Monday, November 21, 2016

Reading is “Snow” Much Fun!



In preparation for winter weather 
many folks are stocking up on firewood and loading their pantries.  It's also important to gather up plenty of books to get you through those cold months. While summer reading may get all the hype, winter reading has its advantages. In fact, we would even go as far as to argue that winter is the best season for reading.  Listed here are the top ten reasons for and ways to make reading a number one winter activity.  1) Excuses like “Sorry I can’t make it tonight,” are easy considering that days are shorter with colder weather, and staying home to read is a perfectly valid excuse when it’s snowing.  2) Curling up by the fire with a book and a big glass of red wine, or swapping out the wine for hot cocoa, is so relaxing.  3) There is no better way to “waste away” the entire day, than in a reading nook with a beautiful snowy view and piles of fuzzy blankets.  Basically all reading nooks are better in the winter.  4,5, & 6) Opening a literary Advent calendar each morning, getting swept away by magical holiday novels, and revisiting your favorite holiday stories from childhood, are all great ways to melt away holiday stress.  7) Incorporating books into your holiday décor has never been easier.  You can stack books of various shapes and sizes for a tabletop tree or even in the shape of a snowman!  8) Treats at your book club can get very creative and delicious, there are lots of things you can do with sugar cookies.  9) You can give everyone on your holiday shopping list a book, because everyone knows that literature is the gift that keeps on giving.  10) And of course, receiving new books as gifts.  Happy Winter Reading! 


Dates to remember in December:
The Library will be closed on December 24 and 26 for Christmas.
Children’s Programs

  •  Small Business Story Walk features Amy Rosenthal's picture book Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons.  Begin at the Chamber of Commerce and finish the story walk as you stroll through West Jefferson.
  • Baby Bounce is on December 5 and 12 at 10:00 a.m. for birth to two year-olds.  Bring your young ones for stories, rhymes, bounces, and songs with “stay and play” social time afterwards.
  • Tot Time is a fun-filled time for 2 & 3 year-olds, featuring stories, art and music at 10:30 a.m. on December 7 and 14.
  • Story time for 4 & 5 year olds feature ABC Adventures at 10:30 a.m. on December 1, 8, and 15.
  •  A special story time for daycare classes takes place at 9:30 a.m. on December 2.  Call 336.846.2041 x223 to register.
  •  Build, create, and make new friends at a Lego Block Party at 4:00 p.m. on December 20.

Tween Programs

  • Tween Takeover! Hangout, eat, laugh, and play games at 4:00 p.m. on December 6, 13, and 20.

Teen Programs

  • What’s your geek? What’s your game? Meet, hang out, game, and eat every Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. with the Geeks & Gamers.
  •  Help plan upcoming events at the library with the Teen Advisory Council at 5:00 p.m. on December 20.

Adult Programs

  •  For all your tech troubles, book an appointment with our friendly reference librarians.  Call 336.846.2041 x227
  • Visit the Poetry Café at 3:30 p.m. on December 8 and share original or favorite poems over coffee.
  •  Join our Holiday Tea with a variety of teas, music and a sneak peek at the newest books and DVDs at 1:00 p.m. on December 10.
  •  Yoga Club meets in the library’s downstairs meeting room at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays.
  • The Deep Focus Film Club meets at 5:00 p.m. on December 29.  For the first installment of Malcolm X.
  •  Brouhaha Book Club meets at 5:30 p.m. on December 19 in Boondocks Restaurant for “Books, Beer and Bookworm Babble.”  Come and find out what everyone has been reading lately! Try the new Ashe Bookworm Porter!
  • The Coloring “Book” Club celebrates reading (and coloring) as a group experience at 5:30 p.m. on December 27. Relax with adult coloring books while listening and discussing a different short story audiobook each month.

 All Ages

  •  Book and a Bite, takes place from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on December 3.  Create a centerpiece for the table, pick up a recipe and browse selected books for dinner table conversation starters.
  • Get Crafty and learn to “Crochet Your Way Through the ABCs” at 10:00 a.m. on December 10. You can make an alligator, a bear, a cat, ...you get the idea. Project materials are provided.
  •  The Community Drum Circle meets at 5:30 p.m. on December 13 and 27.  Join the celebration of drums, while exploring the soul and spirit of music!
  • Mountain Music Slow Jam will meet from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on December 3 and 16, in the downstairs meeting room (after-hours access through side door on lower parking lot).  Get together with other musicians and jam.  Songs are explained as to timing, breaks, etc… and played in slow time.  Designed for beginners, all skill levels are welcome.
  • The Read Around the Clock Book Club meets at 12:00 p.m. on December 12 to discuss any book with the number “twelve,” the word noon, or the word midnight in the title. 
  • Ornamentality and Santa begins at 4:00 p.m. on December 15.  Visit with Santa and create make-and-take ornaments at different stations around the library.
  • Throughout December share your favorite recipes and find some new ones in the library's annual recipe swap.  If you have a recipe to contribute, please bring it to one of the library service desks or email ashereference@arlibrary.org

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Save the Date for Read-Around-the-Clock: November 10 at 11:10 a.m.

Traditionally the library's Read-Around-the-Clock Book Club meets on the month, day, and hour that coincides with a certain number in the title of a featured book. Since the library is closed on November 11 and unable to meet at 11:00, the club's discussion will take place at the library on November 10 at 11:10 a.m. This date and time was chosen to compliment last month's selection of Wendy Wax's novel Ten Beach Road. Read-Around-the-Clock will feature books with eleven or 11 in the title but will also include a Skype visit from author Wendy Wax whose book was highlighted in October. All are invited to visit and share any book they have read with either a ten (10) or eleven (11) in its title. Even if you haven't read anything lately that fits this criteria, come out and discover new (or old) books. Discussing books and ideas is a great opportunity to socialize and keeps your mind active.

Station Eleven graces the library's wall clock, to represent novels that tell time, as a book that includes the number (11) eleven in its title. This book is a science fiction novel written by Emily St. John Mandel, a native Canadian, and was the winner of the Sir Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Toronto Book Award in 2015. The Sir Arthur C. Clarke Award is given to the best science fiction novel of the year published in the UK. This book also garnered a lot of attention as a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. 

Station Eleven takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where survival includes the necessity of art. My first assumption was that the title reflected a place, but I soon realized as I began reading this book that Station Eleven is the name of a comic novel, that within the course of the story takes on significant meaning to the characters. The story floats between two periods of time; before the disaster and after the fall of civilization due to a pandemic outbreak of bird flu.

While reading I also began to recall a time in 2005 when H5N1, a strain of avian influenza was discovered in Africa and considered a significant pandemic threat. At that time the United States Senate appropriated 4 billion dollars to be used for developing a vaccine against this bird-flu virus. Global deaths resulting from the spread of H5N1 were predicted to reach 150 million. Studies now show that though there have been deaths determined as a result of H5N1, these cases are rare and isolated. The World Health Organization continues to research and monitor the spread of this virus and the Center for Disease Control issues the precaution to avoid wild birds and potentially infected domestic poultry.

Mandel's dystopian novel seemed all the more plausible, knowing about discovery of avian influenza today. I was horrified by the thought that air could be so contaminated that breathing became fatal! After the polluted air dispersed, those who miraculously survived began leading a nomadic life. There were various bands of survivors, including a traveling symphony of musicians and actors whose purpose was to offer distraction from the bleakness of the post-apocalyptic world. One character in the story started a Museum of Civilization at the airport where he was stranded when the outbreak started. The museum represented life before year Zero with artifacts that included everything from cell phones and drivers licenses to laptops and stilettos. One band of nomads was led by a self-appointed prophet who preached that he was chosen to repopulate society. He took multiple wives by force and manipulated his followers by having them kill those who didn't believe.

New York Time Bestsellers reviews Station Eleven as a novel that is “steeped in the anxieties of our era: pandemics, environmental catastrophes, energy shortages, civil unrest.” This book is a gripping story that you won’t want to put down and leads to a great discussion on how each of us might respond to unfortunate circumstances such as the end of the world as we know it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Challenge Quilts on Display



The Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Guild is now displaying its annual “Challenge Quilts” in the upstairs gallery at the Ashe County Public Library. “Challenge Quilts” can be no smaller than 20” and no larger than 30” square.  Twenty-two challenge quilt pieces offer us cats, birds, owls, flowers, abstracts, and many others.  The only limits were to use black, white and one other color with the design left to the maker’s imagination and imagine they have.  They are on view until the end of October, 2016.

In 2002, the Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Guild was organized for quilters throughout the local area quilters to come together to quilt, socialize and learn quilting skills.  The meetings consist of a social time, business, show & tell, and a program. 

There’s a “Sew Day” on the first Thursday of each month at the Senior Center at 12:30 to give members a chance to work together on charity quilts and other projects
The Guild has educational programs & workshops, Sew Days, road trips, Secret Pals, a Quilt Fair, Challenge Quilts, Mystery Quilts & exchanges, Charity Quilts, and an Opportunity Quilt. 

Each year until 2015, they held a Quilt Fair at Jefferson Station as part of “On the Same Page” a celebration of reading held during September.  If you need a “quilt fix” one is available at the Ashe County Public Library each month as the Library displays a member’s individual quilt.

The Guild meets the second Thursday of each month with a social time at 2:00 p.m. and business meeting at 2:15 p.m. at the Ashe County Senior Center. The Senior Center is located at 180 ChattyRob Lane in West Jefferson

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reading & Feeding



Ashe Library promotes “Food for Fines” during the week of November 28 – December 3.  During this period, library patrons are encouraged to bring undamaged and unexpired, boxed or canned, non-perishable food items to the library. Each single food item will be applied as a $1 credit toward the reduction of existing overdue fines.  Please note, only fines will be waived and not the replacement costs of lost or damaged items. Food collected will be donated to local area food banks. 


Last year the library collected 1166 items, equaling $1166 in waived fines (which will hopefully mean more circulation on those clean cards). This was almost three times more than the previous year.  A lot of patrons brought extra food, which allowed us to apply their donations to patrons who did not bring anything. Notes were left to patrons with forgiven fines explaining that their account had been cleared through the donations of other patrons. 
This program benefits the library by getting back some late and lost books. Plus, we get our delinquent patrons to come back. Many of them feel bad about owing money to the library that they can't pay back—others are stubborn and refuse to pay fines above a certain amount. Whatever their reason, they do come back, and they feel good about doing something meaningful for their community in the process. We also gain respect from other community entities, which are continually amazed at the countless ways that the library contributes to the public good. Our local nonprofits and charities are very grateful for the help they receive from us. Staff morale improves, and circulation staff receives far fewer complaints about fines.
Finally, the positive public relations response that the library receives far exceeds the amount of money and staff time that the program requires. Food for Fines reinforces the image of the library as a learning place that reaches out to all of the members of its community, regardless of income.

Dates to remember in November:
The Library will be closed on November 11 for Veterans Day and November 24 – 26 for Thanksgiving.

Children’s Programs
  •  Baby Bounce is every Monday at 10:00 a.m. for birth to two year-olds.  Bring your young ones for stories, rhymes, bounces, and songs with “stay and play” social time afterwards. 
  • Tot Time is a fun-filled time for 2 & 3 year-olds, featuring stories, art and music at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays.
  • Story time for 4 & 5 year olds feature ABC Adventures at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays. 
  • A special story time for daycare classes takes place at 9:30 a.m. on November 4.  Call 336.846.2041 x223 to register. 
  • Build, create, and make new friends at a Lego Block Party at 4:00 p.m. on November 22.
Tween Programs  
  •  Tween Takeover! Hangout, eat, laugh, and play games at 4:00 p.m. every Tuesday.
Teen Programs 
  • What’s your geek? What’s your game? Meet, hang out, game, and eat every Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. with the Geeks & Gamers.  
  • Help plan upcoming events at the library with the Teen Advisory Council at 5:00 p.m. on November 15.
Adult Programs 
  • For all your tech troubles, book an appointment with our friendly reference librarians.  Call 336.846.2041 x227 
  • Visit the Poetry Café at 3:30 p.m. on November 10 and share original or favorite poems over coffee. 
  • Yoga Club meets in the library’s downstairs meeting room at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays. 
  • The Deep Focus Film Club meets at 5:00 p.m. on November 17.  In the words of Roger Ebert, My Left Foot (1989), is the story of a “stubborn, difficult, blessed, and gifted man who was dealt a bad hand, who played it brilliantly, and who left us some good books, some good paintings and the example of his courage.” 
  • Brouhaha Book Club meets at 5:30 p.m. on November 28 in Boondocks Restaurant for “Books, Beer and Bookworm Babble.”  Come and find out what everyone has been reading lately! Try the new Ashe Bookworm Porter! 
  • The Coloring “Book” Club celebrates reading (and coloring) as a group experience at 5:30 p.m. on November 29. Relax with adult coloring books while listening and discussing a different short story audiobook each month.
 All Ages 
  • NEW family program, Book and a Bite, takes place from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on the first Saturday every month. Explore a new theme each month and create a centerpiece for the table.  Pick up a recipe and browse selected books for dinner table conversation starters. 
  • There will be a reception for artist Joy Braverman- Smith at 3:30 p.m. on November 9 in the library’s upstairs art gallery. 
  • Get Crafty and learn to “Crochet Your Way Through the ABCs” at 10:00 a.m. on November 11. You can make an alligator, a bear, a cat, ...you get the idea. Project materials are provided.
  •  The Community Drum Circle meets at 5:30 p.m. on November 8 and 22.  Join the celebration of drums, while exploring the soul and spirit of music! 
  • Mountain Music Slow Jam will meet from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on November 4 and 18, in the downstairs meeting room (after-hours access through side door on lower parking lot).  Get together with other musicians and jam.  Songs are explained as to timing, breaks, etc… and played in slow time.  Designed for beginners, all skill levels are welcome. 
  • The Read Around the Clock Book Club meets at 11:10 a.m. on November 10 to discuss any book with the number “eleven” or “ten” in the title.  Skype with author Wendy Wax, author of Ten Beach Road.
  • International Game Day is on November 19.  Try different board games, chess, checkers, Apples to Apples, and some GIANT games while waiting for the Christmas parade to start (between 1 – 4 p.m.)