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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org