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Ringing in the new year at Rowan Public Library

By Sydney Smith

Rowan Public Library

In the first full week of 2019, many of us feel mounting anticipation for the new year and everything it may bring. With a fresh start, anything is possible, and I am most excited to see how the new year will unfold in the world of public libraries.

Two-thousand eighteen was a busy and innovative year for our nation’s public libraries. The American Library Association (ALA) released an updated report regarding the public’s attitudes toward public library systems, and many of their findings were positive: 70 percent of United States voters responded that they’d visited their local public libraries within the last year, averaging around eight visits per voter.

The ALA’s report also revealed what the public values most in its public library systems. While finding books, accessing the internet and having quiet studying spaces still ranked high in importance to public library visitors, many of them voted favorably for other aspects of the library’s services, as well. Some of these mentioned services include using community meeting spaces, attending special programs hosted by the library and learning about new technology.

Over half of the voters responded that using the public libraries’ digital resources and websites are important to them. Fifty-two percent of the voters reported visiting their local public library’s website to access the free digital content stored there (such as eBooks, scholarly journals and technology tutorials, to name a few).

These positive findings from the ALA’s report are well-reflected in our own Rowan Public Library system. The library offers an immense amount of free digital content and resources as well as print resources for the public to explore.

Library staff offers a variety of activities and programs for patrons of all ages to experience, and the librarians are ready to assist patrons with technology questions and research queries.

We also have a lot to look forward to in 2019 regarding Rowan Public Library as excitement for the West Branch continues to grow. A brand-new year of exciting programs begins this week, and the library will continue to grow its collections of print and digital materials.

Public libraries are still popular institutions among the American public, and seeing ours continue to flourish and grow in Rowan County will be an especially exciting part of 2019.

Holiday closings: All branches will be closed Jan. 21 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Regular hours resume Jan. 22.

Winter Tea and Tales: East, Jan. 19, 10:30-noon. Sip tea, hot chocolate and other seasonal drinks at this winter themed Tea Party. All children up to age 10 are invited to dress in any winter costume. Judges will give prizes to the best costumes at the event. Registration is required. Call Tammie to register at 704-216-7842.

Build your own igloo: Jan. 19, 11 a.m. Join Mr. Robert and make your own igloo out of Styrofoam and marshmallows. For more details, call 704-216-8234.

Life-sized games for teens: Jan. 15, 4-5:30 p.m., Headquarters; Jan. 17, 4-5 p.m., East. Challenge your friends to life-sized editions of games like Connect Four and Tumbling Towers.

Chapter Chats: East, Jan. 15, 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.

Monday night move: East, Jan. 14, 5:30 p.m., “Smallfoot.” A Yeti is convinced that the elusive creatures known as “humans” really do exist (2018, PG, 96 min.). This free showing is open to the public, and all ages are welcome. For more details, call 704-216-7842.

Makerspace DIY: 3D printing, headquarters, Jan. 18, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Learn how to make a design using 3D modeling software. Participants will use Tinkercad to design a 3D model and be able to print their creation during our open sessions. Sessions are available for people of all ages. Please register by phone at 704-216-8242 or email Amber at Amber.Covington@rowancountync.gov.

Lunch at the Library: East, Jan. 18, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy a clean, Wi-Fi-accessible, peaceful place to enjoy your lunch. The East Branch meeting room will be open. Lunch not provided, but tables, chairs and ambiance supplied. While in the library, check out upcoming programs and free resources. For more details, call 704-216-7840.

Genealogy workshop: Beginning genealogy, headquarters, Jan. 19, 10 a.m. Please join us for an introduction to genealogy. This event, co-hosted by the Genealogical Society of Rowan County and the Edith M. Clark History Room of RPL, is free and open to the public. Staff will provide an overview of essential documents like census records, marriage records, and death certificates, plus the best genealogy websites and databases. Call Gretchen at 704-216-8253 for more information.

Displays: Headquarters, West Rowan High School student art from art class and ‘Stars’ by Salisbury Symphony; East, dolls by Patricia Hollifield; South, South Rowan High School art class artwork.

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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