Monday, December 30, 2019

Asheboro library to offer ‘Living Healthy with Diabetes’ course

ASHEBORO – Diabetes affects 12.2 million Americans age 60 and over — or 23 percent of the population.

“Living Healthy with Diabetes,” a six week course from 9:30 a.m.-noon Thursdays beginning January 16 at the Asheboro Public Library, can help you better manage diabetes, improve quality of life, and lower health care costs.

The course is free, but space is limited to 15 participants. Visit the library or call 336-318-6803 to register.

In the highly-interactive classes, mutual support and success will build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active, fulfilling lives.

Leading the classes will be Dr. Althea Taylor-Jones and Gail Sherred of the Piedmont Triad Regional Council Area Agency on Aging. 

The workshop focuses on problems common to people dealing with Type 2 diabetes: learning to deal with symptoms, managing stress, using medications, and developing healthy eating habits and exercise techniques.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street.

Holly George-Warren to talk about new Janis Joplin bio at Asheboro library

Holly George-Warren
ASHEBORO – Celebrated music journalist and Asheboro native Holly George-Warren will visit the Asheboro library at 7 p.m. Friday, January 17, to talk about her acclaimed, definitive new biography of Janis Joplin.

Published by Simon and Schuster in October to rave reviews, Janis: Her Life and Music establishes the Queen of Rock & Roll as the rule-breaking musical trailblazer and gender-bending rebel that she was. George-Warren had unprecedented access to Joplin’s family, friends, bandmates, archives and long-lost interviews to create the intimate portrait.

George-Warren is a two-time Grammy nominee and the award-winning author of sixteen books, including the New York Times bestseller The Road to Woodstock with Michael Lang, and the biographies A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton and Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry. She has written for a variety of publications, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Entertainment Weekly.

She teaches journalism at the State University of New York in New Paltz.

She is the daughter of the late Martha and Alvis George Jr. Martha was a longtime Asheboro librarian.

Alvis was an architect who designed the award-winning 1964 Asheboro library building and its expansion in 1994, and other iconic local buildings. He also served as project coordinator for the NC Zoo master plan.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Seagrove library invites you on a ‘Blind Date with a Book’

SEAGROVE – Are you ready to find your literary love?

Let the Seagrove Public Library play matchmaker during “Blind Date with a Book.” Drop by the library between January 2 and January 9, and let the staff set you up with your “blind date” book.

You will have one month to read your unknown literary suitor, after which you are invited to a Valentine’s discussion with refreshments at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 12.

The Seagrove library is located at 530 Old Plank Road. For further information, call 336-873-7521.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Randolph library leaders win top state awards

Walker McCrary III, Dr. Frances Jones and Ross Holt display
their N.C. Public Library Directors Association awards
at the association's banquet on December 5 in Winston-Salem
ASHEBORO – The North Carolina Public Library Directors Association (NCPLDA) has recognized three Randolph County library leaders with its top personal awards.

Library Director Ross Holt was named 2018-2019 Library Director of the Year; Dr. Frances Jones was named Library Friend of the Year; and Walker McCrary III received the Benefactor’s Award. The three were recognized at the NCPLDA annual meeting and awards banquet on December 5 in Winston-Salem.

Ross Holt, Director of the Year

Holt was nominated by Jennifer Sackett, director of the Lincoln County Public Library, and Michael Roche, director of the Rockingham Public  Library, “[b]ecause of his commitment to public libraries, commitment to developing future leaders and willingness to serve whenever asked....”

Noting that Holt has served as president of both NCPLDA and the North Carolina Library Association, Roche and Sackett cited his longtime support for NCPLDA legislative advocacy activities; his service on the NC LIVE Resource Advisory Committee, and his work with NCPLDA on a series of continuing education programs entitled “SO! You Want to be a Public Library Director,” designed to prepare librarians for future leadership roles.

Dr. Frances Jones, Library Friend of the Year

Jones, who currently serves as Friends of the Library president, received the Library Friend of the Year Award. The award recognizes the impact a library Friend has had on library service in their community.

Holt, in his nomination of Jones, said that she rightly could be named Friend of the Century — or Friend of the Millennium.

Jones was recognized for pioneering Randolph Books for Babies, which has delivered over 1,500 reading-themed care packages to families of newborns at Randolph Health; carrying out the first Friends charitable giving campaign, which has raised over $32,000 for library programming and Friends activities; and working tirelessly to bring acclaimed  speakers and performers to the community.

Benefactors Award to Walker McCrary III

The Benefactor’s Award went to McCrary for his championing of the Mobile Library project. McCrary is president of the Acme-McCrary and Sapona Foundation Inc., which provided a five-year, $15,000 per year gift to support the new service.

With the foundation shifting its focus to early childhood literacy, McCrary in late 2017 contacted the library to find out if any such initiatives were planned. It was at that time that library staff were formulating the mobile library concept.

The McCrary gift led to support from the Asheboro Public Library Foundation Inc. The two foundations have fully funded the highly successful project.

The Acme-McCrary and Sapona Foundation also supports Randolph Books for Babies.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Drugs Did This: Hear from addiction survivors, officials in Asheboro library forum

ASHEBORO – Two Randolph County residents will share their stories of recovery from years-long struggles with substance abuse at 7 p.m. Thursday, December. 5, at the Asheboro Public Library.

The stories are included in Drugs Did This, a new book by Randolph County writer Chip Womick, a former staff writer for The Courier-Tribune. The book will be available for sale at the forum.

The problems began for Preston Cross when he returned home with PTSD after serving 10 months in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. For years, alcohol was his drug of choice; after he received an honorable discharge from the National Guard, he gravitated to harder drugs.

Preston Cross
“Before I got involved with drugs,” he says, “the idea of using a needle, of shooting up heroin, that was all taboo to me. That was something so far out of reach that I couldn’t believe that anybody could ever do something like that. I certainly thought that I would never do something like that.”

Tonya Waugh and her twin sister, Toni Smith, each battled addiction: Toni saved Tonya when she overdosed in 2013, and Tonya saved Toni from an overdose on Christmas Eve 2014. Toni went to rehab but overdosed again and died 100 days later.

Tonya found her calling during 28 days at a residential treatment program in Virginia. Now she shares her story at Narcotics Anonymous meetings and at treatment centers – and every chance she gets.

Tonya Waugh
“I said from that moment when I went to treatment, this was what I want to do. I’ve got to return this favor and help those that are like me and that are behind me. I need to put my hand down and reach for them and pick them up.”

Womick’s book has two goals. One is to raise money for the Community Hope Alliance, an Asheboro-based harm reduction nonprofit with a multi-pronged mission to provide resources and promote substance use education, awareness, prevention, and safety. The other is to raise awareness of the toll drugs are taking on individuals, their families, and on every person in Randolph County.

Other speakers will include Kelly Link, Susan Hayes, and Donovan Davis. Link co-founded the Community Hope Alliance with Ashley Hedrick, one of her three daughters, and will talk about why they started the organization and about its work.

Hayes, director of Randolph County Public Health, and Davis, director of Randolph County Emergency Services, will share facts and figures about the impact addiction and overdose have had in Randolph County.

In 2018, there were 448 suspected overdoses and 37 overdose deaths. The numbers for 2019 likely will be higher.

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

The Grinch to visit all Randolph libraries in December

Caleb Sigmon as The Grinch
ASHEBORO -- He’s mean, he’s green, and, thanks to the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library, he’s coming to all seven libraries in December to steal Christmas!

Don’t miss your chance to meet the Grinch, Max the dog, and even Cindy Lou Who as they bring Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas to life in their own special, silly way. Make sure to stick around after this fun, family program for photos and more silliness during the Grinch’s exclusive Meet-and-Greet.

Storyteller and illusionist Caleb Sigmon, who’s behind it all, promises that your heart will grow three sizes.

Performance are free and the public is invited:
• Archdale: 3:30 p.m. Thursday, December 12, 10433 S. Main St.;
• Asheboro: 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 10, and 10:30 a.m. Friday, December 13, 201 Worth Street;
• Franklinville: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 11, 111 Sumner Place;
• Liberty: 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 11, 239 S. Fayetteville St.;
• Ramseur: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, December 12, 1512 S. Main St.;
• Randleman: 3:30 pm. Friday, December 13, 142 W. Academy St.;
• Seagrove: 1 p.m. Tuesday, December 10, 530 Old Plank Road.

For more information, call 336-318-6804.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Tuneful team of Edwards, Davis return for “Country Bluegrass Christmas” at Asheboro library

Tommy Edwards and LaNelle Davis
ASHEBORO – The bluegrass/old time music team of Tommy Edwards and LaNelle Davis will present a selection of original and seasonal tunes in “A Country Bluegrass Christmas” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 3, at the Asheboro Public Library.

The pair will be joined by a Stan Brown on banjo and Gerald Hampton on mandolin for the performance, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. It’s free and the public is invited.

Edwards is lead singer and guitarist for The Bluegrass Experience, and host of Life 103.1’s “Bluegrass Saturday Night.” A professional performer for over 35 years, Edwards has twice been named World Champion Bluegrass Guitarist. He also served for 30 years in the Randolph and Chatham county schools as a teacher, coach and administrator.

Davis, from eastern North Carolina, initially was drawn to clogging, touring and performing extensively as a dancer and caller. She took up the bass when a friend moved and left one at her house, and since has performed with numerous nationally-known old-time bands and individuals.

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

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Bigfoot researchers to discuss their quest in Asheboro library talk

ASHEBORO – Researchers of the Bigfoot phenomenon will share findings about the presence of the elusive creature in western North Carolina, and also discuss sightings in the Uwharrie Mountains, in “Bigfoot at a Glance,” 6:30 p.m. Monday, November 18, at the Asheboro Public Library.

The talk is free and the public is invited.

John Bruner, a Bigfoot researcher for over 40 years, started Bigfoot 911 in 2014 in Marion, N.C., to document the presence of the creature in McDowell County. He was instrumental in establishing the Western North Carolina Bigfoot Festival in Marion, now in its second year.

During the talk, he will show documents and other evidence from the Native American era to the present demonstrating the existence of Bigfoot.

Bruner will be joined by Lee Woods, a Randolph County native who has spent more than 11 years researching the presence of a Bigfoot in the Uwharrie Mountains.

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

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Library offers ‘Family History During the Holidays’ genealogy class

ASHEBORO – Get tips for collecting genealogical information in “Family History during the Holidays,” 7 p.m. Thursday, November 14 at the Asheboro Public Library and repeated at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, November 21, at the Asheboro Senior Center.

The class, taught by Kendra Lyons of the library’s Randolph Room, will focus on recording family stories, interviewing relatives, family history gifts and decorations.

It’s free and the public is invited.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. The Asheboro Senior Center is located at 347 W. Salisbury St.

For further information, call 336-318-6815.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Food writer Sheri Castle to explore Southern cooking and culture in Asheboro library talk

Sheri Castle
(photo: Sharon Brody)
ASHEBORO – Blending storytelling, humor and culinary expertise, award-winning food writer Sheri Castle will share stories about Southern cuisine and its cultural impact at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 13, at the Asheboro Public Library.
Her appearance is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. It’s free and the public is invited.

Castle, author of The New Southern Garden Cookbook among more than a dozen other cookbooks, will tell stories and reflect on the roles that food traditions play in Southern families, lives, history and culture.

A contributing editor for Southern Living magazine who writes regularly for a number of magazines and newspapers, Castle is the subject of five short documentaries on Southern food produced by A Spoken Dish, a storytelling project of the Southern Foodways Alliance. She also is a popular speaker and demo chef at culinary events across the South and is asked to cook on television from time to time.

Her cooking classes garner a loyal following. One journalist observed, “Sheri Castle is one of the most brilliant recipe developers I know, a terrific writer, and her cooking classes are equal parts crucial info and laugh-until-you-drop trenchant observation.” Her colleagues say she has one of the best palates in the industry.

A native of Watauga County, Castle now lives in Fearington Village. She says she is fueled by her beloved Appalachian Mountains, farmers’ markets, excellent bourbon, and the pursuit of the right word.

Friends of the Library Cake-Off

Anyone who wants to get in on the culinary action can bake a cake and enter the first ever Friends of the Library Cake-Off.

Cakes will be juried by three local bakers at the Sheri Castle event, and cash prizes will be awarded. Criteria will include taste, appearance and ease of preparation.

To enter, pick up an entry form at the Asheboro library or visit

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Classical guitarist Jeff Bianchi to return to Asheboro library

Jeff Bianchi
ASHEBORO – Performing musical works spanning from Europe to South America, classical guitarist Jeff Bianchi will appear at the Asheboro Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 5.

Bianchi’s concert, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, is free and the public is invited.

Bianchi’s repertoire will include music from 18th century Germany and pieces from 20th century Argentina.

Born in Williamston, New York, Bianchi began performing at weddings and cafes while still in his teens. The attention he received playing concerts throughout western New York led to appearances in prestigious guitar festivals.

From 2005-2007, he toured with country acts Young Guns and Chace Roberts. He began solo classical tours in 2009, and has performed throughout the southeast, Texas and the mountain west.

He has performed at the Asheboro library twice previously.

He lives in Lanier Harbor near Buford, Ga., where his time is solely devoted to his music.

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

Randolph library launches mobile app

ASHEBORO – Users of the Randolph County Public Library can now search the library catalog, place holds, download ebooks and more on their phones and tablets with the library’s new mobile app.

The app is available for both Apple and Android devices – just search for “Randolph library” in your app store.

“A library’s job is not just to have books and other material available for the public, but to enable people to find that material quickly and easily,” says Library Director Ross Holt. “With more and more people relying on their phones and tablets or iPads, the mobile app meets them where they are and gives them immediate access to the library.”

In addition to typical uses like searching for books or DVDs and placing holds, and downloading electronic materials, the app also links to new arrivals, library hours and locations, and online resources.

The app also makes it quick and easy for users to check their library accounts to see when borrowed items are due, renew items and manage items on hold.

Users also can scan their library cards, or key in their library card number or REAL2 student IDs, and the app will generate a barcode that can be used to check out material at the library.

“Another neat feature is the capability to scan any book’s ISBN barcode, so if you’re at a bookstore and see a title you’re interested in, you can scan the code and the app will automatically tell you if the book is available at the library,” Holt says.

The app also includes a “book river” at the top that provides immediate links to best sellers and other top titles. It also enables users to communicate with the library to ask a question, suggest a purchase or reserve meeting space.

The app includes the collections of all seven libraries in the Randolph County Public Library system – Archdale, Asheboro, Franklinville, Liberty, Ramseur, Randleman and Seagrove.

For more information or assistance using the app, contact the library at 336-318-6803 or visit your local library.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Asheboro library begins in-house lending of laptop computers

ASHEBORO – Users of the Asheboro Public Library’s public computers now can take their work anywhere in the building and go online with free WIFI as the library begins lending laptops for in-house use.

Anyone with a library card in good standing or a student ID through the REAL2 program, and who is eligible under the library’s Internet use policy, can check out one of 10 laptops for the day, or for a set period of time if all the computers are in use and there’s a waiting list.

“In-house checkout of laptops will enable people to customize their library experience,” says Library Director Ross Holt.

Need a space to spread out documents while you’re online? Check out a laptop and take it to a study table.

Need a quiet place to study or write? Nestle at a café table by the window.

Need to do some work while watching your kids in the Children’s Room? Take along a computer.

Need to work in a small group? Take computers to a diner booth or a conference room.

Ordinarily use your phone or tablet with the library’s WIFI but have work that requires more intensive computer use? Borrow a laptop.

“The library offers all types of spaces for people to use. Now we’re enhancing the ways that people can use those spaces,” Holt says.

The laptops provide everything the library’s desktop computers offer, including Internet access, productivity programs like Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and even wireless printing.

If laptop lending at the Asheboro library proves a success, Holt says, it can be expanded to the six other branches of the Randolph County Public Library.

It’s also a test run for potential checkout of laptops to take home, Holt says. The library already loans mobile WIFI hotspots for use outside the library.

Laptops are available to anyone 16 and older who has agreed to the library’s Internet use policy, and those age 11-15 whose parents have authorized their use of the Internet at the library.

The Asheboro library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6801.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tickets available for library Friends studio tour with master potter Ben Owen III

Ben Owen III
ASHEBORO – Tickets are available now for a Friends of the Library “Studio Sip and Stroll” with renowned master potter Ben Owen III, 1-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 23.

The tour, open to 25 participants, is free but tickets are required. Tickets are available at the Asheboro Public Library Circulation Desk; there is a limit of two per person.

Owen will demonstrate some of the techniques he uses in creating pottery masterpieces that are in high demand all over the world. Following the demonstration, participants can stroll the retail gallery.

A light Southern tea will be served.

Owen’s studio is located at 105 Ben’s Place in Seagrove. Travel to the studio is on your own.

The Asheboro library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6801.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Cooking class collaboration between Randolph library, Cooperative Extension, wins state award

Meghan Carter and Jeannie Leonard
ASHEBORO – A series of hands-on cooking classes sponsored by the Randolph County Public Library and Randolph County Cooperative Extension has won a statewide award.

The classes — five in the fall of 2016 and four in the fall of 2017 —  received the Community Partnership Award from the North Carolina Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Incorporating concepts from the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less program, the classes covered such topics as canning, crockpot meals, stir-fry, soup, holiday appetizers, freezer meals, grilling, yeast bread making, and cooking with herbs. The library’s Head of Reference Meghan Carter organized the series with Family and Consumer Services Agent Jeannie Leonard, who taught them.

Sponsored by the library’s Margaret C. Taylor Culinary Arts Collection, the classes were offered at no cost to attendees.

Russia expert to explore Soviet WWII contribution in Asheboro library talk.

ASHEBORO – The Soviet Union’s contribution in World War II, and its influence on war crimes trials that followed, will be the topic of a talk by Dr. Thomas Earl Porter of  N.C. A & T University, 6:30 p.m. Monday, October 21, at the Asheboro Public Library.
The talk is free and the public is invited.

Porter, professor of Russian and Modern European History, and author of several books and more than 50 articles, will discuss the fate of Soviet POWs in Nazi Germany, as well as the legal groundwork and evidence collection undertaken by the Soviets for the Nuremberg war crimes trials. He also will touch on Soviet efforts to minimize the assault on Russian Jewry by the Germans, and share some little-known aspects of the ensuing cold war between the US and the USSR

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Get the lowdown on genealogy DNA tests in Asheboro library class

ASHEBORO – Have you been thinking about taking a DNA test, but are not sure which one to take?

Learn about the different DNA testing companies and what they have to offer in “DNA 101,” 7  p.m. Wednesday, October 9, at the Asheboro Public Library, 201 Worth Street. The class will be repeated at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, October 24, at the Senior Adults Center in Asheboro, 347 W. Salisbury St.

It’s free but registration is required; call 336-625-3389 to sign up.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Franklinville library offers 'Tails to Read' therapy dog sessions

FRANKLINVILLE – Children in the Franklinville area can read to a certified therapy dog during the Franklinville Public Library’s “Tails to Read” program, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Sundays, September 29, October 13 and November 3.

The sessions enable children to hone their reading skills and build confidence in a comfortable setting, one-on one with a non-judgmental companion – in this case, Bentley, an 11-year-old Golden Retriever. Bentley’s handler, Mary Ellen Georoff, is close by during all interactions.

There’s no cost for the sessions but space is limited; call the Franklinville library at 336-685-3100 or visit the library to sign up. The library is located at 111 Sumner Place.

Tails to Read continues to be offered at the Asheboro Public Library; call 336-318-6400 or visit the Children’s Room for upcoming dates or to sign up. The Asheboro library is located at 201 Worth Street.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Go batty at Asheboro library with 'Masters of the Night'

ASHEBORO -- Go batty over the “Masters of the Night” as two N.C. Zoo education specialists talk all about bats at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 15, at the Asheboro Public Library.

Wendy Green Foley, who has worked with bats for 12 years, and Nicole Peterson, a self-described “bird nerd,” will explore the skills and senses of the incredible animals in a fun and exciting program. The educators will shed light on what’s really going on with our backyard neighbors, and discuss the role of bats in the environment and how people can help them.

The talk is free and the public is invited.

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

Learn ‘What’s In Your Water’ at Franklinville library

FRANKLINVILLE – Children and their families are invited to find out “What’s in Your Water,” at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 24, at the Franklinville Public Library.

After arriving at the library, participants will visit the Deep River (weather permitting) to learn more about the water around us, why it is important and how to protect it. Then participants will carry out water quality tests and other fun experiments.

The program, sponsored by North Carolina Cooperative Extension of Randolph County, is free and the public is invited.

The library is located at 111 Sumner Place. For further information, call 336-685-3100.

Literary lecturer Dr. Elliot Engel to share ‘Andy Griffith Show’ insights in Asheboro library talk

Dr. Elliot Engel
ASHEBORO --- Andy Griffith was a brilliant movie and stage actor, but he is a Hollywood immortal and North Carolina cultural icon thanks to The Andy Griffith Show, which aired from 1960-1968.

Combine Andy with the state’s most popular literary lecturer and you have “Andy Griffith: Master of Mayberry with Dr.  Elliot Engel,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 10, at the Asheboro Public Library.

Engel’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is the second installment in the Ann Sigman Shaffner Literary Series, sponsored by a generous gift to the Friends of the Library from Anne’s family. Shaffner, who passed away in 2018, was passionate about helping others through volunteering with various community organizations, including the Friends of the Library.

In his talk, Engel not only analyzes Andy’s astonishing early life which led to his television triumph, but also reveals little-known facts about the show’s production and its enduring fame.

Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Engel now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has taught at the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Duke University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at UCLA, where he won that university’s Outstanding Teacher Award.

Engel has written 10 books, four of his plays have been produced in the last 10 years, and his mini-lecture series on Charles Dickens ran on PBS television stations. He has lectured throughout the United States and on all continents — including Antarctica.

He has received numerous awards for his scholarship and teaching, and since 1980 has served as president of the Dickens Fellowship of North Carolina. Sales of his books and recordings have raised funds for the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, which Dickens helped found in London in 1852.

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

Friday, September 13, 2019

Archaeologist to examine Historic Bethabara’s cultural diversity in Asheboro library talk

ASHEBORO -- Artifacts recovered from the Bethabara historic site in Forsyth County offer a glimpse into the relationships between the village’s Moravian founders, their Cherokee neighbors and enslaved Africans who toiled in the fields and workshops.

Dr. Andrew Gurstelle, director of the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, will explore this dynamic in “A House Divided: Tri-Racial Tensions at Historic Bethabara,” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 30, at the Asheboro Public Library. The talk is free and the public is invited.

Gurstelle, whose research focuses on the rise of kingdoms and empires in West Africa, the early slave trade, and Indian Removal policies in the 19th century U.S., will explore how the Moravian colonization of the area in the mid-1700s sheds light on the impact of the Cherokee removal and African-American emancipation in the 19th century.

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

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Eric Montross to revisit UNC ‘glory days’ in Asheboro Sunset Series talk

Eric Montross
ASHEBORO – Join Tar Heel basketball titan Eric Montross as he relives “Glory Days with UNC Basketball” at 7 p.m. Saturday, September 21, in downtown Asheboro’s historic Sunset Theatre.

Montross’s appearance is free and the public is invited. It’s the final installment of the 2019 Friends of the Library Sunset Signature Series, sponsored by the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, the City of Asheboro and the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library.

Montross was a two-time All American at UNC, and an integral part of the Tar Heels team that won the 1993 NCAA National Championship against Michigan.

At the professional level, he was ninth overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft and was selected by the Boston Celtics. In his rookie year, he averaged 10 points per game and was named 2nd Team All-Rookie.

He also played for the Dallas Mavericks, the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Nets, the Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors before retiring in 2003.

Montross currently is major gift director in the UNC athletics department, and provides color commentary for the UNC Basketball radio broadcast alongside Jones Angell.

He also is heavily involved in philanthropic work. He founded the Father’s Day Basketball Camp benefitting the North Carolina Children’s Hospital, and serves on the boards of Super Cooper’s Little Red Wagon Foundation, Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, and Vaccine Ambassadors, which promotes equitable access to lifesaving vaccines and which Montross co-founded.

A native of Indianapolis, he attended Lawrence North High School where he was a McDonald’s All American. He and his wife Laura live in Chapel Hill.

The Sunset Theatre is located at 234 Sunset Ave. For further information, call the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau at 800-626-2672.


Three of four presenters have been selected for the 2020 Friends of the Library Sunset series: Elizabeth Smart, who survived a nine-month abduction in 2002 to become an author and child safety advocate, 7 p.m Saturday, February 15; speed painter Tim Decker, who creates large paintings before the audiences eyes — sometimes painting with both hands — all set to music, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 14; and Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 18.

A fourth event will be announced soon.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Learn to decipher early American handwriting in Asheboro library genealogy workshop

ASHEBORO – Pick up tips and tricks for reading flowery script in old documents in “Understanding Early American Handwriting,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 12, at the Asheboro Public Library.

Led by Kendra Lyons of the Randolph Room staff, the workshop is free and the public is invited.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. Call 336-318-6815 for further information.

Asheboro library offers Instagram class

ASHEBORO – Learn about the social media photo app Instagram in two free classes at the Asheboro Public Library, at 10 a.m. Monday, September 9, and repeated at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 25.

With 800 million users, Instagram allows users to share photos and videos from their lives; add captions and filters; and engage with others. The class, led by Digital Services Librarian Harris Mason, will help participants become savvy users without becoming overwhelmed.

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

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Asheboro library to offer course on living with chronic pain

ASHEBORO – People who have a diagnosis of primary or secondary chronic pain can gain insight into their condition in “Living Healthy with Chronic Pain” at the Asheboro Public Library. 

The six-week chronic pain self-management workshop runs from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursdays, September 12-October 17. Facilitators are Gail Sherred and Dr. Althea Taylor-Jones, who are peers with chronic pain themselves.

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than 3-6 months, or beyond the normal healing time of an injury. The “Living Healthy” program also may benefit those with conditions such as persistent headache, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetic neuropathy or muscular pain from a condition such as multiple sclerosis.

Space is limited, so registration is required; call 336-318-6803 to sign up, or visit the Reference desk at the Asheboro library.      

The library is located at 201 Worth Street.

History prof Smallwood to return to Asheboro library for talk on origins of NC

Dr. Arwin Smallwood
ASHEBORO – Native Americans, European settlers and enslaved Africans shaped — and were shaped by — North Carolina and its landscape.

Learn how this mixture of influences contributed to “The Origins and Early History of North Carolina” with N.C. A & T history professor Dr. Arwin Smallwood at 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 9, at the Asheboro Public Library.

Smallwood’s appearance, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, is free and the public is invited.

Smallwood, chair of the History Department at N.C. A & T, left the audience here spellbound in May with his discussion of the fate of the Lost Colony.

In his new talk, he focuses on the long history of North Carolina and describes how its people, at first limited by the landscape, radically altered it to support their needs. The state’s waterways and forests sustained Native American villages that were replaced in the eighteenth century by English plantations, cleared for whites by African and Indian slaves.

All the state’s inhabitants successfully developed and sustained a wide variety of crops including the “three sisters” — corn, beans and squash —  as well as the giants: tobacco, cotton and peanuts.

Smallwood traces the story of the Native Americans, largely gone from the state for over 200 years, except for small populations; African slaves and their descendants through the struggles of slavery, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Era; and Europeans in their rush to tame the wilderness in a new land.

The entwined histories are visible through dozens of maps Smallwood has created especially for this presentation, along with vivid illustrations of forgotten faces and moments from the past.

Smallwood was born in Windsor, North Carolina, and raised in Indian Woods – areas that feature prominently in his talks. He earned a bachelors degree in political science and a masters in history from North Carolina Central University, and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

He taught at Bradley University in Illinois, and the University of Memphis, where he helped develop at Ph.D. program in African-American history, the only one of its kind in the country. He also is recipient of numerous awards, fellowships and grants, and participated in the award-winning UNC-TV documentary “The Birth of a Colony: North Carolina.”

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

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Company K playwright, actors, to talk about ‘Telling Our Stories’ at Asheboro library

Ali Evarts, Isaac Klein, Jason Lott and Barbara Presnell
ASHEBORO – Along with poet/playwright Barbara Presnell, three actors from the upcoming theatrical production Company K: From Asheboro to the Fields of France, have experience publishing or producing their original work.

The three – Ali Evarts, Isaac Klein and Jason Lott – will join Presnell to discuss their experiences putting ideas on paper and sharing them with the world in “Telling Our Stories: Company K and Beyond,” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 20, at the Asheboro Public Library. The discussion, sponsored by the library in conjunction with Rhinoleap Productions, is free and the public is invited.

The four have a broad range of writing experience, including poetry, playwriting, screenwriting and nonfiction.

Evarts is a native north Carolinian and UNC-Chapel Hill graduate who acts, writes and produces for stage and film. Klein, a graduate of UNC School of the Arts, is a Winston-Salem based writer, director, teacher and performer, and author of the book The School of Doing: Lessons from Theater Master Gerald Freedman. Lott, based in Los Angeles, is an actor and filmmaker whose darkly awkward buddy road trip comedy Burying Yasmeen is currently available on iTunes.

Asheboro native and Lexington resident Presnell is a poet and playwright whose most recent book of poetry, Blue Star, recounts the impact of war on her family from the Civil War to the present day. Her grandfather served in Company K; his letters served as the backbone of her script for the Company K production.

One of her previous books, Piece Work, about her father’s experience in the textile industry, was adapted by the Touring Theatre of North Carolina and was performed across the state for four years.

The Rhinoleap production of Company K: From Asheboro to the Fields of France takes the stage Friday, August 23-Sunday, August 25, at the historic Sunset Theatre in downtown Asheboro. It recounts the story of Randolph County’s Company K of the State Militia (later the National Guard) from its founding in 1911 through World War I, when it was sent to France and into battle.

In creating the play, Presnell used letters home and other original documents to bring to life the soldiers in the trenches and their loved ones at home. The production, directed by Rhinoleap Artistic Director Jeremy Skidmore, includes original music by Mark Dillon.

Originally, the play was scheduled for a one-time only performance on September 29, 2018 – the hundredth anniversary of the pivotal battle of Bellicourt, in which Company K led Allied forces in breaking the German Hindenburg Line defensive position, hastening the end of the war. The unit suffered heavy casualties, including 23 killed – a shocking loss to the small communities of Randolph County.

Back by popular demand, the play is a co-production of Rhinoleap, the library and the City of Asheboro. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Cooperative Extension’s Grandon to talk about seed saving at Asheboro library

ASHEBORO – Learn tips and tricks for saving seeds from your garden with Randolph County Cooperative Extension agent Ben Grandon at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 13, at the Asheboro Public Library.

Focusing on flowers, herbs and vegetables, Grandon will talk about how to start a seed collection and how saving seeds can save on next year’s gardening costs.

The talk is free and the public is invited.

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Asheboro library to host “Breastfeeding Basics”

ASHEBORO – Join WIC nutritionist Jodi Meyer and local advocates for “Breastfeeding Basics” at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 3, at the Asheboro Public Library.

Topics for the family-friendly event range from the basics to working while breastfeeding, and increasing community support for breastfeeding families. Bring questions and share stories.

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

MESDA curator to explore patriotism in early American samplers during Asheboro library talk

A 1798 sampler by an 8-year-old
girl features an American Eagle
at the top.
ASHEBORO – How was patriotism in the early United States channeled through needlework by young girls?

Join Jenny Garwood of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) as she addresses the topic in  “Expressions of Freedom in Southern Needlework Samplers” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, at the Asheboro Public Library.

The talk, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, is free and the public is invited.

Needlework samplers were typically worked by girls as part of their early education. The young needleworkers adapted designs of eagles as they appeared on the Great Seal of the United States, and they meticulously stitched maps to emphasize a growing nation.

Accomplished students stitched patriotic prints onto silk to honor Revolutionary War martyrs.

Garwood will explore the patriotic fervor that was revealed though needlework from the 18th and 19th century south and the stories of the girls who stitched them.

Garwood is Manager of Museum Education and Adjunct Curator of Textiles at MESDA in Winston-Salem. A graduate of UNC-Greensboro, she has been with MESDA since 2007, where her focus of research and study has been with the textile collection.

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

Magical story artist Yasu Ishida to visit all Randolph libraries in July

Magical Story Artist Yasu Ishida 
ASHEBORO – Prepare to be amazed, dazzled and bewildered as “Yasu Ishida’s Story Circus” anchors the second month of “A Universe of Stories,” the Randolph County Public Library’s summer reading initiative, with performances at all libraries.

Yasu’s highly visual storytelling includes balloon haiku, in which balloon animals come to life through poetry; “Storygami” — stories illustrated by Origami; magic; and lots of audience participation. Afterwards, kids in the audience can make a simple Origami craft that they can use to perform their own stories.

Yasu will appear as follows:
  • Archdale, 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 17;
  • Asheboro, 2 p.m. Thursday, July 11;
  • Franklinville, 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 17 at Franklinville School;
  • Liberty, 3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18;
  • Ramseur, 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 18 at the Ramseur Municipal Building;
  • Randleman, 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July  11;
  • Seagrove, 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 16.
In addition to regular storytimes and hands-on activities, other special events in  July include illusionist and storyteller Caleb Sigmon at Asheboro, Liberty and Randleman; and Bright Star Touring Theatre’s “Jack’s Adventure in Space at Asheboro and Randleman. Down to Earth Aerials will fly into Liberty; NASA Ambassador Mike Lucas will land at Franklinville; and the Morehead Planetarium will visit Archdale.

There’s much, much more at each library — for a complete schedule of events for children, teens and adults, visit

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Join Marvel artist John Czop for library summer drawing events

ASHEBORO – Teens are invited to draw with Marvel Comics artist John Czop as part of “A Universe of Stories,” the Asheboro Public Library’s Teen Summer Reading initiative.

“John Czop, In and Out of the Library,” invites participants to two drawing events at local parks in the shadow of the library’s new Mobile Library vehicle, which will be open for tours and checkout of books. Then Czop will visit the library to talk about how he got his start as an artist and ended up drawing for Marvel.

The two drop-in drawing events are scheduled for noon-3 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at Bicentennial Park in downtown Asheboro; and noon-3 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at North Asheboro Park, 1939 Canoy Drive.

Czop’s library talk will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 30. The library is located at 201 Worth Street.

Born in Chicago, Czop began drawing for DC Comics while studying at the Joe Kubert School of Graphic Art. After graduating, he began working for Marvel, drawing covers and other art for such characters as the Punisher, Spider-Woman, X-Men and Iron Man. He also has illustrated for Valiant Comics, and has worked extensively in the trading card industry.

He also has created art for Star Trek, Vampirella, Hellboy, Family Guy and more.

The events are free and all teens are invited.

For further information, call 336-318-6803.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Summer at Randolph County libraries offers ‘A Universe of Stories’

ASHEBORO – Explore “A Universe of Stories” as the Randolph County Public Library’s Summer Reading Initiative brings children over 170 performances, storytimes, hands-on activities, STEM projects and more, and fun activities for teens and adults as well.

The initiative runs during June and July (an in some cases into August) at the Archdale, Asheboro, Franklinville, Liberty, Ramseur, Randleman and Seagrove libraries. The library’s Extension Services department also takes Summer Reading activities to children in day cares and other locations, and the new Mobile Library will be out and about.

Kickoff events begin as early as Thursday, June 6, in Randleman, and Friday, June 7, in Liberty.

Red Herring Puppets' "Three Little Pigs"
The Red Herring Puppets will offer an “Adventure in Folklore” at all libraries in June, in which amazingly crafted puppets of all varieties will perform folk tales from around the globe. Performances will take place as follows:
  •        Archdale, 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 26;
  •        Asheboro, 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 26;
  •        Franklinville, 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at the Franklinville Elementary School gym, 162 Pine St.;
  •        Liberty, 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27;
  •        Ramseur, 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the Ramseur Municipal Building, 724 Liberty St.;
  •        Randleman, 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 27;
  •        Seagrove, 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 25.
In July, storyteller Yasu Ishida’s “Story Circus” will visit all the libraries with storytelling through balloon haiku, origami and magic.

In between, find Steve Somer’s Space Trek featuring magic, music and stories at Archdale and Randleman; Bright Star Touring Theatre’s play “Jack’s Adventure in Space” at Asheboro and Randleman; and illusionist Caleb Sigmon’s “LIVE! Library Tour” at Asheboro, Randleman and Liberty. The ever popular “Snakes Alive” with Ron Cromer returns to the Randleman library, and Down to Earth Aerials with aerialist Amanda Finch defies gravity in Liberty.

Other special events include The Amazing Spin Man at Asheboro (see him spin 11 basketballs simultaneously), “Planet Pancake” at the Franklinville Diner in which participants can decorate their pancakes to look like their favorite planet, and two Morehead Planetarium events at the Archdale library. NASA ambassadors will appear at the Asheboro, Franklinville and Seagrove libraries.

A full schedule of events can be found at or at your local library. For further information, call 336-318-6804 or contact your local library.

During the summer, children can sign up to track minutes or books read in return for reading rewards. Last year, local children age 0 thru 12th grade and their families checked out over 50,000 books and reported reading for more than 870,000 minutes.

The Summer Reading Program is sponsored by the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s part of a nation effort to keep children reading during the break from school; research shows that kids who read during the summer do better in school the next year.