Monday, February 27, 2017

‘Candid Critters’ cameras now available from Randolph library

ASHEBORO – Motion-activated cameras are now available for check-out from the Randolph County Public Library for participants in the “North Carolina’s Candid Critters” initiative, which enables library users to participate in a statewide wildlife study.

To join the project and check out a camera, sign up and complete brief online training session at Cameras will be distributed this week to participants who have already registered.

Candid Critters is a state-sponsored study that makes cameras available through public libraries. Participants check out the cameras to mount on private property or public land, and weeks later retrieve the images for uploading to the Candid Critters website.

Approved participants will be notified by the library to pick up their cameras for a series of three-week deployments. Library staff will be available to help with uploading the images.

Data will be used to map trends in animal populations across the state. Typical images from the project – including deer, bears and bobcats in the eastern part of the state – can be viewed at

Candid Critters is a partnership among NC State University, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the State Library of NC, NC Cardinal, North Carolina’s public libraries and the Smithsonian.

For further information, contact the library at 336-318-6803.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

War Zone: researcher to explore WWII of NC coast in Asheboro library talk

The merchant ship S.S. Dixie Arrow sinks after being torpedoed by
German submarine U-71 near Ocracoke Island on March 26, 1942
[National Archives] 
ASHEBORO – During World War II, an epic battle raged off the North Carolina coast as German submarines stalked merchant shipping, Allied navies hunted the U-boats, and lifesaving crews put to sea to rescue survivors.

Kevin P. Duffus
Award-winning author, researcher and filmmaker Kevin P. Duffus will talk about this confrontation in “War Zone! World War II Off the North Carolina’s Outer Banks,”
6:30  p.m. Thursday, March 9, at the Asheboro Public Library.

Duffus’s appearance, sponsored by the library’s Robert C. Taylor, Jr., Memorial World War II Collection, is free and the public is invited.

Duffus will explore six months in 1942, when 65 U-boats wreaked havoc on merchant shipping along the eastern seaboard, often in view of coastal communities — with the most intense action taking place off North Carolina.

For his talk, Duffus compiles a stunning collection  of eyewitness stories of merchant sailors, Coast Guard recruits and coastal residents who survived the battles. He recounts the U.S. Navy’s response to the attacks, and separates fact from fiction in legends that have grown around the events.

Duffus, who lives in Waynesville, has received a Peabody Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award among other honors. His research has led to the re-discovery of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse’s Fresnel lens, a national treasure, and to new understandings of the pirate Blackbeard and his crew — as well as to the discovery of Blackbeard’s treasure.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For more information, call 336-318-6803.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Randolph libraries to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday

Educator and entertainer Steve Somers, a.k.a "The Amazing
Teacher," will help celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday at 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 9, at the Randleman library.
ASHEBORO – Children and their families are invited to join the celebration of Dr. Seuss’s 113th birthday at three Randolph County libraries in early March.

The Asheboro and Archdale libraries will host birthday parties on the beloved author’s actual birthday, March 2, while Randleman will wait a week.

At the Randleman library, “Celebrate Seuss with Steve Somers” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, as the popular educator and entertainer also known as “The Amazing Teacher” presents a fast-paced, high energy show with amazing tricks, a silly puppet, music and tons of audience participation. The library is located at 142 W. Academy Street; call 336-498-3141 for further information.

At Asheboro, it’s “Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday at the Library,” 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2, with stories, games crafts and treats for all ages. The library is located at 201 Worth Street; call 336-318-6804 for further information.

In Archdale, “It’s Party Time” at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 2, as children and families are invited to fĂȘte the good doctor with stories, games and refreshments. The library is located at 10433 Main St.; call 336-431-3811 for further information.

Theatre troupe to bring Martin Luther King Jr., African American heroes, to life in two plays at Asheboro library

Bright Star Touring Theatre actors perform
a scene from Meet Dr. King.
ASHEBORO – Asheville’s innovative Bright Star Touring Theatre will present two plays for children in recognition of Black History Month on Monday, February 27, at the Asheboro Public Library.

The group will stage Meet Dr. King at 10:30 a.m. for children pre-school age and older; and Black History Heroes, Soldiers and Spies at  4 p.m. for kids third grade and older. The performances, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, are free and the public is invited.

Meet Dr. King celebrates the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. in an accessible and easy-to-follow story featuring key moments in King’s life, from his childhood in Atlanta and the important lessons passed down by his father, to some of his greatest moments as an inspiring leader.

Black History Heroes, Soldiers and Spies highlights the work of the Buffalo Soldiers, including Col. Charles Young, as they explore and settle the American West; the Tuskegee Airmen as they take flight to help win World War II; and spies such as Mary Elizabeth Bowser, who worked for the Union during the Civil War.

The Bright Star Touring Theatre serves nearly 1,500 audiences each year in schools, theaters, libraries, museums and other venues across the country, offering a wide range of curriculum-based plays and programs. The troupe performs regularly at the National Theatre in Washington, DC, and has taken productions to Russia and Germany.

Now in its 14th year, the company is based in Arden, NC, near Asheville.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6804.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Teen ‘Pottery Slam!’ returns to Asheboro library

Joseph Sand
ASHEBORO – Get hands-on experience throwing pots and spinning clay creations in the 6th annual TeenZone “Pottery Slam!” from noon-2 p.m. Saturday, February 25, at the Asheboro Public Library.

All teens are invited to join local potters Joseph Sand and Dawn Tagawa, who will provide guidance as participants get to work. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library and in partnership with the Randolph Arts Guild, the Pottery Slam is free and all supplies are provided.

Completed pieces will be fired and placed on display at the library for a few weeks, and then returned to their makers.

Dawn Tagawa
Sand graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in General Studio Art from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a ceramics emphasis. After graduation, Sand left for North Carolina where he completed an apprenticeship under master potter Mark Hewitt.

He operates Joseph Sand Pottery near Randleman, featuring functional and sculptural wood-fired ceramics.

Tagawa’s work, which can be purchased online through Etsy, has been recognized in numerous area exhibitions and craft shows. She believes good pottery should have depth, character and flow.

Her aim is to create pieces where the parts merge to form a whole that is intriguing and pleasing to the eye as well as to the touch.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street in Asheboro. For further information, call 336-318-6803.

Use photos to enhance genealogy research in Asheboro library workshop

ASHEBORO  -- The Randolph County Public Library’s genealogy workshop series continues with “A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words,” 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, at the Asheboro Public Library. Librarian and genealogist Ann Palmer will show you how to enhance your family history with photos, and what to do when you don’t have a them.

It’s free and the public is invited.

The final class in the series, “Those Elusive Females,” focuses on tracing maternal family trees and is slated for 2-4 p.m. Saturday, March 11.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6815.

Get the buzz on beekeeping in Asheboro library workshop

ASHEBORO – Learn about the importance of bees to your backyard garden, and how to cultivate them, in “Basics of Beekeeping at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 22, at the Asheboro library.

The workshop is free and the public is invited.

Carol Kivett of the Randolph County Beekeeper Association will talk about how the insects make your garden bloom, take a look at supplies you need to host a hive, and answer questions about beekeeping.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.

WFU anthropologist to explore Gullah culture in Asheboro library talk

Dr. Andrew Gurstelle
ASHEBORO – Descended from enslaved Africans, the Gullah people of the southeast Atlantic coast have developed a unique culture rich with linguistic, religious and social practices influenced by their African heritage.

Using artifacts and images from the exhibition “Visions of Home: A Celebration of Gullah Culture in the Southeast” at the Wake Forest University Museum of Anthropology, museum academic director Dr. Andrew Gurstelle will explore Gullah history and culture in a talk at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 23, at the Asheboro library.

Gurstelle’s talk, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, is free and the public is invited.

As a museum anthropologist and archaeologist, his curatorial work emphasizes putting objects in context historically and culturally. He also is an assistant teaching professor.

“Visions of Home” is on display through April 22. The museum is located on Wake Forest’s Reynolda Campus.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

‘NC KIDS’ ebook resource for children launches through state's public libraries

 NC KIDS Digital Library
ASHEBORO – A massive new collection of downloadable ebooks, audiobooks and streaming videos for children pre-K through 4th grade is now available from North Carolina’s public libraries, including the Randolph County Public Library.

The NC KIDS Digital Library launched on February 1 with an initial collection of over 3,700 titles that can be checked out by any public library cardholder in the state.

Access is available 24/7 via the Randolph library’s website ( and directly from the NC KIDS website (, or through the Overdrive ebook app. The collection is accessible on all major computers and devices, including iOS®, Android™, Chromebook™ and Kindle®.

The collection includes 3,029 ebooks, 689 audiobooks and 37 streaming videos. The ebooks include many suitable for reading along or reading and listening.

Most of the titles check out to one user at a time, like traditional library books, but 300 are available for simultaneous use, meaning they are available to all users anytime with no waiting lists. Users can check out up to five books at a time.

NC KIDS is an initiative of the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association (NCPLDA), with support from the State Library of North Carolina. The North Carolina General Assembly provided funding to the State Library for content in the current budget year, and the state’s 81 public library systems are chipping in to cover the cost of the OverDrive platform which provides access to the collection.

Additional titles will be added soon, and libraries will continue to provide funding to add new material and ensure that the collection remains current.

Although the NC KIDS collection will be separate from the Randolph library’s Digital Depot ebooks, it will be accessible in the same way and on any device. Instructions will be provided, and staff will be available to help users with downloads.

For further information or assistance using NC KIDS, visit the library or call 336-318-6804.

Author to share Strieby community history in Asheboro library talk

Margo Lee Williams
ASHEBORO – The unique history and impact of an African American community in southwestern Randolph County is the focus of historian Margo Lee Williams’s new book, From Hill Town to Strieby: Education and the American Missionary Association in the “Back Country” of Randolph County, North Carolina.

Williams will talk about the history and people of Strieby, and sign copies of her award-winning book, at 2 p.m. Saturday, February 18, at the Asheboro Public Library. Her appearance is sponsored by the Randolph Room, the library’s local history and genealogy department.

Hill Town grew in the 1840s around the homeplace  of Edward (Ned) Hill, a free person of color, and his wife Priscilla, a freed slave. In the 1880s, the community established a school, a Congregational church and a U.S. Post Office.

Renamed Strieby after a church leader, the community flourished.  Strieby was designated as a Local Cultural Heritage Site by the Randolph County Historic Landmark Preservation Commission in 2013, based on Williams’s nomination.

Central to the community’s history is the Rev. Islay Walden who, freed from slavery at the end of the Civil War, nearly blind and almost illiterate, walked to Washington, D.C., to gain an education and seek treatment for his poor eyesight.

He returned 10 years later as an esteemed academic, ordained minister and nationally known poet. His mission was to establish a school in Hill Town with the support of the American Missionary Association.

Willliams’s book documents Walden’s story and the continued development of education in the community. It also provides an exhaustive genealogy of Strieby families, profiles notable members of the community and takes a look at Strieby today.

The book received the 2016 Marsha M. Greenlee History Award from the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, and the 2016 Historical Book Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. It grew out of Williams’s research into her Lassiter family ancestors of the Lassiter Mill area in Randolph County, and picks up where her first book, Miles Lassiter, an Early African American Quaker, left off.

Williams, who lives in Silver Springs, MD,  operates a genealogical research firm, Personal Prologue. She holds masters degrees in sociology and religious education.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call the Randolph Room at 336-318-6815.