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Rowan Public Library offers holiday-themed programs

By Laurie Lyda
Rowan Public Library

SALISBURY — Whether you’re brimming with holiday spirit or need an infusion of it, Rowan Public Library’s December programs offer a variety of ways to enjoy the holiday season — and they’re all free and open to the public.

For the third year in a row, RPL’s “Cards for a Cause” offers patrons the opportunity to spread some cheer and send holiday cards to current and former service members in the United States Armed Forces. The entire RPL System — Headquarters (Salisbury), South Rowan Regional (China Grove), and East Branch (Rockwell) — is participating in this program.

Through Dec. 18, patrons can visit any RPL branch and craft their cards. Pre-printed holiday cards, blank cardstock and crafting supplies are on hand, though patrons are also welcome to bring their own materials or even submit already-completed cards. Patrons can also specify where their cards are delivered — whether to current service members in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard or to veterans at the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center.

RPL staff will sort the cards and arrange delivery to their respective recruiting offices; the offices will then forward the cards on to service members. Cards collected prior to Nov. 11 will hopefully reach service members abroad, while cards collected between Nov. 11 and Dec. 8 will likely be delivered Stateside. Cards designated for the VAMC will be locally delivered, and all cards submitted between Dec. 8 and 18 will be taken there.

RPL patrons produced over 800 “Cards for a Cause” in 2016. Staff hope to gather more than 1,000 this year. While the card-making stations are available during business hours through Dec. 19 at each branch, South (China Grove) has a special event planned for Saturday, Dec. 2: From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a combined “Cards for a Cause” and “Saturday Cinema” program will be held in the meeting room. Patrons can create holiday cards (materials will be provided) while enjoying Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” The film will be shown at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Light refreshments will be served, and all ages are welcome. If you just want to enjoy the classic film, know that participation in “Cards for a Cause” is not required.

RPL has several other holiday programs planned, in addition to “Cards for a Cause.” On Saturday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m., the RoBoJo Theatre Troupe returns to RPL for its 18th annual holiday show. A crew of local actors combines forces with RPL’s Children’s staff to perform an hour-long variety show featuring skits, songs, readers’ theater, and audience participation. All ages are welcome at this family-friendly event.

RPL and members of the Salisbury Symphony present selections from Piedmont Dance Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” at Headquarters on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 6:30 p.m. “The performance is an abbreviated version,” explains Jennifer Nicholson, RPL youth services supervisor. “It’s a really good event for someone who wants an introduction to the ballet.” This year, Headquarters’ Children’s Library Associate Robert Jones — known to many as “Mr. Robert” — will narrate. The performance will be accompanied by pre-recorded music. Afterwards, the dancers will do a meet-and-greet, and the audience will then have the opportunity to take photographs. “It’s a lot of fun,” says Nicholson. “The children really enjoy it.” Light refreshments will be served, and all ages are welcome.

On Thursday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m., RPL Headquarters will host “Winter Traditions,” a Smart Start Rowan program. There are so many ways that people celebrate during the winter season, and this program features many, including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas and the Chinese New Year. Families will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with each of the special guests. This 90-minute program is geared for children younger than 11.

If you love to sing, check out the Dec. 11 meeting of “Downtown Beats — Rowan’s Impromptu Chorus.” This community sing welcomes everyone — from the experienced to the amateur — and all ages are welcome. Arrive at 6 p.m. for a short practice, and the sing ends with a final, videoed performance. Songs for this month include “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Every year, each RPL branch hosts a special holiday children’s program that includes games, stories, refreshments, and an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. This year, South (China Grove) kicks off the festivities with “Holiday Pajama Express” on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. Children are invited to wear their favorite holiday pajamas. Next, Headquarters (Salisbury) holds “Treemendous” on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 10:30 a.m., and East Branch (Rockwell) rounds out the week with “Stories with Elves” on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 10:30 a.m.

As part of Adult Outreach Services, East Branch (Rockwell) hosts its monthly “Classic Cinema Series.” This month’s film is the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” While this showing is designed for retired individuals, all ages are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

On Thursday, Dec. 21, East Branch (Rockwell) offers a “Holiday Movie Marathon.” At 10 a.m., enjoy Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” (2009) starring Jim Carrey.” Then, at noon, watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992), followed by “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” (1983) at 2 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

For those looking for events that aren’t holiday-themed, RPL has programs to satisfy that need, too. Visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org to learn more.

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