by Jennifer Appleby, Chair, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board of Trustees & Lee Keesler, CEO, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
April 9-15 is National Library Week, a time for celebrating libraries of all kinds and especially public libraries, one of our nation’s most enduring, trusted and treasured assets. This year’s theme is “Libraries Transform,” which is so very appropriate.
Libraries transform lives in much the same way that prisms transform light. When light enters the common triangular prism, it is refracted, separated into its component colors, and transformed into the most brilliant version of itself as it exits.
Similarly, when individuals and families enter their public libraries, they emerge with better beginning literacy skills, better prepared to read at kindergarten, more equipped to learn to read and then to read to learn, better educated, more college and/or career ready, and with the best possible odds of becoming a productive and economically viable citizen.
Library users emerge from their public libraries better and more accurately informed, more nourished, more personally connected to their fellow residents, more digitally connected to the world around them, and more invested in their communities and the opportunities awaiting them.
The beauty of this transformation is that it is available to everyone, for free. Public libraries serve all ages and stages, all races and backgrounds, and all income levels. Libraries are one of the most utilized resources in our community. Two-thirds of residents report using a library in the past year.
And the transformation doesn’t stop with individuals. Libraries also have the power to transform and build stronger communities, by aligning with and contributing to solutions to important local issues and initiatives. They do that collaboratively, professionally, without judgment or bias, and in a friendly, caring, helpful way.
As our community begins its journey inspired by the Opportunity Task Force (www.leadingonopportunity.org) to a place where the next generations enjoy a sense of belonging, dare to dream big and find opportunities that support those dreams, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library will serve alongside others as an active partner, participant and welcoming place where transformational opportunity can be created and realized by and for all.
Join the celebration of National Library Week by visiting Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in person or online (www.cmlibrary.org/libraryweek). Prepare to be transformed.
Share your thoughts on social media: #NationalLibraryWeek #LibrariesTransform #cmlibrary