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Enjoy researching favorites? Rowan Public Library can help

By Laurie Lyda

Rowan Public Library

SALISBURY — The warmer temps of late spring and summer bring with them increased opportunities for socialization and enrichment. Across Rowan County, various organizations are planning special events, from Rowan Public Library’s weeks of Summer Reading programming for children, teens and adults to the town of China Grove’s Community Block Party on June 1.

Along with these events will come more chances to see favorite writers and artists in action. Greensboro will host the Carolina Blues Festival on Saturday, May 18. RPL will host “Meet a Video Game Designer” with Typhoon Studios’ Ed Hardison on June 11 and an “RPL Book Talk” with Charlotte resident and author Mark de Castrique on July 15.

There are many upcoming events marked on my calendar, and I’m sure I will add more. One that I’m particularly excited about is the Friends of Rowan Public Library’s 2019 Annual General Meeting, which will be held May 30 at Trinity Oaks Retirement (728 Klumac Road). This year, the featured speaker is author Wiley Cash.

I attended a reading by Cash at Bookmarks, a nonprofit organization, in Winston-Salem in the fall of 2017, and it was a great experience: He’s an engaged, witty presenter who speaks well about his subject matter.

As always, now that I have an idea of the events I’ll attend, I begin doing research and reading (or listening or viewing) other works by the writers and artists I’m hoping to see. This is where RPL’s online catalog and e-Branch can be of great service.

RPL’s circulating collection includes all three of Cash’s novels: “A Land More Kind Than Home,” “This Dark Road to Mercy” and “Last Ballad.” A couple are also available in large print editions and as audiobooks.

I’m currently reading “A Land More Kind Than Home,” Cash’s debut novel. It’s a poignant, haunting novel told from the point of view of three different characters. Its setting in the N.C. mountains grounds the central story – which touches on family, religion and community – and helps it resonate all the more.

Reading an author’s works in anticipation of hearing them speak is standard practice for me. I also enjoy looking up articles that delve deeper into their works. For example, an NC Live search of “Wiley Cash” (use the double quotation marks to yield more focused search results) returns several scholarly articles, newspaper and magazine articles and videos.

There’s a transcript of an interview with Cash in the Spring 2015 issue of “Appalachian Heritage” that offers insight into the trajectory of his writing career and his process, among other things. There’s an analysis of mountain fatalism in his debut novel. Cash’s own academic articles, such as “The Family Home as Microcosm in the Early Plays of Thomas Wolfe” and “What Men Dream About Doing: A Conversation with Ernest J. Gaines,” are available. Two episodes of “N.C. Bookwatch,” a show funded by University of N.C. Press that airs on the N.C. Channel and UNC-TV, are also easily accessible by patrons.

Quite often, when researching my favorite writers, after reading all of their works and catching up on the current conversations and videos available, I begin searching for works that are similar in a way that I find compelling.

This is where the readers advisory tool “NoveList” can be a great asset. RPL patrons can access “NoveList” through the catalog page (it’s accessible through a link in the top, left-hand corner) or through RPL’s main website. Patrons can define the type of work they are looking for – from genre to narration style. It’s a great tool to play around with and discover new writers and/or titles.

RPL’s resources offer the possibility of countless fun, informative rabbit holes for the curious patron to explore. Whether you’re investigating a visual artist’s past works, a writer’s biography or reviews of a dramatic performer’s previous production, RPL has the resource to help you find information that will  enrich your experiences.

To access NC Live and other e-Branch resources, patrons will need their library card number and PIN/password. Accounts must be in good standing. To check on the status of your account or to re-set your PIN/password, contact your nearest branch. To learn more about RPL’s resources and programs, visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

Mother’s Day Crafts for Kids: Headquarters, Friday, 2-4 p.m. Kids may create a special present for mothers, grandmothers or other special parental figures in their lives, make Mother’s Day cards, and listen to a Mother’s Day-themed storytime. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. This program is geared for ages 3-10. Please register in advance at 704-216-8234.

Saturday Cinema: East, Saturday, 10 a.m. Enjoy the quest of the human-born heir to Atlantis in this free showing of “Aquaman” (2018, 143 minutes). This film is rated PG-13, so an adult (age 18+) must accompany anyone 13 and under. For more information, call 704-216-7842.

Genealogy Workshop: Headquarters, Saturday, 10 a.m. “Early Rowan Roots” will explore resources for early Scots/Irish and German immigrants to the greater colonial Rowan area. Co-hosted by the Genealogical Society of Rowan County and the Edith M. Clark History Room of RPL, this program is free and open to the public. Call Gretchen at 704-216-8232 for more details.

Summer Reading Kickoff: East, May 18, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Prepare yourself for an out-of-this-world adventure with the East Branch Summer Reading Kick-Off. Enjoy water games and refreshments while learning about Summer Reading programs for children, teens and adults, as well as READsquared (an online reading program tool). Bring a towel or a change of clothes. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more information, call 704-216-7842.

Blast Off with Summer Reading 2019: Headquarters, May 18, 12:30-2:30 p.m. This system-wide Summer Reading Kick Off, held in RPL Headquarters’ Stanback Auditorium, offers information about upcoming programs for children, teens and adults. Patrons can register for Summer Reading, learn about READsquared (an online reading program tool), and enjoy games and activities. This event coincides with Salisbury’s Cheerwine Festival. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more details, call 704-216-8234.

Classic Cinema Series: East, May 17, 2 p.m. Enjoy a free showing of the 1954 film “The Long, Long Trailer” (not rated, 96 minutes). While the Classic Cinema Series is part of Adult Outreach Services and is designed for retired individuals, all ages are welcome. For more details, call 704-216-7842. After May 17, the Classic Cinema Series will go on hiatus until September.

Displays: Headquarters, African-Caribbean Weaving by Dolly Griffin; East, vintage lunch boxes by Sharon Ross; South, student art exhibit featuring South Rowan High 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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