A book is a gift that keeps on giving

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dr. Betty Middleton

Rowan Public Library

Now that Christmas is over, we’re still faced with thinking about the various people on our gift lists for birthdays and other holidays. What would they like? What do they need?

I think about the activities they are involved in. Do they like sports? Do they travel? Do they have children and or grandchildren?   I then think of the processes I go through when I am planning any of these activities and that usually brings me to my favorite thing —books.

There are books for everything. One place to begin might be the New York Time Best Seller List. They review both fiction and nonfiction books as well as e-books. Currently, the best selling fiction book is “Rogue Lawyer,” by John Grisham – a long standing favorite author. For nonfiction, “Killing Reagan,” by Bill O’Reilly, takes the top spot.

Hobbies and sports can be narrowed down by the specific topic and age. Grandchildren today are involved in hockey, lacrosse, football and 20 more activities to choose from. Giving a book that would help them enhance their skills would be well received.

Adult sports enthusiasts usually have a specific team or person they are interested in. That helps narrow down the choices for them.

Books can be selected by age groups and gender types. Computer searches provide a great selection when typing in specific information such as ”The best books for 8-year-old boys.” This will provide you with many choices that show the books and give a brief annotation for each.

If you need a gift in a hurry, please remember the wonderful gift baskets made by the Friends of the Library and the on-going book sale on the second floor. You will be sure to find something that will make that special person smile.

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.

Learn.Act.Grow. — Got Plans? Monday, Jan. 25, 6-7 p.m., headquarters. Free. Learn about documents such as living wills and other important papers that families should have access to during a time of need.  Eldercare expert Don Timmons will answer questions and help participants complete forms on-site. Notaries will be available. Register online or by calling 704-216-7734 to ensure your spot. This workshop kicks off the 2016 Learn.Act.Grow. series.

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.

Legos free play: Legos help children’s reasoning and problem-solving skills. The library’s Lego collection will be available for free play, or you can bring your own, Saturdays at 10 a.m. Jan. 9 at East branch; Jan. 16 at South Regional; Jan. 23 at headquarters.

Weekly events for children, Feb. 1-April 30:

Baby Time — Simple stories and songs for 6-23 month-olds with parent or caregiver. Program 30 minutes. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays,  10 a.m.

Toddler Time — Sharing books, singing songs and encouraging listening skills; 18-35 months old with parent or caregiver; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.

Tiny Tumblers — Stories, musical scarves and instruments for ages 6-23 months with parent or caregiver. Same program offered twice a week;  30 minutes. South, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschool time — Encourages exploration of books and builds reading readiness skills for children 3-5 years old with parent or caregiver; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Noodle Head storytime — For children of all ages to enjoy listening to silly books and tales together; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Mondays, 4 p.m.

Art programs — Art activities and instruction based on various themes and media and vary by branch.  Appropriate for preK through fifth grade.  Lasts 30-45 min. 30-45 minutes. Headquarters, Art in the Afternoon, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, Emma’s Easel, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Art with Char, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.

Chapter Chats Book Club: A weekly book club for teens ages 14-17 primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, but all are welcome. East, Tuesdays, 4 p.m.

Displays: Headquarters, West Rowan High School student art; South, South Rowan High School student art; East, “4-H Club..

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.