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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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Library news Aug. 11

August 11th, 2014 by twilson

Youngster supports library garden
Librarian April Green received a heartfelt gift from a local child to help support the community garden at Catawba County Library. Casey Reid, daughter of Rick and DeAnna Reid of Newton, recently donated one dollar for the garden.

The two-year-old learned about the project while attending a library story time with her grandmother, Virginia Reid. Donations are being sought to improve the garden and make it more accessible for reading and other learning activities.

The garden spot, a first for the library, is located on a former weed-infested lot behind the library in Newton. To goal is to provide herbs, vegetables and fruit to local food pantries as well as set up an outdoor learning environment for customers of 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. For more information about making a contribution, log on to http://www.citizinvestor.com/project/growing-plants-and-lives–library . For further information, contact Suzanne White , library director, at 465-8660.

Veterans have powerful stories to tell
By Tammy Wilson
Public Information Officer
Catawba County Library System

Recently a reader suggested that I write a column about military-oriented books, and what a great idea!

We are still a nation at war. Young men and women are serving on our behalf every day. And with Newton’s Soldiers’ Reunion just around the corner, this is a perfect time to spotlight books about the armed services.

Main Library in Newton has a military book display in the main lobby this month.

Books, audio books and DVDs on the topic can be found on nonfiction shelves numbered in the 350s, 940s and 950s. And of course there are biographies on the “B” shelves about such modern patriots as Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf, Gen. Colin Powell, Gen. Tommy Franks, Capt. Scott O’Grady and veterans-turned- politicians including President George H. W. Bush, Secretary of State John Kerry and Senators John McCain and James Webb.

American Navy SEALS have penned gripping stories in recent years. Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell is about Four US Navy SEALS on a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader said to be very close to Osama Bin Laden. Five days later, only one of them made it out alive.

American Sniper is the memoir of Chris Kyle, the record-holding sniper in U.S. military history. Kyle has more than 150 officially confirmed kills during multiple combat tours in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) and elsewhere from 1999-2009.

One of the most powerful movies I’ve seen is “A Soldier’s Story: Taking Chance,” the historical drama based on experiences of Marine Lt. Colonel Michael Strobl who escorted the body of a fallen Marine, PFC Chance Phelps to his final resting place. The HBO production starring Kevin Bacon is superb. Do yourself a favor and place a hold on it today.

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Library news Aug. 4

August 4th, 2014 by twilson

Don’t miss the Friends book sale
Friends of Catawba County Library will conduct their big annual book sale Aug. 14-16 at 115 W. C Street. The three-day extravaganza includes a members-only night on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and sales to the public Friday from 10 to 4 and Saturday from 10 to 2.

Customers will pore over deleted library materials and as well as many donations from the public. Some of these are like new priced at $1.50 for hardbacks, 50 cents for paperbacks and $2 for CDs and DVDs. Expect reduced pricing that last day. Patrons are asked to park behind the building for easy access to the sale on the ground floor.

Annual memberships will be sold at the door for $10 per individual, $15 per family and $25 for businesses. Memberships will be sold at the door during the preview sale on Aug. 14 as well as on Aug. 15 and 16. All members qualify for a 20 percent discount at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, in addition to first dibs on the annual book sale. What a deal!

Special this year is a raffle of J. K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard Collector’s Edition. 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 book sale.

The drawing will be held at 2 p.m. on Aug. 16. Customers 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.

Grateful mom pens letter to librarian
Librarian April Green is taking a bow having received a heartfelt letter from a local mom, thanking her and the Catawba County Library for the Summer Reading program.

The handwritten letter came from a Latina mother who appreciates all the “love, effort and dedication you offered during this summer reading program for my children. “

The letter cited extra effort taken by busy library staff to meet the children’s needs, “(you) inspire and influence the education of children,” the woman wrote, offering them “a positive impact….thank you very much.”

Green and the staff were touched by the letter which was written by a mom who is not fluent in English but wished to express her gratitude for feeling welcome and for having free public library service for her family.

“It really meant a lot to us,” Green said. “Customers appreciate us, but we appreciate their kind words too. Making a difference in a child’s life is what being a youth services librarian is all about.”

Green coordinated the Summer Reading program for the entire library system. More than 400 children and youth have been registered for Summer Reading at Newton alone. Additional participants are registered at Conover, Claremont, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford and Southwest locations.

Friends group to convene at library
Friends of Catawba County Library will hold their monthly meeting at 11 a.m. Monday Aug. 11, at the Main Library in Newton. Members will discuss preparations for the big book sale Aug. 14-16.

Sale hours are Thursday, Aug. 14 from 4-7 p.m., Friday Aug. 15 from 10 to 4 and Saturday, Aug. 16 from 10-2. Memberships ($10 individual, $15 family, $25 business) will be sold at the door each day.

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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Computer classes resume at the library

July 30th, 2014 by twilson

Sign up now for free computer workshops
Adults: you can enhance your computer skills free at the Catawba County Library System in August.
Consider preregistering for:

Keyboard Practice—If you’re a hunt-and-peck typist, here are some tricks to help speed you up. Session begins 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6 at St. Stephens.

Intro to Computers using Windows 7—What features does this Microsoft platform offer for computing? Find out at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13 at St. Stephens.

Discover Hoopla—Learn how easy it is to access free streaming of audio books and movies through your library website. Classes held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20 at Conover and again at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21 at Claremont.

Email Basics—Beginners will feel at home learning the ins and outs of electronic mail. This essential workshop will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27 at St. Stephens.

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

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Library news July 30

July 30th, 2014 by twilson

Library announces fall speakers
Award-winning writer, naturalist and activist Janisse Ray will launch Catawba County Library’s fall speaker series on Thursday, Sept. 4 with a reading and discussion of her book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. Her talk begins at 6:30 p.m. that Thursday at Catawba County Library. Her presentation highlights the community garden project at Main Library in Newton.

Ray is one of five speakers who will present talks this fall at the Main Library, 115 W. C Street in Newton. All of the programs are free and open to the public and will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Georgia author has published five books of literary nonfiction and a collection of nature poetry. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana and in 2014 was awarded an honorary doctorate from LaGrange College in Georgia. She is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and nonfiction. Her memoir, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, was a New York Times Notable Book and was chosen as the Book All Georgians Should Read.

Two Road Scholar speakers from the N.C. Humanities Council will share their expertise this fall.

On Sept. 25, Vivian P. Hopkins, vice president of the Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation, will present her Road Scholar talk on “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.

On Thursday, Oct. 16, Dr. Walter Ziffer, a survivor of the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia, will speak on “Witness to the Holocaust.” Ziffer is an adjunct professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Mars Hill College and has published numerous articles about religious topics and the Holocaust. A Road Scholar with the N.C. Humanities Council, he teaches classes in Judaism, early Christian history, Biblical Hebrew and comparative religion. His presentation is made as part of a partnership between the Catawba County Library and The Green Room which is producing “The Diary of Anne Frank” in October.

North Carolina resident Jason Mott will round out the series Nov. 6 with a presentation about his New York Times bestseller, The Returned. He holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction have appeared in various literary journals. He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their “10 New Hollywood: Next Wave” people to watch. The Returned is being published in more than 13 languages. The Returned is Jason’s debut novel and has been optioned by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B. The series aired last March on ABC network under the title “Resurrection.”

In addition, Dr. Gary Freeze of Catawba College will present three talks about local history as he continues research for his third volume of The Catawbans at the Main Library in Newton on Tuesday Aug. 26, Sept. 30, Nov. 11 and Dec. 2. All of the talks begin at 6:30 p.m. The focus of the first program will be on desegregation and is co-sponsored by Catawba County Genealogical Society. Subsequent topics include the building of Interstate 40, baby boomers and the coming of malls and mass merchandising. Much of his research is being conducted at the Rhodes Local History Room at the Main Library.

The adult speaker series is presented through generous support of Friends of Catawba County Library as well as grants from the N.C. Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Conover, St. Stephens offer crafty programs in August
Catawba County Library will offer several opportunities involving the arts and crafts during the month of August. Adults and kids alike will find free sessions to suit their taste as follows:

It’s Alive—School-aged children will construct pinecone bird feeders as they explore the symbiotic relationships between plants and animals. The program begins at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1 at St. Stephens.

Knitting Club—A group of knitting enthusiasts meet monthly to work on projects and swap ideas. Join them at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4 at St. Stephens Branch.

Making Thaumatropes –School-aged children will craft these moving devices from paper and string. Thaumatropes are toys associated with 19th century attempts to create motion pictures. The session will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 8 at St. Stephens.

Piet Mondrian Neo-Plasticism—This session for ages 6-12 will draw inspiration from the 20th century French master of geometric art. The program begins at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15 at St. Stephens.

Binary Jewelry—St. Stephens Branch is the place to be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16 when teens will construct beaded jewelry using binary math principles.

Pinterest Party—Ages 13 to adults will try their hands at two popular crafts on the Pinterest social networking site. Supplies will be provided free. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 at Conover.

Story Camp—Bring a pillow, blanket and flashlight for an after-hours cap out. Families are invited to build a fort, snuggle and listen to campfire stories. Snacks and a craft will be provided. All ages are welcome. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28 at Conover. For more information about any session, contact the appropriate location: Newton at 465-7938, Conover at 466-5108, Claremont at 466-6817, or St. Stephens at 466-6821.

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Library News for July 28

July 28th, 2014 by twilson

County library shares August calendar
Local history, the Friends book sale and a grand prize drawing are among activities planned next month at Catawba County Library System.

Historian Gary Freeze will kick off the fall speaker series on Aug. 26 with a look at racial integration during the 1960s and 70s. He will draw on research for his upcoming book, The Catawbans Volume III.

The big Friends book sale is Aug. 14-16 at Main Library in Newton. A variety of donated and former library materials will be offered at bargain prices and Friends memberships will be sold at the door.

Summer Reading activities will wind down by mid-month. A drawing for grand prizes will be held on Saturday, Aug. 9. Summer Reading involves hundreds of young people under age 18 who have striven to meet reading goals this summer.

For up-to-the minute library information, check the on-line calendar at http://www.catawbacountync.gov/library

COMING ATTRACTIONS
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, 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays by appointment (465-8668)
• Green Bean Players “The Stinky Cheese Man” 1:30 p.m. Aug. 2 (all ages)
• Monday Movies, 4 p.m. Aug. 4. Movie is “Up.”
• Hands-on Banking session, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 5 (adults)
• Southern Pens book group, 10 a.m. Aug. 9 (The Seed Underground by Janisse Ray)
• Summer Reading Grand Prize Drawing, 5 p.m. Aug. 9
• Friends of Library meeting, 11 a.m. Aug. 11
• Friends Book Sale members night 4-7 p.m., Aug. 14
• Friends Book Sale 10-4, Aug. 15
• Friends Book Sale 10-2, Aug. 16
• Harry Potter book drawing, 2 p.m. Aug. 16
• Local History of Desegregation with Gary Freeze, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 26 (teens & up)

Claremont Branch, 466-6817
• Green Bean Players “The Stinky Cheese Man” 10 a.m. Aug. 2, Claremont
• Discover Hoopla, 2 p.m. Aug. 21 (adults, pre-register)
• Story Camp, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28 (families)

Conover Branch, 466-5108
• Little Learning Party story time 11 a.m. Tuesdays (preschool)
• Family Dance & Learn, 11 a.m. Aug. 9 (preschoolers & parents)
• Senior Financial Care, 2 p.m. Aug. 13 (adults)
• Grow Together Saturday, 11 a.m. Aug. 16 (families)
• Discover Hoopla, 11 a.m. Aug. 20 (adults, pre-register)
• Pinterest Crafting Party, 6 p.m.. Aug. 26 (adults)

Maiden Branch, 428-2712
• Ready to Learn Story Time , 9:30 a.m. Thursdays
• Searching for Meg dinosaur program, 2 p.m. Aug. 7 (school age)

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)
• It’s Alive (pine cone bird feeders), 10 a.m. Aug. 1 (kids)
• Knitting Club, 6 p.m. Aug. 4 (adult)
• Keyboarding Practice, 10 a.m. Aug. 6 (adult, pre-register)
• Making Thaumatropes, 10 a.m. Aug. 8 (age 6-12)
• Intro to Windows 7, 10 a.m. Aug. 13 (adult, pre-register)
• Piet Mondrian Neo-Plasticism, 10 a.m. Aug. 15 (age 6-12)
• Binary Jewelry, 2 p.m. Aug. 18 (teens)
• Email Basics, 10 a.m. Aug. 27 (adult, pre-register)
Sherrills Ford Branch, 466-6827
• Ready to Learn, Story Time 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays (preschool)

Southwest Branch, 466-6818
• Ready to Learn Story Time, 10 a.m. Wednesdays & 11 a.m. Thursdays (preschool)
• Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzle, 4 p.m. Aug. 6 (school age)
• Teen Movie “Captain America,” 4 p.m. Aug. 7
• Green Bean Players “The Stinky Cheese Man,” 10 a.m. Aug. 9 (all)

‘Hands-On Banking’ to be offered at library
Catawba County Library is partnering with Wells Fargo Bank to offer a money management session for adults on Aug. 5.

The free class begins at 6:30 p.m. that Tuesday in the auditorium at Main Library in Newton. Kim Watson, a personal banker with Wells Fargo Bank on Springs Road, will lead the Financial Literacy Program, “Hands-on Banking.”

The session will show area residents how to be more financially literate, that is smarter and sensible about their money. Watson will cover sound money management basics from budgeting and buying a car to paying for college and investing for retirement. This free, non-commercial program teaches people in various stages of life about the basics of responsible money management.

Preregistration is not required. For more information, contact Regina Reitzel, information services librarian, at 465-7938.

Library branch nearing completion at Sherrills Ford
Catawba County Library’s newest facility will open within a few weeks, a according to Suzanne White, library director.

The branch library, to be known as Sherrills Ford-Terrell, is expected to be unveiled public in September after furnishings are installed and materials are shelved.

“We expect the ‘move’ to take a week, moving materials from the existing branch on Sherrills Ford Road to the new facility about a mile away. Staff members will box materials to be moved to the new building. A number of new books, CDs and DVDs have been ordered for the new branch as well, White said.

The 10,000-square-foot library will offer much-needed 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 room.

Sherrills Ford-Terrell is one of seven locations operated by the Catawba County Library System.

What makes a good ‘book club’ book?

By Tammy Wilson
Public Information Officer
Catawba County Library System

I’ve been part of several book clubs over the years. I’ve participated in writing workshops (a kind of book club) more times than I care to count. And I’ve dipped my toes into the pool of book club facilitator and author presenter.

To decide whether a book is a good one for a book club, ask if it’s character driven or plot driven. Generally speaking, most genre books (mysteries, westerns, romances, science fiction and fantasy) are plot driven and won’t withstand serious discussion. More than likely the author has spelled everything out for the reader, so there’s little more to say.

Consider Danielle Steele’s Legacy or Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code versus The Reader by Bernhard Schlink or Evening by Susan Minot. Yes, I know some will quarrel about the Brown thriller, claiming that intriguing arguments can be made about the “code,” but the characters are stock characters, the setting little more than a sound stage. Trust me on this.

Book club books don’t have to be novels or story collections. There are a number of outstanding nonfiction books that delve into the human experience. Some good examples are The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot or The Greater Journey by David McCullough.

Probably the most important criterion is that the book be well-written, have an interesting plot and three-dimensional characters. This is a matter of taste, but generally speaking, such books present the author’s view of an important truth and sometimes send a message to the reader. Such work can be read more than once, and each time the reader learns something new.
Here are a few contemporary titles to consider:

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen
Before Women Had Wings by Connie May Fowler
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Woblewski
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price
Glitter and Glue: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Burning Bright: Stories by Ron Rash

And I’ll give nods to works by writer friends: Goliath by Susan Woodring and The Mourning Hours by Paula Trieck DeBoard.
All of these titles are in the county library system, by the way.

Library branch nearing completion at Sherrills Ford

Catawba County Library’s newest facility will open within a few weeks, a according to Suzanne White, library director.

The branch library, to be known as Sherrills Ford-Terrell, is expected to be unveiled public in September after furnishings are installed and materials are shelved.

“We expect the ‘move’ to take a week, moving materials from the existing branch on Sherrills Ford Road to the new facility about a mile away. Staff members will box materials to be moved to the new building. A number of new books, CDs and DVDs have been ordered for the new branch as well, White said.

The 10,000-square-foot library will offer much-needed 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 room.

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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, http://www.citizinvestor.com/project/growing-plants-and-lives–library . For further information, contact April Green at 465-8668 or by email, agreen@catawbacountync.gov .

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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, http://www.citizinvestor.com/project/growing-plants-and-lives–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.

LIBRARY COLUMN
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, twilson@catawbacountync.gov

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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 http://www.catawbacountync.gov/library 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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