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Rowan Public Library encourages you to look all around

By Paul Birkhead

Rowan Public Library

As I was walking through the stacks of Rowan Public Library recently, I happened to come across books of varying topics and points of view.  That didn’t surprise me one bit and I hope it doesn’t surprise you, either. Your local public library is the place to come for books that cover subjects from all directions.

Look up! There are some nice, new books at the library that deal with things above our heads. For instance, “Space Exploration: a History in 100 Objects,” by Sten F. Odenwald, is a fascinating visual collection of items that cover human exploration of the cosmos. As with most lists, there may be items you feel were left out or should have been left off. But overall, it is an interesting assortment.

Another book involves looking up toward the heavens. It is titled “Everything You Need: 8 Essential Steps to a Life of Confidence in the Promises of God,” by David Jeremiah. Jeremiah wants Christians who lack confidence in their spiritual development to understand how relying on the tools God provides will foster growth. He wrote this guidebook to help them on their journey.

Look down!100 Dives of a Lifetime: the World’s Ultimate Underwater Destinations,” by Carrie Miller, takes a close look at the space beneath our feet — or fins. Filled with beautiful images from National Geographic, this book explores a breathtaking area of the planet. Whether you’re passionate about diving, travel or both, you’ll enjoy flipping through these pages. 

Another way to look down is to study the past through archaeology. In “America Before: the Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization,” author Graham Hancock takes the idea that the Americas are the “New World” and turns it on its head. Through study of DNA, geology and archaeology, the author builds a case that ancient civilization might have begun in the Americas thousands of years before the accepted beginnings in areas of the globe further east. 

Look left and right! If you haven’t noticed that America’s political climate has gotten somewhat extreme, buckle up for the coming election year. If you browse the shelves at the library, it won’t take you long to find books that lean toward your political bent. However, as librarians, we hope you would also explore titles coming from the other side of the aisle. 

Recent, popular books from the left have included: “Blowout,” by Rachel Maddow; “A Very Stable Genius,” by Rucker and Leonnig; and “Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump,” by Neal Katyal.

Books from the right have included: “Triggered,” by Donald Trump Jr.; “Witch Hunt,” by Gregg Jarrett; and “Power Grab,” by Jason Chaffetz.

Look back! Besides having a world-class local history room at the Headquarters Branch in Salisbury, Rowan Public Library offers many items to help you take a look back at your ancestors.The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy,” by Blaine T. Bettinger. is good for those starting on their genealogical journey or those wanting to learn more about exciting changes in that field of study.

Look forward! For those who made New Year’s resolutions, by this time you’ve either hit a roadblock or you’re coasting right along. Whether you started a diet, began learning a new language, or tackled decluttering your home, the library has resources to help with those and many other undertakings.

No matter what subject you are interested in, Rowan Public Library has you covered. We encourage you to stop by your local branch and take a good look around.

Scavenger Hunt — Love Birds: Headquarters and South, through Feb. 29. Can you find these love birds hidden throughout the children’s room? Complete the challenge and get a prize! For more information, call 704-216-8234 (HQ) or 704-216-7728 (South).

Scavenger Hunt — Shelf Esteem: East Branch, through Feb. 29. Explore our shelves! You may see books you have never noticed before in this scavenger hunt. This hunt will run through February 29. Complete the clue sheet and be entered into a raffle contest for a literary-themed prize. Call 704-216-7842 for more information.

STEAM into Adventure: Painting with Candy, South, Feb. 8, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Create a painting by dissolving candy. This STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics) program is geared for ages 6 to 11. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more details, call 704-216-7729.

Adventures with Mr. Robert: Indoor Rockets — Blast off, headquarters, Feb. 8, 11 a.m.-noon, Join Mr. Robert and build multiple rockets out of straws, balloons and paper, then, have fun launching your rockets. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more information, contact 704-216-8234.

Reader’s Theater: South, Feb. 8, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Be an actor without the pressure of memorizing a script! This theater style conveys the story through vocal and facial expressions. This program is designed for ages 8 to 13. Questions? Call 704-216-7729.

Playday Tuesday: Headquarters, Feb. 11, 5-7 p.m. Drop by the children’s room for fun seasonal games with Mr. Robert and Ms. Kimber. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more information, contact 704-216-8234.

Crafty Kids: Headquarters, Feb. 12, 6 p.m. Children ages 12 and under may explore their crafty side using a variety of materials and techniques to create art. This will be held in the Children’s Room. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more information, contact Aida at 704-216-8234.

Sensory Storytime: Feb. 14, 10:30 a.m., headquarters. Attendees will experience storytime through tactile stimulation as they touch, see, smell and hear different interactive elements. Low lighting and low music will also be used. This 30-minute storytime involves books, songs and movement and is designed for those with autism and/or sensory challenges. All ages and those of all abilities are welcome. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For questions or to make accessibility arrangements, call 704-216-8234.

Exploration with Aida: Valentine’s Day, headquarters, Feb. 15, 11 a.m. Make Valentine’s Day themed crafts. This program is designed for ages 10 and under and will be held in the Children’s Room. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more information, contact Aida at 704-216-8234.

Family Craft Night: DIY Valentines, headquarters, Feb. 11, 4-5 p.m., and East, Feb. 13, 4-5 p.m. Design your own handmade Valentine’s card with a VR twist using the free HP Reveal app. This program is designed for teens in sixth through 12th grade. Questions? Call 704-216-8229 for more information.

Star in You Own Valentine’s Card: Headquarters, Feb. 12, 3-5 .m. Create a custom card for your Valentine or yourself. Use a green screen to turn into the star of your own romance novel cover! Personalize with titles and captions. This is a free drop-in event and is open to teens and adults. Call 704-216-8248 for more information

Wednesday Writers Club: East, Feb. 12, 6 p.m. Love writing? We do too! Join the East Branch for a time of solo writing, group sharing and peer-to-peer reviews. Encouragement, coffee and snacks will be provided. This program is designed for adults 18 and up. Call 704-216-7840 for more information.

Job Readiness on the Go: East, Feb. 13, 2-4 p.m. A Career Connections Specialist from Goodwill will be onsite to provide Job Readiness on the Go, which consists of successfully completing employment applications online and on paper, creating a resume, learning interviewing skills, and completing assessments to help select a career based on your personality and skills. Call 704-216-8259 for more information.

Displays: Headquarters, Diversity in Aviation presented by Dolly Griffin, display presented by Meals on Wheels and World War I: Lessons and Legacies presented by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition of American History; East, Sherlock Holmes display presented by Cathy Woods; South, Corriher-Lipe Middle School Art presented by Lynn Haynes.

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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