February is Library Lovers Month and Ashe County Public Library is happy to report on some amazing statistics from its 2019 Giving Report.

County residents with active library accounts have reached an all-time high: 63% of its population. During the summer months, children read a total of 4,657 hours. Last year, more than 100,000 books were borrowed. There were 18,423 people who attended library supported events. The attendance at teen events showed an increase of 138%. In 2019, there were 6,000 interactions with reference librarians. Sixteen additional parking spaces were added. Average daily counts for technology includes 48 uses of public PCs and 36 uses of Wi-Fi.

These numbers certainly validate the library’s mission: to promote knowledge, reading and imagination; support and encourage lifelong learning; and contribute to the sense of community and the economic well-being of our county.

In review of the library’s service priorities, gifts to the library go a long way to satisfy our community’s needs. Thank you to everyone for loving our library!

Service Priority – Reading

• The majority of the library’s collection development budget comes from individual financial contributions. Donations are occasionally restricted for expanding a specific subset of the collection.

Service Priority – Lifelong Learning

• Most library events and supplies for those events are funded through a yearly donation from the Friends of Ashe County Public Library. Additional support for signature programming comes from individual donors.

Service Priority – Technology

• Distributions from the library’s endowment help keep technologies such as computers and software up-to-date and make the provision of digital resources sustainable.

Service Priority – Library as a Place

• Improvements such as expanded parking have been made possible by financial support from an individual donor, the county and the town. Individuals also donated their talents to help achieve completion of this project.

Please observe Library Lovers Month by continuing to enjoy your library, but consider volunteering your time. If you don’t have a library card, it’s never too late! Visit the library to get one and use #NationalLibraryLoversDay to share on social media.

On Feb. 22, Ashe County Library will celebrate Day in the District. Local elected officials (mayors, town and county managers, aldermen, commissioners, state representatives, along with the county sheriff) will be invited for a special open-house event. Visit during the day to meet these VIPs and let them know how much you appreciate the library and services it provides your community. Come out for a special story time with N.C. Rep. Ray Russell and Sheriff B. Phil Howell between 11 a.m. and noon. Meet Arly the Library Fox. Refreshments will be served.

Dates to remember in February:

Children’s Programs

• Maker Mondays take place every week at 4 p.m. Hands-on discovery!

• Music & Movement is for ages 2 and older at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays. Learn about the alphabet while we stretch, sing, dance, play, and read!

• Tot Time takes place at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays for ages 2 and 3. Wiggle, giggle, laugh, sing, and create. A fun-filled time featuring stories, music, and a craft.

• Baby Bounce is for birth to 2 years at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays.

• Active Reading Storytime for caregivers and kids from birth to 3rd grade is at 11 a.m. on February 1st. Learn how active reading increases reading skills.

• Join us for Kid Well at 4 p.m. on February 4 & 18. Practice living well with family activities for the body, brain, and move.

• Celebrate World Read Aloud Day from 4–5:30 p.m. on Feb. 5. Share the joy of reading aloud. It’s easy! All you have to do is select a book, find a buddy, and read aloud.

• Read with Baron at 4 p.m. on Feb. 6. Baron the therapy dog loves to hear stories! If you’d like to read to Baron or just visit with him, stop by the library.

• Celebrate Mo Willem’s birthday at 11 a.m. on Feb. 15, highlighting The Pigeon Loves the Library, with crafts, snacks, and some favorite stories.

• Day in the District Story Time begins at 11 a.m. on Feb. 22. A special story time featuring Ashe County elected officials.

Teen Programs (ages 12-18)

• T for Teen – Gamers Unite! Meet-up at 4 p.m. on Feb. 4. Xbox360 and laptops available for teen gaming.

• Anti-Valentine’s Day Party will be held at 4 p.m. on Feb. 11. “He’s just a Poe boy from a Poe family!” Come tap, tap, tapping on our door for a Poe-inspired Anti-Valentine’s Day Party. Make voodoo dolls, win prizes, and survive the most depressing day of the year with friends!

• Open Studio is open at 4 p.m. on Feb. 18. Join us for a wide range of creative crafts and projects.

• TLC (Teen Listening Council) is a safe place for teens to talk openly about any subject. Drop in at 4 p.m. on Feb. 25. Come out for snacks, fun activities and help in navigating those turbulent teenage years.

Adult Programs

• Throughout 2020, VAYA Health is sponsoring a Public Presentation Series at the library. Two topics will be highlighted, back-to-back, each month from 10 a.m. until noon. Join us on February 6 for a session on Depression from Surviving to Thriving at 10 a.m. and Antidepressants: Not Just for Depression at 11 a.m.

• For all your tech troubles, book an appointment with our friendly reference librarians. Call (336) 846-2041 x227.

• Yoga Club meets in the library’s downstairs meeting room at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays.

• Vickie’s Book Club meets at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18 to discuss Where the Crawdads Sing by, Delia Owens.

• Talking Service Book Club meets at 10 a.m. on Feb. 14. The meeting begins with a discussion of one or more readings from Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian, a collection of works ranging from Homer’s Iliad to recent memoirs of veterans on conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

• Brouhaha Book Club meets at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 in Boondocks Restaurant for “Books, Beer and Bookworm Babble.” Come and find out what everyone has been reading lately!

VITA: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (beginning January 27 — by appointment only)

• Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program put nearly half a million dollars back into the pockets of Ashe County residents last year. This vital service is hosted by the library and performed by IRS-certified volunteers between January and April of each year. If you would like a volunteer to prepare your taxes this year, give us a call at (336) 977-5829. Most people who earn $56,000 or less are eligible to receive free tax preparation through the VITA program. Ashe Services for Aging is also hosting the VITA program; they can be reached at (336) 246-4347.

All Ages

• Get Crafty (crocheting & knitting) meets at 10 a.m. on February 15. Bring along your current project, or join the group and start on a crafty project now! All skill levels welcome, materials are provided.

• The Community Drum Circle meets at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 and Feb. 27. Join the celebration of drums, while exploring the soul and spirit of music!

• Mountain Music Slow Jam will meet from 3-5 p.m. on Feb. 1 and Feb. 15 in the downstairs meeting room. Songs are explained as to timing, breaks, etc… and played in slow time. Designed for beginners, all skill levels are welcome.

Special Events

• February is Love Your Library Month. Tell us why you love your library and be entered to win a prize.

• Drop in for Day in the District on February 22. Meet elected officials and bring the children for a special story time at 11 a.m.

• Friends of Ashe County Library will be hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 22. Give the gift of life and donate.

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