The year 2020 is turning out to be a disaster for high school students. My niece Haley is a junior and already has her prom dress purchased and ready to be altered. Unfortunately, her high school’s Junior-Senior Prom has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus restrictions. Seniors not only missed out on the prom, but have been told not to expect a graduation ceremony either.
When I was growing up I thought of high school seniors as giants. They really were bigger than everyone else and made sure we all knew it. Seniors had special privileges and could get away with more than the rest of us. In my high school they held a ceremony for the seniors at the end of the year in the gym. When the seniors got up to move to the chairs on the court the juniors would all run and sit in the senior’s section to show everyone who the new top dogs were.
Kids that have waited eleven years to be a senior and have all the social perks that go with it are missing out. All school trips have been canceled. Seniors who play baseball, softball, lacrosse, track, and other sports have had their season canceled. Their senior year is the last chance most of them will have to participate in organized school sports. Thank goodness the football and basketball seasons were over before the restrictions took effect.
Your senior year in high school is a turning point in one’s life. The choices you make as a senior and right after graduation often determine your life’s path. That path to college, the military, or a job is a lot more complicated now. Parents of younger children are also struggling to help their kids keep up in school by working online. Imagine what it must be like for kids who do not have a computer or the Internet at home or parents with the educational skills to help them with their homework. The Iredell County Public Library can be of some help.
Iredell-Statesville and Mooresville Graded School students who lack computer or Internet resources at home can call the library and make appointments to visit and use our Wi-Fi or computers. They have to contact the library first though at 704-878-3090, extension 3097, and make a reservation. Appointments are allowed between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. A staff member or the security guard will meet the student at the door to let them in. The computers are well spaced out and the student’s movements around in the library are restricted to certain areas.
For most parents and their kids this current health crisis is their first experience at “Homeschooling”. The schools and their teachers are continuing to teach via the Internet, but it’s up to the parents and the students themselves to complete the assignments and study. The library provides a number of online resources to help. Remember that the library has a “StudentAccess” system that allows students in Iredell County to use their student ID or school lunch number as their library card number.
Their PIN number is set to be the last four digits of the student ID number. This allows students to use the library’s print and online materials without a regular library card. All students and teachers at Iredell-Statesville Schools, Mooresville Graded Schools, American Renaissance School, Iredell Charter Academy, Langtree Charter Academy, Pine Lake Prep, and Success Institute schools can use the county library’s resources with their student ID number.
There are a number of online resources offered by the library through our homepage at www.iredell.lib.nc.us that can help students and their parents. The LearningExpress Library under “Careers & Test Prep” features nearly 1,000 online tutorials, practice tests, and eBooks to help both children and adults. You can learn and improve your skills in reading, writing, math, and basic science.
High school seniors can practice college entrance exams such as the SAT or if they are going into the military they can practice taking the ASVAB. The LearningExpress Library offers preparation for taking the GED, GRE, ACT, AP, and other exams such as nursing, firefighting, and real estate. Students and parents can go to “Universal Class” at the library’s website and learn valuable computer job skills such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Outlook for free and all from home.
We now have temporary free access to the TumbleBooks e-library of eBooks that kids will enjoy and TumbleMath which helps students with math word problems. Parents should sit beside their kids and check out the NC Kids Digital Library where children can download entertaining children’s books, audiobooks, and videos. We have a special section under “Research and Learning” titled, “Homework Help” that links you to eight different database sites offering reports, articles, essays, books, reviews, newspaper articles and other resources to assist students.
In our “eBooks and Magazine” section we provide access to RB Digital which has magazines, books, audiobooks, and videos online. RB Digital also offers video streaming to their Acorn TV, Great Courses Plus, and Learn it Live channels.
Patrons can download E-books for free using the library’s “OverDrive” app at iredell.overdrive.com. In addition, we now offer “Libby” a free E-book download app offered by OverDrive that lets you borrow E-books, magazines, and digital audiobooks from our library. With Libby you can stream books with Wi-Fi or mobile data, or download them to read offline. The Libby app is compatible with Android and iOS devices, and Windows 10. Another helpful feature with Libby is the Open Dyslexic font option which can help students with learning disabilities.
Keep in mind that the library staff is still working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can always call the Youth Service or Reference Departments at 704-878-3090 if you have questions or need someone to walk you through the use of our site or resources. You can also place books on hold online and come to the library to pick them up from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Joel Reese, Local History Librarian
Iredell County Public Library
Published in the Statesville Record and Landmark on May 4, 2020 as “Library can be of help”.