Author Archives: Shannon

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Writer, copyeditor, reviewer, and web content developer.

First Annual “Friendraiser” Gala

Eventbrite - Friends of the Orange County Public Library - Friendraiser Gala

Join us on August 5 from 4-7 p.m. for our first annual “Friendraiser” Gala.

This “Friendraiser” is our way of sincerely thanking the many volunteers who, over the past years, have given so much of their time and energy in support of the Orange County Public Library. We also hope to share our vision and passion for the Library with the greater Orange County community. The party will be held at the historic Webb House (circa 1800) at 117 E. Queen Street, Hillsborough, NC, with complete access to the house and garden. On site will be face painting, beverages, various and wandering local authors, snacks, and the KONA Italian-ice truck.

Entrance to the Friendraiser is free and all are welcome. If you are not currently a member of the Friends of the Orange County Public Library, we hope you will take this opportunity to join the Friends. Newly signed members will be eligible for a drawing (to be held at the end of the event), for which the prize will be a painting by Hillsborough artist David Terry, with framing generously donated by Sherry Gray of Hillsborough’s Yesterday & Today frame shop.

Eventbrite - Friends of the Orange County Public Library - Friendraiser Gala
Please RSVP by August 1, 2017.

 

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Summer Loving: Discover the Greatest Love Stories to Read This Summer

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Saturday, July 8, 1-2 pm, in the Meeting Room at the Main Library: A panel of local authors recommends the greatest love stories to read this summer at this event sponsored by the Friends of the Orange County Public Library.

About the authors:

James Maxey: A Piedmont Laureate Emeritus, James is the author of numerous science fiction and fantasy novels, including the bestselling Bitterwood series.

Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her secret super power is finding lost things. She’s the author of The Menopausal Superhero series and other feminist-leaning speculative fiction.

Barbara Claypole White writes hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Her debut, The Unfinished Garden, won the 2013 Golden Quill for Best First Book, The In-Between Hour was a 2014 Southern Independent Booksellers Okra Pick, The Perfect Son was a Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best Fiction 2015, and Echoes of Family is a finalist in the Women’s Fiction Writers Association 2017 Star Award. Her latest book, The Promise Between Us, is set in the Triangle and has a publication date of January 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity.

Anna Jean (A. J.) Mayhew’s first novel, The Dry Grass of August—now in its twelfth printing—won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Book Award from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. A Blackstone Audio book was followed by French, Italian, Turkish, Polish, Norwegian, and Flemish translations. Her second novel, Tomorrow’s Bread, will be published in spring of 2019. An excerpt is in 27 Views of Charlotte: The Queen City in Prose and Poetry.

Based in Durham, Nathan Kotecki is the author of the young adult novels The Suburban Strange and Pull Down the Night, both published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Currently he is enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts (Fiction) program at North Carolina State University. This summer he is teaching workshops for young writers at the Duke School and the Chapel Hill Public Library.

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FOCPL Contributes to Books on Break to Promote Summer Reading

IMG_2918Book Harvest recently gave thousands of books to a thrilled cohort of elementary-school students at a Books on Break event. The Friends of the Orange County Public Library was pleased to contribute to this annual event. Each student at New Hope Elementary School was invited to select ten books, which will help preserve the learning they accomplished during the school year. Teachers organized a book-distribution area that had the feel of a bookstore, with sections featuring Dr. Seuss, princess, and superhero books. “The students loved the variety of books available and were really eager to get started reading,” said Coby Austin, director of programs and policy at Family Success Alliance, an initiative of the Orange County Health Department.

Book Harvest is a Durham nonprofit organization that “provides books to children who need them and engages families and communities to promote children’s lifelong literacy and academic success.” Book Harvest has given away over 600,000 books, mostly in Durham County. The donated books help students avoid what is known as the “summer slide,” or the loss of valuable education during vacation. Studies have shown that students tend to lose reading skills during the summer months when they do not have access to resources like books.

One year ago, the Friends sponsored a smaller Books on Break distribution at New Hope Elementary as a pilot of this program in Orange County. Family Success Alliance teamed up with Book Harvest in selecting the school and organizing the event. The Friends provided a grant for books to be given to two grades, and students and their families raised additional funds.

IMG_3859This year, two members of the Friends Board of Directors, Harry Kavros and Steve Smith, volunteered to raise enough money to fund a book distribution for students in kindergarten through second grade. They met with town leaders and received valuable guidance from Hillsborough mayor Tom Stevens and Orange County School Board president Steven Halkiotis. Thanks to the generosity of local citizens, businesses, and nonprofits, over $8,000 was raised, comfortably surpassing the original goal of $6,000. The Friends of the Orange County Public Library again provided a significant grant. Students and their families raised funds so that third- through fifth-grade students would also receive ten books.

Support for the students does not end with giving them books. Family Success Alliance navigators will team up with dozens of families from New Hope Elementary over the summer. “They’ll be partnering with the parents to reinforce support for reading and other ways to prevent the summer slide,” explains Coby Austin.

Rachel Stine, education partnerships manager at Book Harvest, said that Books on Break at New Hope Elementary was a superb example of collaboration, adding, “We are grateful to community members, Family Success Alliance, and the Friends of the Orange County Public Library for partnering with New Hope Elementary and Book Harvest to make Books on Break 2017 a great success!”

 

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Summer Learning: The Best of Nonfiction

Local author panel: Monday, June 12, 6:30-7:30 p.m., in the Meeting Room of the Main Library

summerlearning

A lot of people associate summer reading with romances and thrillers. But what if your idea of a good summer read is a nonfiction book on science, history, or culture? Join a panel of five local authors for a discussion of their picks for the best nonfiction books to take along on a vacation.

About the authors:

James Maxey: A Piedmont Laureate Emeritus, James is the author of numerous science fiction and fantasy novels, including the bestselling Bitterwood series.

Suzanne Adair: Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair is a Florida native who lives in North Carolina. Her mysteries transport readers to the Southern theater of the American Revolution, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, and hiking.

Elizabeth Hein: Elizabeth writes women’s fiction with a bit of an edge. Her novels explore the role of friendship in the lives of adult women and issues of identity. Her novel, How To Climb The Eiffel Tower, explores the role of friendship in one woman’s journey through cancer. Overlook and Escape Plan explore how friendship can lift a woman up, as well as hold her down.

F. A. Fisher: A Michigan native, F. A. Fisher has lived in Greensboro, NC, for the past thirty-two years. He has been employed as a library assistant, legal copy editor, and software designer, but has recently started to work more seriously on his writing, publishing two books: Cloaks and its sequel, Pandir Decloaked. A third book in the series is in progress.

Gray Rinehart: Gray is the only person to have commanded an Air Force satellite tracking station, written speeches for presidential appointees, and had music on the Dr. Demento Show. His short fiction has appeared in Analog Science Fiction & Fact, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and other venues; his first novel is forthcoming from WordFire Press. In addition, he is a contributing editor (the “Slushmaster General”) for Baen Books and a singer-songwriter with two albums of mostly science fiction- and fantasy-inspired music.

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Summer Learning at the Orange County Public Library

Summer Learning 1 pagerSummer is fast approaching, and that means it’s time for Summer Learning at the Orange County Public Library! This year’s theme is “Build a Better World,” and the Friends are proud to sponsor many fun and engaging activities at the Library over the summer, for learners of all ages. It all kicks off Saturday, June 3, beginning with a 5K walk and fun run on the Riverwalk at 8 a.m. Then head over to the library from 9 a.m. to noon for a sign-up registration party, with activities for kids, folk music, snoballs, and more.

Over the summer, you can enjoy local author panels, family yoga, an ice cream social, and National Dance Day. Read great books, of course, and find out how you can make a difference in your community and library by volunteering. For more information, visit the library’s website.

The Friends will sponsor two author panels over the summer, so mark your calendars:

  • Monday, June 12, 6:30 p.m. — Summer Learning Discussion: A panel of local authors recommend nonfiction favorites to rev up your summer learning.
  •  Saturday, July 8, 1:00 p.m. — Summer Loving Discussion: A panel of local authors share their best-loved stories just in time for vacation reading.

Stay tuned for other exciting events that the Friends have planned for the summer! And thank you for being a Friend.

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Book Sale Success

We had a terrific book sale last weekend, thanks in large part to our terrific volunteers, as well as to all the members of the community who turned out for the sale. We raised over $4,000 for the Library! We’re already looking forward to our fall book sale, which will be held the last weekend of September. As always, bring your book donations to the library at any time. (Please call first if you have more than one box of books to donate.) While you’re there, remember to stop by the ongoing book sale and pick up a membership form to renew your Friends membership (or download the form here), if you haven’t already done so for 2017.

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Spring Book Sale, May 11-14

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Thursday, May 11, 5-7:30pm: Preview sale, reception, and silent auction for members only

Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13, 10am-5:30pm: General sale and silent auction open to members of the public

Sunday, May 14, 12-4pm: $5 bag day

Location: Meeting room of the main library branch, 137 W. Margaret Lane, Hillsborough

Volunteers are still needed to help set up and break down. Sign up here.

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