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Lifelong learning is easy through RPL

By Kristen Thomas

Rowan Public Library

Lifelong learning is something that is easy to say but hard to do. I know I have promised myself that I would finally sit down and start seriously learning French more times than I want to admit to. But finding resources to continue learning does not have to be hard — all you need is the motivation to try something new, a library card and the internet.

Through the Rowan Public Library eBranch, we have several resources to help you find something new to learn. Through NC LIVE you can access Mango Languages, a free language learning resource that offers 70 different languages to learn. Everything from Ancient Greek and Latin to more modern languages like Spanish and French is offered, as well as English language learning for those looking to improve their skills. You can even learn pirate to embrace your inner scallywag!

Mango has a Learning Pathway, designed to guide you through from the very basics of the language to more advanced topics. It is divided into units, which are further divided into chapters. Each unit has a broad theme and each chapter focuses on a specific topic.

The lessons focus on both reading and speaking abilities, covering all bases of language learning. And since it’s completely self taught, you can move at your own pace and can always return to previous lessons if you feel you need a refresher.

Perhaps you’re not looking to learn a new language, but want to know more about the computer applications you use everyday? In today’s world, knowing how to use a computer is essential in any profession and taking a course or two can help you become more comfortable with it. It can also give you an edge when looking for a new career.

Thankfully, through the Gale Courses, available with your library card, you have access to a plethora of courses to help you become an expert. They have courses on all the different programs of Microsoft Office Suite, including Word and Excel, as well courses on other popular programs like Adobe Photoshop.  With courses ranging from beginner to advanced, you will definitely find a course that is right for your current level.

Most Gale Courses have several start dates throughout the year, usually one a month, and last several weeks. You can see the course syllabus before you register to make sure that it’s what you are looking for. Student reviews are also there.

Each course is taught by an experienced instructor who will be there to help guide you through the lessons each week. When you have completed the course, you will receive an award of completion to showcase your accomplishment. Of course, there are far more courses offered than the ones the highlighted here, so make sure to go and see for yourself what you can learn.

Learning something new does not have to end when you finish school and it does not have to be hard to find. If there’s something you want to learn, there’s a good chance you can find it through our eBranch. And, as always, if you want to know more you can always contact Rowan Public Library and we would be happy to help.

Big Library Read: Oct. 1-15. Headquarters, East and South branches. Facilitated by OverDrive, this is a reading program that connects readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time without any wait lists or holds. It’s a worldwide digital version of a local bookclub; participation is free — all you need is your library card. Ask RPL staff for assistance. The 2018 BLR title will be announced soon, and simultaneous access to that digital title will run Oc. 1-15. Visit biglibraryread.com for more information.

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 www.rowanpubliclibrary.org

China Grove Roller Mill Display: South, Oct. 1-30. Like many roller mills built during the late 1800s through early 1900s, the China Grove Roller Mill was central to its community. This display, available in South Rowan Regional’s foyer, presented by Rowan Museum and China Grove Roller Mill, shares insights about this period of history.

Mystery Machine: East, Oct. 1-Nov. 30. Scoooooby Dooby Doo! A monster scared away Scooby’s best friends. Find them all and be entered into a raffle contest for a literary-themed prize. This Scavenger Hunt will run through Nov. 30. For more information, contact Tammie at 704-216-7842.

Lego Day: Headquarters, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. 1 p.m. Legos are available for creative free play. This program is for children of all ages. For more details, call 704-216-7842.

Life-Sized Clue, Star Wars Edition: Headquarters, Oct. 2, 4-5:30 p.m.; South, Oct. 3, 4-5:30 p.m.; East, Oct. 4, 4-5:30 p.m. Play a giant edition of the classic board game, but with a Star Wars twist. For more information, contact Hope at 704-216-8258 or Hope.Loman@rowancountync.gov.

Chapter Chats: Oct. 2, 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.

Manhattan Short Film Festival: Oct. 1, 6:30 p.m., South; Oct. 2, 6:30 p.m., headquarters; Oct. 3, 5 p.m., East; Oct. 6, 2 p.m., headquarters. Participate in the film festival, a one-week, global event. Admission is free; ages 18 and up. Vote for your favorite short film and actor. Each branch will show all nine finalist shorts; the approximate total runtime is 128 minutes. Visit ManhattanShort.com for full details. For more information, contact Gretchen at 704-216-8232 or Gretchen.Witt@rowancountync.gov.

Technology Club: South, Oct. 2, 7 p.m. Do you enjoy learning about technology in a friendly, casual atmosphere? Each month, learn, discuss, and experiment with technology. All ages and experience levels welcome. Light refreshments. Need more information? Call Paul at 704-216-7737.

Lunch at the library: East, Oct. 5, 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.

Photowalk at Patterson Farm: Oct. 6, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Join this photowalk at Patterson Farm in Mt. Ulla. All ages and experience levels welcome. Registration required; register online at www.rowanpubliclibrary.org or call Paul at 704-216-7737. In the case of inclement weather, this event will be canceled.

North Carolina History — China Grove Roller Mill: South, Oct. 8, 7 p.m. Rowan Museum Executive Director Aaron Kepley will give a talk on agriculture in Rowan County in the late 1800s through early 1900s. The production of wheat in the county during this time led to the building of many roller mills, like the China Grove Roller Mill, that were central to their communities. Questions? 704-216-7730.

West Fest: Cleveland Town Hall, Oct. 13, 10 a.m-3 p.m. Join the library in celebrating the West Branch Library. This free fall festival features a production of “Alice in Wonderland” by Brightstar Theatre, a performance by musicians Matthew Weaver and Clay Lunsford and more. Enjoy games, activities, learn about RPL resources and services and the community, and participate in a midday community forum about the services that West Branch will offer. Cleveland Town Hall is at 302 E. Main St. This event is open to the public, and all ages are welcome. For more details, call 704-216-8240.

Displays: Headquarters, the Purple Shoe Display presented by Rowan Crisis Council and Lee St. theatre (2018-2019 season); East, artwork by Miranda Foster; South, China Grove Roller Mill by Rowan Museum.

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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