N.C. Poet Laureate Bowers helps library card campaign

Published 1:01 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2010

North Carolinas poet laureate Cathy Smith Bowers of Tryon has joined North Carolina public libraries to promote Library Card Sign-up Month in North Carolina&bsp; Bowers is encouraging children, families and North Carolina residents to visit their public library and sign up for a library card.&bsp; &bsp;

In a recent video shoot, Bowers shared her memories of signing up for her first library card. &bsp;

One of the most exciting days of my life was the day I got my first library card.&bsp; Libraries will always be important to me because I know the sense of freedom and awe and magic they can bring. &bsp;

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Bowers, a poet and word lover, encourages all North Carolinians to visit their library — to take time from their busy lives to explore the rich literature and many wonderful resources available at their library.&bsp; &bsp;

Appointed by Governor Beverly E. Perdue in January 2010, Bowers serves as an ambassador of North Carolina literature by affirming the transformative value of poetry in our lives.&bsp; The poet laureate program is administered by the N.C. Arts Council.&bsp; &bsp;

September is Library Card Sign-up Month a time when the State Library of North Carolina (http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/index.html) and libraries across the state spread the message that the library card is the smartest card. &bsp;

The goal is to make the library card the most valued and used card for North Carolina citizens. Over five million North Carolinians are card-carrying library users, and during the last fiscal year over 44 million visited their public library and over 9 million used the Internet computers. &bsp;

A recent American Library Association report found that the importance of libraries in American life continued to grow in 2010 and accelerated dramatically as the national economy sank and people looked for sources of cost-effective help in a time of crisis.&bsp; Now more than ever, Americans turn to and depend on their libraries and librarians financial information, computer and Internet access and, of course, books, movies and more. &bsp;

During her visits to North Carolina libraries, State Librarian Mary Boone has seen first hand how libraries are meeting the urgent needs of their communities. &bsp;

Public libraries provide an impressive array of services that are critical to the communities they serve, she said.&bsp; Our libraries connect people with resources, responding daily to the needs of their economically struggling communities.&bsp;&bsp; &bsp;

North Carolinas Smartest Card initiative is part of The Campaign for Americas Libraries, a multi-year public awareness and advocacy effort by the American Library Association.&bsp; Begun in 2004, the campaign promotes the value of public libraries nationwide.