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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.

Winter 2016 Newsletter

  • Community Health Fair Expands to Library
  • Mountain Findings Grant
  • Wilma Dykeman Memoir
  • Reading Rover at Mountain Heritage Day
  • Foundation Grants for the Rover
  • Telescope Training
  • Beat Generation Display at JCPL
  • MCPL Wins in Christmas Parade
  • Firefighters Use Local Libraries to Stay in Touch
  • Safety for All
  • Little Free Libraries Comes to Otto
  • School Library Card Sign-Ups

  • Regional Broadband Assessment

    FRL is growing their partnership with the Southwestern Commission in advocating for broadband in our region by promoting their ‘Regional Broadband Assessment’ survey. The data from this survey will be used in their broadband and Economic Development planning for the region.
    The Southwestern Commission realizes that many communities have already surveyed the public on this issue, and all of the data from those surveys will be used in the Commission’s study. However they encourage everyone to please take and share the survey under way now, as it is a very important step in this process.
    Link to survey:
    For more information and resources on broadband in general and in our area, please see Fontana Regional Library’s Local Broadband Guide:
  • Teachers Get Library Cards

    Teachers at Iotla Valley Elementary, East Franklin Elementary, and Union Academy have signed up for library cards. While many teachers already had their trusty library card, there were some who did not or who needed their card updated and reactivated. Deanna Lyles, Outreach Services Librarian, visited with the staff at these schools and got them signed up or updated while also telling them about the valuable online resources the library has to offer. Their library card will allow them to access the great things both inside and outside the libraries’ walls to develop their teaching both personally and professionally.

    Swain Middle School 8th graders have signed up for library cards, too! This will allow them to access all of the library resources but of particular interest are the eLibrary resources like the NC LIVE databases and the eBooks available using their library card.
  • Little Free Libraries Come to Otto

    Todd Bol, a member of Rotary Clubs International, started Little Free Libraries in 2009. Taking inspiration from Miss Lutie Stearns, a librarian who brought books to nearly 1400 locations through “traveling little libraries”, Bol developed the idea for “Take a book, leave a book” collections in coffee shops and public spaces. He saw them as a way to promote literacy and a love of reading and build a sense of community as people shared skills, creativity and wisdom across generations. The Little Free Library Foundation now has over 50,000 Little Free Libraries sharing 36,500,000 books a year.

    In 2014, Fontana Regional Library, in cooperation with Friends of the Library groups, Read2Me, and many other community members, began to place Little Free Libraries (all registered with The Little Free Library Foundation) in our own communities. The first was in Franklin Town Hall. There are now Little Free Libraries located in several communities through our three counties.

    The latest Little Free Libraries were opened on November 14th at the Otto Community Development Organization and the Mulberry United Methodist Church in Otto. The Otto little libraries, built by the 2016 Franklin High School Carpentry Class under the guidance of Mr. Rick Rogers, were inspired by the architecture of the Macon County Public Library. The Mulberry Methodist Church little library is in honor of Addie Williams, who, at 102 years of age, was on hand for the opening of the library. Thanks go out to all of the volunteers who made the little libraries possible, with special thanks to Sherry Miller, Roy and Ann McClure, and Sherron Geiger. The little libraries will be stocked with books collected by members of the Otto community, books donated to the Friends of the Macon County Library, and children’s books donated to Read2Me. Everyone is encouraged to use the Little Free Libraries to find something to read, where they can “take a book and return a book.”
  • Safety for All

    The focus was on patron safety and service when all Fontana Regional Library personnel received Safety and Security training during the last week of September. Topics covered included building safety in a crisis situation, serving patrons with dementia, and CPR training. Many of the staff at each library are now certified in CPR and first aid so that they can react quickly to emergencies in the library. SOLO Southeast provided hands-on instruction on how to use AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) to treat cardiac arrest. Because the libraries are county buildings, Jackson County provides AEDs in the Jackson and Cashiers Libraries for emergency use. At this time, Swain and Macon County libraries do not have these devices.
  • Firefighters Use Our Libraries to Stay in Touch

    Firefighters in from Arkansas, Washington and Oregon thanked us for the use of our computer lab at Macon County Public Library --and we thanked them for traveling here to help protect our homes and communities from the wildfires!
  • Macon County Library Wins Grand Champion in Franklin’s Christmas Parade

    Teens from Macon County Library worked, had a lot of fun, and won! The theme for this year’s parade was Santa’s Workshop/Toyland. Guided by library staff member Ellen Agee, the teens created a life size jack-in-the-box and a rolling wooden horse. Colorful costumes completed the festive holiday float.

    Library staff member Doris McConnell watched the parade with her young granddaughter and shared her view from the sidewalk, “Several years since I had been able to go to the parade. Took my granddaughter with me; we both enjoyed it in spite of the smoke. It lasted about an hour and 15 minutes, a great variety of entries. The parade was, most appropriately, led by, fire departments from different areas. We were glad for the opportunity to give them a ‘Thumbs Up and Thank You’.  Was particularly proud of the MCPL float; all involved did a great job!”
  • Beats, Radicals, and the Avant-Garde

    Western Carolina University students from Dr. Paul Worley’s Beats, Radicals, and the Avant-Garde literature class created a display for Jackson County Public Library. Using pictures, props, bibliographical, and biographical information the group tells the story of the Beat Generation. Students also used QR codes so patrons viewing the display can use their smartphones or tablets to listen to samplings of the highlighted work. Authors represented include Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs. A section highlighting women of the beat generation includes authors Diane di Prima, Carolyn Cassady, and Joyce Johnson. The display will be available for viewing until December 16th.

    Pictured in the photo from left to right: Kellie Wilcox, India Edgerton, Kelsey Woodburn, Madison Wall, Cole Sutton, and Michael Redman.
  • Telescope Training

    The Fontana Regional Library System was awarded a LSTA grant to be used to bring hands-on astronomy education to the residents of Macon, Jackson and Swain Counties. The Asheville Astronomy Club has graciously partnered with FRL to assist with obtaining equipment and training staff. Most recently, staff from each Fontana Regional Library participated in telescope training on October 10th, at Macon County Public Library. Knox Worde, the president of the Asheville Astronomy Club, led the telescope training with staff. The telescope that was purchased for each library is an Orion Starblast 4.5”, available to checkout at your local Fontana Regional Library.
  • Reading Rover

    The Reading Rover attended the 42nd annual Mountain Heritage Day on the WCU Campus on September 24, 2016. As usual, the event was WCU's largest festival of the year and the Rover's location on the field, near one of the music stages, was highly visible. Many festival goers visited the Rover and climbed aboard for storytime. At the adjacent Fontana Regional Library booth, staff met the public, handed out free books to children, and promoted library services, including new telescopes now available for check out.

    The Reading Rover Bookmobile recently received a generous grant from the Jackson County Community Foundation and the Macon County Community Foundation. These foundations have supported the Rover’s efforts for many years. The Reading Rover is appreciative of these funds and the opportunities it allows Rover staff to continue its mission of delivering quality early childhood programming and materials throughout the region.
  • Wilma Dykeman Memoir

    Jackson County Public Library partnered with Western Carolina University, City Lights Bookstore, and Appalachian Women’s Museum to host a celebration of the newly discovered memoir by Wilma Dykeman. Mimi Fenton, professor of English, introduced Wilma Dykeman’s son Jim Stokely III, who discovered the manuscript after Dykeman’s death in 2006. Other speakers included Pam Duncan, Dr. Mae Miller Claxton, Dr. Kim Hall, and former NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer.

    Family of Earth: A Southern Mountain Childhood focuses on Dykeman’s childhood in Buncombe County during the first half of the twentieth-century. The book features a foreword by fellow author and North Carolinian Robert Morgan.
  • Mountain Findings Grant

    Hudson Library received a $5,000 Mountain Findings Grant. The library will use this money to enhance youth programming and collection materials. These items include Legos, craft supplies, educational DVDs, audiobooks for children, eAudiobooks and eBooks for children, educational beginner reader books, and curriculum kits that are a great resource for parents and teachers.
  • Community Health Fair Expands to Library

    by Jessica Gunter, Administrative Assistant / Health Sciences
    Southwestern Community College

    In September, the Macon County Public Library, in partnership with Southwestern Community College’s Health Science division, hosted a community Health Fair. This fair provided guests with the opportunity to learn about health fields, mental and physical diseases and, perhaps most importantly, disease prevention. The library displayed health-related books for guests to browse or borrow and even offered a nutrition-based story time for younger patrons.   

    Representatives of several vendors from throughout the area - as well as all 15 of SCC’s Health Science programs - were present at the fair. Most offered an interactive component. The American Red Cross was on site collecting blood donations, and SCC’s Medical Assisting students offered guests the chance to sign up for the National Bone Marrow Registry while the Macon County Police Department taught about the dangers of leaving children and pets in an unattended car.

    Whether guests chose to relax with a free chair massage, spin the wheel with Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center, or learn more about their current health with one of the many free screenings and services offered by SCC’s student groups, much fun was had by all!

    The community Health Fair is an annual event hosted each fall by SCC’s Health Sciences division. If you missed out this year, we look forward to seeing you next time!

    Thank you for this opportunity and for partnering with SCC for this year’s Health Fair!
  • Balloon Fundraiser for a New Library in Swain

    On October 22, 2016, as part of the Campaign for a new Marianna Black Library, area residents were able to participate in a hot air balloon fundraiser, sponsored by Re/Max Awensasa Realty, in Bryson City. This fundraiser was a huge success, with some folks coming to take flight and others just wanting to watch! Thanks to Chester and Karen Bartlett, of Re/Max Awenasa Realty, for making all the arrangements and a special thanks to Darnell Farms for hosting this wonderful event!
  • Read Local Book Fair 2016

    The Read Local Book Fairs continue to be big events for communities served by The Fontana Regional system. In November 2016, Macon County Public Library hosted their 3rd annual Fair, while Jackson County Public Library went forward with their 2nd annual program. In addition, the Marianna Black Library in Swain County wrapped up the offering with their inaugural Fair.

    The current format is to host 3 separate events over 3 consecutive weekends, each featuring authors local to their county, along with a few “guest” authors who are either regionally based or who have the region as a topic or setting. The Fairs are not only promoting reading and literacy, but also the “Shop Local” theme of contributing to the local economies. Authors not only meet and converse with attendees, but also sign and sell copies of their work. The libraries also partner with local bookstores.

    By hosting the Book Fairs, the libraries attract many more patrons than the authors could achieve in individually hosted programs, making it a “win-win” for the authors and the attendees -- here are some authors’ quotes regarding the most recent event: “It was wonderful meeting so many people!”; “Everything was well done!”; “Well organized in every way”; “It brings the authors together and it publicizes each of them individually”.