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Beyond books Durham County Library hosts diverse and eclectic events

North Regional Library by James West/
North Regional Library by James West/
James West/

The ancient Greeks are credited for refining public and private libraries. And today, the internet offers array literary creations along with videos and visual content on any subject matter. Regardless of technological evolution and the competition that has changed the accessibility of how people get information and literature, Durham County Library (DCL) is proactive and creative to serve the community interest. DCL is the first free, tax-supported library in North Carolina and they host and sponsor diverse events to support their mission, “encourages discovery, connects the community and leads in Literacy” while developing “a strategic plan for enhancing cultural, educational and creative opportunities.”

Libraries in Durham county are situated “within five miles of nearly every Durham citizen. The library offers more than 200 public access computers and free Wi-Fi in all library locations. In addition to traditional library books and magazines, the library offers CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, downloadable e-books and online databases for research,” noted in their history on their website.

Some upcoming events include and descriptions are provided by the DCL:
The Bully Project: What You Can Do To Prevent Bullying, Saturday, May 31 at 2pm at the Main Library at 300 N. Roxboro St- free and open to the public
Durham County Library will screen the documentary Bully. According to the program information, “Bullying is the most common form of violence experienced by young people in America. Lee Hirsch’s 2011 documentary, Bully, shines a light on true stories from across the nation that each show a different facet of America’s bullying crisis. It chronicles the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy “kids will be kids” clichés, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, communities and society as a whole.”

Nick Popio, a local advocate for bullying prevention, will lead a discussion following the film. For more information contact John Davis at 919-560-0125 or visit

Meet the Author: Trish Foxwell, Saturday, June 7 at 2pm at Southwest Regional Library on 3605 Shannon Rd.-Free and open to the public
Author Trish Foxwell will present from her latest book, A Visitor’s Guide to the Literary South, an insight of places in the lives of some of the South’s most famous writers. “Stops on the way include the house in Asheville, NC, that served as the model for Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward Angel, the hotel in Louisville, KY, that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Edgar Allen Poe's home in Virginia. There are numerous photographs throughout the book, allowing readers a better look at the places Foxwell describes. The presentation will include a lecture, film, question and answer session, and book signing.”

“A travel writer and photographer based out of Virginia, Foxwell has written numerous articles for the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe,Tennessean and Washington Times. She is also the author of Historic Hotels & Hideaways, an exploration of 30 historic hotels around Washington, D.C., where famous Americans worked and lived.” Contact Patrick Holt at 919-560-8648 or visit

Durham’s Other Founding Fathers, Sunday, June 8 at 3pm at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.- Free and open to the public
Jim Wise, local historian, author and columnist, will discuss Durham’s other founding fathers. “W.T. Blackwell is often referred to as the "Father of Durham," but the work of founding the city was not completed by only one man. Wise will discuss some other not-so-well-remembered founders, including William Herndon, Atlas Rigsbee, Margaret Faucette, Wesley Wright and Edian Markum, and their contributions to Durham. He will also answer questions about the city’s history, such as why Durham is not named "Prattsburg," which Durham institution started in a brush arbor and what circuit-riding Methodist tried to found the town to exclude "ardent spirits."

“Wise moved to Durham in 1966 to begin his studies at Duke University. Since then, he has been exploring, explaining and writing about Durham for the News & Observer and other publications. He has also published several books about Durham and North Carolina, including Durham: A Bull City Story and Murder in the Courthouse: Reconstruction and Redemption in the North Carolina Piedmont. Wise has taught at Duke University and is a former editor of its alumni publications.” For more information, contact Lynn Richardson at 919-560-0171, or visit

Nakiyasoul Presents Songs in the Key of Love and Life, Thursday, June 19 at 7 p.m. at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.- Free and open to the public
The up-and-coming soulful R&B artist with blues and jazz influences, Nakiyasoul, will perform songs and share inspirational stories about love, life and soul. She regularly hosts the Durham County Library program, “Books, Blues and Karaoke: Open Mic,” that provides musicians and karaoke enthusiasts an opportunity to perform in the community. Her debut album will be released in November and pursuing to participate in national talent competitions including The Vice, BET’s Sunday Best, and Apollo Live.

She is the founder of a new initiative, TWeens In Charge “TWIC”, an afterschool intervention and educational activities program designed to provide a positive focus for kids between the ages of nine and 13.
For more information, contact Joel White at 919-560-0114 or visit

Reception Honoring Mr. R. Kelly Bryant, Jr. Saturday, June 21 at 3 p.m at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.- Free and open to the public
The Durham County Library North Carolina Collection will host a reception in honor of local historian and civil rights activist Mr. R. Kelly Bryant, Jr. City Councilman Eddie Davis will serve as emcee for the festivities and special guests, including community leaders John Lucas and Nathan Garrett, will be present to speak about Mr. Bryant’s accomplishments.

Since moving to Durham in 1941, Bryant has been active in the making of Durham history and its preservation and study. He worked tirelessly to bring equality to scouting during 37 years as a scoutmaster. He served as secretary-treasurer of the Black Solidarity Committee for Community Improvement, which orchestrated the most successful boycott of Durham stores in the city’s history. Bryant was also the driving force behind obtaining a historic marker commemorating Durham’s 1957 Royal Ice Cream Parlor sit-in. He worked for the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company for more than 40 years before retiring.

Bryant’s collection of approximately 2500 funeral programs, obituaries and other materials, housed in the North Carolina Collection, is a treasure trove of information for researchers. These materials provide an invaluable record of Durham’s black community. For more information contact Lynn Richardson at 919-560-0171 or visit

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