Friday, February 22, 2013

The Library is a Cultural Bridge

In today's changing world the diversity of people from different cultures, backgrounds and religions is a daily fact of life. Given that diversity abounds, the project of understanding each other is both daunting and important. Libraries are contributing to this effort by taking on the role of a community cultural center. By broadening access to culture in our country libraries are getting communities in touch with each other, and breathing life into art, literature and poetry .

The Ashe County Library is one of 840 libraries and state humanities councils participating in a national initiative made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Ashe Library was recently awarded a Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is a collection of 25 books, 4 DVDs, and other programming resources selected to help public audiences in the United States become more familiar with the people, places, history, faith, and cultures of Muslims around the world and within the U.S. The Bookshelf is intended to address both the need and the desire of the American public for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations. 

As we explore culture, it's also important to remember how much we have in common. A person who grew up in Afghanistan, sees the world very differently than someone who grew up in the Appalachian mountains, but both people know what it is like to wake up in the morning and look forward to the adventures of the day. We are all human beings. We all love deeply, want to learn, have hopes and dreams, and have experienced pain and fear.

The Muslim Journeys bookshelf contains books related to American Stories, Connected Histories, Literary Reflections, Pathways of Faith, Points of View, as well as Art, Architecture, and Film. The books are displayed in the library's upper level and are available for check out. A Muslim Journeys film series begins on noon, March 23 with a showing of Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World.

Dates to remember in March:

The Winter Reading Challenge Wrap-up and the Spring Reading Challenge Kick-off party takes place on Friday, March 1 at 4:00 p.m. This is an all ages event … prizes, food and fun for everyone!

Teen Tech Week is celebrated March 11-16. Drop in weekdays at 4:00 p.m. for some quality tech-time. Projects are available for making characters with Hero Machine, musical play lists, and creative writing. A Battle Royale Party is scheduled for Saturday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. Throughout the week have fun with a QR code Scavenger Hunt.

Wednesday, March 13 join us at 4:00 p.m. as we create Ashe Library's version of the “Harlem Shake”
light refreshments will be served.

Teens have fun on March 28 at 4:00 p.m. with “Body Invaders” in anticipation of The Host, a sci-fi movie to hit theaters on March 29.

Otaku’s United, an Anime/Manga Club for teens, meets on Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m.

The Library’s Saturday Music Concert Series features Connie Woolard on hammered dulcimer 

Saturday, March 16 at 2:00 p.m. on the main floor, in front of the quilt display.

Join us for “Get Crafty” classes! All ages and experience levels are welcome. April’s origami class meets on Thursday, March 14 at 4:00 p.m. Suzanne's crochet class meets on Saturday, March 16 at 10:00 a.m. A “Get Crafty” Program Guide is now available on the library's website, or call 846-2041 for more information.

Adult programming offers “Pace Yourself” Computer Classes on Tuesday mornings at 11:00.
Tai Chi classes are available on March 7 and 14 at 10:00 a.m. as well as Saturday, March 9 at 1:00 p.m.

Parents bring your children to our Family Fling programs, every Saturday through the winter months, at 11:00 a.m. Enjoy stories and be creative with fun art projects! Following the March 30 Family Fling program, join us for a library Easter Egg Hunt.

Children’s programs are scheduled as follows: Story time (4-5 year olds) on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., Tot time (2-3 year olds) Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m., and Afternoon Adventures (6-9 year olds) at 2:00 p.m. on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Check the library’s website or call for details.

A Bridging Cultures film series begins Saturday, March 23 at 12:00 p.m. featuring a documentary on Islamic Art.


  1. Looking forward to the film series!

    1. Exciting! The books have been moved to a display case on the main floor. Other exciting news ... we got expansion shelves from NEH so Wilkes and Watauga will have a complete collection as well!