About the NC Room

lightsThe holiday season is upon us.  Below is a list of the library holiday closings for your convenience. The North Carolina Collection room follows the branch hours for the Central Library.

All Forsyth County Public Library branches will be closed on these days:

Thursday, November 23 Thanksgiving
Friday, November 24 Thanksgiving
Friday, December 8 Staff Development Day
Friday, December 22 Christmas
Saturday, December 23 Christmas
Sunday, December 24 Christmas
Monday, December 25 Christmas
Tuesday, December 26 Christmas

In addition, library branches will close at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, November 22.

We would like to wish everyone very happy holidays, however you spend them, and hope to see you at the library!






As always, click the pictures for full size

First, the parking plan. All parking is free, but the surface lot and under building area have no time limits, while the street parking has the usual two hour restriction:

The surface parking lot is diagonally across the Fifth / Spring Street intersection from the Central Library…

There are two ways to get to the new NC Room…first, the simple way…

Use the main entrance on Fifth Street…

Once inside, you will find yourself in a foyer…the shelves of books here are provided for sale by the Friends of the Central Library, who raise thousands of dollars for Central every year…purchase is on the honor system…the cash box is to the right…to enter the library, move to the left through the gates…

Once through the gates, you will see the stairs which will take you to the second and third floors…children’s room and computer lab on the first floor…the NC Room and Teen Central on the second floor…general collection…fiction & non-fiction on the third floor…

If you look back to your right, you will see the elevators, which will take you to the second and third floors and back…press “2” for the NC Room…

At the second floor, you will see the art gallery in front of you and the NC Room to the right…

But if you choose to park in the deck under the building and use the public entrance there, you could find yourself in a situation reminiscent of Ulysses’ wanderings in the Odyssey…the following information is particularly important for those using wheelchairs, walkers or strollers for infants…

Traffic in the parking deck is one way…please enter from Spring Street…

The public entrance from the deck is near the Spring Street end of the building…

The elevator there goes only from the ground floor to the first floor and has buttons marked “1F” and “1R”, with no explanation. Since the “1F” button has a star beside it, most patrons end up choosing that one, only to find that it does not work. Press the “1R” button.

Do NOT lean against the back of the elevator, because when you reach the first floor, the door BEHIND you will open. To the right you will see steps going up to Coffee Park Central. You can go up the steps, walk through Coffee Park Central and find yourself at the main entrance to the library, where you can follow the previous “simple” instructions. Of course, you can pause in Coffee Park Central for some excellent coffee and goodies. But what if you are among the aforementioned users of wheelchairs, walkers or are pushing a stroller? Where do you go?

The only alternative to the steps is this corridor, which seems to lead to an exit. But this is the path you should follow.

Just before you reach the exit, you will see this ramp to your right. If you follow it, you will find yourself in the foyer, and then can follow the “simple” instructions to the NC Room.

At the entrance to the NC Room, if you look to your left, you will find a button that will automatically open the door.

When you are ready to leave, you will find another button to the left of the doors which will open the door automatically.

We hope you can navigate this path, because we are waiting for you, eager to help in your quest for local history and genealogy information. If you encounter problems at any point, please ask…we will do our best to help find a solution.

The North Carolina Room’s temporary location at the Forsyth County Government Center will be closing to the public on Friday, July 14 at 5:00 pm in preparation for our collection move to the new Central Library.

We will reopen when the new Library opens later this summer. We hope to see you in our bright new space!GovCtrClosingJuly14

The Forsyth County Genealogical Society will meet on Tuesday evening, June 7, 2016, in the auditorium of the Reynolda Manor Public Library, located at 2839 Fairlawn Drive, Winston-Salem, NC. Our social period begins at 6:30 PM, and the meeting will begin at 7:00 PM.

Molly Grogan Rawls, the photograph collection librarian at the Forsyth County Public Library, will present her newest Images of America book, Winston-Salem’s Historic Salem Cemetery.” Salem Cemetery is the privately owned cemetery adjacent to the Salem “God’s Acre,” and since its 1857 incorporation it has become the final resting place for many of the builders and shapers of Winston-Salem. The book not only gives the history of the cemetery but also summarizes the lives and contributions of many of the industrial pioneers, mayors, philanthropists, educators, and other leaders buried there. Readers will find themselves exclaiming, “Oh that’s who that was” or “That’s who did that” as they read the informative captions for the photographs selected from the public library’s photo archives and other sources.

Winston-Salem's Historic Salem Cemetery

The North Carolina Room turned 40 last week on Monday, June 15th and we had a wonderful celebration. The Friends of the Central Library sponsored our event. Lots of people stopped by to say thanks and to enjoy birthday cake, shortcake, fresh strawberries & blueberries, and lemonade. Balloons and flowers really made the affair festive.  Attendees included patrons, former FCPL librarians, Forsyth County Genealogical Society members, and Forsyth County staff. We really enjoyed talking about the North Carolina Room’s history and sharing information about our collections. A family bible donation was a welcome surprise to be added to our genealogy collection. Thank you to everyone who attended!

Family Bible Donation

Family Bible Donation


NC Room Staff

As always, click the pix for full size


Forty years ago this week, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company put on the biggest picnic in North Carolina history. There was a stage at midfield in Groves Stadium, where Sound Generation, the Eliminators and the Roy Clark show performed. There were carnival rides and free food and drink across Thirtieth Street at the fairgrounds.

50,000 people showed up. They ate 55 tons of food and drank 10,000 gallons of drinks. And they danced in their seats and everywhere else.


The show began with dignitaries onstage at 11:30 AM and an unplanned event. A stray dog wandered onto the field at Groves and, excited by the crowd, raced from the end zone to the stage. That got the crowd going, and it never stopped. By the time Roy Clark arrived a little over an hour later, the fun was well beyond anyone’s control.


What was this all about? R.J. Reynolds, the company that provided the fuel for the economic engine that built the Twin City, was celebrating its 100th birthday. It was an unseasonably hot day, with temperatures hovering around 90. And when Clark and Buck Trent teamed up for their version of “Duelin’ Banjos”, the heat level ticked up a few more notches. By mid-afternoon, folks were seeking shade and covering their heads with handkerchiefs and napkins. But a good time was had by all.

A week later, the Forsyth County Public Library formally opened it’s brand new North Carolina Room. After all, those tens of thousands of folks who had made RJR and its many contractors a big success needed a place where they could find out where they came from. That party has been going on ever since, for forty years.


NC Room, Phase 1…Anne Corrrell, the founding mother…


NC Room, Phase II…Jerry Carroll…


NC Room, Phase III…Billy King…

Join the latest version of that party here:


In recent years, it has become traditional for the various library departments and branches to send each other electronic greeting cards at the holiday season. Somehow, this became a part of my job description in the NC Room. Here is our 2014 missive:


Click the pic for full size

In case you missed it, here is our guide for finding our orphaned department for the next 2+ years:


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