Celebrate with Rowan Public Library and the ‘Toy Story’ crew

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 5, 2019

By Laurie Lyda

Rowan Public Library

SALISBURY — Libraries have the power to take us “to infinity and beyond” — and every day, Rowan Public Library provides support and resources for more than 100,000 customers, working hard to ensure that they, too, can enjoy that freedom.

RPL’s celebration of Library Card Sign-up Month, held annually in September, includes special programs and happenings. This year, the Toy Story crew is on hand to help celebrate the opportunities that a library card offers.

Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” characters Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, and friends are serving as Library Card Sign-up Month’s 2019 honorary chairs. Each RPL branch — headquarters (Salisbury), East Branch (Rockwell), and South Rowan Regional (China Grove) — will participate in the celebration, which includes “Toy Story”-themed events.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, Headquarters will host a “Toy Story” movie marathon of the first three, G-rated films in Stanback Auditorium. The first (1995) begins at 9:30 a.m., the second (1999) at 12:30 p.m., and the third (2010) at 2:30 p.m. From 1 to 4 p.m., a “Toy Story”-themed escape room will run in the Hurley Room. Participants will work through clues to help Woody and Buzz escape. For more details about these HQ programs, call 704-216-8248.

The escape room will also travel to the branches, with South hosting it on Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 1  to 4 p.m., and East on Sept. 23, from 6to 8 p.m. During the program, participants can also have a “Toy Story”-themed picture taken, thanks to the branches’ green screen technology. For more information, call 704-216-7730 (South) or 704-216-7840 (East).

All ages are welcome at the events, though a responsible caretaker (age 16) must accompany children 8 and under.

RPL’s celebration includes its annual raffle contest to win a Kindle Fire for cardholders. Existing and new customers whose accounts are in good standing as of Sept. 30 are eligible to win one Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 tablet with case in the raffle contest sponsored by the Friends of Rowan Public Library.

Ten Kindles will be awarded: one new adult cardholder, one new juvenile cardholder, and one existing cardholder (adult or juvenile) at each branch, and one adult outreach cardholder. There’s a maximum of one entry per customer. Winners will also receive a technology session with a librarian to set up their Kindles to access RPL’s online resources, which include digital books and audiobooks.

In addition to programs and prizes, RPL is also running a special social media campaign.

“We’re really excited to showcase our customers,” said Melissa Oleen, RPL deputy director, “The diversity among Rowan County library users is amazing. We hope to encourage and inspire non-library users to visit us by seeing their own occupation, interests or culture represented in the campaign.”

At least one RPL customer will be featured each day on Facebook (@rowanpubliclibrary). The picture will include a caption, “This card is for…” with the blank filled in with the person’s occupation/hobby/experience that brings them to the library. For easy tracking, all posts will include the hashtags #RowanLibraryNC , #LibraryCardSignUp, and #GetLibraryCarded (which is an automatic entry into the American Library Association’s drawing to win a $100 gift card). Twitter and Instagram users can follow RPL’s accounts at @rowanlibrarync.

“The goal is to illustrate the many professions, hobbies and other activities that the library helps support – from professional development to exercising the imagination. Part of our role is to help community members lead richer, more fulfilling lives,” said Oleen.

In that vein, RPL’s resources and services are designed to help people pursue their passions. Customers can check out 25 items on their library card for a two-week period; two renewals beyond that are allowed (unless an item has been placed on hold by another patron). Beyond books of all genres and reading levels, DVDs are popular circulating items, and customers can check out up to 15 (of the 25 allowed items) on their card.

RPL also works to give students of all ages the tools to succeed in school and beyond. The library’s research resources include the Edith M. Clark History Room, on the third floor of the headquarters branch. Online resources include access to NCLive, Fold3 and Ancestry. And for those who love to learn through a formal curriculum without the cost of tuition, the free Gale courses are an excellent option, offering a wide range of highly interactive courses that are entirely online. Courses run for six weeks, and new sessions begin every month.

If  tools for education are needed, like graphing calculators and computer access, an RPL library card can help with that, too. Each branch has graphing calculators available for in-house check-out and use, as well as public computer labs that include scanners and printing. Headquarters also offers laptops for in-house check-out and use. Every branch offers access to free wi-fi 24/7. (Even after business hours, people can use the wi-fi from the grounds.)

RPL’s latest service, wireless printing, allows anyone to email documents to the library, 24/7, and then visit the library during regular operating hours to print them out from public, self-service stations for at a cost of 15  cents per page. “This has become a popular service and can be a life-saver for people who do not have printers at home, business travelers who are on the road or between offices or anyone experiencing printer malfunctions under a deadline,” said Oleen.

RPL’s work includes over 1,000 programs a year that are free and open to the public. From monthly programs for adults to weekly programming for teens and children, RPL offers educational opportunities for customers of all ages on a variety of subjects. All of these outreaches have a singular goal in mind: Support the lifelong pursuit of knowledge for all people.

“RPL continues to receive incredible support from our community.” said Oleen. “We are honored that for the third year in a row the city of Salisbury and Rowan County commissioners have each declared September Library Card Sign-up Month. Library Card Sign-Up month is the perfect vehicle to celebrate this history and recognize current library card holders while attracting new users to explore our quality collections, programs and services.”

RPL will celebrate with its community by hosting a booth at the Rowan County Fair, which will run Sept. 20-28 at the Rowan County Fairgrounds. Fairgoers are encouraged to drop by and learn more about their library.

For 32 years, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the ALA and libraries nationwide — academic, public, and private — uniting in a national effort to ensure that everyone signs up for their own library card. For more information, please visit ala.org/librarycardsignup. Visit your nearest RPL branch to sign up for a library card today and take advantage of RPL’s free resources and many services. For more information, visit www.RowanPublicLibrary.org.