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Even when the library is closed, you have plenty to read

SALISBURY — This has been one of the harshest winters we have experienced in the Southeast in recent years. Crippling ice storms, record cold temperatures and heavy snow fall have certainly interrupted our daily routines. But rather than being a glass-half-empty person, I’m going to challenge you to make the most of these winter blues.
As I write this column, the library is actually closed due to inclement weather — but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying all that the library has to offer. If you have an Internet connection, you have access to ebooks, eaudiobooks, evideos, downloadable music, digital magazines, articles, online classes and so much more.
The library subscribes to NCLive, which offers free access to thousands of audiobooks, ebooks and videos for streaming. There are also hundreds of thousands of articles you can read or do text-to-audio and listen instead.
Since NCLive tends to be heavy on the non-fiction, those in need of an escape may be more interested in NCDigital Library, which offers thousands of popular materials in the form of downloadable books, audiobooks, music and videos.
There’s even a collection of Disney read-along ebooks that are always available and offer interactive fun for children learning to read.
If magazines are more your style, the library recently got a subscription to Zinio, the world’s largest electronic newsstand. With a collection of more than 50 magazines including Do it Yourself, Good Housekeeping, Interweave Knits, Popular Photography and Oprah Magazine, you’re sure to find a magazine to inspire creativity.
Need something to listen to while you’re cleaning the house or shoveling snow on the sidewalk? Check out OneClick Digital, which offers you free access to downloadable audiobooks on a variety of topics, including language learning, history, biography, classic literature and more. These audiobooks are compatible with most iPods and WMA compatible MP3 players.
If you are looking for more of a challenge, browse our Learn4Life course catalog, which boasts more than 300 instructor-led online courses covering anything from digital photography to beginning guitar, software help to medical transcription.
Click on a course to look at the syllabus, read more about the instructor, find out course requirements and read student reviews. Each course lasts six weeks and is available to you free of charge with your library card. The next session of courses began Feb. 19.
Don’t have an Internet connection? We’ve still got snow day fun covered. Right now the library is sponsoring several contests as part of our 411 Community Read this year. Grab your camera and snap a few photos to submit for the photography contest, open to students and adults (submissions accepted March 9–April 9). Or put together a “shelf room” that mimics one of the scenes from our community read book, “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.”
You can create a shelf room using household items (shoebox, glue, craft papers, etc.). The project can be completed as individual or as a family, with cash prizes awarded to each. For children and teens, there’s also a hidden picture coloring contest with cash prizes. If you haven’t already, pick up entry forms at any library location.
While there are few things more comforting than snuggling up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book, the library of 2014 is so much more than our brick-and-mortar walls can hold. So when you run out of reading material and are still snowed in, remember your library card gives you access to so much more.
Visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org to discover all the places you can go with your library card from the comfort of your own home.
Rowan Public Library offers free, monthly computer classes on beginning to advanced topics. Classes are hands-on and are free and open to the public. All classes are approximately 90 minutes long.
March’s class will be Blogging for Beginners. Learn how to create a blog where you can share anything from recipes and pictures to resumes and lectures. This class will focus on using Blogger, but other blog-building sites such as WordPress and Tumblr will be discussed. This class will be offered at all three branches of the Rowan Public Library:
South Rowan Regional (China Grove): Monday, March 17, 7 p.m.
East Branch (Rockwell): Tuesday, March 18, 1 p.m.
Headquarters (Salisbury): Thursday, March 20, 9:30 a.m.
Registration is required for the class offered at the East Branch. For more information or to register, please call April Everett at 704-216-8229.
Children’s Storytime: Weekly Story Time through May 2. For more information call 704-216-8234.
Toddler Time (18- to 35-month olds) — 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, headquarters; 11 a.m. Mondays, East.
Baby Time (6- to 23-month olds) — 10 a.m. Wednesdays, headquarters; 10 a.m. Mondays, East.
Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds) — 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, headquarters; 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, South; 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Thursdays, East.
Noodlehead (4- to 8-year-olds) — 4 p.m. Thursdays, headquarters; 4 p.m. Mondays, South.
Tiny Tumblers (6- to 35-month-olds) — Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., South.
Children’s art programs: Learn different art techniques and start a new art project; runs weekly during storytime. Art in the Afternoon, headquarters, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; Art Party, South, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.; Art with Char, East, Thursdays, 4 p.m.
Chocolate festival for teens: All 5:30-7 p.m. Chocolate trivia, chocolate games and a chocolate fountain. For more information call 704-216-8234. East, Monday; headquarters, Tuesday.
Book Bites Club: South (only), Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., “Catch Me If You Can,” by Frank Abagnale. Book discussion groups for adults and children meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information, please call 704-216-8229.
Displays for February: headquarters, log cabins, North Hills Christian School; South, student art, Corriher Lipe Middle School; East, 4-H by Ann Furr.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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