News & Updates

Operation Parent Webinar: Shedding Light on Youth Alcohol Usage and Binge Drinking

Underage alcohol use can have many short-term and long-term impacts that youth may not realize. Listen to Mary Beth Uberti explain the dangers of alcohol use among teens and how parents can intervene to help keep their children healthy and safe.

 

More information about Operation Parent and their free resources for parents and guardians can be found at https://operationparent.org/resource-manager/

Operation Parent Webinar: Cyberbullying

As the daughter of a disabled Vietnam veteran, Heather French Henry has experienced the pain and suffering that can come with military service. Throughout her life she followed her father into the halls of VA hospitals for treatments, experienced his night terrors and stood by his side in his miraculous journey “home” from the terrors of war.

After winning the title of Miss America 2000 she traveled over 300,000 miles across the United States on a national speaking tour entitled “Our Forgotten Heroes: Honoring Our Nations Homeless Veterans.” Throughout her year she not only visited veterans facilities meeting and talking with veterans but her platform often took her to our nation’s capital to lobby members of Congress and Senate on veterans issues and legislation.

During her tour veteran’s healthcare issues became another serious focus and a second campaign began entitled “Fighting the Silent Enemy: Hepatitis C.” Touring the country with Hepatitis C advocates screenings were held and hundreds of veterans were screened and made aware of the dangers of Hepatitis C.

In Heather’s own words: “I will always be the daughter of a veteran and therefore I will always honor those who fell by continuing to serve those who live.”

Operation Parent Webinar: Teens, E-cigarettes and Vaping

Dr. Patricia Purcell shares information and talking points about vaping and e-cigarette use by teens that parents and guardians can reference. She is clear and uses language that we can call understand. The webinar below is an hour long but well worth a listen for any parent, guardian, grandparent or caregiver of youth.

More information about Operation Parent and their free resources for parents and guardians can be found at https://operationparent.org/resource-manager/

Operation Parent Webinar: When Alcohol, Summer, COVID and Teens Intersect

Parents and guardians can click here to register for the FREE webinar from Operation Parent

This free webinar from Operation Parent will be held on Monday June 15th from 2:00pm-3:00pm.

Since Operation Parent’s webinar on alcohol in March, communities across the country have seen instore and online sales of alcohol skyrocket, and some parents relaxing abstinence rules at home to placate and bond with teens.

Additionally, easing of social distancing orders in many parts of the country are coinciding with the start of summer, which is already a time of risk for alcohol abuse and drinking and driving with teens. Cooped up teens might be looking forward to blowing off steam…in unhealthy ways.

Let’s discuss how we can be prepared to parent during these times of transition and uncertainty to keep our teens safe.

Presenters are Christine Storm and Kate Appleman of Caron Treatment Center. The Caron Treatment Center is an inpatient treatment facility with location in Florida and Pennsylvania. They have been providing innovative, specialized addiction & behavioral health treatment for over 60 years.

More information about Operation Parent and their free resources for parents and guardians can be found at https://operationparent.org/resource-manager/

Operation Parent: Who They Are, What Do They Do?

Operation Parent started when parents, who needed help and couldn’t find one central source for trustworthy, practical information on tough day-to-day parenting issues. From that, their organization was born.

 

A platform sourced with the “must know” material for anyone raising teens and preteens, curated from leading experts and our own experiences as parents.

The world our kids are growing up in is different than the one we grew up in. It changes constantly. We keep up with those changes and share the information parents need to know to keep their children healthy and safe. Parents that connect with us learn to:

Raise their awareness and confidence

Initiate meaningful conversations with their child(ren)

Set age appropriate boundaries

Recognize early warning signs

Prevent addiction, bullying, suicide, violence and more

What makes them unique?

It’s personal to them.

They are parents and they have encountered many of these issues on our parenting journey.  They’re passionate about family and want to do all they can to help parents stay connected to their children during the challenging teen and preteen years.

They provide ongoing prevention education.  

Prevention is a process…not a one-time event. Prevention happens when parents are educated and supported along their parenting journey. Operation Parent wants to walk alongside parents throughout their journey and find the best time to connect is in elementary school and stay connected through middle and high school.

 

Stokes: Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives. Danbury Public Library

For our series of Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact, we spoke with Lisa Lawless, Branch Librarian for Danbury Public Library, about how COVID19 has impacted their services.

1007 N Main St Danbury, NC
(336) 593-2419

Can you describe the feeling of having to close Danbury Public Library due to COVID19 restrictions?

“As a professional librarian, I never thought I would see the day that libraries closed their doors. Surreal does not even begin to describe it. Libraries have endured many changes over the years but are such a vital part of our society that not being able to open for our patrons (due to coronavirus) feels like a sacrilege. We cannot wait to get back to some semblance of normal.

What did a normal day look like at Danbury Public Library before COVID19?

A normal day in Danbury includes the countless people that visit our local libraries every day to use the internet, find a job using NC Works, and borrow books from all across the state using NC Cardinal.

We are honored to share that Ancestry.com, which is usually only available for free use inside the library, is now available online by using our website nwrl.org.

There you will also find movies, audiobooks and e-books, kids books, newspapers, old high school yearbooks, and instructional videos to learn over 70 different languages, all FREE with your library card (which is also free). 

Mad Science is a group that performs using science experiments. It’s really popular in the schools. They will come out dressed like a crazy scientist and engage the kids on whatever experiment they are doing. Every show I’ve seen is different, but every single one has been amazing. They really do a great job. Their website is madscience.org if you need more details.

Although borrowing books may be on hold for a bit longer, our website is fully functional with a plethora of services, including the ones listed above. 

What is your favorite part of the Danbury Public Library?

My favorite part of Danbury Public Library is that we are also home to the Stokes County Bookmobile. Our driver, Jeannie Wall, goes all over Stokes County taking books to those who are homebound or elderly. Everyone is always so happy to see her!

There are not many things that will show up at your door for FREE just to make you happy, but it happens every day with the bookmobile. I cannot wait until we are able to get back out on the road and deliver books and magazines to those who truly appreciate it.

Every now and then, Jeannie will come back from that day’s route and have a pie that one of the patrons made for our staff, or a handmade Christmas ornament to put on our tree during the holidays. This is the kind of thing that sounds like the “good ol’ days” but is still part of ‘normal’ at Danbury Public Library.

What is something unique to the Danbury Public Library that residents should look into when COVID19 restrictions are lifted?

Danbury Public Library has many visitors to our Stokes County History Room where the largest chunk of county genealogical information is stored. We’ve had visitors come in to do research  from all across the United States as well as other countries like China and France. We also have some amazing displays of historical items that include a piece of flexible sandstone (called limber grit) that is only found in five places across the world, one of which is Stokes County. It’s a rock but it really does bend! We have a gas mask from World War I that was used and donated by a Stokes County resident, and we even have a collection of old Bibles that were found in various places across the county, including one that once belonged to a slave that lived nearby.

We miss each and every one of you and look forward to seeing you soon, and serving you in any way we can in the meantime. Everyone stay safe and well.

        -Lisa Lawless, Branch Librarian Danbury Public Library

You can contact the Danbury Public Library via phone at (336) 593-2419, email them at dnb@nwrl.org or get information from their Facebook page.


Read our other entries in Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact here.

Stokes: Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives. King Public Library

For our series of Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact, we spoke with Ann Nichols, Branch Manager of the King Public Library.

King Public Library

“Our library has always kept hand sanitizer available at the circulation desk for our staff and patrons. Little did we know how important of a role this safety measure would play in keeping our patrons safe during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.”- Ann Nichols

How has COVID19 affected the King Public Library?

When I walked out the library doors on March 27th, I sat in my car, and shook my head in denial. I never had imagined that the library doors would be closed to the public.  It had been a trying day. I was proud of my staff that day, as we all worked together to provide curbside service to our patrons, while continually cleaning the building, and getting the word out about our many online services. I knew that at some point all libraries in our Northwestern Regional Library System would have to close, so I had been busy providing the staff with work from home tasks, online trainings, and other assignments. We had publicized on our Facebook page for patrons to stock up on books and other materials, just in case.

Everything we were hearing on several news outlets seemed to indicate the elderly were the most vulnerable in our population. The library staff know our senior patrons well. We all were worried for them, wanting to make certain they checked out the books, DVDs, or puzzles they needed to pass the time while we waited out the virus.
Gretchen Parker, Assistant Branch Manager, reading to children at King Elementary School

We tried to be positive and upbeat, but inside we were like everyone else, concerned for our families, our patrons, and for each other.  All of our staff can assist patrons with using their tech devices to check out eBooks from OverDrive, our eBook and audio platform on our NWRL.org website, but our patron’s favorite tech guru is Gretchen Parker, the Assistant Branch Manager at the King Public Library. She has an easy manner and a great smile that makes you feel as though it is as simple as sliding a hot knife through butter. Gretchen had been on the phone almost nonstop during the last few weeks, assisting our patrons with checking out eBooks, or learning how to do it from scratch.

Books that were taken out of circulation and provided for the Free Book Event that was on April 22nd, 2020.
We usually save the books for the Friends of the Library’s book sale, but I felt these books needed new homes right away.  We decided the withdrawn books would be placed on carts outside the building.
We would offer the books freely to our patrons.  We shared a post on the library’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and within minutes, people were stopping by to select titles.  Each person looked so excited.
You would have thought it was Christmas!  I remember telling the staff it was the first time I had smiled in days.  Smiles are contagious, we all were smiling, the staff and our patrons outside enjoying this special treat.

Can you talk about the services offered online by King Public Library?

During work from home, the staff engaged our patrons online. Programming Assistant Melody Johnson and Gretchen Parker provided online preschool Storytime programs.  Melody’s reading of Peep, Peep, Moo! By Doreen Cronin received a shoutout of praise from the State Library of North Carolina, and Mouse’s First Spring by Lauren Thompson, became a new favorite with many youngsters.  Programming Assistant Cara Hiatt’s May Flowers Photo Contest with 125 entries .  Poems and poem readings were posted during April’s National Poetry Month celebration, Bingo games, an interview with local author, Paula May, and much more has been shared with our patrons near and far from the video link at our nwrl.org website and on the library’s Facebook page.

King Public Library celebrated National Library Week with a livestream from local author Paula May.

Virtual programs, which we had seen as a future need, were suddenly thrust upon library staff members all over the United States.  The King Public Library staff were as prepared as we possibly could be, with an abundant amount of online training and webinars, shared all over the county.

We were learning everything we could in order to improve services to the public and working to keep our patrons engaged at home.  And with this, a new reality came into place; this will now be the platform on which our 2020 Summer Reading program will on take place.  It was quite a shock to realize that in-person programming would not be feasible.

The safety and welfare of our patrons always takes priority.

So, as a branch and as a Region, we are developing programs that can be posted virtually on our social media sites, and on our Northwestern Regional homepage.

Our thirteen branches in Alleghany, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin Counties are working together to set up an array of programs that can be shared among all library patrons.  Presenters are being contacted while we all work together to change to a virtual/streaming environment. Big crowd pleasers like Mad Science, Science Tellers, and the NC Zoo are among many that are changing the way they provide programs to our libraries.

Programming staff are still working with possible presenters for all age groups to provide an enriching and entertaining summer for everyone.

Moving forward after COVID19 what sort of programs will be available for adults at King Public Library?

The library anticipates a great need from our newly unemployed population. The Job Lab that the library and Forsyth Tech partner on together, located inside the King Public Library, is eager to help people with preparing resumes, filing online applications, providing unemployment filing assistance, and much more.

Free computer access is available at King Public Library.

Lynn Owens and Cinda Amen, our HRD instructors in the lab prepared a training webinar for all staff members of the NWRL

FTCC has increased the lab hours at the King Public Library from twelve hours a week, to sixteen hours per week. 

HRD instructors Lynn Owens and Cinda Amen are ready to help as many individuals as they can when the library is able to open its doors.  In order to do this safely, assistance will be made by appointment only.  This will be possible by calling the King Public Library at (336) 983-3868 or by emailing us at kin@nwrl.org, when the library reopens.

What would you like to share with residents who use the King Public Library?

“The most important thing I can share with our patrons is how much we miss them and wish to meet their needs. We realize the library and its services are especially important to our community. You are never too old or too young to learn, or to enjoy the wonder of a book.  The library provides that opportunity and much more. The library provides a place of learning, connecting, reading for the joy of it, a refuge from difficult times, a place to start over when seeking a different career path, and a place to come together with purpose. The staff and I feel as though we are out of our element without our patrons.  We look forward to serving them again safely and enthusiastically.”

Ann Nichols, Branch Manager King Public Library

You can reach the King Public Library on their Facebook page, via phone 336-983-3868 or by e-mail at kin@nwrl.org


Read our other entries in Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact here.

Stokes: Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives. Stokes County Health Department.

For our series of Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact, we spoke with Tammy Martin, Health Director for Stokes County Health Department.

1009 North Main Street Danbury, North Carolina 27016

What are you and your agency doing to address COVID19 in Stokes?

“The Stokes County Health Department has been working to keep the community updated on all information that we receive related to COVID-19. When we do receive positive COVID-19 test results we do the contact tracing on these individuals. The Health Department is responsible for contacting all close contacts when we receive a positive test result. We have been in close daily contact with all long term care facilities to make sure they have all the supplies they need.”

During this time our nurses have been working hard to answer questions in the community and with our stakeholders.

Nurses Appreciation Week.

 

Stokes County Health Department is a Community Partner with the DIAPER BANK of N.C.

Stokes County infants and/or children can receive 2 packs of diapers and/or 3 packs of pull-ups MONTHLY. Wipes, diaper creams and lotions are also available. During the COVID-19 Pandemic the Health Department is offering curb side pick-up. Interested families can call the Danbury WIC Office at 336-593-2400 to request the supplies to be brought to your car. If you live in the King area please call the Danbury office as well to set up a time for pick-up in King. (The KING office is temporarily closed until June 1, 2020.)

Stokes County Health Department
1009 N. Main Street, Danbury NC 27016
336-593-2400 or 336-593-2402
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday 8-5:30
Fridays 8-5

*Availability of diapers depends on current demand and supply provided by local Diaper Bank of North Carolina*
Stokes County Health Department is a partner with the Diaper Bank of North Carolina. Call 336-593-2400 for more information.

Why is it important that our community take these measures?

“At this time due to COVID-19 it is important to continue to social distance and wear a mask when out in public to protect yourself as well as others. The more we stay at home and limit our travel to just essential needs the better it is. Following the Governor’s orders will help us get back to our new normal as soon as possible.”

Please note that this is a temporary change for bread, milk and yogurt through May 31, 2020 related to COVID19. If you have any questions please call: Danbury WIC Office 336-593-2400

 

What is something positive you have seen in midst of chaos of COVID-19 as we navigate this together?

“Seeing the community stepping up to help people in need; through groups providing free cloth masks, support from both youth and adult civic groups to front line health workers, the public libraries offering free WiFi that can be accessed in the parking lot, the Stokes County School Nutrition Department providing free school meals. Local Government collaborating within community to make sure community stays safe.”

Girl Scout Troop 41655 brought a selection of Girl Scout cookies to support the efforts of Health Department staff.

Tammy Martin, Director Stokes County Health Department


Stokes: Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives. Walnut Cove Public Library

For our series of Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact, we spoke with Walnut Cove Library Branch Manager Christine Boles about their continued efforts to provide services for citizens in the area.

Christine says, “we have many patrons we consider family to us and we are just as concerned about them as we would be our own families”.

How has COVID19 affected Walnut Cove Library?

“When we closed on Friday, March 27, 2020, we closed our doors to the public until further notice. Closing the library that Friday afternoon was a surreal experience and one that left me feeling very confused as to how we would handle this new way of life and work.”

Christine thought, “how would we still meet our community’s needs and what about all the people who call Walnut Cove Public Library their “home away from home?”

Branch Manager, Christine Boles, at London Elementary Reading Night

“Walnut Cove Public Library is like many small-town libraries when it comes to family. We have many patrons we consider family to us and we are just as concerned about them as we would be our own families. Working in a small-town library allows us to really get to know people and what is happening in their lives. So many of our patrons have used the library since they were small children and now we see their children using the library. Many of our senior citizens we see every week and we spend a great deal of time working with them to find new books for them to read.”

“Then, there are those few individuals like myself, Assistant Branch Manager Chelsea Russell, and Programs Assistant Kristin Fulp who grew up using the Walnut Cove Public Library and now work there.”

Assistant Branch Manager Chelsea Russell participating at London Elementary Reading Night

How will the Walnut Cove Library continue services?

We are making many plans for how we can best serve everyone during the summer months. Currently, the staff at Walnut Cove is working diligently on our Summer Learning Program.

We will still have a program for our children, but it will be different in many ways

1: We will have both paper reading logs and an online recording site for our participants to record their reading time and we will still have prizes at the end of the summer.

The State Library of North Carolina is currently working on an online reading recording website that we will be able to share very soon.

2: We are working on printed and online packets to hand out and share with our participants. The library staff is deciding how to get those printed packets to everyone since we may not be able to open to the public for a while. We do not want to exclude anyone who does not have access to the internet.

3: Our performers will be doing online programs for us to share with all families. These programs will be available for everyone to view! Sadly, there will be no in-house programs this summer.

4: Also, we will be videoing science experiments, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) projects, and filming educational videos that our children can follow along at home.

Lego Day for Stokes Opportunity Center
Lego Day Creations

Christine says, “if you have any suggestions on how we can best serve your needs during Summer Learning, we would be happy to hear them.”

⇒You can reach the Walnut Cove Library on their Facebook page, via phone 336-591-7496 or by e-mail at wco@nwrl.org⇐

Another service we want to add this summer is our Back to Basics videos. This is a first for Walnut Cove and we are excited to add this to our services! We are planning to do several how-to videos for everyone.

We are currently working on fishing techniques, starting your own garden, and learning how to crochet.

Click the picture to be taken to Walnut Cove Library Facebook page.

These are staff hobbies, but we want to hear from our customers what they would like to learn.

We have several suggestions already including canning and preserving fruits and vegetables, sewing, and seasonal crafts.

Eventually, we plan to take our show on the road to visit businesses and places of interest in Stokes County.

“What is something positive, or uplifting, that you have experienced during COVID19?”

The most positive aspect taken from this whole experience is the library staff has an even greater understanding of how valuable our public libraries truly are to their community and how much our hard work and dedication will have to continue at an even higher level to help see our community through this pandemic. We know COVID19 will be a part of our lives for many months and possibly years to come and it has taught all of us the value of human life.

In addition, we think of what we must do as community helpers to keep our citizens happy, safe, and well-informed.

There is not a day goes by if I am out in Walnut Cove, that someone tells me how ready they are for the library to open back up. Everyone is in full agreement that they greatly miss our doors being open.

Christine Boles Branch Manager, Walnut Cove Library

You can reach the Walnut Cove Library on their Facebook page, via phone 336-591-7496 or by e-mail at wco@nwrl.org


Read our other entries in Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact here.

Stokes: Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives. NWRL

We continue our series of Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact, with Joan Sherif from Northwest Regional Library.

The NWRL has branches in Danbury, Walnut Cove and King and are currently closed, but offer a wide variety of options to residents to advance knowledge, strengthen our communities and inspire diversity.

 To read our story about the Walnut Cove Public Library click here.

To read our story about the King Public Library click here. 

To read our story about the Danbury Public Library click here.

How has COVID19 affected the NWRL?

With the Governor’s announcement in March, we closed all libraries to the public and provided curbside service until April 1 when we had to discontinue it. It was very popular, and it was very hard for the staff to stop serving the public in person which is our goal. We were very fortunate that the Regional Board approved all staff working from home.

At first, it was almost surreal since we were closing our doors to the public and that has always been the opposite of what we try to do.  After the initial shock wore off, the staff swung into action.  We began virtual communication with all libraries (Stokes, Surry, Alleghany, and Yadkin) which has been a lifeline for us to stay in touch.  We are using Google Classroom and Meet.  We formed three teams on priority issues to get input from all staff and further collaborate. The teams meet weekly, and there is good discussion and some good outcomes.

 

Since the initial closing, staff has worked from home with catch up work, continuing education, and re-inventing how library services are delivered.  It did not take long for staff to jump on many webinars that will help all staff do an even better job now and in the future.  We have transformed all services online and now provide even more virtual services than ever.

These services are available on www.nwrl.org

We added new tabs to our website (www.nwrl.org) to include information on CO-VID 19, employment resources, and remote services.

Anyone with checked out materials was asked to hold onto books, DVD’s, and audiobooks until we re-open with no overdue fines.

People can now get a temporary card online as well.

Our staff stepped up to the challenge. Although we had some virtual programs before, the staff has taken hold of the possibilities and are offering online storytimes, readings from Harry Potter,  fairy tales, celebration of Earth Day, book talks, and much more.

And, I think that we have just begun! The response has been excellent with many comments about how people are not only enjoying seeing their library workers but also enjoying the programs.

Free learning resources available on www.nwrl.org.

Since not everyone has wifi at home, we are encouraging folks to use the outside wifi from library parking lots.  We have seen an increase of usage and are glad to provide the service especially now.

The staff have been great and risen to the occasion. I think that we all have learned so much about ourselves and our communities that will be continued after we are able to open up fully to the public.

How will NWRL continue these services for Stokes residents?

We have all become aware of how we can develop remote and virtual services to a greater extent.  Staff are building on what they know about online services (including NC LIVE databases and NC Kids Digital) and learning more at an exponential rate!  It seems like everyday there is a new find, and talent is emerging!

These free learning resources are available at www.nwrl.org

Please visit www.nwrl.org and check out the Virtual Programs.

We have discussed more online services as well as asynchronous ones such as story walks and scavenger hunts that kids can do with their families or each other and get outdoors.

These services and others will become part of what NWRL libraries do.

Can you share anything positive from this situation we are all facing?

I think that we all agree that there have been many positives from the CO-VID19 crisis.  Although it is a hard and scary time for all of us, I think that we have all found a new resilience and hope for the future. 

Our staff is working even more closely together and supporting each other even more.  We realize that we all are in this together with our communities and truly believe that we will be stronger and better at the other end of it.

We know that many services that have started will be regular parts of library services.  We have learned much about ourselves, each other, and our organization.  Although we are planning for (and very much looking forward) to the day when we can reopen to the public, we know that we are stronger and better and have learned some very valuable lessons about ourselves and our communities.  We are even more aware of the importance of the essential value of our libraries to each community.

Not only are libraries a place for books, Audio/visual, information, and programs but also they are places for human connection.
In a survey that is posted on the website about what people miss most about their libraries and services that they would like to see, we are seeing that people often say that they miss the staff. 

Library workers are community helpers and although the way we are helping has changed since the beginning of the stay at home order, we are continuing on a different level that we will continue as we grow and change.  The library is online and in person.

-Joan Sherif, Northwestern Regional Library

Information regarding the Northwestern Regional Library can be found online here


 

Read our other entries in Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact here.