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How you can support your Library through advocacy

In today’s age of digital access to information, you may ask, "Why do we need libraries?"

The simplest way to answer that question is to visit a Charlotte Mecklenburg Library location. You will find a vibrant, thriving community center, with people from all walks of life coming together to access the Library`s many free resources. The Library as a place to simply check out books is a thing of the past. The Library of today and tomorrow is so much more.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library contributes to the quality of life in the community, upward mobility and the desirability of the Charlotte market as a place to relocate families and businesses. And it does so at a reasonable price - for every $1 invested, the Library returns $4.57 in direct benefits to the community. (Source: 2010 study conducted by the UNCC Urban Institute)

Last year, Mecklenburg County libraries were visited by individuals over 3.2 million times, and web sites were visited more than 27 million times. More than 1,000 community volunteers contributed over 48,000 hours of service (equivalent hours of 24 full-time positions) in libraries. In the Library’s 2014 annual customer satisfaction survey, 96% of customers agreed to statements about quality, timeliness, communication, courtesy, respect and safety.

How can you spread the word about libraries?
1. Use the library, and encourage your friends and family to do the same. And give us feedback on your experience. 
2. Help spread awareness about the value of libraries with friends, neighbors, and groups in which you are involved. Invite a Library representative to speak at your next event. (link to Mecklenburg County Speaker`s Bureau.)
3. Join our team of volunteers. Share your skills and experiences with your community by becoming a library volunteer. Our web site has information on current volunteer opportunities and how to apply.
4. Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter, or visit our Blog.
Quick Facts
Libraries ensure an increasingly literate, informed and livable community. Get the facts about why!

About 96% of residents agree that the Library improves the quality of life by providing free materials and resources, while 97% agree the Library enhances the image of our community

Almost 99% of residents believe that the Library is a valuable educational resource, and 83% of residents agree that the Library has enhanced their education.

The Library’s “unique assets,” ImaginOn and the Carolina Room in Main Library, are a regional and international draw for Charlotte. ImaginOn and Main Library are important pieces of the current plan to reimagine the North Tryon district of Uptown Charlotte. 

For the 19% of Mecklenburg County households without Internet access at home, the Library is the only free point of access to the Internet and basic activities such as finding work, managing healthcare and completing homework assignments. More than 900 library computers were used 809,309 times last year, and users connected to the Library’s wireless network about 330,000 times.

Last year, the Library offered about 7,500 free programs that focused on building critical early literacy skills, attracting 122,734 children, parents and caregivers. And 97% of parents or caregivers said that they are better prepared to develop pre-reading skills in their children as a result of attending library programs.

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