Category Archives: Library News

Give the gift of books with our Book Wish Tree!

‘Tis the season to give back to our community! Chatham County Public Libraries invite residents to give back to the community by sponsoring books from our Book Wish Tree. Each library branch will host a tree. Patrons wishing to sponsor a book simply take a tag from the tree, follow the URL on the tag to the Book Wish Tree Amazon wish list and purchase a listed item. Books purchased from the Book Wish Tree list will be donated to the Chatham Child Development Center in Siler City. Purchased items will ship to the Chatham Community Library, and will be presented to the Chatham Child Development Center just before the holiday break.

The Chatham Child Development Center (CCDC) is an inclusive child care program. It provides year round center-based early childhood education to children ages birth to 5 years old. CCDC operates an “inclusion” model for children who are both typically developing and those with or at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Services include educational and developmental activities, parent education, physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, transportation, and before and after school care. The center has a Five Star Child Care License from the North Carolina Division of Child Development, and provides services to children who are eligible for NCPreK.

Spread holiday cheer and promote literacy with books for our community’s youngest learners!  The deadline for making purchases is Friday, December 15.

For more information about the Book Wish Tree, contact Katy Henderson at (919) 545-8085 or


Did you know we have computers on site to help you search our collections?

Our librarians are always happy to help you find any materials in our library system, but did you know that we also have computers on site to help you search and browse our catalog?

Chatham Community Library has nine computers placed strategically throughout the stacks to help you find the materials you’re looking for, and to suggest titles you may not have considered.

Our catalog computers can tell you not only whether our libraries carry a title, they can tell you which branch carries the title, and whether it is currently available to check out.

To find out whether our library system has the title you want, simply type the title into the search field labeled “Quick library search” and hit “Enter” on the keyboard.

The catalog will display all the materials that match that description, be they physical materials or downloadable titles. If you see the item you’re looking for in the search results, click the “Where is it?” button to see which branch has it, whether the item is available, and the item’s call number.

As always, ask a friendly librarian if you need assistance!

Did you know the Friends of the Library have managed the Library Book Sale for TWENTY YEARS?

WOW! Did you know this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Friends of the Library book sale? This dedicated group of volunteers puts together two fantastic book sales each year, with proceeds benefiting library resources and services. The next book sale is slated for October 5th through 7th. Kudos to the Friends, and thanks for all you do!

Stop by our lobby display to see more photos of the Friends book sales over the years.

Library to Host Film and Discussion Series on U.S. Presidents

Chatham Community Library will host a six-week film and discussion series on U.S. Presidents beginning Thursday, August 24th, from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Holmes Meeting Room. The series, Presidents, Politics and Power: American Presidents Who Shaped the 20th Century, is part of the “Let’s Talk About It” project sponsored by the North Carolina Humanities Council and the North Carolina Center for the Book (a program of the State Library of North Carolina).

During the twentieth century the American presidency became the most powerful office in the world. The basis for the power inhered in the extraordinary natural wealth of the United States, in a dynamic economy that operated within an expanding free market, and in the vigorous entrepreneurial energy that those conditions encouraged. But these ingredients did not themselves constitute national power. It required the agency of strong national leadership to make the decisions and shape the policies that would transform the United States by century’s end from an insular, second-rate military entity to an indispensable world power.

Presidents, Politics and Power focuses on six U.S. leaders: Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and offers a direct route into central policy questions. Those questions include managing economic growth while balancing the demands of a free market with the needs of labor and consumers, and shaping foreign and military policy to maintain national security and define the country’s changing relationship to the world.

The series consists of six sessions, each featuring a film biography to provide context for discussion. North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholars Willie Nelms and Billy Yeargin, Jr. will lead the discussion and film sessions.

Session dates and times are as follows:

  • Session 1. Theodore Roosevelt: The Bully Pulpit – Thursday, August 24, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: No Ordinary Times – Thursday, August 31, 6:00-pm-8:00pm
  • Session 3. Harry S. Truman: Cold Warrior – Thursday, September 7, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 4. Lyndon Johnson: Anxious Power – Thursday, September 14, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 5. Richard M. Nixon: Power Used and Abused – Thursday, September 21, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 6. Ronald Reagan: Reordering Priorities – Thursday, September 28, 6:00pm-8:00pm

All sessions are free and open to the public.

This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the North Carolina Humanities Council.

For questions regarding the upcoming film and discussion series please contact Rita Van Duinen, Branch Manager for the Chatham Community Library at 919-545-8083 or via email at

Library Now a Partnering Site for the Virtual Justice Project

Chatham Community Library (CCL) in Pittsboro is now an official partnering site for the Virtual Justice Project (VJP), administered by North Carolina Central University’s School of Law.  Originally established to address limited access to legal services for low-income and marginalized communities, the VJP offers legal information sessions made possible through the use of high-definition videoconferencing equipment. CCL is currently one of seven public libraries in the state to become a VJP partnering site.

CCL hosted its first VJP session, Immigration 101, on July 19th.  The next session entitled Tax and Facts takes place on Wednesday, August 30th at 6:00 pm. Professor Deanna Coleman and Local Taxpayer Advocate Chris Nebel will be discussing how the Taxpayer Advocate Service and NCCU School of Law’s Low Income Taxpayers Clinic can be of assistance to taxpayers.

VJP events are free and open to the public. While registration is not required, seating is limited. Unless otherwise stated, all VJP sessions are conducted in English.

For additional information on the Virtual Justice Project, and to view the 2017 calendar of events, please visit the Project’s website at:

If you have questions regarding the Library – VJP partnership, please contact Rita Van Duinen, Branch Manager, at 919-545-8083.

Did you know Chatham Community Library offers monthly Drop-In Computer Assistance?

There is usually a librarian at our reference desk at the ready to answer your questions, but did you know that once a month reference librarians at Chatham Community Library are also available to help you with laptops, e-readers, and other tablet devices?

If you need a refresher on how to borrow and return eBooks via OverDrive, or help setting up email on your laptop or tablet, visit us on the second Wednesday of every month between 4:00 and 5:00 PM.  (No appointment necessary.)  A reference librarian will meet with you in our computer lab for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.  Whatever your question, we’ll do our best to answer it and resolve your issue. If we can’t do it in the time allotted, we can set up a follow-up appointment for you.

Check our online calendar of events to find our next drop-in session. See you there?



Did you know our website has an online resources page?

Nowadays most people understand that the modern library offers much more than books to answer their questions; libraries now often offer access to online resources that would be too expensive for most patrons to subscribe to themselves. But did you know that the Chatham County Library System has gathered our most popular online resources onto one easy-to-read webpage?

Chatham County Public Libraries have over a hundred online resources available for patrons, but a webpage listing them all would be practically unreadable. Instead, we’ve created a webpage listing the categories our patrons use the most (“Business & Investing”, “Computer Skills”, “eBooks”, “Genealogy”, “Health”, “Journal Articles”, “Language Learning”,“Reader Tools”, and “Video”), and we’ve identified our most popular online resources in those categories.

For example, if you want to learn a second (or third) language, you’ll find Pronunciator under the “Language Learning” banner on our Online Resources page. If you want to borrow any virtual materials, “Ebook, E-Audiobooks & Magazines” lists four different resources (eBooks on NC LIVE, e-iNC Library, OneClickDigital, and Zinio) to cover the multiple formats offered by different resources. If you are up for a deep dive, our Online Resources page also provides a link to NC LIVE’s homepage (, which offers over one hundred online resources.

To access the Online Resources page on the Chatham County Public Libraries website, point your browser to, then look for “Online Resources” in the menu on the left side of the page. Have your library card at the ready; you will probably need it to access some of the resources.

As always, click the “Ask a Librarian” widget if you need help!

Did you know you can schedule one-on-one appointments with our reference librarians?

pinYou’ve probably seen our reference librarians at the reference desk, ready to help patrons who walk up or call with questions. But did you know that you can schedule one-on-one appointments with our reference librarians for up to thirty minutes?

There are many reasons to book some uninterrupted time with a reference librarian. Maybe you just got a tablet for Christmas and want to learn to borrow eBooks or eAudiobooks from the library. Maybe you would like to better understand how to research a topic using the library’s databases. Or perhaps you’d like to learn more about one of the library’s many online resources such as Pronunciator or NoveList Plus.

Whatever the question, give us a call at 919-545-8086 or email us. Let us know when you can visit and what you want to discuss. If it is something we think we can help with, we’ll set up a time to meet.

Remember that you can also chat with a reference librarian online from any page of our website!  Just look for the orange “Ask a Librarian” tab in the lower right corner of the page.

Talk to you soon!

Did you know your child or grandchild can read their favorite book to Scout?


Did you know that once every other week, a friendly dachshund named Scout visits Chatham Community Library? It’s a fact.

Scout, a licensed therapy dog, is the library’s ambassador for the “All Ears” Reading Program. Scout arrives at the library every other Wednesday at 4:00 PM, ready to hear some stories. Each child (eligible ages are six to twelve years old) gets fifteen minutes of exclusive time with Scout to read him their favorite book. Scout’s handler is on hand if children have questions about their book (or about Scout).

Scout loves it, and so do the kids. In the first year of the “All Ears” Program (2013), over one hundred kids read to Scout, and 24 of them came back to do it again. Studies indicate that kids who might be disinclined to read are encouraged by “All Ears” service dogs’ calm, nonjudgmental companionship at the library. This can encourage reading outside the library, which can in turn raise their reading level and increase their test scores, confidence and self-esteem.

If you’d like for your child or grandchild to read to Scout, just call Children’s Services here at Chatham Community Library (919-545-8085) to register and schedule an appointment. Scout will see and hear you soon!


Did you know we can borrow materials from other libraries for you?


Did you know that, if we don’t have something you’re looking for at one of our branches, we can access a network of libraries across the country to find it for you?

It’s true! As you may know, we can transfer items from one Chatham County branch to another for patrons’ convenience, but we can also ask libraries outside of our system for material via Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

It’s important to note that ILLs differ from regular hold requests in the following ways:

  • We ask for three dollars (on receipt of the item) to cover postage to return the item to the lending library.
  • ILLs typically arrive around ten days from the date they are requested, but they can arrive far later (or sooner) than that.  If you need an item right away (say, for a book club), ILL may not be the right option for you.
  • You will need to present your own library card to check out an interlibrary loan.
  • We can’t use the ILL system to borrow items that were published within the last six months.
  • The lending library sets the borrowing period, which can range from a couple of weeks to a few months.  If you need to request a renewal, please do so at least three days before the item is due. That gives the lending library time to process (and to grant or deny) the renewal.
  • There is no grace period for ILL due dates. They are due on the day indicated on the material’s attached slip, and late fees (25 cents per day) begin immediately.
  • We ask that you return ILLs in person at the front desk to avoid damage to other libraries’ materials.

If you are interested in pursuing an ILL at one of our branches, stop by our reference desk and we’ll get you started.

See you soon!