Morehead is on the Map! PBS Great American Read Series at YOUR Local Library

TGAR final map PP

When the Public Broadcasting System, which KET is our local affiliate, began a program in May of this year, the Rowan County Public Library decided to jump on board of the Great American Read train!

The Great American Read was an eight-part series that explored the power of reading and highlighted America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey).  As part of the series, all were encouraged to vote nationwide and choose America’s best-loved book.

If you visit the website of the Great American Read you can read about the series and view (by streaming) all of the episodes.  There is also a list of the 100 books in the order they were voted upon nationwide.  To Kill a Mockingbird was voted as the number one best-loved book!

Little did we know at RCPL when we started planning the events, that we would be recognized in the finale which was televised on October 23rd.  But yes, indeed, Morehead made the map!

The Rowan County Public Library decided to participate by having a kick-off program prior to the first PBS episode on September 11th.  We then held Monday Lunch Bunch programs every Monday for the next six weeks prior to the Tuesday PBS episode.  Food was provided by the RCPL Friends of the Library and we discussed every genre and more!  It was a two-hour long program for anyone to drop in at their leisure, but many had such a good time they stayed for the whole two hours.

After our kick-off program on Friday, September 7th, a producer from PBS contacted our Community Relations Coordinator, Dawn Sargent, because they had viewed our Instagram post with their hashtag #GreatReadPBS.  The producer asked Dawn to send her everything that we were doing and that we may be included in the finale!

When the finale was telecast on October 23rd on PBS, they did highlight two libraries and their programs, but they also highlighted public libraries across the United States that had participated on a national map and we made the map!

If you want to see that part of the finale episode it is at the 13:55 mark, with the map with Morehead, KY pinned at the 14:28 mark.  Of course, you will enjoy it so much more if you watch the whole episode!

This program and series has spurned interest in starting book discussion groups in the future and the library is looking forward to getting the ball rolling for their patrons.  Also, to help encourage the purpose of the Great American Read, RCPL is offering for any patron to stop by and fill out a checklist of the 100 books they have read to receive a free book.  Stop by and ask at the circulation desk for details between now and December 31st!

Stay up to date on all of our events and programs:

  • by visiting our website at
  • download our app RCPL2GO
  • follow us on Facebook, Rowan County Public Library
  • follow us @RowanPublicLib on twitter
  • follow us rowancountylib on Instagram

Julie Carroll, Assistant Director, who coordinated the programs for the Great American Read would like for all residents of Rowan County to know what a treasure awaits at YOUR public library.  Yes, we made the national map, but remember we are right in your backyard!  Come see us and don’t miss out!


Article by Julie Grannis Carroll
Graphics by Dawn Sargent


Stay Warm & Cozy at home with YOUR RCPL!

Family using digital tablet

No need to get out when you can stay warm and cozy at home in your pajamas, right?

Take advantage of your Rowan County Public Library card to access FREE digital services in your home or anywhere! Simply log in with your library card number and PIN to stream movies, music, audiobooks, and to read eBooks, graphic novels, eMagazines, craft eBooks, and more! Visit and click on the tab labeled with the type of service you are looking for.

Use hoopla for streaming movies, music, audio books, reading eBooks, and graphic novels.

Use OverDrive for reading eBooks and eMagazines, Perry Ellis Collection (Local Historical Documents,) and listening to audio books.

Use Freegal to stream and download the latest hits!

Use RBDigital to download popular eMagazines.

Use Tumblebooks for children’s eBooks, audiobooks, games & activities for Juvenile, JE, and Easy

Use Mango for learning a new language! Interactive learning classes in 70+ languages.

Use Cypress Resume for help with writing a resume.

Driver Test practice classes & more!

Want the physical book instead? Our bookmobile will come to your house! Call and ask for Donna to schedule an appointment!  (606) 784-7137

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4 Million Americans served in World War I: Was Your Ancestor One Of Them?

Join us on November 6th from 6:30 to 8pm for a class on how to research your WWI veteran’s military experience. Bet Ison will show us how to use Library, community, and internet resources to discover our ancestors’ stories and to link those personal stories with the “Big Picture.”

Remembering WWI - V2

Send us your family story!
November 2018 marks the 100 year anniversary of the end of the “Great War.” Commemorate it by discovering your ancestor’s story and sharing it with the library. Email it to by December 15 for a chance to be featured in our Genealogy edition of the Library Newsletter this spring.


Graphics by Dawn Sargent

Who says you can’t get a free lunch? @ Your Rowan County Public Library

TGAR Monday Lunch Bunch

At the Rowan County Public Library lunch IS FREE!
We invite YOU to the Great American Read Monday Lunch Bunch book discussion program beginning on Monday, September 17 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Every Monday through October 22 the ‘Lunch Bunch’ will meet in the Community Room of the Library to discuss a genre of books from THE GREAT AMERICAN READ series on PBS. You may come on your lunch break and enjoy a FREE catered lunch, join in on the discussion, or simply listen. Also, we would like to know which are your favorites from the list- tell us at the Monday discussions!

Make lunch FUN and FREE!
Each week discussion will be over a genre of books –see list below.

September 17 – Coming of Age and YA Literature
September 24- Adventure and Contemporary
October 1- Mystery and Horror
October 8- Romance
October 15- Science Fiction and Fantasy
October 22- Literary and Classic


Visit the TGAR (The Great American Read) page on the Library website for more details about everything we are doing for this great series from PBS – THE GREAT AMERICAN READ

THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, September 11 – October 23


is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey)*. It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.

YOUR Rowan County Public Library will be participating in this exciting campaign from PBS. There will be programs and book displays available for the public. One of the displays will be all 100 of The GREAT American READ titles. Program information will be posted on the Library’s website at




Two Important Words @ YOUR Rowan County Public Library

thank you

As I sit here writing my final Library article, the two most important words I have to say are, “Thank you!”  My heart is filled with gratitude for the thousands of people who have touched my life with love and support, beginning, of course, with my parents and my husband.   During my 18 years as your Library Director, there has never been a day without positive input and assistance from the people of Rowan County.  You folks are awesome!  What a blessing it has been to work with dedicated Library Board members, staff members, and volunteers—individuals and groups focusing on literacy and access to lifelong learning opportunities.   I deeply appreciate the school personnel (public, private, and home school), business owners, civic groups, newspaper and radio professionals,  volunteers, and parents, grandparents, foster parents, and others caring for the young people in our community—so many who contribute to the Library’s mission.   Our city and county government officials, city police, state police, and emergency services personnel have always responded to our requests for their assistance.   Our State Representatives and Senators and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives personnel have been major players in the growth and success of the Library.  When I pause and focus on all the people who are and have been involved in the Library’s work, I am so very thankful for each one.  The somewhat worn expression is really true—it does “take a village.”

               I close with these quotes that express my appreciation for your gifts of guidance, encouragement, time, and thoughtfulness:

               “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”—Marcel Proust

               “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”—Leo Buscaglia

               “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.  And, let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”—Maya Angelou

               “When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”—G.K. Chesterton

Helen Williams

Rowan County Public Library

Executive Director

Hello, my name is….

Hello My Name Is…

“Call me Ishmael”, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, and my personal favorite “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” All great books have a memorable beginning, and these are just a few of the more famous first lines from the books: Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

As I start my time here at the Rowan County Library I hope for a memorable beginning, because a good start sets the tone for the whole story. Beginnings are a magical time. Everything seems fresh and exciting, and the possibilities are endless. I look at the Library and I see great things and unlimited potential. I see an excellent staff that works hard and offers great service. I see a supportive community that is engaged in what the library has to offer. I see strong leadership in the local government officials who understand and support the library’s goals and mission. Finally, I see a great library board that is dedicated to making Rowan County the best library it can be.

When contemplating my future at the library I am ever mindful of the library’s mission and vision statement:

“The Rowan County Public Library exists because of the citizens of Rowan County. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life for those citizens by providing materials and information for their leisure and lifelong learning needs.

The library will serve as a focal point of the community by rendering exceptional service and an inviting, comfortable environment for reading, research, meetings, programs and activities.”

My goal as the director is not just to continue offering the excellent service that the library has always provided but to expand it. We need to look for opportunities to increase our offerings to children, the elderly, and the disabled. I want to find the holes in our service and fill them with quality programs. In addition to what we already have in place I want to explore new and emerging technologies that will continue to move the library into the future. I want the Commonwealth to view Rowan County as a hub of forward thinkers, innovators, movers and shakers and I believe that the library plays a pivotal roll in creating that culture.

I look forward to this next part of my life and I am very excited to get started, all things have a starting point and this just happens to be one of mine.

As my chapter begins, the chapter for another is ending. Helen Williams has written a great story, the Rowan County Library has flourished under her guidance and she will be greatly missed. We all wish Helen the very best as she closes this chapter and starts another. I am reminded of the final lines of the Virginia Wolfe novel To the Lighthouse: “Yes, she thought, laying down her paint brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision.”


RCPL 50th Anniversary Celebration

Library 50th Anniversary


Join us at YOUR Rowan County Public Library on May 3 from 2-4 pm as we celebrate our 50-year anniversary as a lifelong learning partner in Rowan County. We will unveil a plaque honoring all past and present RCPL Board of Trustee members, welcome our new Executive Director Tim Gampp, and, say “Goodbye” to our retiring Executive Director Helen Williams. Be sure to tour the Library’s new bookmobile while you are here for the celebration.

A Plethora of Things To Do @ YOUR Rowan County Public Library


From regular programs and activities to special events, YOUR Rowan County Public Library continues to be a very happening place.  Regular programming for April includes:

               AFTERSCHOOL STORYTIME on Monday and Thursday afternoons at 4

               MOTHER GOOSE STORYTIME on Tuesday mornings at 10:15

               TECHNOLOGY CLASSES on Saturdays at noon, Mondays at noon, and                               Thursdays at 4:30 p.m.

               CHESS CLUB at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, and Tuesday, April 24

               CREATIVE COLORING on Tuesday, April 17, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

               FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT on Thursday, April 19, at 6 p.m.  

               TEEN GAME NIGHT on April 25 at 5 p.m.

 In addition to the abundance of ongoing programs, two very special events in April are the:

ANNUAL TEDDY BEAR PICNIC on April 28 at 1 p.m.   Bring your favorite plush friend so both of you may enjoy a story, crafts, and snacks.

FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY ANNUAL BOOK SALE, Thursday, April 19, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday, April 20, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Thousands of books (regular print, large print, young adult, juvenile, and children’s) as well as CDs, DVDs, and more will be available at super sale prices.   Stop by and buy!

Finally, opportunities to check out and read award-winning books abound.  The 2017-2018 winners of the Kentucky Bluegrass Award were announced two days ago.  These books are special because they are selected by Kentucky Preschool through Grade 12 students.   This year’s winners are:

Preschool:          MOTHER BRUCE by Ryan T. Higgins (E HIGG)

Grades K-2:        MADELINE FINN AND THE LIBRARY DOG by Lisa Papp (E PAPP, Children’s New Collection)

Grades 3-5:         DOG MAN by Dav Pikey (J PILK, Children’s Best Collection)

Grades 6-8:         GHOST by Jason Reynolds (J REYN)

Grades 9-12:      THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon (Y NOON, Best Seller Collection)

National Library Week @ YOUR Rowan County Public Library


April 8-14 is National Library Week, an annual celebration of the life-changing work of libraries, librarians, and library workers.  Libraries aren’t just places to borrow books or study—they’re creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate using new technologies and developing their skills and passions.

               Libraries of all types have long been evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve.  Diverse groups including community organizations, small business owners, students, and families depend upon libraries and the resources they offer.  Resources such as e-books and technology classes, materials for English-language learners, and programs and resources for job seekers are just a few ways libraries and librarians are transforming to lead their communities.  Community members can also develop their own leadership skills at the library, with endless opportunity to build skills and confidence through resources and programming.  YOUR Rowan County Public Library offers resources and programming for all age groups.  The Library is available to everybody.  It is the community place that levels the playing field for people of any age who seek information for lifelong learning.

               As part of the weeklong celebration, Tuesday, April 10, is designated as National Library Workers Day.  This is a day to recognize all library workers for their many contributions.  Stop by the Library and say, “Thank you” to the outstanding staff members at YOUR Rowan County Public Library.  (And, my thanks to you folks who express your appreciation for our staff in so many ways—notes, social media posts, goodies . . . .)

               Wednesday, April 11, is National Bookmobile Day.  Kentucky has the largest bookmobile fleet in the nation and we at RCPL are proud of Miss Donna and her provision of quality library service “on the road” throughout Rowan County. 

               We invite you to be an active part of the National Library Week celebration.  Stop in the Library and participate in our National Library Week Scavenger Hunt Checkout.   To be entered in our NLW prize drawing, pick up your “Libraries Lead” bookmark and check out the items listed.