Need to learn more? Library has resources you can use at home

Published 12:03 am Sunday, May 10, 2015

By Gretchen Beilfuss Witt

Rowan Public Library

Did you know that there are many library resources that you can use without even leaving the comfort of your easy chair? Rowan Public library has access to many exciting items at the touch of a button.

Pull up the library website on your home computer, iPad or mobile phone and look for the “Online Tools.” One of the largest sources for online materials is NCLIVE. The North Carolina State Library provides many resources for all public and academic libraries in North Carolina on NC LIVE. You just need your card number (include all the zeroes, but not the letters) and a personal identification number (PIN) to access this material from anywhere.

Among the newer products that NC LIVE provides is a digital video collection, “Films on Demand.” You can watch the latest Rick Steves’ exploration of a travel destination, a Ken Burns documentary, develop business communication skills or even learn how to take better photos on your mobile phone.

There are movies detailing the challenges of growing older in America, how to dance the Rumba, Jamie Oliver’s recipes for 15-minute meals featuring ingredients like chorizo and squid and segments of “Families around the World,” a program describing the day-to-day life in other cultures.

Planning a trip to Europe, South America or even China? Want to challenge your kids to keep their mind working this summer? Rowan Public Library has resources to help them learn at least the important phrases in languages spoken all over the globe. The Pronunciator program provides the opportunity to learn 80 different languages – the regular French or German, four types of Chinese as well as Telugu, Urdu and Swahili.

Registering with Pronunciator helps track your progress, remind you of your last session, and it has playback tools to achieve proper pronunciation. Particularly notable in this program is the ability to choose different levels of intensity.

Patrons wanting to share a language with their children can choose from two different age ranges, 3-6 years and 7-12. The Early Learners may learn the Russian words for colors over a five day period while the 7-12-year-olds learn words for good morning, goodnight, high-five and hug.

Adults can start with an eight-week travel preparation course, a general beginner course or a specific healthcare course. If planning to travel for business or pleasure or learning the language of your heritage, this resource presents a terrific opportunity to accomplish your goal.

If a new language is not in the stars, perhaps another personal goal might be. Earning a GED, preparing for the GRE, learning how to use computer programs with ease or preparing to write a grant for a new business venture are just a few of the courses available online through the library’s Gale Courses. Gale Courses are offered on myriad topics, from personal finance and investing to creating websites; medical transcription to basic drawing.

Each course is offered monthly with the next enrollment May 13; it continues for six weeks. Courses are led by professional instructors and are offered both for professional development and personal enrichment. These courses are free and open to anyone with a library card. Explore your options under Online Tools – Gale Courses or the Gale Courses icon and browse the catalog for topics of interest.

Other resources like Chilton’s auto repair, Heritage Quest for genealogy, legal forms and much, much more are also available. Take advantage of the wonderful opportunities offered through the library online resources without ever leaving home.

Computer classes: Headquarters, Getting to Know Your iPad, May 19  7 p.m. Registration required. Discussion of components, navigation and use of apps. Must bring own iPad, charged, and have an updated iOS (operating system). Bring current, valid Apple ID. For more info or to register, call Paul Birkhead at 704-216-8242.

If you’re new to computers or never felt comfortable, Computer Basics is for you. Classes are free. Sessions: 90 minutes. Class size limited and on a first come, first served basis. Dates and times subject to change without notice. Call 704-216-8242 for more information. Headquarters, May 21, 9:30 a.m. To register, call Paul Birkhead 704-216-8242.

Summer reading registration:  Every Hero Has a Story! Registration opens May 18. RPL celebrates the many types of heroes and encourages children to discover the heroes within themselves.  Registered participants may log reading hours between June 10 and Aug. 8 to earn prizes, complete weekly book reviews to enter weekly program raffles, and attend special weekly reading programs for their age group between June 15 and July 30. Registration is free and can be done at any library location.

Teen summer reading: Registration begins May 18 at all library locations for rising sixth- to 12th-graders. Teens are invited to participate in Unmask! summer reading program where they will explore the world of super and everyday heroes through fun programs and reading.  Teens can begin tracking reading hours June 10.

All programs starting June 16 and running through July 23 will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. Programs will take place on Tuesdays at RPL Headquarters in Salisbury, Wednesdays at the East Branch in Rockwell, and Thursdays at South Rowan Regional Library in China Grove.

Every teen who registers gets a booklet for keeping track of the library dollars they earn. Those library dollars will be used to enter various raffles for prizes provided by the Friends of RPL and other local sponsors. Winners will be announced at the end of the summer at the National Teen Lock-in to be held at headquarters on July 3 from 6:30-10:30 p.m.  For more information or questions please contact Jennifer Nicholson at or at 704-216-8229.

Licensed to Grill: South Branch, 920 Kimball Road, China Grove May 18, 5:45 p.m. Admission is by ticket only. Tickets were obtained by visiting at least one other Learn.Act.Grow. workshop. The cookout will feature tips on how to grill healthy alternatives to traditional cookout fair. This free workshop is sponsored by Morrison Healthcare and Chuck Misenheimer and it concludes the 2015 Learn.Act.Grow. series.

Book Bites Club: May 19, 6:30 p.m., “Elegy for Eddie, by Jacqueline Winspear. Book discussion groups for adults and children at South Rowan Regional Library meet the last Tuesday of each month. Open and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments. For more information, call 704-216-7841.

Library closing: May 23-25, all locations closed for Memorial Day.

Displays: Headquarters, Older American Month, Jo Kearns; South, student art by South Rowan High School art class; East, seashells by Glenda Hunsucker.

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.