Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas 2017 Cheer from Teen Poetry Happens and Alexander County Library

Teen Poetry Happens is at it again with holiday cheer!  Check out their Christmas wish in their video parody for 2017.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Teen Poetry Happens and Alexander County Library!


Friday, October 20, 2017

Build A Better World A Success for the Alexander County Library System

Alexander County Library and Bethlehem Branch had a wonderful summer of activities around BUILD A BETTER WORLD, the summer reading program.  664 youth joined the program with over 12,000 hours of reading reported and over 1300 folks attending programs. A whopping 87% of those who signed up participated in the program.

The libraries wish to thank: Alexander and Bethlehem Friends of the Library; Kim Hertzler and her sweet reading therapy dog, Abby; Alexander Central Auditorium and Christine Deal; Taylorsville Presbyterian Church; The Green Bean Players from The Green Room for their wonderful production of "Pinocchio"; Wendy's and Tar Heel Capital; and all of the amazing volunteers who make the program run smoothly!

So proud of our Golden Nail recipients who met all the challenges from the bottom of the calendar.

Get tuned up for LIBRARIES ROCK - summer reading for 2018!  The program will run from June 17 - July 28, 2018 at Alexander County Library, Bethlehem Branch, and opening in 2018, the Stony Point Branch!

Enjoy these photos from BUILD A BETTER WORLD!

Miss Mel

Monday, October 2, 2017

Digital Storytime at Alexander County Library

Click here for Ms. Mel's Wide Mouth Frog

During the week of October 2 - 6, 2017 at Alexander County Library, I added a digital component during Storytime. Hopefully, the children and their caregivers enjoyed my retelling of the Wide Mouth Frog. It was a little book I wrote that former Teen Poetry Happens participant and YAYA, Jessica Ferretiz, illustrated for her senior project.  Our Storytime theme was THE SKY IS THE LIMIT. The little frog definitely flies around (and yes, that's a double entendre!!).

Patrons brought digital devices- such as an iPad, tablet, cell phone - to hook up to the library's wifi. They were able to participate as we told the story by pointing to words with their child. There were library tablets that could be used as well as my projection of the story on the wall.

Here are some photos of each Storytime.  I plan to do a digital storytime at least once a month.  The next digital series week will be on Tuesday, November 28 and Friday, December 1 when we have I LOVE SUPERHEROES as our theme. Hope to see you and your little one at Storytime!

Many thanks to all who joined me on the adventure!  Hope to see you and your little one at Storytime!

Miss Mel

Friday, June 16, 2017

BUILD A BETTER WORLD - Starting at Alexander County Library - A Double Entendre!

Alexander County Library and Bethlehem Branch have been signing up summer readers since May 1!  The big day to begin timed reading is Sunday, June 18.  Youth ages birth to 18 can read any materials - books, magazines, Internet articles, or even closed captioning on their favorite movies or shows.  They simply report their time each week to the library.  For all the details, check the library's website at

 The Balloon Lady will be our first program for all ages on Friday, June 23 at Alexander Central Auditorium beginning at 10 am.  Hailing from Perth, Australia, she is fun to watch and to listen to!  There is a free balloon sculpture workshop for youth after the show.  Call me at the library to reserve your spot if you want to learn to make fun balloon animals.

The Green Bean Players from The Green Room Theatre will perform the classic fairytale "Pinocchio" at Alexander Central Auditorium.  The show begins at 10 am on Tuesday, June 27!

Volunteer opportunities are available!
Come, join us and BUILD A BETTER WORLD!

Mel (AKA, Tony the Buildah)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Alexander County Library's First Poetry After Hours Is Awesome!

Teen Poetry Happens members Hunter Addington, Noah Nowell, and Courtney Gant read the collaborative poem "Ask Me What I Remember" on April 21, 2017 at Alexander County Library.

“Ask Me What I Remember” Crafted by Teen Poetry Happens from written memories on the poetry wall, “Ask Me What I Remember – Images of Perseverance”, March 10, 2017

Friday nights at Mamaw’s house
Grandma playing piano by ear
My mama singing, snow at Christmas
Telling stories about childhood

Grass and caterpillars in my baseball glove
Playing in the spring,
Sliding at the shoals,
Climbing Rocky Face Mountain

I remember when I was scared
Ice had ripped my skin while sledding
Screaming “I’m dying, I’m dying!”

AM radio
Choke knobs on the dash
Crazy midnight adventures
All by a redhead’s side

Scared drivers,
Afraid of possibly sick children,
Provoked to drive quickly away
At their approach.

Roasting marshmallows
When it was chilly
Before computers took
Over our lives

My brother was born,
My sister was born
And we just keep on living
Hope to build a better tomorrow

Thanks to all who came and shared their poetic works! 

At the Art After Hours reception on May 19 works by Ethan Swanson debuted.  The next Poetry After Hours - inspired by Ethan's He'art Exhibition - will be June 16, from 6 - 7:30 pm.  Join us!

Hope to see you soon at Alexander County Library!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Alexander Muse Debuts With Fantastic New Crop of Creative Teens

Keyley Sigmon garnered the front cover of the 2017 Alexander Muse with "Majesty'.
Novia Shoup's dramatic photograph "Undulate" won first place and the back cover the The Alexander Muse.

 Alexander Friends of the Library sponsored the reception that was free and open to the public at Reformation Lutheran Church in Taylorsville.

Chayton Chumley snagged 1st Place Prose with his moving piece "That Dragon, Cancer". 
Published students and coordinators photographed at the reception: (front row, left to right) Tessla Patterson, Rhiannon Griffith, Novia Shoup, Shelby Corriher, Hunter Addington, Alexander Muse Coordinator Robbin Isenhour Stewart. (Back row) Alexander Muse Coordinator Mel Hager, Kasey Wood, Ashley Woodie, Chayton Chumley, Janah Bucknum, Reid Coffey, Keyley Sigmon, Bryce Bowman, Alyssa Collins, Gracie Norton, Courtney Gant, and Alexander Muse Coordinator Beth Duncan. Not pictured: Tatiana Pierre, Caroline Erkman, Daniel Ervin, Ryan Masnicki, Tou Vang, Jacavian Voss, and Caleb Williams. 

Congratulations to all the published students!  

The Alexander Muse wishes to thank: Alexander Friends of the Library, Reformation Lutheran Church, Micah Henry and The Taylorsville Times, the judges, assistant Courtney Gant, and reception assistants, Sarah Fox and Autumn Pennell. Many thanks also to those who donated prizes to support the students and the arts.
1st Place Art - Alexander Friends of the Library
2nd Place Art – Hiddenite Arts and Heritage Center
3rd Place Art – Linda Merry Parker, Local Potter with Mery Pottins

1st Place Photography – Alexander Friends of the Library
2nd Place Photography – Suzanne Williams, REALTOR®, Coldwell Banker Boyd & Hassell
3rd Place Photography - Jacqueline Moose - Independent Jamberry Consultant

1st Place Prose – Alexander Friends of the Library
2nd Place Prose – The United Way of Alexander County
3rd Place Prose – Dale and Dianne White with Draggin W Farm

1st Place Poetry – Alexander Friends of the Library
2nd Place Poetry – Maskcara Beauty, Amanda Parker, Independent Artist
3rd Place Poetry - Hiddenite Arts and Heritage Center

Judges for the 2017 edition: ART – Ellen Ball, Meredith Janssen, and Laura Crooks; PROSE – James Ford, LaRonya Teague, and Deborah Reynolds; POETRY – Beverly Finney, Doug McHargue, and Bud Caywood; PHOTOGRAPHY – C. Joe Young, Carol Anne Hartman, and Chad Ritchie.
The magazine is a collaborative effort of Alexander County Library and Alexander County Schools.  Submissions are currently accepted for consideration to be in the 2018 edition.  Email digital entries of poetry, prose, and photography to . Art items should be entered at the library or to Robbin Isenhour Stewart at Alexander Central High School. High school students from Alexander County, regardless of educational institution, are eligible to enter.