Librarians are key to connect people to what they need

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 23, 2018

By Sydney Smith

Rowan Public Library

In the world of library work, I consider myself very lucky. I am a librarian in not only one, but two fantastic institutions in Rowan County: Rowan Public Library and the Rowan-Salisbury School System.

My favorite part of both jobs is the same. I love getting members of the community connected with the resources they want and need. Our school’s library is well-stocked with books and materials for all ages of elementary students, but luckily, Rowan Public Library offers a great way to connect our students of all ages with even more digital resources.

One of my favorite ways to connect my students to new reading and research materials is through Rowan Public Library’s Rowan One Card program. The program expands students’ opportunities to explore new reading materials and resources online with their personal or school-issued devices.

All students need to access the thousands of free eBooks, articles and more through Rowan Public Library’s eBranch resources is their district ID (or lunch) number.

If you ask RSSS students if they know their lunch numbers, they can likely recite them at the snap of a finger. After all, students’ lunch numbers don’t only work in the cafeteria — the numbers are a staple in their school days, connecting them to the school library, iPad and Macbook apps and web programs.

By incorporating the IDs as a method of accessing their resources, Rowan Public Library simplified the process of getting more students connected to more materials.

To access these electronic resources, students can visit Rowan Public Library’s website and log in by using their district IDs as the username and the last four digits of the ID as the password. Once the students are logged in, they are able to explore all the online databases of eBooks, scholarly research articles, study guides and more.

Some resources available through this login include access to the NC Kids Digital Library and the NC Digital Library, which allow patrons to check out digital copies of books without the fear of late return fines. On such electronic databases, the book is removed from the user’s account automatically on the due date, so the user doesn’t have to remember when to return any borrowed eBooks.

Students can also use NCLive to access research materials such as scholarly articles and eBooks. TumbleBooks is also available for our storybook-loving students who love added interactive features such as read-alongs and animation to enhance the text of the stories.

As an elementary school librarian, I encourage my young students to become independent library patrons. I want to see students become comfortable using libraries because they are supportive community spaces for learning and literacy.

By offering easy access to lots of eBranch materials online, Rowan Public Library expands our students’ chances to grow as lifelong readers and researchers. Our students already have the devices from schools in their hands, and now, thanks to Rowan Public Library, we can use those devices in yet another way to broaden horizons even further beyond the walls of our schools’ buildings.

Library Card Sign-up Month: Sept. 1-30. Headquarters, East and South branches. Join us as we celebrate 2018’s Library Card Sign-up Month at all of our branches. Do you have your library card? Cards are free and, when kept in good standing, give you access to RPL’s circulating collection, computer labs and online resources and materials. Contact your nearest branch for more details or visit RPL’s website.

Weekly children’s programs: Call the children’s desk at your nearest branch for information about weekly storytimes. Headquarters (Salisbury), 704-216-8234; East Branch (Rockwell), 704-216-7842; South Rowan Regional (China Grove), 704-216-7728 or visit

N.C. Department of Natural & Cultural Resources traveling exhibit: Kites! Headquarters. Learn about the science of kite flying from this interactive, STEM-focused exhibit. See it during business hours through Oct. 19.

A Night to Dismember: East, Monday, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Can you escape from the zombie apocalypse? This event is open to families of all ages, and teens can participate as actors for the escape room. Registration required. To register, call Bethany at 704-216-7842.

North Carolina History: Henry River Mill Village: South, Monday 7 p.m. Tim Peeler and Clayton Joe Young discuss the Henry River Mill Village. The town has been abandoned since 1987, though it gained new attention as the setting for District 12 in the 2012 film “The Hunger Games.” Peeler, Young and Kelly Carroll are authors of the book “We See What We Want To See: the Henry River Mill Village, Photography, Poetry, and History,” published by RedHawk Publications in 2018. The book will be available for purchase.

Friends of RPL and Cheerwine Concert Series: Tuesday, headquarters, 7 p.m. The Friends of RPL and Cheerwine Concert Series returns. Featured performer is the Flat Tire Trio. This band uses acoustic guitar, mandolin and electric and stand up bass to cover several genres, including bluegrass, blues, rock and reggae. To learn more about the band, visit Doors open at 6:30 p.m. This event is free, open to the public, and all ages are welcome. For details, call 704-216-8232.

Saturday Cinema: South, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. “The Incredibles.” Would you recognize superheroes in your neighborhood? In the PG-rated film (115 mins., 2004) see how superheroes balance their super and secret identities. This program is part of RPL’s Library Card Sign-up Month Celebration. All ages welcome. For more details, call 704-216-7730.

Dear Duncan: Sept. 1-29, East. “The Day the Crayon Quit” has arrived. Can you find all 12 crayons from Duncan’s collection? Find the pieces and be entered into a contest for a literary-themed prize. This Scavenger Hunt will run through Sept. 28. For more information, contact Tammie at 704-216-7842.

Curiosity Machine: AI Family Challenge, South, Sept. 26, 3:30-5 p.m. Kids ages 8 to 15 and their families can explore the core concepts of artificial intelligence and apply AI tools to solve problems. Come in to learn the basics of how AI works by building simple projects together. This program is in collaboration with Horizons Unlimited of Salisbury. For more details, call 704-216-7728.

Bubble Mania: Headquarters, Sept. 29, 11 a.m. Join Mr. Robert and Ms. Ashley for Bubble Mania! In this hands-on program, children ages 11 and under will make bubble solution and experiment with it.  For more details, call 704-216-8234.

Zombies Invade the Library! Headquarters, Tuesday, 4-5:30 p.m. Create your own zombie costume, make some zombie slime, and eat some (Jello) brains! For more information, contact Hope at or 704-216-8258.

Chapter Chats: Tuesday, 5:15-6 p.m. Weekly book club for teens 14-17, intended primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, though all are welcome. For more details, contact Tammie at 704-216-7842.

Book Bites Club: South, Tuesday, 6 p.m. This month’s selection is “Keowee Valley.” Refreshments will be served, and new members are welcome. Questions? Contact Paulette at

Lunch at the library: East, Sept. 28, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy a clean, air-conditioned, Wi-Fi-accessible and peaceful place to enjoy your lunch. Every Friday this fall, the East Branch meeting room will be open to all between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Lunch not provided, but tables, chairs and ambiance supplied. While in the library, check out upcoming programs and free resources. For more details, call 704-216-7841.

Displays: Headquarters, celebrating Constitution Week by the Daughters of the American Revolution and 4-H Club display; East, handmade jewelry by Mallory Allen; South, Family Crisis Council by Isela Trujillo.

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.