June 15, 2009
Matt Lauer of NBC’s “Today” show recently did a piece in which he stated that one of the trendiest places to go this summer is the library. I decided to take a visit to one of the 24 branches of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, South County Regional Library on Rea Road, to find out why libraries are so très chic!
The moment you walk in the door, you can feel the excitement. My tour guide, Children’s Manager, Emily Nanney, told me that on any given day there are approximately 500-800 people who visit this particular branch. This day was exceptionally busy because it was the kick off to the Be Creative Summer Reading club, www.plcmc.org/summerread, for kids age 4 to rising 5th graders.
Ms. Emily shared with me all that this particular branch has to offer:
· You can check out much, much more than books!
· In addition to the Be Creative Summer Reading club, there are clubs for all ages: Wee Read for parents and their children under four, Express Yourself club for teens, and Relax & Read club for adults.
· There are spaces available for community meetings.
· There is Wi-Fi throughout the library, so, bring your computer and work inside or outside in one of the courtyards. Or, if you like, just visit one of the courtyards to enjoy your library materials.
· Through partnerships with local schools and the assistance of community volunteers, there are tutoring programs to offer support to struggling students. One program in particular is Amigos Tutoring. This allows ESL students an opportunity to work with bilingual tutors. You can also connect online with a live, qualified Math, Science, English, and Social Studies tutor.
· The top floor of this branch is devoted to teen and adult readers. There is also a small computer lab for trainings.
· You can chat online with a librarian 24 hours a day if need a quick answer to a question.
· Hungry? There is a place in this branch to purchase coffee and snacks. And, yes, Ms. Emily says you can eat in the library!
There is so much happening at the library. I couldn’t possibly mention it all here. So, I tell you what you do. Go to a Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and see for yourself. Any resident of Mecklenburg county from birth and upward can apply for a free library card. Non-residents can apply for a $45 annual fee.
Thanks go to Ms. Emily and all the fine folks at the branch to include all the community volunteers. Thank you for promoting literacy and supporting the reform effort! The library is definitely the place to be this summer!