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Look! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s at the library

By Hope Loman

Rowan Public Library

Superheroes have quickly become an intrinsic part of our popular culture. They’re the subject of the biggest summer blockbusters, appear nightly on our television screens or Netflix queues, and are playable characters in some of our favorite video games.

But what happens when you’ve exhausted all these avenues, yet still want to see more of your favorite crime-fighters? Never fear: the Rowan Public Library is here.

For Batman fans, the library has a number of graphic novels that come highly recommended. Jeph Loeb’s “Dark Victory,” “The Long Halloween” and “Hush” are each action-packed tales with plenty of mystery and suspense to keep the reader guessing until the very last page.

There is also Frank Miller’s classic, “The Dark Knight Returns,” which has been praised for reinventing the Batman character from a cartoon to a hero for our times. For those who want something more unusual, there is also the new title “Bat-manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan,” a collection of Batman-manga comics translated from their original Japanese.

Fans of Superman might want to read graphic novels like “All-Star Superman” or “Superman: Secret Identity,” or rent all 10 seasons of the popular “Smallville” series, which focuses on a younger Clark Kent’s life in Kansas before he dons the cape. There is also “The Superman Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Saving the Day,” which promises to teach any superhero-in-training valuable lessons such as how to knock out a villain, stop a runaway car or even rescue a kitten stuck in a tree.

If you lean more towards Marvel Comics, there’s plenty for you, too. Perhaps you are more interested in the art aspect of comics, in which case you can look at Alan Cowsill’s “Marvel Comics: 75 Years of Cover Art,” or try your hand at drawing the Avengers with Stan Lee’s “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way.” Younger patrons can download different issues of the “Marvel Adventures” series from the NC Digital Library and read about beloved characters like Spiderman and The Fantastic Four.

Finally, if you still prefer watching your superheroes save the day instead of reading about it, Rowan Public Library has got you covered there, too. We have everything from “Ant-Man” to “Avengers: Age of Ultron” available for checkout, as well as comic book adaptations, old animated series and even documentaries about the history of comics. You might even want to head over and see what the NC Live has to offer with its Films on Demand database.

This is just a small sampling of what the library has to offer if you are interested in the subject of superheroes. Please stop by or go online to view our catalog and check out all that Rowan Public Library has to offer.

Spring Photowalk: April 16, 10:30 a.m.-noon, headquarters. Join us on another adventure capturing the hidden treasures of downtown Salisbury on camera. Register online or by calling Paul at 704-216-8242 to ensure your spot.

Learn.Act.Grow.: April 25, 6-7 p.m., headquarters. Bike trekker, fitness guru and author David Freeze will discuss the psychological and physiological benefits to adding adventure to your life while offering encouragement and planning tips for adventures, local and beyond. Register online or by calling 704-216-7734 to ensure your spot.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, April 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. “The Watch that Ends the Night.by Allan Wolf. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7841.

Friends of Rowan Public Library Annual Meeting: April 26, 7 p.m., headquarters. Free and open to the public. Willie Nelms will present America’s Music Down to Its Roots. His presentation looks at the past, present and future of what has become known as Roots Music in the United States. The historical origins of various types of music including blues, folk, country and bluegrass are examined, along with key figures in the development of these genres.

Fancy Nancy Tea Party: April 30, 10:30 a.m.-noon, East branch, Rockwell. Wear a feather boa, tutu, shiny slippers or fairy wings and enjoy an extraordinary time at the library. Light refreshments. Program is intended for girls ages 4-8. Call 704-216-7842 to reserve your spot at the table.

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 in Rowan County. TAB meets once a month at each library location from 4:30-5:30 p.m. April 12, East, Rockwell; April 19, headquarters.

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

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. Meets at Yosties, 202 N. Main St, Faith, Tuesdays, 4 p.m., through May 24.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Children ages 7 to 9 can practice reading skills in a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere. Reading Therapy dogs registered through Therapy Dogs International are available for beginning and struggling readers to read aloud to them. Reservations are recommended but not required. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m. East, Mondays, 3:30 p.m., April 11 and 25. South, Saturday, 10 a.m., April 16.

Explorer Club: Headquarters, April 23, 11 a.m.-noon. Investigate different genres through activities based on books. Programs for children in third-fifth grades. This program’s theme is: Passport Extravaganza.

Lego 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. April 16 at South and at headquarters.

Displays: Headquarters, Family Crisis Council of Rowan County, Lyra: Russian Vocal Ensemble of St. Petersburg, Russia, Concert May 1 at St.John’s Lutheran Church; South, Golden Bobbins, Marge Harbaugh; East, Community Care Clinic.

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.

Weekly events for children through April 30:

Baby Time — Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays,  10 a.m.

Toddler Time — Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.

Tiny Tumblers — South, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschool time — Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Noodle Head storytime — Headquarters, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Mondays, 4 p.m.

Art programs — 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

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