Library News
Digitizing committee minutes

When a bill becomes law in North Carolina, it is passed by both legislative chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Before that occurs, however, the bill is written and rewritten and re-rewritten in legislative committees. The official records, or minutes, of these committees are held by the library on microfilm, a durable medium that can be difficult to use.

Wouldn’t it be cool if these minutes were available online?

Now they are! Well, they will be–from 1997 forward, anyway. It’s a work in progress, which you can check out here.

How to Vote in All 50 States

The Washington Post just unveiled an excellent guide to voting procedures in all 50 states.

Just select your state, then answer whether you are registered to vote and how you plan to vote (by mail or in person). Here, for example, is what happens when you select voting by mail in North Carolina.

Scrolling down the page reveals these instructions.

You can scroll back to the top at any time to change your state or voting type.

Cool, huh?

Coming Soon: Digitized Senate Content!
NC Senate in session, 1971, New Legislative Building, Raleigh, NC. General Negative Collection, N_71_3_171_Fr13, State Archives of North Carolina.

Ever wanted to listen to NC Senate floor debates from the 1990s but couldn’t because it wasn’t online?

You’re about to have your chance!

The State Archives is working on digitizing Senate recordings from 1993-2005 and making the audio available online by May 2021.

Read the exciting details here!

So You Want to Be President . . .
How to become President of the United States infographic. See description below.
Infographic from

As Election Day draws nearer, you might be wondering

  • How does the Electoral College work?
  • What are the constitutional requirements for being president?
  • How does a person run for president?

You can find these answers and more at the Presidential Election Process page of It’s comprehensive and easy to read. Check it out!

How to get a driver license if you’re 18 or over

Recently, the NC General Assembly passed SL 2020-30, which waives the road test requirement for people age 16 or 17 to get a level two limited driver license.

What about those who are 18 or over?

Starting July 23, NC DMV will have the following rules:

  • Drivers who currently hold a Level I permit, have turned 18 years old and meet all requirements to obtain the Level II Limited Provisional License, including no motor vehicle moving violation convictions, seat belt infractions or unlawful use of a mobile phone.
  • Drivers who have received training and passed a driving course from a DMV certified North Carolina driving school within the previous 12 months and have not been convicted of a motor vehicle moving violation, seat belt infraction or unlawful use of a mobile phone.
  • Drivers who previously held an NC driver’s license, and the license has not been expired more than one renewal cycle and was in good standing at the time of expiration.
    • Drivers 18 years old and less than 66 years old –not expired more than 8 years.
    • Drivers 66 years or older – not expired more than 5 years.
  • Drivers from another state, district or territory that has reciprocity with North Carolina. Drivers must provide their most recent license held and a certified 5-year driving record from that jurisdiction. License cannot be expired more than 5 years and must have been in good standing at the time of expiration.

Road test requirements for these drivers will be suspended and the driver will be issued a driver license with the appropriate expiration. Unlike the Level II waiver, these drivers will not be required to return later to take a road test. There may be very limited circumstances outside of those outlined above where DMV may be able to waive a road test.

The new rules take effect July 23, 2020. All DMV services will continue to be by appointment only. You can make an appointment here.

Questions? Contact the NC DMV here.

Masks and Firearms: Update

Recently, we wrote about the issue of wearing masks while also carrying a concealed weapon in North Carolina. We said that

“Section 4.3 of S.L. 2020-3 allows masks worn ‘for the purpose of ensuring the physical health or safety of the wearer or others.’ This exception expires on August 1, 2020, unless the General Assembly extends it.”

This exception has now been extended by S.L. 2020-93. Thus, until a new law is passed, you can wear a mask for health purposes and carry a concealed weapon (unless you are also committing acts prohibited by G.S. 14-12.13).

Masks and Firearms: the Law in NC

With many businesses requiring customers to be masked, and now a statewide order from Governor Cooper requiring it, the question naturally arises: Is it illegal to carry a concealed weapon while wearing a mask?

There is no law specifically prohibiting a person with a concealed handgun permit from lawfully carrying a handgun concealed while wearing a mask. However, it is illegal to wear a mask for any reason, according to these statutes:

  • G.S. 14-12.7 – Wearing of masks, hoods, etc. on public ways – Class 1 misdemeanor
  • G.S. 14-12.8 – Wearing masks, hoods, etc. on public property – Class 1 misdemeanor
  • G.S. 14-12.9 – Entry, etc. upon premises of another while wearing mask, hood or other disguise – Class 1 misdemeanor
  • G.S. 14-12.10 – Holding meetings or demonstrations while wearing masks, hoods, etc. – Class 1 misdemeanor
  • G.S. 14-12.13 – Placing exhibit with intention of intimidating, etc, another (applies whether masked or unmasked) – Class H felony
  • G.S. 14-12.14 – Placing exhibit while wearing mask, hood, or other disguise – Class H felony

G.S. 14-12.11 provides some exceptions. The exceptions apply to all of the offenses listed above except for G.S. 14-12.13. Also, Section 4.3 of S.L. 2020-3 allows masks worn “for the purpose of ensuring the physical health or safety of the wearer or others.” This exception expires on August 1, 2020, unless the General Assembly extends it.

Bottom line: At least until August 1, 2020, you can wear a mask for health purposes and carry a concealed weapon (unless you are also committing acts prohibited by G.S. 14-12.13). If/when this exception expires, it is illegal to wear a mask for any reason other than the exceptions listed in G.S. 14-12.11.

Library virtual tour

Want to tour our library but can’t make the trip to Raleigh? Check out the welcome video on our home page! You’ll see our collection, hear our policies, and learn all the ways we can assist you. Enjoy!

COVID-19 Resources

As we grapple each day with the coronavirus pandemic, information has become our most effective weapon. To that end, we’ve developed a page of state and federal COVID-19 resources. You can access the page here:

The times, they are a-changin’

If you thought, upon visiting the library website, “Well, that looks different”–you’re right! We haven’t just updated the site; we’ve overhauled it, adding lots more of the historical and research content you’ve always relied on . . . plus a little bit of fun.

The site will continue to change over the coming months, so check back often. And call the library at 919-733-9390 if you need assistance!