Looking for something to keep you busy? Go to the library
By Hope Loman
Rowan Public Library
Now that summer is here, the days are longer, hotter and lazier. They can also run the risk of being boring, with extra hours of daylight to burn and no idea of what to do with them.
Here’s a list of things you can do this summer that are cheap (or free), family-friendly and fun, with related book suggestions that can all be found in our library’s catalog:
• Learn how to knit/sew – Once you master some of the basics, you can continuously improve your technique, and make a variety of items for yourself, your home, or your friends. “Knitting Basics: All You Need to Know to Take Up Your Needles and Get Knitting,” by Betty Barnden, is an excellent beginner book that gives step-by-step instructions on a variety of items. “Sewing Basics,” by Wendy Gardiner ,guides the reader through sewing by hand and with a machine.
• Take pictures – Use your digital camera, buy a disposable one or find an older model at a thrift shop. You can take photos around the house, walk around town or find inspiration in nature. Tom Ang’s “Digital Photography Masterclass” shows how to see the world through a photographer’s eyes. “Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera,” by Bryan Peterson, shows you techniques to make pictures stand out.
• Learn to cook – Summertime means that there are more fresh fruits and vegetables available at the local supermarket or farmer’s market, which gives you a range of meal options to choose from. “Kitchen on Fire! Mastering the Art of Cooking in 12 Weeks (or Less),” by Oliver Said, promises to make it easy for anyone to cook like a chef, while Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Foods into Your Cooking” focuses on remaking traditional recipes with a healthy twist.
•Learn to paint – Whether you’re an amateur or an expert, painting is a way to pass the time, get creative and relax. You can use something as simple as watercolors or fingerpaints, and paint subjects as simple as still lifes. “Painting for the Absolute and Utter Beginner,” by Claire Watson Garcia, promises to show you basic skills and techniques to help you find what works. “Creative Kid’s Murals You Can Paint,” by Suzanne Whitaker can give you ideas for larger projects for the whole family to tackle.
• Write poems/stories – You can get started on the great American novel, or think smaller and write shorter works in a notebook, or a free word processor online. If you need inspiration, look for Alice LaPlante’s “The Making of a Story: a Norton Guide to Creative Writing,” which will guide you through getting ideas, techniques you can use and other sources to read from.
These are just a handful of ideas to get you started and make sure your summer is a productive one — a quick Internet search can provide you with other methods, and this is only a very small sample of the books the library offers on these topics. Pick one — or all — of these and be able to look back on a productive summer full of memories once fall rolls around.
Summer reading: Every Hero Has a Story! Reading hours may be tracked through Aug. 8. Prizes for children who read one, five, 10, 15 and 20 hours. Children who read 20 hours get a special certificate and are entered in the 20-Hour Reader Raffle on Aug. 10. Door prizes raffled at weekly programs. To enter, children write and submit a Super Reader Review before the start of the program.
Weekly programs run until July 30.
Wonders: 12- to 24-month-olds — Through July 9. Headquarters, Wednesday, 10 a.m.; East Branch, Monday, 10 a.m.; South Rowan Regional, Thursday, 10:30 a.m.
Marvels: 2-year-olds — Through July 9. All at 10:30 a.m. Headquarters, Thursday; East, Tuesday; South Rowan, Wednesday.
Mighty Readers: 3- to 5-year-olds — Through July 30. All at 10:30 a.m.; Headquarters, Tuesday; East, Thursday; South Rowan, Monday.
Super Readers: Rising first- through fifth-graders — Through July 30. Headquarters, Wednesday, 2 p.m.; East, Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.; South Rowan, Tuesday, 2 p.m.; Cleveland Town Hall, Thursday, 10:30 a.m.
Performer lineup — Ro & Mo; July 13-17, Zelnik the Magician; July 20-24, Mother Minter; July 27-31, Lee Street Theatre.
Teen summer reading: “UnMask” Summer Reading Program through July 31, all rising sixth-graders to 12th-graders may participate. Teens can earn library dollars to be used to enter raffles on prizes provided by Friends of Rowan Public Library and other local organizations.
Programs will be 3:30-5 p.m. on Tuesdays at Headquarters; Wednesdays, East; and Thursdays at South Rowan.
Prize raffles will be drawn at the National Teen Lock-in at Headquarters on Friday, July 31, 6:30-10:30 p.m.
Hero’s Challenge: Which hero will survive? — Headquarters, July 14; East, July 15; South Rowan, July 16.
UnMasked: Mask-making and t-shirt designing — Headquarters, July 21; East, July 22; South Rowan, July 23.
National Teen Lock-in: End of summer celebration — Headquarters, July 31, 6:30-10:30 p.m.
Adults summer reading: Adults ages 18+ may “Escape the Ordinary” at the library through reading, movies and more.
To participate, adults must sign up at www.rowanpubliclibrary.org. Participants may pick up an information packet which contains details on how to track reading hours, prize levels, activities, program information and more. Reading hours may be tracked through Aug. 8. Prizes include gift cards and two tablet computers. Prize winners will be announced at the end of summer celebration, Be Your Own Hero; participants do not have to be present to win.
Adults may attend special programs including Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, led by Andrew Mansell, local comic book enthusiast. Monday, July 20, 6:30 p.m., headquarters; Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., South Rowan Regional. Mansell will discuss the importance of comics and how they have changed but remained a popular and sometimes controversial source of reading for people of all generations. Mansell is passionate about four things: his family, classical music, baseball, and of course, great comics.
Summer movie series: All movies start at 6:30 p.m. Headquarters. July 14, “Mockingjay Part I” (PG13); July 21, “Captain Phillips” (PG13); July 28, “The Boxtrolls” (PG).Movies are free and all ages are welcome. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.
On Wednesdays at 2 p.m. at South Regional: July 15, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (PG); July 22, “The Incredibles” (G); July 29, “The Boxtrolls” (PG).
Book Bites Club: July 28, 6:30 p.m., “The Fault in Our Stars,“ by John Green. Book discussion groups for adults and children at South Rowan Regional Library meet the last Tuesday of each month. Open and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book as well as light refreshments. For more information, call 704-216-7841.
Displays: Headquarters, Piedmont Players; South, North Carolina photography by Aaron Cress; East, lunch boxes by Sharon Ross.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.