Take Ten: 10 Things to Know about the Library

BY Ryan Davis

Louis T. Moore Photograph Collection
Imagine the painstaking lengths Louis T. Moore secretary of Wilmingtons Chamber of Commerce from 1921 through 1941 and noted environmentalist went to in order to photograph his beloved Wilmington. Armed with only a box camera Moore captured the everyday life of Wilmingtonians during the early part of the 20th century. Today the New Hanover County Public Librarys North Carolina Room is home to 976 photographs taken by Moore depicting everything from boats on Wrightsville Sound to strawberry fields to oyster roasts. Had he not photographically documented the Port City throughout his era much of what we know about life in Wilmington during those decades would have gone unrecorded. The library welcomes anyone in search of historical photos to examine the Louis T. Moore Collection either in the North Carolina Room or online.

Genealogy Searches
Lets say you know your family has lived in eastern North Carolina for a long time but you want to know exactly how long. The North Carolina Room contains the most comprehensive collection of genealogical records for eastern North Carolina as well as a significant amount of statewide familial information. Librarians specifically trained to help you track your familys lineage are happy to assist you in your search. Computer software microfilm newspaper archives and countless collections of state and county records can provide answers to what you may have thought was a never-ending journey.

The Virtual Experience 
Online databases provide up-to-the-minute information online tutors help children learn their multiplication tables and book renewals and downloadable digital books (and music) are only a computer click away. You can search book availability through the librarys online catalog and the young adult in your house can receive Twitter notifications regarding new teen books arriving on the shelves every week. www.nhclibrary.org.

The Business Library 
The Business Library located in the main branch in Historic Downtown Wilmington provides useful information to anyone seeking business know-how. To become a savvy small-business owner start here with free workshops on how to open and market your dream. The Business Library partners with outside resources like the Wilmington Chapter of SCORE a volunteer organization of counselors with real-world experience in business management and ownership to offer advice.

We hadnt heard of them either. A playaway is a self-contained audio device a book on tape without the tape. Its described by the library as about “half the size of a deck of cards” and requires no additional devices or cords. Its not an audiobook MP3 or DVD all of which the library has on the second floor. But in an effort to move away from audio cassettes the library is now promoting playaways as a portable means of accessing a book without having to read it. Once you check out a playaway it only requires a set of earphones and a AAA battery (you can use your own or the library provides these for a small fee).

Consumer Health Library 
“Hey doc thats Greek to me.” How many times have you said that to yourself while sitting in your doctors office listening to them tell you you had pharyngitis when what you wish they said was that you had a sore throat? The Consumer Health Library employs online databases books videos newsletters articles and best of all a consumer health librarian (certified by the Medical Library Association) to help translate your questions into answers. This free-of-charge service in the main branch provides insight on topics as diverse as diet/nutrition pregnancy/childbearing womens health prescription drugs and much more.

ALOHA stands for Adult Library Outreach for the Homebound and Aged. The library offers a delivery service for those who cannot physically visit the library. Homebound individuals nursing home residents and those who are physically and mentally handicapped are eligible for this service. Library materials available to those using ALOHA include books (large print available for those with poor vision) audiobooks music and movies. If you or a loved one would enjoy this service give the library a call. Theyll assist you in filling out the appropriate paperwork to get placed on the delivery list no fees included.

If youve been avoiding the public library for years under the umbrella of “I just dont like to read” or “they probably dont have anything Id be interested in ” think again. Did you know the library has more than 202 000 adult books and almost 1 500 magazine titles (including every issue of Wrightsville Beach Magazine and Lumina News)? If youve never been a bookworm there are more than 10 000 videos/DVD and audiobooks (which are perfect for car trips).

The B stands for book. Bring Your Own Book a book club at the Northeast Branch of the library encourages involvement by focusing on each club members favorite books. This flexible and innovative structure acknowledges that individuals read and enjoy all different kinds of books if you like mysteries and someone else enjoys histories youre both given the opportunity to explore what draws you to the books you read.

Beverly Tetterton 
The greatest jewel the library offers its patrons is the librarians themselves. One special librarian is Beverly Tetterton a state and local history librarian who has worked for the NHC Public Library since 1981. One of Tettertons main responsibilities is to help clients navigate the absolutely amazing North Carolina Room whether through one-on-one assistance collection organization or preservation of historical artifacts. Her most recent undertaking includes digitizing the many local maps manuscripts photographs and postcards on file in order to provide online availability through the librarys Web site. Tetterton attributes much of the North Carolina Rooms success not to her own hard work and expertise but to the citizens of Wilmington who have remained “active in saving their history for a long time.” In 2010 the NHC Public Librarys local history collection will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Tettertons nearly 30 years of dedication to the community is undoubtedly why the collection is one of the most extensive in the state.

Special thanks to reference supervisor Phyllis Smith for the in-depth information and invaluable help she provided in the research for this story.