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Friends of Rowan Library meet April 25

By Laurie Lyda

Rowan Public Library

If you’ve ever wondered what the Friends of Rowan Public Library are all about, the open-to-the-public annual meeting on April 25 at 7 p.m. offers a first-hand glimpse. The free event will be held at RPL Headquarters, 201 W. Fisher St, in the Stanback Auditorium. A reception will follow in the Hurley Room.

Strengthening the Friends of RPL’s sense of community is a big element of the annual meeting. It “gives everyone a chance to get together for an interesting program and spend time getting to visit with one another,” says Sammie Hinshaw, president of the organization.

This year’s meeting includes a vote for next year’s officers and recognition of a Friend of the Library. The program features author and poet Tim Peeler. Peeler has published several titles, including three books of baseball-related poems and a poetry collection about Henry River. He’s working on a second book about Henry River and collaborating with photographer Clayton Joe Young to explore and re-imagine the village which garnered attention when it was used as the setting for District 12 in the 2012 film, “The Hunger Games.”

Peeler will read from his 2016 collection “Wild in the Strike Zone,” and share stories and slides focusing on the Outlaw Independent Carolina Baseball League that played throughout the Piedmont in the 1930s. He is the past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to Baseball Literature and has been a finalist for CASEY and SIBA Awards, and his presentations include reading at the Great Fenway Park Writers Series in Boston.

A selection of Peeler’s works will be available for purchase after the program.

“One of the points of the (Annual Meeting) is to invite anyone who is not a Friend to become one,” said Gretchen Witt, supervisor of the Edith M. Clark History Room at RPL headquarters.

The Friends is a thriving organization fueled by the energies of its members. However, it’s important to note that a Friends membership doesn’t carry a service requirement: Members choose their level of involvement and activity.

Each fall, the Friends host a book sale that is the largest volunteer opportunity for its members. Those who choose to participate can help sort, organize and run the book sale. Year-round, the organization has ongoing literary basket sales, book sales and book and DVD rentals that are offered at each RPL branch. Proceeds from these projects are then used to support select programs and events.

Events sponsored by the Friends include summer reading programs and the annual Stories by the Millstream festival, which celebrates the power of storytelling and is geared towards Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ second-graders. In cooperation with Cheerwine, the Friends also sponsor a concert series that most recently featured Wayne Henderson, Clay Lunsford and Matthew Weaver.

In addition to volunteer opportunities and community engagement, benefits of a membership include admission to the annual fall book sale’s preview night, a monthly newsletter, a book or DVD rental coupon ($3value), and admission to select events. An individual membership costs $10 annually, and a family membership is $15. For more information, call 704-216-8240 or visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

A Friends of RPL membership is not required to attend the annual meeting.

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