white text that says SLNC News in the background in a photo of the Archives and Library building.
Tuesday, March 19, 2024

SLNC News – Bimonthly Newsletter

SLNC News updates featuring Eastern North Carolina Braille Challenge highlights, Community Partnerships for Literacy Grant opportunities, Women's History Month Resources, and more.
Raleigh, NC
Mar 19, 2024

Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries (SEAL) Workshop

An adult wearing a beige coat looking through a telescope outside.

The State Library of North Carolina recently hosted a workshop called "Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries" (SEAL), presented by STAR Net at the Wake County Public Libraries' Oberlin Regional Library Branch in Raleigh, NC.   The workshop was designed to help North Carolina public library staff prepare and facilitate enjoyable and informative solar and space science programs for their communities ahead of the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. The attendees received hands-on training on operating solar telescopes, sunoculars, and a sun spotter. They also learned best practices for developing and facilitating STEM programs related to solar science.

Although North Carolina will not be on the full path of totality, most of the state will be between 70% - 90% on the path. Many libraries are excited about hosting viewing parties, fun activities, and learning opportunities. Overall, the SEAL workshop successfully prepared and empowered public library staff to provide meaningful solar and space science programs for their patrons.

New Library Funding Opportunity

A woman and her grandchild learning together at the kitchen table.

Eligible NC Libraries can apply now for a Community Partnerships for Literacy Grant to create community literacy and learning centers. Collaborate with community partners such as barbershops, laundromats, and healthcare centers to empower your community through intergenerational learning. Apply by April 17, 2024, https://slnc.info/CPLGrant.  

SLNC Government & Heritage Library Open House 

There are three people standing over a display of library books and talking.

On January 31, 2024, the SLNC Government & Heritage Library and the State Archives of North Carolina jointly hosted an Open House welcoming all State employees and members of the public. Held at the Government and Heritage Library on the 1st floor and the State Archives Search Room on the 2nd floor, situated in the west wing of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Building, the event provided guests with the opportunity to explore the extensive resources offered by SLNC and SANC. Activities included demonstrations of equipment, walkthroughs of online resources, tours of the vault, and personalized interactions with knowledgeable staff. Attendees were treated to refreshments featuring North Carolina-centric foods.

2024 Eastern NC Braille Challenge Highlights 

By Clint Exum, SLNC Accessible Books and Library Services Outreach Specialist

All of the young participants of the Eastern Braille Challenge smiling happily together holding the banner that announces the event in a conference hall.

Our library (SLNC Accessible Books and Library Services), in collaboration with the Governor Morehead School, recently hosted the 2024 Eastern North Carolina Braille Challenge for the second time. We were honored to have this privilege. The event took place on Presidents' Day 2024.

The Braille Challenge is an academic competition designed for students who are blind or visually impaired, focusing on testing their proficiency in Braille. Beyond assessing Braille skills, the challenge provides a unique opportunity for students to meet new peers and form lasting friendships.

This year, we saw an increase in participation, with 21 students participating in the Braille Challenge—marking a significant rise from the 12 students in the previous year. The competition comprises five levels: Apprentice, Freshman, Sophomore, Junior Varsity, and Varsity. Rather than being categorized by age, students are placed in competition levels based on their current Braille proficiency, as recommended by their teachers.

While students were engaged with testing, parents enjoyed a morning filled with resourceful program sessions. We treated parents to an NC trivia program centered on Blind North Carolinians, thanks to our colleagues at SLNC Government & Heritage Library. Representatives from the North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (ATP) enlightened parents on ATP's statewide assistive technology services for residents with disabilities. The final session before the students concluded their testing was a Q&A session with the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) Music Section, hosted by our Assistant Director, Joshua Berkov. In this session, parents gained insights into the NLS Music Section and the accessible musical scores and materials available for patrons to borrow.

The morning commenced with opening remarks and a cane tunnel ceremony as students had their names called. Following the opening ceremony, students began their official testing while parents attended their respective sessions. After the testing, students and parents were treated to a delightful lunch of pizza and cupcakes in the Governor Morehead School Cafeteria. After lunch, we collaborated with the NC Symphony to deliver an educational music lecture and host an instrument petting zoo. This allowed students to gain hands-on experience with various instruments. The event concluded with a closing ceremony, where each participating student received a certificate recognizing their efforts throughout the day.

Volunteers played a pivotal role in making this event a success. We extend our heartfelt thanks for their invaluable assistance before, during, and after the event. Volunteers were involved in setup and breakdown, test proctoring, running completed tests to scorers, lunch service, cupcake preparation, and post-lunch cleanup. With approximately 30 volunteers, including the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources staff and Governor Morehead School, parents, teachers, and members of the general public, we would not have been able to orchestrate this event without their generous support.

Women's History Month Library Resources

Suffragists, including Gertrude Weil, far left, Mary Borden Graham, fourth from left, and Rowena Borden, far right, c.1920. From General Negative Collection, State Archives of North Carolina.  A group of seven women standing in a semicircle outside in a garden. They are wearing "votes for women" sashes. In front of them is a man crouching down holding a baby.

Celebrate Women's History Month with the SLNC Government & Heritage Library's curated list of online resources highlighting women's contributions and struggles. Perfect for anyone interested in women's history.

  • Exploring North Carolina: Women's History
    Explore NCpedia's Women's History collection to discover the remarkable women of North Carolina and the legacies that have shaped the state.
  • Women in NC Research Guide
    A guide celebrating the contributions women have made and continue to make to North Carolina and the United States.
  • Council on the Status of Women
    The Council began as the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women in 1963. This collection contains materials related to its goals from organizations in and out of state.
  • Women, Marriage, and the Law
    The "Women, Marriage and the Law" collection materials were selected for inclusion in the "Studies in Scarlet" Project.
  • Women in North Carolina 20th Century History
    This collection provides a glimpse into the lives of North Carolina women as they changed history in our state and the nation.
  • Life at Sea*
    The AM Life at Sea database offers insights into Anglo-American maritime history, including the often-overlooked experiences of women at sea. Through diverse primary sources, it explores the roles and narratives of women alongside other seafarers across three centuries.
  • Independent Voices
    Independent Voices is an open-access digital collection of over 75 alternative press publications highlighting the voices of women activists from the late 1960s to the end of the 20th century.
  • North American Women's Letters and Diaries*
    Women's writings from the Colonial period to 1950. Includes writings by Abigail Adams, Louisa May Alcott, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Dorothea L. Dix, Julia Ward Howe, and more.

*Access with a SLNC Government & Heritage Library card

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