Library hoping to boost membership with giveaways this month

Published 12:02 am Sunday, September 4, 2022

SALISBURY — Rowan Public Library is pushing its membership for the month of September with giveaways and information.

Members who check out physical items will be entered into a raffle for a library-themed “swag bag.”

The library is also holding a throwback giveaway “blockbuster” out of its East branch on Sept. 10. The first 20 people or families that visit the branch that day will get a movie night goody bag when they sign up for a card or update their current card.

Library Services Manager Laurie Lyda said over the years the library has seen an increase in online borrower accounts. Those accounts are not attached to a physical library card and are used to check out electronic material like ebooks, audio books and streamed video. The library also provides access to some subscription databases.

The library has 75,000 active card holders and sees about 120 new accounts set up each month, though it regularly removes inactive accounts. Every student in Rowan-Salisbury Schools receives a card as well. Lyda pointed out anyone can get a card, even a newborn.

Lyda said the libraries see a lot of new patrons coming in for summer reading and via kids who come to the library for summer camp.

Folks who come in to the library in-person can also access Ancestry, the genealogical service has been popular at the library and was available remotely for a while, but the service has to be accessed at a branch again. The main branch in Salisbury’s Edith M. Clark History Room is a renowned local genealogical resource. History room supervisor Gretchen Witt said Ancestry gets 10,000 database searches from RPL each year.

The room is the site of the ongoing Salisbury Post Morgue Preservation Project. The project will eventually make all of the Post’s physical archives that predate the newspaper’s web presence available to the public in a digital format.

The program recently received approval to purchase a high-end scanner to improve productivity and the number of volunteers who can work on the project at once. There are already a handful of volunteers working on the project.

Volunteers are asked to bring anything they find in the archive of special significance to Witt’s attention as “discoveries.” Two found so far were a file on ABC Kirk, who was a local taxi and bus service pioneer in the early 20th century and John H. Kirby, a longtime rail machinist who later became an attorney.

If you want to sign up for library access online, go to www.rowancountync.gov/1498/Library-Card.

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About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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