Library Notes: All-Ages STEAM Building Challenge Program coming to Rowan Public Library Jan. 8 – 13

By Sydney Smith Hamrick
Rowan Public Library

During the week of Jan. 8, creatives and builders are invited to attend We Can Build This, a special all-ages STEAM building program, at any of RPL’s branches. The program is inspired by the “We Built This: Profiles of Black Architects and Builders in North Carolina” exhibit, which is currently on display at RPL Headquarters through Jan. 27.  Interested participants can attend any of the program’s dates during the week of January 8:

• Monday, Jan. 8, 4 p.m. at RPL West (Cleveland)
• Tuesday, Jan. 9, 4 p.m. at RPL Headquarters (Salisbury)
• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 4 p.m. at RPL South (China Grove)
• Saturday, Jan. 14, 11 a.m. at RPL East (Rockwell)

The program invites participants to construct their own buildings and structures out of recycled and repurposed materials. A wide assortment of building materials, including cardboard, paper tubes, tape, will be provided by the library. Individuals, groups, and families will have a full hour to build and create any sort of structures they like, turning recyclables into new, unique creations. To kick off the program at each location, Kim Smith’s book “Boxitects,” a story all about teamwork, being creative, and building with unexpected materials will be read aloud as a short all-ages storytime for children and adults alike.

Besides getting creative and building, participants visiting the RPL Headquarters program on Tuesday, Jan. 9 will also have a chance to explore the “We Built This” exhibit and learn more about the many black builders, architects, brick masons and craftspeople who worked hard to create much of the architectural landscape seen in North Carolina today. Spanning more than three centuries, the exhibit provides more than two dozen personal profiles and historic context on key topics including slavery and Reconstruction; founding of HBCUs and Black churches; Jim Crow and segregation; and the rise of Black civic leaders and professionals. The exhibit is sponsored by Joe L. & Hester M. Sims Family Foundation and Edward & Susan Norvell and is in collaboration with the Historic Salisbury Foundation, Rowan Public Library, Livingstone College, and Friends of Rowan Public Library.

The We Can Build This program is open to participants of all ages and is free to the public; all materials will be provided. To learn more, call 980-432-8670 to connect with your most convenient RPL branch.

Read the article online here.