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All Library locations will be closed Thursday, November 22nd & Friday, November 23rd. - More info about closings

The Fontana Flyer is the quarterly newsletter for the Fontana Regional Library system.

This award winning publication provides information about services, events, and programs at all of the libraries in our system, as well as news developments that affect the interests of library users and the public.


Summer 2017 Newsletter

  • National Exhibit
  • June is Audiobook Month
  • "A Day for Writers" Conference
  • More Bandwidth for NCL
  • MindKare Behavioral Health Kiosk at JCPL
  • Fundraiser a Success in Swain County
  • NASA @ My Library
  • Advocating for Connectivity
  • Family Science Nights at JCPL and MCPL
  • Celebrating Pride Month
  • NCL Open House

  • Nantahala Community Library Hosts Open House

    The Nantahala Community Library will host an open house on Saturday, June 3rd. If you’re curious about Fontana Regional Library’s smallest branch, please drop by for the open house. This library may be small in size, but it’s a big part of the community! You’ll have a chance to meet our new library staff and see some of the changes they’ve got underway. Sharon Crosby is the Branch Supervisor and Rachelle Clark is the Library Assistant. Both began working at the library in April.

    Several donations were made in memory of Teresa Bryant when she passed away earlier this year. The library has a back porch, and Teresa loved the idea of having some rockers on that porch. We’ll use the donations to purchase those rockers in her memory. We hope to have them on the porch soon, waiting for you to try them out at the open house!

    Thanks to a recent survey about library hours, community members let us know when they’d like to the library to be open. Based on their feedback, we began new hours on May 1st. The Nantahala Community Library is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m.
  • Candid Critters

    Have you ever wondered what kind of animals lurk in the woods near your house? Are you a hiker who yearns to know what prowls your trails when you’re not there? Do you like citizen science and learning about the creatures we share these beautiful mountains with? Then the Library has a treat for you!

    North Carolina’s Candid Critters statewide camera trap project is a citizen science project brought to you by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. The project aims to document the abundance and distribution of North Carolina’s wildlife by engaging the public in placing camera traps and uploading and identifying animal photos. Each of our Library branches has trap camera kits available for checkout to project volunteers.

    Volunteers are asked to complete a short and simple course in using the camera traps and uploading photos that are captured by the camera. Sign up info can be found at nccandidcritters.org

    Sign up now and find out what kind of wildlife comes by while you’re not looking. And don’t forget to bear proof your garbage! This little guy found the neighbor’s and made quite the mess. Just because you don’t see bears doesn’t mean they aren’t lurking nearby. Oh, and if you capture a photo of the elusive panther your neighbor swears they heard, be sure to let us know!
  • Family Science Night

    MCPL and JCPL both held Family Science Nights in April to celebrate National Science Month.  The planetarium was enjoyed by many as were the various hands-on activities such as earthquake makers, geoboards, circuit boards, & 3-D pens to name a few. These planetarium programs are supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered  by the State Library of NC, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.
  • Celebrating Pride Month

    Rainbow cookies, a rainbow cape, rainbow bracelets and Young Adult books were seen at the Macon County Public Library recently.  What do they have in common?  A proud group of LGBT Teens coming together for support and social activities.  Macon County Youth OUTright has been meeting at the library for the past few months.  Jennifer Harr, jenharr@youthoutright.org, from the Asheville Youth OUTright group, travels to Macon to meet with teens to talk about LGBT issues and to plan activities.

    With National Pride Month coming up in June, we took the opportunity to talk with this group. We asked some of the teens:
    • What does this group do for you?
      We have support and feel more social with the group.      
    • How do you advertise this group to get more members?
      We put up flyers on the kiosk in the library and a few places around Franklin.      
    • How has the library helped you?
      We feel more accepted and have more friends at the library, and we’re excited to see LGBT Books on display. Jennifer Harr said, “Libraries, in the South, are one of the true places for diversity where kids can feel safe.”
    Looking for some compelling Young Adult LGBTQ reads? Check out our featured collections at http://fontanalib.org/featured-collections.
  • Advocating for Connectivity

    In continuation of our previous article, several updates have happened or will be happening across our region.

    The County Community Clubs of Macon County are conducting a survey to help assess the Internet needs of the county. "The goal of the initiative is to identify underserved areas and work to attract Internet service providers offering expanded service and higher speed options." This survey will run until June 1, 2017 and copies of the survey are being distributed by the Macon County Public Library.

    Macon County Public Library is planning to have a community meeting open to the public for information sharing re: Broadband efforts in Macon County, scheduled in the next 45-60 days.

    In early April the Southwestern North Carolina Planning and Economic Development Commission executive director, Sarah Thompson, announced they have secured funding for Phase 1 of a broadband planning effort for Region A (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties) with plans to have a consultant under contract this summer to begin Phase 1. She suggests now is a good time for each county to be forming and convening broadband committees that are representative of the various stakeholders in your communities. That broadband implementation projects will be local, not regional, in most cases. However the planning that needs to occur is the same for each county, so by working together on planning and preparation, we all share resources and save money.

    Swain County Broadband committee member Jeff Delfield reports their effort is focused on gathering data on the community’s network infrastructure and services from local sources with a survey planned in the near future.

    The k-12 Internet Access at Home Survey. An estimated five million households with school-age children do not have Internet access at home. Students that fall into these "homework gap"- households where internet access is limited or unavailable lag behind in education and are less competitive in the workforce. Data on the number of households affected by the homework gap in North Carolina does not currently exist. The Fontana Regional Library assisted the Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO) and the Friday Institute at North Carolina State University with announcements and access to the anonymous survey via Fontana Regional Library’s social media outlets and website. These surveys will provide data on where the homework gap exists and potential challenges students face in accessing digital resources.
  • NASA Comes to Macon, Jackson, and Swain Counties

    NASA resources are coming to western North Carolina, thanks to a new nationwide outreach program. Fontana Regional Library has been selected as one of only seventy-five libraries in the country to participate in the NASA@ My Library initiative. The program is designed to increase and enhance science, technology, engineering, and math learning opportunities around the country, especially for geographic areas and populations currently underserved in STEM education.

    As a NASA@ My Library partner, Fontana Regional Library will receive specialized staff training and support for public programs on STEM topics, as well as activity kits and materials for use in hands-on educational programs for the public. The partnership also makes NASA subject experts available to the Library as program presenters.

    The project is offered by the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI) in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, the Pacific Science Center, Cornerstones of Science and the Education Development Center. Support comes from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
  • Fundraiser for a New Library in Swain County a Success

    The Marianna Black Library Planning Committee put on another fundraiser to build a new library in Swain County on April 17th, at the Fryemont Inn, in Bryson City. There was a wine tasting and plenty of food provided by the Fryemont Inn, and there were over 60 items to bid on from more than 35 local artists, collectors and businesses! Over 100 tickets were sold for the event and a great time was had by all those who attended. Best of all, we raised over $5,000 to put towards a new library in Swain County!

    If you would like to make a contribution towards the new library, please call the Marianna Black Library at 828-488-3030, and ask for Jeff Delfield.
  • MindKare Behavioral Health Kiosk

    Jackson County Public Library has partnered with Vaya Health to bring a mental health screening kiosk to the citizens of Jackson County. The goal of the kiosk is to increase awareness about common and treatable mental health conditions, to reduce stigma surrounding mental health and asking for help, and to increase access to quality care through local treatment referrals.

    The kiosk, located on the second floor of the library, has a touch screen display to offer anonymous screenings of common mental health concerns, give feedback on results and provide referrals to treatment, including a direct line to connect users with the Vaya Health call center.

    The kiosk includes screenings for six mental health issues: anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and alcohol and substance abuse disorders. Individuals are provided with an assessment of their mental health, information on whether their results are consistent with a mental health disorder, educational information about common mental health conditions and access to quality treatment resources in their area. The MindKare kiosk does not take any personal health information or ask patrons to identify themselves. However, individuals may pick up the phone at the kiosk and call directly to the Vaya Health call center to be linked to services and support. According to Vaya the kiosk “is not a diagnostic tool. It is only a recommendation for seeking support and help.”

    Mental health was identified by community members as one of the top five priorities in the Fontana Regional Library Long Range Plan survey in 2016. One of the LRP objectives is to “Work with community agencies to inform the public about access to health and mental health care.” The kiosk will increase access for people in our community to get help for those common treatable mental health issues.

    Vaya Health will have access to the number of users and demographics, which they hope will provide helpful data about mental health and substance use in Jackson County.

    Western North Carolina residents can also take assessments online at www.vayamindful.org.
  • More Bandwidth Now Available at Nantahala Community Library

    A much needed bandwidth increase became a reality for the Nantahala Community Library (NCL) in February. It’s now 10 times faster! NCL’s 1.3 Mbps frame relay connection became a 10 Mbps fiber connection.

    The difficult terrain and remote nature of the Nantahala Community Library has prevented telecommunications companies from tackling the installation of high speed Internet. Finally, in November 2015, a company called BalsamWest FiberNet submitted a proposal that would make this possible.

    But installing the new fiber connections and equipment was going to be expensive. To help pay for the costs, Fontana Regional Library’s Finance and IT Services Departments applied for E-Rate funds. The universal service Schools and Libraries Program, commonly known as “E-rate,” provides discounts of up to 90 percent to help eligible schools and libraries in the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access.

    By mid-December 2016, FRL received the long awaited approval for E-Rate funding which made the project affordable. FRL worked with BalsamWest to make this project a reality. The final stages of the fiber connections were completed by BalsamWest. FRL’s IT Services Department acquired and configured the network equipment. In mid-February BalsamWest handed the circuit over to FRL and IT Services made the “switch” over from frame relay to fiber.
  • “A Day for Writers” Conference

    On Saturday, May 6 the North Carolina Writers’ Network-West and the Jackson County Public Library sponsored the NCWN-West “A Day for Writers” Conference. The event drew NCWN-West members and non-members alike and included workshops on writing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, YA and children’s writing, and marketing and publishing. City Lights Bookstore was on hand to sell books to attendees and panelists. According to event organizer Glenda Beall, “This day was outstanding for many mountain writers and poets... I hope the relationship of NC Writers’ Network-West and Jackson County Public Library will be long-lasting and beneficial for all.”
  • June is Audiobook Month at Your Library

    Audiobooks are a great way to still get your reading done while you’re doing other things! You can listen while driving, exercising, gardening, or cooking – you name it. Audiobooks promote literacy in children and adults, expand vocabulary, and make a long car journey fly by.

    The Fontana Regional Library system offers many ways of listening to audiobooks. You can check out books on CD, digibooks, or download to your computer or device. To access digital audiobooks check out the FRL website (www.fontanalib.org/audiobooks) and try out Recorded Books’ OneClick Digital selection or the Overdrive e-iNC digital library. There is also a special collection just for kids at the NC Kids Digital Library. Contact your local library for more information or to request help with downloading eAudiobooks.
  • Children to “Build a Better World” This Summer at FRL

    Readers of all ages will explore engineering, science, art, design, and more this summer as the Fontana Regional Library presents “Build a Better World” during their summer learning program. Activities will include science and engineering experiments, hands-on art and design, planetarium shows and more. The 2017 Summer Learning Program is open and free to young people, babies through young adult, with programs, prizes, storytimes, and more.

    By having an active, hands-on, fun summer learning program, the library’s goal is to prevent the “summer slide” for local children.  According to the National Summer Learning Association:
    • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004). 
    • More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007). 

    Education - Fontana Regional Library Long Range Plan