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The library needs more of your yearbooks

By Gretchen Beilfuss Witt

Rowan Public Library

Ever get a hankering to reminisce about the majorette from the high school band, the varsity football squad or how accurate the superlative choices were?

Do you wonder what your parents looked like when they were in high school? You could discover the answer in the Rowan Public Library collection of annuals. RPL has a collection of annuals, predominantly high school annuals, which have been acquired primarily through donations over the years and are kept as part of the History Room collection. As such they are available for perusal only in the History Room and not for checkout.

The History Room also has a few yearbooks from middle schools or junior high schools and elementary schools. Included in the collection are annuals from schools that no longer exist, for example Rowan Memorial Hospital Nursing School, Rowan Technical Institute, Dunbar and the Farm Life School.

Recently, the History Room had the annuals from 1921 through 1967 for Salisbury High/Boyden High School digitized. These annuals are available online through a link on the History Room webpage.

Once on the RPL website, choose History & Genealogy; the menu will give a number of choices for items – choose The Echo 1921-1967. Clicking on this link will bring up “Digital NC” which is hosting our yearbooks.

From this page look to the upper left and find a box with a graduation cap and the word “Yearbooks;” click on that box and a chronological listing of the yearbooks will appear. Choose which year to look at and the book will appear in the “Internet Archive” book reader mode – basically this allows you to flip pages as though you had the book in front of you rather than viewing it as one long document in a computer file.

The History Room would like to continue having the county yearbooks digitized and made available.

Dunbar and J.C. Price are two of the more popular high schools, unfortunately, the collection is not complete. Former Dunbar principal Ezra Gilliam was kind enough to give RPL many of the Dunbar annuals, including the first annual created in 1950, consequently, the library is missing only 1952 and 1953 of the Dunbar High School annuals.

Price High School served as a high school exclusively from 1932 to 1969, yet RPL has only a handful of the Price yearbooks. The first decade is missing completely and the History Room has less than half of the remaining yearbooks between 1942 and 1969.

A number of institutions in the county, Woodleaf or Granite Quarry for example, were high schools in the early 1900s but then were converted to other uses as the school system grew.

The library would love to have any yearbooks that are from a current or past school operating in Salisbury and Rowan County. Anyone who has annuals that they would be willing to donate to the library or who would be willing to lend the annuals for a period of time in order to get them digitized, please contact Gretchen Witt, supervisor of the Edith M. Clark History Room. In the meantime, enjoy the Salisbury/Boyden high school annuals now available online.

Let Freedom Ring: Music and poetry of Black History. Feb. 15, 6 p.m., headquarters. Join us for this powerful and accessible family production from Bright Star Theatre that takes the audience on a journey through African American history and culture. Follow the journey from Africa through slavery to the civil rights movement and hear the voices of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou and more.

Gain a better understanding of these historical events by hearing the speeches, songs and poetry of these powerful Americans.

This hour-long, family-friendly program is open to the public and best suited for ages 8 to adult. For more details, call 704-216-8245.

“Oh, look at that …” scavenger hunt: Through Feb. 28, East branch. Olaf’s body has come apart yet again. Can you put all nine pieces back together again before he melts? Find the pieces and be entered into a raffle contest for a literary-themed prize. For more information, contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842.

Random Fandom: Celebrate your favorite fandoms with a mix of games, crafts, snacks and screenings. For more information, contact Hope at 704-216-8258. “Star Wars” Feb. 5, East, 6:30 p.m.; Feb. 5, headquarters, 4:30 p.m.; South, Feb. 7, 6 p.m.

Blind Date with a Book: Feb. 1-28, South. Life is full of surprises. All ages are welcome to experience the mystery of checking out an unknown book and discovering what’s in the wrapping. This program is for all ages. For more details, call 704-216-7842. Also at East Feb. 1-14.

Lego Saturday: East, Feb. 10, 10 a.m.-noon. Legos are available for creative free play. This program is for children.

Baby Time: Birth-23 months. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays, 10 a.m.; South, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Toddler Time: 18 to 35 months. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.; South, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschoolers: 3-5 years. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; South, Mondays, 10 a.m.

Noodlehead Storytime: Pre-K to fifth grade. Interactive storytime. Headquarters, Thursday, 4 p.m.; East, Tuesdays 3:30 p.m.; South Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m.

Art programs: Pre-K to fifth grade. Learn art terms, techniques and work on art projects; 30-45 minutes. Art in the Afternoon, headquarters, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; Bethany’s Brushes, East, Tuesdays, 4 p.m.; Canvas Kids, South, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: 7 to 9 years old. Children can practice reading skills in a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere. Canine listeners provided by Therapy Dogs International. Headquarters, selected Tuesdays, 4 p.m. Call 704-216-8234 for details. East, selected Mondays, 3:30 p.m., Call 704-216-7842 for details.

Chapter Chats: Weekly book club for teens 14-17, primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, though all are welcome. Mondays, 5 p.m. at East Branch, Rockwell. Contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842. Next meeting, Monday, Feb. 5.

Escape at the Library: RPL now has its own escape room. See if you can solve the clues and codes to get out of the room before the timer hits zero! February’s escape room is Escape the DEATH STAR, a “Star Wars” escape room. Headquarters: Feb. 20, 4:30 p.m.; East, Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m.; South, Feb. 21, 6 p.m.

Give Back Saturdays: Help us give back to the community through various crafts and projects, which we’ll donate to local charities. Teens can count participation to meet community service requirements for school or other organizations. Headquarters, Feb. 10, 11 a.m.

Chocolate Festival: Celebrate Valentine’s Day and all things chocolate with games, trivia and a chocolate fountain. Headquarters, Feb. 13, 4:30 p.m.; East, Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m.; South, Feb. 14, 6 p.m.

Teen Board: Want to be part of a Teen Advisory Board and make decisions about upcoming teen library programs? Or just want to play some board games? Now you can do both. Headquarters, Feb. 27, 4:30 p.m.

Classic Film Series: East, Feb. 9, 2 p.m. The 1944 Cary Grant classic “Arsenic and Old Lace.”  This film is not rated and has a 118 minute runtime. While the series is part of Adult Outreach Services and is designed for retired individuals, this free event is open to the public, and all ages are welcome. For more details, call 704-216-7842.

Lawyers at the Library:  Headquarters, Feb. 5, 6-7:30 p.m. Do you or someone you know have legal questions or concerns? Local attorneys will offer free consultations and information on the topics of wills and estates, divorces and custody, criminal and expungement questions, creditor and landlord issues, as well as SSI and disability questions. This is an information service only. No attorney-client relationship is being created with this free service. Space is limited. To register, contact Abigail at 704-216-8248 or Abigail.Hardison@rowancountync.gov.

Displays: Headquarters, North Hills Christian School log cabin projects. East, G.I. Joe memorabilia by Cathy Wood; South, student art from Corriher-Lipe Middle School art classes.

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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