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If a shiny new tablet was under the tree, library can help

By Jennifer Nicholson

Rowan Public Library

It is that time of year again, when many kids, teens and even a few adults will looking at a shiny, new tablet.

While tablets are fun, providing users hours of entertainment through games and movies, tablets can also be a great educational tool, as well. A simple swipe of your finger and you have access to world at your fingertips, eBooks, magazines, test prep, even to journal articles. The possibilities are endless.

Know a booklover who got a tablet this year? Free eBooks, movies and audiobooks are just an app away, through the North Carolina Digital Library, powered by the Overdrive Media.

Users simply can download the Overdrive app through their app store, and with a Rowan Public Library card, users have access to thousands of eBooks and audiobooks. The best part of using the North Carolina Digital Library is users can check out books for free, with no worries of accumulating late fees or fines, or having to worry about returning books to the library. Everything is done directly through the app, so users can enjoy books without leaving their couches.

Another great app for booklovers is Goodreads. Users can access Goodreads via app, through the app store, or by going online to www.goodreads.com. It is a website that allows users to connect with friends, authors and others who love to read. Create customized book lists, see what others are reading and reviewing, take fun quizzes and read quotes from your favorite authors. Users of the Goodreads app can use a barcode scanner to easily keep track of his or her book — a perfect way to keep track of your must-read and your have-read lists.

While many people will get a small break from work or school this season, many will still be fretting over a big project at work or a school report due soon. Tablet users can simply download the Access My Library (AML) app, find a library, including the Rowan Public Library, and have quick access to reference eBooks and databases. Access to full text articles is just a swipe away. Researching for project has never been so easy and simple.

Know any high school student who got a tablet? Studying for the SAT can be daunting, yet users can download the Official SAT Question of the Day, created by the College Board, the creators of the SAT test. Through the SAT Question of the Day app, students can find popular vocabulary words of the day and test their reading, math and writing skills. Now the students will have a more daunting task finding a good excuse not to study.

While these are just a few apps, there are many different apps that many parents and even the kids can feel excited about downloading. For assistance on downloading Access My Library, Overdrive Media, or questions regarding other apps, please visit the Rowan Public Library.

Computer basics class: Tuesday, Jan 12, 7-8:30 p.m., headquarters, 201 W. Fisher St. If you’re new to computers or have never felt comfortable with them, this is the class for you. They’ll go over the very basics of computers, from discussing computer components to how programs are opened and closed. Class on second floor of library. Also Tuesday, Jan. 28, 9:30-11 a.m. at headquarters.

Geneaologicial beginners class: Saturday, Jan. 16, 9 a.m.-noon, headquarters. An introductory course on beginning genealogy research. Local and web resources will be explored and explained by members of the Genealogical Society and History Room.

iPad basics: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 7-8 p.m., headquarters. Become a confident iPad user in this free class. Discuss components, navigation and the use of apps. Requirements: Pre-registration; bring your own iPad; iPad needs to be charged and have an updated iOS (operating system); bring a current, valid Apple ID.  Free sign-up at:  https://appleid.apple.com/. Space is limited, so call Paul Birkhead at 704-216-8242 to reserve your spot. Class on second floor of library.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, Jan. 26, 6-7 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. “O Capture the Castleby Dodie Smith. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7841.

Reading with Ringling: Through Jan. 31, 2016. Children ages 2-12 may register at any library location to read and report on five books to receive a voucher for a ticket to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Jan. 27-21, 2016, at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte. For information and program rules, call 704-216-8234 or visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

Anime Club (for teens): Tuesday, Jan. 12, 4:30-5:30 p.m., headquarters. Celebrate and learn all things Anime. Programs are the second Tuesday of the month at headquarters.

Teen Advisory Board: Teens who join this board provide input on the library’s teen programming and book selection and discuss current events and issues of interest to teens in Rowan County. TAB meets once a month at each library location from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan 5, headquarters; Tuesday, Jan. 12, East 110 Broad St., Rockwell; Thursday, Jan. 14, South Rowan Regional, 920 Kimball Road, China Grove.

Blacklight party (for teens): Create your own blacklight using your smart phone or tablet, your own blacklight painting and glow-in-the dark slime. Please bring your own smart phone and tablet if you have one. Each party Tuesday, 5:30-7 p.m. Jan. 12, South Regional; Jan. 19, headquarters; Jan. 26, East.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Children 7 to 9 years old (first to third grade) can reserve a 15-minute session to read aloud to a therapy dog. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m., Jan. 5 and 19, Oliver; Jan. 12, Duprix. East, Mondays, 3:30 p.m.,  Jan. 4, Feb. 1, 15 and 29, Oliver.

Displays: Headquarters, kid art and lunch boxes; South, miniature doll houses; East, “It’s a Wonderful Life” Christmas village.

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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