Use September to sign up for or upgrade your library card
By Pam Everhardt Bloom
Rowan Public Library
Libraries are all about choice – your choices. Your library card is an important commodity and it’s free. It’s so important that the American Library Association designates September as Library Card Sign-up Month.
When’s the last time you used your card at the library? If it’s been a while you might even ask why you would want to visit an institution originating in the third century BCE?
A public service announcement celebrating this special month sums up several reasons to use your library card with this observation: “Today’s libraries are more about doing than borrowing – more about connecting than simply plugging in. Whether you want to get involved in your community, find a job, start a business, or simply get ahead, your library card is the key to opportunity. Libraries are transforming.”
Transforming; what an interesting concept to contemplate. Each week this column is dedicated to keeping the public informed about library activities, current selections and other interesting tidbits of information. If you’re a regular reader you’ve learned that your library card offers far more than just checking out a book.
This week, the staff at Rowan Public Library would like to challenge you to help transform our community by encouraging others to join the library and get their free card. If you’re overdue for a visit, September is a perfect month for reacquainting yourself with your public library.
Explore the library with a sense of adventure. Always run in for the latest bestseller? Take a stroll to the other end of the library and check out one of the ever changing displays. Enjoy story time with the kids? Spread the joy and bring the grandparents and the rest of the family for an evening of family programs. Do you sequester yourself in the History Room with hours of research?
Stop by the Friends’ Book Sale on the second floor for a look. Ask a reference librarian about NC Live or chat with staff about the joys of a PIN plus library card and the multitude of online opportunities it presents.
If you’re a fiction reader, venture into the non-fiction stacks for a new narrative non-fiction book or a compelling memoir. Check out a book on CD or take the plunge and learn how to download all the possibilities from NC Digital.
With online availability, your library is always open. Novelist Saul Bellow, winner of both the Pulitzer and Nobel awards, said it well, “People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.”
So lose yourself within these doors. Travel to a branch you’ve never visited – join a book club at South, stop in at East for a visit with a local artist or enjoy headquarter’s Fall Concert Series. They’re all free and so is the wealth of information your library card unlocks.
In this month of Library Card Sign-up, the American Library Association describes a library card as the most essential school supply of all. E.B. White, beloved author of the classic “Charlotte’s Web,” wrote, “A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
White wrote this excerpt in a letter to the children of Troy, Mich., on the opening of their new public library in 1971. So grab your child, a friend, your neighbor and make September your month for a library card.
P.S. I can’t end this article without a book plug. Frederick Backman’s “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” is absolutely amazing. Visit your library and find out why. Get ready for the transformation.
Stories by the Millstream Family Concert: Headquarters, Thursday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m. A special storytelling concert featuring Tom Lee.
Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, Sept. 29, 6:30-8 p.m. Free, open to the public. If you enjoy good books, fellowship and tasty food, join us for this club where we discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. This month’s book choice is “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7841.
Michael Reno Harrell in Concert: Headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 7- 9 p.m. Featuring Harrell, an award winning songwriter and veteran storyteller and entertainer. His recordings have won awards in country, Americana and folk circles. Find more information at http://www.michaelreno.com/index.php. Admission is free, all are welcome. Program starts at 7; doors open at 6:30. Show sponsored by Friends of Rowan Public Library.
Computer classes: Getting to know your iPad, headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7-8 p.m. Discussion of components, navigation, apps. Must preregister, bring you own iPad, charged, and with an updated operating system, and have a current, valid Apple ID. Free signup at https://appleid.apple.com/ Space is limited. Call Paul Birkhead at 704-216-8242 to reserve a spot.
If you’re new to computers or never felt comfortable, Computer Basics will cover the everything from components to programs. Thursday, Sept. 24, 9:30-11 a.m., headquarters.
Explorer Club: Headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 12, 11 a.m. All new. Investigate different genres through activities based on books. Programs are for children in second-fifth grade; last one hour. This month, “Fingers, Forks and Chopsticks: Eating our way around the world.” Bring your favorite ethnic recipe, curiosity and appetite and your library card. Attend the club this school year and get a Passport to Reading. Earn a stamp at each meeting. Children with three stamps by May 2016 will get a free book. Children attending six club meetings earn a special prize.
Lego Saturdays: The library’s Lego collection will be available for free play, developing creativity, imagination and problem-solving skills. Headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 12, noon-2 p.m.; East, Saturday, Sept. 19, 10 a.m.-noon; South, Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m.-noon.
Adventure Club: Headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m. Join Robert and Johnathan for another round of adventurous hands-on science activities and projects; lasts one hour. This month: “Back to School Apple Prints.”
Teen Advisory Board: Teens who join this board give input on the library’s teen programming and book selection and discuss current events and issues in Rowan County. All meetings 4:30-5:30 p.m. Headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 1; East, Monday, Sept. 14; South, Thursday, Sept. 24.
Anime Club: For teens, headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Learn all things Anime. Second Tuesday of the month, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Teen program: Free, open to middle and high school teens. Theme to be announced, all meetings 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesdays; headquarters, Sept. 22; South, Sept. 22; East, Sept. 29.
Displays: Headquarters, DAR, Constitution Week and Lee Street theatre; South, wearable arts by Vickie Clontz; East, handmade jewelry by Myrtis Trexler.
Gallery at headquarters: Photographic prints and tintypes by David Lamanno.
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.