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

Yes, the NC Room (Abridged) at the Forsyth County Government Center is now open. Come by and see us between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday. For a guide on how to find us, parking passes and more, click the pic below:


Other than the need for about 12 times as much space, we are very happy in our new temporary home. Our Government Center neighbors could not have been more welcoming and we are looking forward to getting to know them better.

And the location is right in the cockpit of the future of downtown. A few days ago we published some pics of our new view to the south and west. Here is what we see looking north:


Click for full size

For an overview of the coolest district in the county, check out Wake Forest Innovation Quarter’s website.

Krankie’s, formerly PS 211, is a real downtown pioneer and a major hangout for people who matter.

The Taqueria Luciano food truck is at Krankie’s most weekdays for lunch. To see what Triad City Beat has to say about them, click the pic.


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Brioche Doree, found in the Wake Biotech Building, is a Paris based bakery chain with a difference.

And speaking of food trucks, the legendary Camel City Grill truck will be in the parking lot north of the Biotech Center this Thursday at lunchtime. Yes, I would like a Bleu Burger, please.

The North Carolina Room will reopen at 8 AM on Monday, November 17, 2014.

We will be located on the second floor of the Forsyth County Government Center, next to the Register of Deeds office, at 201 North Chestnut Street.

Our new hours will be radically different from what they were before. NO night hours. NO weekend hours.

We will be open from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Professional genealogical assistance will be available from 10 AM to 4 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays, and 11 AM to 5 PM on Fridays.

Since we will be in a part of the city that some may be unfamiliar with, we want to make it easy for you to find us.

Here is a general map showing the location of the Forsyth County Government Center:


Click on all pics to enlarge

Once you have arrived at Chestnut Street, you can find the parking entrance about halfway between Second and Third Streets:


From there, you can enter the Government Center through the double doors at the south end of the parking deck. There are two sets of double doors…both can be opened by pushbutton by those using wheelchairs.

We have arranged for free parking, but you will have to go to the Information Services / Computer Bridge office to obtain a parking pass, then go back to your car and put the pass on the dashboard. Then you can return and use the escalator or the elevators to reach the NC Room:


When leaving the NC Room, you can take the escalator or the elevators back to the lobby. If using the elevators, press 1 for the lobby.

We hope that all of our our long term patrons and many new ones will come to visit soon.

This should have been posted on Friday, October 31, but I ran out of time and energy. So here is the last moving update until we can show you what the new temporary North Carolina Room will look like when it opens in two weeks on Monday, November 17, 2014. As always, click on the pix for larger versions.

On the eighth day, Friday, Hallowe’en, we rested…well, not really…we all had plenty to do, and we are still far from the finish line…

Around noon we went over to “Old Central” for a pot luck lunch…a sort of final gathering of Central folks…being a carnovoric leaning omnivore, I usually fall upon the meat dishes at these kind of events, but today the other offerings, salads, some great green beans and macaroni and cheese, corn bread, were simply too good to pass up. No pictures…anyone who sends out pictures of the food that they are eating is not actually eating.

Later I walked down to have a last look at our “office”. This room used to be the center of the civilized world. When we first moved in several years ago, it housed three highly educated, highly opinionated multitaskers who could get more work done than a platoon of others while still carrying on a fast paced discussion of everything that is right and/or wrong with the world in one fell swoop.


The original cast was Lise (right foreground), Audra (left) and me. Audra was the first to leave. She is now the library archivist at Cal-Irvine. Lise and I were terrified that she would be replaced by some sheeple type, but Melodie slid right into the spot without missing a beat. Then Lise had to go home to Massachusetts for a while, but Damion had no problem keeping the pace. Then Damion left for his alma mater, Pfieffer, but just in time Lise decided to return. Then Melodie moved to Brevard College, but her replacement Karen was up to the task.

Still a highly educated, multitasking group…lots of sarcasm…lots of laughter. Our culture will now change, but we hope not too much.

Probably the most interesting event in that room occurred in the summer of 2009…it is now known as the “Great Gnational War.” One day some gnats came flying around. It wasn’t long before we realized that they were simply the scouts for a gnat armada…within days, we could hardly see each other across the room for the flying swarm.

After a number of failed defensive maneuvers, much of that based on misidentification as mere gnats or even fruit flies, Lise managed to capture two of them in a medicine bottle. The lab report gave us our first closeup look at the enemy.


Some species of dung fly breed in “cow pats”…ours preferred rotting vegetation.

Someone had given the library system a bunch of bulbs to be planted at all the branches. Part of a left over flat had been placed in the receiving room and covered by other items. The dung flies were breeding in there. We got rid of the flat, but the swarms continued in our office.

We called out the Gnational Guard, to no avail, so we decided to ignore the Geneva Convention and implement chemical warfare.


The battlefield presented a horrific scene the next day, but we had won. The bodies were respectfully interred in the Gnational Cemetery.


And here is an end of week triumph. While trying out our new state of the art digital microfilm reader, as is often the case, while looking for something else, I found this.


There are a number of “Viet Nam Wall” websites, including the official National Park Service  site. But the best by far is “The Wall-USA”, maintained by actual veterans from the Fourth Battalion, Ninth Infantry. It contains far more pictures, along with many personal comments from family, friends and comrades of the deceased warriors.

Over the years we have supplied a number of the pictures and other info for “The Wall”. Now they will have the front page story about another of our own.


To see the website, go here:

The entries are arranged by city and town rather than county, so to see the entries for Forsyth County, you can search for Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Walkertown, Belews Creek, Rural Hall, Clemmons or Lewisville. Even though his family lived near Rural Hall, Sergeant Bonds is listed under Winston-Salem. We are still searching for pictures and information about other local soldiers. If you see one that you have information about, please let us know. You can e-mail me at

Click on the pix for larger size

In Ian Sansom’s novel The Case of the Missing Books, librarian Israel Armstrong endures an exhausting journey from London to assume his new job as the manager of a branch library in Northern Ireland, only to find the branch “closed until further notice”. His reaction:

“There is a terrible poignancy about a building intended for the public that is closed to the public: it feels like an insult, a riposte to all our more generous instincts, the public polity under threat, and democracy abandoned…no one likes to see a shut library.”


After several failed bond referenda in the 1930s and 1940s, Ralph Hanes, Meade Willis and their friends got on the phone and raised the money to build the Twin City a new library. When this building, designed by architect Luther Lashmit, opened in 1953, it was the most modern, cutting edge public library in the South. Lashmit spoke that year at the American Library Association’s national convention. R.J. Reynolds’ son Dick and his sisters donated the land. The building was constructed using private funds.




Some of the hundreds of NC Room boxes still waiting for transfer to storage.


Our recycle bins have been overflowing for weeks, despite being emptied every few days.


Our box list will help us retrieve books for shelving sometime in 2017.


All books are gone from our locked cage. Materials in archival boxes still await transfer.


Meanwhile, back at our new home in the Government Center, we inch ever closer to looking like a real library department while our windows reflect the long lines of early voters.

Stay tuned for more updates. We are NOT YET open and cannot say for sure when the reopening will occur…think sometime in the second week of November.



When I got in this morning, here was the view from our new front porch…click the pix for larger size…


Poll greeters and one candidate warming up for the action…


Meanwhile, inside, the shelves are getting better organized…


When high level discussions like this one begin, I just try to stay out of the way…


Meanwhile, outside, we are beginning to sort of resemble a library…


Right in the middle of everything, a shipment from our bindery arrived, so we created a “new book” display in the window…


Bicycling the Blue Ridge is the latest offering from our own associate director. On the top shelf are a guide to craft brews of the Carolinas and Haven on the Hill, a history of the Dorothea Dix state hospital near Raleigh. Before this is over, some of us may need a few sips of the former or a brief stay at the latter, which, unfortunately, no longer exists.

Stay tuned for more. We are NOT YET open, but we will announce the date as soon as it is official…my grandmother always said that patience is a virtue.






We got a lot done on our second day at the Forsyth County Government Center. Many of those boxes that we packed last week got unpacked today, but there are still many more to come.

But perhaps the most important things that happened had to do with exploring our new environment and meeting some of our new neighbors. We discovered that vending machine coffee, while cheap, is still vending machine coffee, so I made a run next door to Krankies for some real coffee. That will probably happen again…and again…


The new view from our temporary home. The statue of legendary brick maker George Black watches over the plaza in front of the Government Center.


Here is what George sees…the former R.J. Reynolds factory #12 looks a bit different these days…


Once in the lobby, you take the escalator to the second floor…


The entrance to the Register of Deeds office is at the left…the rest is the new NC Room…just out of view to the right is where early voting is in progress, a big advantage for us…I waited for a slow moment and voted in about three minutes…


Karen hosts guests from Computer Services…we had many visitors today, including the county manager and the head of building security, who provided us with much important information…


A big moment…our long time microfilm guru Andy has just installed our new state of the art digital microfilm reader…he chose some comics from a 1939 edition of the Winston-Salem Journal to demonstrate the new capabilities.


But by far the most exciting moment of the day was when Billy wheeled in our department mascot, the camel. Contrary to popular belief, this is not “Old Joe”, the R.J. Reynolds camel. In fact, we have no idea of our camel’s origin. We found him in the legendary “Jerry’s closet” six years ago, along with many other interesting, if baffling, items. He does not even have a name…we just call him “the camel”. And, of course, he, like the image on the Camel cigarette pack, is not actually a camel. Camels have two humps. Ours has only one, and is thus a dromedary. But he is ours and we love him for it. Pic by staff photographer K. Feeney.

Stay tuned for more NC Room moving updates.

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