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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.

Fall 2017 Newsletter

  • Native Voices a Resounding Success
  • Literary Classics Online Book Club
  • JCPL Receives Byer Collection
  • Grant Received for Reading Rover
  • Grant to Improve Online Portal
  • Libraries Can Help Small Businesses
  • Swain Quilt Winner
  • NASA @ My Library Blasts Off
  • Kanopy Streaming Service
  • Student Access
  • Advocating for Connectivity
  • Teens Reach Out to the Community

  • National Library Card Sign-up Month Begins September 1

    September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the Fontana Regional Library joins with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure that people of all ages have the most important tool for lifelong learning -- a free library card.

    “Our libraries provide access and programs for everyone,” says Library Director Karen Wallace. “For preschool age children we offer early literacy and storytimes to encourage school readiness and for older children and teens we supplement education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs. Adults and children alike can develop and pursue new interests, or find recreational reading and activities. There’s really something for everyone, and it’s all free with a library card.”

    The same card that allows checkout of books and other materials in the library also provides access to a host of digital resources from home or anywhere else. Fontana Regional Library has a large collection of electronic materials, including eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks, and even streaming video that are all available free of charge to library card holders.

    For more information about library services in Macon, Jackson, and Swain Counties and how to get a library card, contact your local Fontana Regional Library location or visit
  • Teens Build a Better World

    Jackson County Public Library’s teens helped Build a Better World this summer by reaching out into the community. Along with making animal treats for the local animal shelter, teens made (wildflower) seed bombs, wrote letters to Veterans, and hosted their own Alex’s Lemonade Stand, where they raised over $150 dollars for Childhood Cancer research.

    Photo: A Teen event on the WCU hiking trail held to promote healthy living and team building.
  • Advocating for Connectivity

    On June 12th the Macon County Public Library hosted the 1st region-wide broadband information sharing meeting.

    Fifty-five adults were in attendance; 15 were invitees representing regional and county agencies, community clubs, and Internet service providers who had information (mostly developments in the last six months) re: bringing affordable broadband to our region. The event was live-streamed on Facebook (, and as of the end of July there have been 324 views of the video.

    Twenty-five attendees signed up to receive informational links via email regarding broadband. To receive the informational links, please send an email to Charles Diede ( Both invitees and the public expressed appreciation for the Library's role in hosting the event.

    A set of web pages ( have been created by the FRL connectivity focus team (Charles Diede, Deb Lawley, and John Tyndall) to assist you with research resources and subject information!

    Stay tuned! A follow-up event is being planned for the end of January/early February 2018 and will be hosted at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva.
  • StudentAccess

    Fontana Regional Library is partnering with Jackson, Macon, and Swain County Schools to support students’ ongoing education. We share the belief that a love of books and learning is a strong foundation for student success and we are working together to provide every public school student access to books and resources found at their public library.

    The Student Access project will allow public school students in Jackson, Macon, and Swain Counties to access Fontana Regional Library print and electronic resources using their school ID, without needing to visit their local library to set up an account. Student ID accounts allow students to borrow e-resources and access library databases. Students can also borrow up to 10 print or audio books from their local public library collection. The student account is free. There are no overdue fines for student accounts, but students are responsible for any fees on lost or damaged books. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the State Library of North Carolina.
  • Kanopy

    Some of you may have seen the news racing across social media about New York, Los Angeles, and D.C. public libraries providing their patrons streaming access to the entire Criterion Collection, foreign films, documentaries, and award winners through Kanopy. Well guess what! Fontana Regional is just as cool as those big city libraries and we’re bringing you the exact same service. Starting this Fall you will be able to access the entire Kanopy catalog through our website. You can stream up to 10 titles a month and you’ll be able to watch them on your laptop or tablet (or your phone if you’re really dedicated.) Another great feature of this service is that educators can show these titles in their classrooms to deepen learning in an engaging way. So get ready for some high quality binge watching and keep your eye on our website for the launch date.
  • NASA @ My Library blasts off at Fontana Regional Library

    Since being awarded “NASA @ My Library” status and the grant that accompanies that status, Fontana Regional Library has had 2 events that have qualified as official NAML events.  The first was at JCPL in mid-June, where a successful children’s activity had approximately 80 participants.  Macon County Public Library had a second activity (the “Intergalactic Zone”) in mid-July where there were approximately 60 participants.  

    Some of the contents from the “NASA kit” were also used in the recent “Eclipse Science Festival” held at Macon County Public Library on 8/21/17.  Here are some pictures from that latter event!
  • Quilt Winner for a New Library in Swain County

    Marcia Winchester (right) of Bryson City was the winner of the double wedding ring quilt raffled by Marianna Black Library as a fundraiser for the new library. The winning ticket was drawn at the Fourth of July Freedom Fest, in Bryson City. According to Margaret Varner (left), quilt committee chair, $1,716 was raised for the campaign.

    The fabric for the quilt was donated by Jacque May in memory of her mother Elizabeth Hamm. The quilt was pieced by Maddy Haughn. Custom long arm quilting was done by Liz Butler and Patti Simpson of Ivy Lane Quilters.

    Stay tuned, as we hope to have new information on the progress of the new library in Swain County in the Winter edition of the Fontana Flyer.
  • Did You Know the Library Can Help Your Small Business?

    July marks Independent Retailer Month, and Fontana Regional Library was happy to celebrate. Libraries in Macon, Jackson, and Swain Counties have many resources for small businesses, from information on how to create a successful business plan to using specialized market research tools. For National Library Week in April of this year, FRL conducted a survey of library users. Under the topic of employment and economy, help for small and independent businesses was the top request.

    For owners (or future owners) of local businesses, our branches offer a wide range of materials and services to support business growth. From the library’s website, visitors can stream short videos aimed at entrepreneurs and business owners, find books and video tutorials on business tasks such as managing payroll, or use specialized databases to conduct market research to get an edge on the competition. Each library also has meeting rooms with audio visual equipment for presentations and computers available for public use.

    For assistance finding resources to develop your business, visit your local library in Jackson, Macon, or Swain County, or go to
  • Grant Awarded to Improve Online User Experience

    Libraries are known as places where you can find the information you need. From materials such as books, videos, and audio to curriculum kits, telescopes, and science kits to photocopiers, computers, and Wi-Fi access, the many patrons who visit our libraries expect excellent service and convenient access to information in its many formats.

    Increasingly, our library resources and services extend beyond the walls of our physical locations, particularly into digital spaces. To help us satisfy the expectations and needs of a growing digital citizenry, the State Library of North Carolina awarded Fontana Regional Library a $50,000 LSTA grant that will allow us to work with an expert in library user experience (UX) to restructure and improve our online portal.

    Michael Schofield, a front-end developer specializing in UX and design for libraries and co-founder of, will work with library staff to develop the knowledge, skills, evaluation metrics, and workflows necessary to maintain and assess the effectiveness of our digital gateway on an ongoing basis. The skills, framework, and resources gained through this grant will allow the library to respond to rapidly changing digital technologies and resources, making them more accessible to our communities. Our new digital portal is scheduled to go live in Summer 2018.

    This project is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-17-0034-17).
  • Swain County Community Foundation Grant Helps Support Reading Rover Bookmobile

    Fontana Regional Library’s Reading Rover Bookmobile has received a $1000 grant from the Swain County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

    The funding will support the Rover’s storytime visits to preschools and daycare centers in Swain County. Last year, Rover, which operates in Jackson, Macon, and Swain Counties, as well as the Qualla Boundary, served more than 130 Swain County children each month and checked out an average of 265 books and early literacy items each month at its visits to daycare centers and preschools. The grant funding will be used to purchase books and materials for the Rover, as well as help with vehicle maintenance and fuel costs.

    “Keeping Rover on the road visiting preschoolers and their teachers is a priority for Fontana Regional Library,” said Regional Director Karen Wallace. “This grant will help us meet our goal of sharing the world of books and reading with the youngest residents of Swain County.”

    For more information about Fontana Regional Library or the Reading Rover, visit or call 488-2382.
  • Jackson County Public Library Receives Laureate Collection

    The Jackson County Public Library received a bequest of 450 books of poetry from the estate of the late Kathryn Stripling Byer. Byer, formerly the poet laureate of North Carolina, passed away on June 5th, 2017.

    Throughout her career as a professor and poet, Byer was poet-in-residence at WCU, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Appalachian State University, and Lenoir Rhyne College. She published six full-length books of poetry: The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest, Wildwood Flower, Black Shawl, Catching Light, Coming to Rest, and Descent. She also published several chapbooks, the latest being Vishnu Bird in 2015.

    Byer received the North Carolina Award for Literature from the governor in 2001, and served as North Carolina Poet Laureate from 2005-2009. She was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2012.

    With its wide array of topics and wealth of information, the Kathryn Stripling Byer Laureate Collection will be an immeasurable asset to our community, and the Library is eternally grateful for this bequest.
  • The Literary Classics Online Book Club

    Jackson County Public Library patron Sara Freeman participated in the Recorded Books Literary Classics Online Book Club and won the Library $1,000 worth of audiobooks. Thank you Sara!

    The Online Book Club, developed by Recorded Books, is for people who enjoy classic literature or want to learn more about this genre. Six books are selected each year for reading and discussion and the titles are free to library patrons through the Recorded Books RBdigital platform. Each title is featured for two months. During the first month, participants read the book while also having access to fun facts about the title on the club’s Facebook page. During the second month, participants discuss questions which are posted to the forum. For more information about the Literary Classics book club go to

    For more information about audiobooks or the RBdigital eAudio collections please visit or stop by any of the libraries in the Fontana Regional Library system.
  • Native Voices a Resounding Success

    From June 23rd until July 31st, the Jackson County Public Library hosted the national exhibit Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness. The Native Voices traveling exhibition, produced by the National Library of Medicine and the American Library Association, explores the connection between wellness, illness, and cultural life through a combination of interviews with Native people, artwork, objects, and interactive media. The exhibit was viewed by several hundred people during its time in Sylva. The Jackson County Public Library provided Cherokee-centric programming along with the exhibit. Some of the speakers lending their expertise to Native Voices were Sarah Sneed, Julie Reed, and Vickie Bradley. Benjamin Woody, the JCPL Adult Services Supervisor and Native Voices Project Director says, “It is truly an honor for the Jackson County Public Library to have hosted the Native Voices exhibit. We are the first library of our size to host the exhibit. This year, the Native Voices exhibit visited Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Sylva. We especially want to thank the community, our presenters and collaborators, and Lisa Lefler, Director of Culturally Based Native Health Programs at WCU, who partnered with us to present this exhibit.”
  • Readers Build a Better World at the Library

    Children and teens throughout the region built a better world this summer at their local library. Over 7000 people attended summer learning events held in the community and Fontana Regional Libraries! Children and teens attended over 200 events and participated in science and engineering experiments, hands-on art and design, planetarium shows and more. All summer, children and teens filled the library to search for the special book to spark their imagination, answer their curiosity, or to read just for the fun of it. Children were rewarded for their constructive learning efforts with many fun and exciting prizes and incentives. As one camp counselor commented, “I have been so grateful for our partnership this summer. You have done such a great job teaching our students as well as planning a fantastic summer library program.”