particular appear to be better able to understand others and view the world from another’s perspective. The link was apparent in spite of the possibility that more empathetic people might tend to read more books in the first place.

Results cut across age groups. For example, young children who were read to were better able to model another person’s intentions.

Deep reading, the leisurely reading of a favorite novel, isn’t the same thing as skimming through headlines or comic strips or checking Facebook posts. In fact, deep reading may be an endangered practice.

Deep reading exercises the brain much in the same way real experiences do. Language rich in detail and metaphor draws on the same regions of the brain that would be active if the scene were unfolding in real life. Such language is found in novels, short stories, memoir and poetry. The desire for a kinder, more gentle world might begin with reading quality.

Modern life—and availability of such distractions as television and the web—make it too easy to opt for other activities than reading a novel or a memoir or poem. Deep reading, taking the time to slow down and thoroughly enjoy the words on the page, allows the reader to enrich themselves with reflection and analysis. You actually connect the story to your own memories.

County library announces full November schedule
A piano concert, an author visit and Thanksgiving programs highlight the month of November at Catawba County Library System.

Sherrills Ford-Terrell Friends of the Library will host renowned ragtime pianist Bob Milne at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5 at the branch library. His performance is free and open to the public.

The following evening, author Jason Mott will discuss his successful first novel The Returned—the inspiration for the ABC-TV series “Resurrection.” He will be a guest of Friends of Catawba County Library at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 at Newton.

Story times, ESL classes, craft times, computer programs and more round out the calendar. For the most current information, check the on-line calendar at

Please pre-register for Maiden events and all computer classes.
The library will be closed Nov. 27 and 28.

Main Library, 465-8664
• Ready to Learn Story Time, Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10 a.m. (age 2-5l)
• Ready to Learn Story Time 5 p.m. Tuesdays (school age)
• Paws to Read with a dog, 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays by appointment (465-8668)
• Final day of early voting, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 1
• Election Day Nov. 4 with voting for West Newton Precinct, 6:30 a. m. to 7:30 p.m.
• Hoopla Computer Class, 10 a.m. Nov. 5 (adults)
• Author Jason Mott, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 6 (teens/adults)
• Southern Pens book club, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, 10 a.m. Nov. 8 (adults)
• CFI College Financial Aid, 1 p.m. Nov. 8 (adults)
• Friends of the Library, 11 a.m. Nov. 10
• Library Advisory Board, 12 p.m. Nov. 11
• Please and Thanksgiving, 5 p.m. (school age)
• History Talk with Gary Freeze: Baby Boomers, 6:30 p. m. Nov. 11 (adults)
• Pumpkin STEM, 5 p.m. Nov. 18 (school age)
• Women’s Self Defense, 6 p.m. Nov. 18 (age 12+)
• Rocket Languages, 10 a.m. Nov. 19 (adults)
• Catawba County Genealogical Society, 7 p.m. Nov. 25 (adults)

Claremont Branch, 466-6817
• Intro to Computers, 2 p.m. Nov. 6 (adults)
• DIY Wreaths, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 6 (adults}
• Resumé Builder, Nov. 20 by appointment (adults)
• Tween Scene: Babymouse, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20 (age 8-12)

Conover Branch, 466-5108
• Little Learning Party story time 11 a.m. Tuesdays (preschool)
• Dance & Learn Story Time, 11 a.m. Nov. 4 (age 2-7 & parents)
• Baby Bounce, 10 a.m. Fridays (infants & parents)
• Intro to Computers, 10 a.m. Nov. 7 (adults)
• My Little Pony Party, 4 p.m. Nov. 11 (kids)
• Cookbook Club: Tailgate Snacks, 4 p.m. Nov. 12 (adults)
• Teen Writers Guild, 6 p.m. Nov. 18
• Wee Explore: Sensory Bags, 10 a.m. Nov. 19 (ages 6-18 months and parents)
• Resumé Help, 10 a.m. Nov. 21 by appointment (adults)

Maiden Branch, 428-2712
• Ready to Learn Story Time , 9:30 a.m. Thursdays
• Financial Literacy: ID Theft, 10 a.m. Nov. 5 (seniors)
• CFNC Financial Aid Workshop, 9:30 a.m. Nov. 8l (teens/parents)
• Intro to Email, 10 a.m. Nov. 12 (adults)
• Local Pottery program, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 (adults)

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)
• CFNC Financial Aid Workshop, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 3 (teens/parents)
• Knitting Club, 6 p.m. Nov. 3 (adult)
• “Pocahontas” movie, 4 p.m. Nov. 7 (all)
• iPad Basics Help, 10 a.m. Wednesdays (adults)
• ESL Classes for adults, 5:30-7:30 Mondays starting Nov. 10
• Before You Shop (Spanish), 6 p.m. Nov. 11 (adults)
• Family Fun Night, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 (all)

Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch, 466-6827
• Ready to Learn, Story Time 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays (preschool)
• Baby Bounce, 1:15 p.m. Tuesdays (infants and parents)
• Computer & eReader drop-in, 6 p.m. Nov. 4 & 18, (adults)
• Ragtime Pianist Bob Milne, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5 (all)
• “App”-alooza computer class, 6 p.m. Nov. 11 (adults)
• Fall Leaf Candle Holders, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 10 (age 7-12)
• Bejeweled T-Shirt Tote Bags, 4 p.m. Nov. 19 (age 12-18)
• DIY Faux Flower Candle Wreath, 4 pm. Nov. 20 (adults)
• Fall Wreath Making, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 24 (age 7-12)
• eBook Extravaganza, 6 p.m. Nov. 25 (adults)

Southwest Branch, 466-6818
• Ready to Learn Story Time, 10 a.m. Wednesdays & 11 a.m. Thursdays (preschool)
• Intro to Excel, 10 a.m. Nov. 14 & 21 (adults)

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Still time to view Anne Frank exhibit

October 23rd, 2014 by twilson

The free Anne Frank exhibit continues at Catawba County Library in Newton through Friday, Oct. 31. The information panels, on loan from the Anne Frank Center in New York, have drawn hundreds of students and other citizens to the library, and many have left comments.

“Sad,” “brave,” “depressed” are many of the comments written on Sticky Notes provided by library staff. The handwritten messages have been applied to library windows as a testament to the impact of Anne Frank’s story.

In addition, vintage items from the Nazi era in Germany may be viewed, thanks to a local collector, William Warren. Student Rabbi Dennis Jones of Temple Beth Shalom in Hickory helped formally open the exhibit earlier this month.

The library’s efforts are part of a collaboration with The Green Room Community Theatre which presented “The Diary of Anne Frank” earlier this month. Several school groups toured the library last week and viewed a special documentary outlining Frank’s life and death during the Holocaust of World War II. More than 200 visitors attended a lecture by Holocaust survivor Dr. Walter Ziffer on Oct. 16. A video of his presentation will be available soon on the library website.

“Building awareness of this chapter in history is what the collaboration was all about,” said Library Director Suzanne White. “In that regard it has been a huge success”

The Main Library is located at 115 West C Street in Newton.

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Library update, Oct. 22

October 22nd, 2014 by twilson

Community garden campaign successful
Catawba County Library’s community garden has plenty of seed money for 2015, thanks to a successful appeal to the community.

“We are delighted that $4,500 has been committed to the garden project,” said April Green, Youth Services librarian and project coordinator. “We look forward to continuing to improve and expand the garden this coming year.”

Twenty-five individuals, businesses and groups contributed to the cause for an average gift of $194 to the Citizenvestor campaign conducted on-line through the library website, Facebook and Twitter.

The purpose of the project is to maintain an attractive learning and reading space for library visitors of all ages. Produce from the garden will be contributed to local food pantries and the Corner Table soup kitchen. Plans for the coming year include creating a shade garden reading area for the community and for library learning programs.

Green thanked all who contributed, noting that the project is a collaboration of people working together to grow healthy local foods, encourage learning, and provide fruits and vegetables to citizens in need.

Those who would still like to contribute to the cause may do so at any Catawba County Library location, and volunteers are always welcome. Donations are tax deductible. Checks may be made out to Catawba County Library. The Main Library is located at 115 West C Street in Newton. Contact April Green at 828-465-8668 for opportunities to get involved.

Gary Freeze lecture will cover Boomer time
Historian Gary Freeze will continue his lecture series at Catawba County Library on Tuesday, Nov. 11 with a talk on Baby Boomers and their impact on life in Catawba County. Baby Boomers are generally considered those born between 1946 and 1964.

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

Freeze will discuss research for his third book of Catawba County history—The Catawbans Volume III. His remaining lecture will be given on Tuesday, Dec. 2 as a discussion of shopping malls and mass merchandisers and their effect on downtown business districts.

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

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Library news, Oct. 20

October 20th, 2014 by twilson

The Returned author coming to Newton
Jason Mott, author of The Returned, a book that sparked the hit TV series “Resurrection,” will appear at the Main Library in Newton on Nov. 6. He will discuss his first novel at 6:30 p.m. that Thursday as well as his new release, The Wonder of All Things. The public is invited.

Mott, a native of eastern North Carolina, took the world by storm with The Returned, a novel about the dead returning to life and is regarded as a writer to watch.

He earned a BA degree in fiction and an MFA in poetry from UNC at Wilmington. His work received starred reviews from all four major publishers’ journals including Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. The Returned was also named a “People Pick” by People magazine and was featured in reviews by the Washington Post and elsewhere.

The Wonder of All Things, is another stunningly conceived, haunting work that mixes elements of the miraculous with a cautionary tale about the dangerous madness that can accompany mass hysteria focused on a 13-year-old girl with the power to heal.

Mott’s books will be available for sale and signing, thanks to representatives from Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

Mott’s appearance is sponsored by Friends of Catawba County Library. The Main Library is located at 115 W. C Street.

Read these books coming to the big screen
Oh what a year it has been for books to movies! Nicholas Sparks’ The Best of Me, Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale, Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, And the list keeps growing.

Catawba County Library has all of the books listed here, and will likely have the DVDs in stock as well when they come out later next year.

In the meantime, you can read the rest of these stories before you head to the theatres this November and December when these new films hit the theatres.

Of course you will find differences between the book and the movie version. That’s because print and film are different media—a book manuscript averages 300 pages. Screenplays are far shorter, about 125 pages. Books by their very nature explore themes and background in greater depth. Movies, on the other hand, are a visual medium. They must offer the eye-catching punch to keep the audience engaged. Scenes may or may not mirror what’s in the book.

The good news is that you still have time to enjoy these books before the film release.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Nov. 21). The sequel to the Hunger Games opens with Katniss Everdeen in District 13. A revolution to overthrow the capitol is underway as she fights to save her love Peeta, who was captured at the end of the last film. Look for Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the cast.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed. (Dec. 5). A woman, who’s lost everything, inexperienced and alone, hikes over 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in search of herself. Reese Witherspoon stars in this autobiographical tale.

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon (Dec. 12). In the late ‘60s, detective Larry “Doc” Sportello’s ex-girlfriend who appears to and tell him of a plot to kidnap her billionaire boyfriend. The psychedelic thriller stars Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin and Reese Witherspoon, among others.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (Dec. 17). The classic tale of Middle-earth is at stake as Dwarves, Elves and Men unite against evil forces. The film will feature Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom and Ian McKellan.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (Dec. 25). An Olympic runner turned war hero, Louis Zamperini, along with two mates, survives for 47 days on a raft after their plane is shot down during World War II. The three are rescued by the Japanese and then imprisoned. Directed by Angelina Jolie, the movie stars Domhnall Gleeson, Jack O’Connel and Garrett Hedlund.

Enjoy ragtime piano at Sherrills Ford-Terrell
Bob Milne, renowned ragtime/boogie woogie pianist, will present a free concert at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5 at Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library. The event is free and open to the public

As an expert of this uniquely American musical genre, Milne performs some 250 concerts per year including the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Missouri, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Eau Claire Ragtime Festival, and the Sacramento Ragtime Festival.

Milne is the founder and director of the Frankenmuth Ragtime Festival in Michigan and was interviewed and filmed at the Library of Congress in 2004. He has also performed around the world as a U.S. Department of State Musical Ambassador.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Library. A reception will follow. For more information, log on to :

ESL classes to be offered at St. Stephens
St. Stephens Branch Library will host a series of English as a Second Language classes starting on Monday, Nov. 10 through Dec. 29.

Depending on demand, the two-hour classes may be extended into 2015.

Cindy Lee Scala will lead the sessions. A certified ESL instructor, she most recently taught ESL at the Latin American Community Center in Wilmington, DE. She also worked in law enforcement and the justice system in Delaware and New Jersey. She now works as a probation officer in Hickory.

Interested students can call 828-466-6821 to register or just stop by the branch.

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