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Students Celebrate Libraries as Thriving and Happy Places in Contest

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Jacob Botros – NC Congressional District 9 | View Video
Jacob is from Waxhaw, North Carolina and is an 11th grader at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. His riveting video tells his personal story of how libraries helped him and then proceeds to share profound thoughts from many people across the state. View More

Caroline Burnette – NC Congressional District 10 | View Essay
“When I was younger, I was told that, “Reading is the magic key to take you where want to be,” and I’m inclined to agree with that statement.”

Caroline is from Shelby, North Carolina and is an 11th grader at Carolina Pines Academy. Her essay describes how libraries have been a significant part of her life since early childhood. View More

Alex Blumenthal – NC Congressional District 5 | View Video
Alex is from Salisbury, North Carolina and is a 5th grader at Overton Elementary School. His video details the essential value of libraries to him and all of North Carolina. View More

Marlisha Blakeney – NC Congressional District 9 | View Essay
“As I think about the true importance of a building filled with books, pamphlets, computers, and great information for all people, I begin to appreciate all that such an amazing place has to offer me and my community. The library is well known for building communities, educating, building art centers, and empowering the youth.”

Marlisha is from Monroe, North Carolina and is a 12th grader at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Her essay delves expertly into the various ways quality libraries are interwoven into the fabric of modern day society. View More

Samuel Kostiuk – NC Congressional District 10 | View Video
Sam is from Cherryville, North Carolina and is a 5th grader at WB Beam Intermediate School. His video does an excellent job talking about the value of libraries for him and his friend Winnie the Pooh. View More

Benjamin Warlick – NC Congressional District 10 | View Website
Ben is from Black Mountain, North Carolina and is a 9th grader at Charles D. Owen High School. His website has excellent design and content and most impressively direct input from his fellow students about the importance of libraries. View More

David Simmons, Jr. – NC Congressional District 5 | View Essay
“For me, libraries are a calming place to be in because of their quiet atmosphere and
comfortable settings. They are amazing places that I enjoy being in. They are amazing for one
simple reason ­ it accommodates all types of people and no one is exactly the same.”

David is from Wilkesboro, North Carolina and an 8th grader at West Wilkes Middle School. His outstanding essay details a poignant story of how libraries were there for him and his family during hard times. View More

Brenna Loendorf – NC Congressional District 10 | View Video
Brenna is from Stanley, North Carolina and is an 11th grader at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Her excellent video interviews users of her public library and they share why libraries are important to them. View More

Jessica Slattery – NC Congressional District 9 | View Essay
“…the library eventually helped me overcome my anxiety toward reading when I was introduced to the animal books in the childrenʼs section.”

Jessica is from Morrisville, North Carolina and is an 11th grade homeschooler whose outstanding essay talks about how her relationship with libraries went from a place of fear and anxiety of reading to a place of discovery and window to the world as a homeschool student. View More

Andy Killebrew – NC Congressional District 8 | View Essay
“In my eyes, libraries are incredibly important to educate the future leaders of North Carolina. As a child of a librarian, I have a firm belief that a love of reading at an early age can permanently leave a child with an appreciation for learning, which is a valuable trait for someone to be successful.”

Andy is from Lexington, North Carolina and is a 9th grader at Central Davidson High School. His essay eloquently talks about how his relationship with libraries and love of reading has shaped the person that he is today. View More

Alea Mitchell – NC Congressional District 5 | View Video
Alea is from Wilkesboro, North Carolina and is a 2nd grader at Millers Creek Elementary. Her video does an excellent job of detailing why she loves libraries and why they are fun places to do pretty much whatever she likes to – especially read! View More

Stacy Kostiuk – NC Congressional District 10 | View Poem
“I love it here,
I feel at home.
I feel no fear,
Free to roam.”

Stacy is from Cherryville, North Carolina and is an 8th grader at John Chavis Middle School. Her poem eloquently describes how important libraries are to her and our society in so many different ways – a place for books, a place to have fun, and place to find jobs, a place for solace, peace, and safety. View More

Alizdair Sebastien Ray – NC Congressional District 7 | View Essay
“Because of early reading skills, I started writing for a children’s newspaper at 6 years old. I’m still a contributing writer and it’s 2014. Also, I started debating last year and really had a great time with it.”

Alizdair is from Hope Mills, North Carolina and is a 5th grade home school student. His excellent essay talks about how he began learning how to read at an early age and how much of a positive impact this has had on him. View More

Ruth Ramires – NC Congressional District 5 | View Essay
“Libraries play a big important part in the political life of a community. Libraries provide the immigrants like my family with helpful information and help
them improved their language in English.”

Ruth is from North Wilkesboro, North Carolina and is a 7th grader at West Wilkes Middle School. Her essay details how important libraries are to her and her family as an immigrant to our country. View More

Samuel Chatley – NC Congressional District 13 | View Video
Sam is from Youngsville, North Carolina and is a 2nd grade home school student. His video shows how important the library is for him and his family as a homeschooler and how much he likes both his library’s books and programs. View More

Lincoln Sawyer – NC Congressional District 7 | View Video
Lincoln is a 4th grader from Garner, NC. His video introduces us to his “grandpa”, “best friend”, and “sister” all of whom espouse the virtue of libraries in a way that will make you laugh aloud. View More

Machai Smith – NC Congressional District 7 | View Essay
My first book was The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss. Boy, I used to sing those ABC’s! I remember being denied by Head Start because I was “too advanced.” … I loved to be read to, I loved the smell of the pages of books, I loved the way books looked on a shelf. Most of all, I loved the quantity of the books in a library.

Machai is a 10 grader from Smithfield, NC. Her eloquent and heartfelt essay talks about her special relationship with libraries – a place of wonder, joy, and safety. View More

Lindsay Nottingham – NC Congressional District 4 | View Video
Lindsay is an 8th grade student from Chapel Hill, NC. Her animated “Powtoon” presentation is engaging as it tells her story of why libraries are important to her and all of North Carolina. View More

Abigail Smith – NC Congressional District 2 | View Essay
“Libraries are important to the future of North Carolina, they are richly rooted in America’s past. American culture and society would not be the same today if libraries had never existed.”

Abigail is a 6th grader from Cary, NC. Her excellent essay details the integral part libraries play in her life and the very fabric of American history and society. View More

Gabrielle Trasti – NC Congressional District 7 | View Video
Gabrielle is an 11th grader from Clayton, NC. Her video does an excellent job of describing how essential libraries are to her and North Carolina. Her dance at the end of video is outstanding. View More

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6 responses »

  1. Pingback: NCLA 2014 Student Ambassadors | North Carolina Library Advocacy

    • I have to agree, Michelle! I’m surprised, in a good way, at how engaged with libraries so many K-12 students are. It’s wonderful.

  2. Libraries are important to our society and to humanity as a whole because they foster literacy, imagination and hope. As a young person I used to love to go to the library and roam the stacks. There were so many choices, and I could have any book I wanted. I could take one or usually more home or wherever I was going and enjoy them. Reading then was, and is now, such a pleasurable indulgence. It’s easy to take it for granted, but if you consider it, sitting down with a book is a very inviting and peaceful thought,(even with a horror story).

    In addition to books, libraries now provide access to many other types of resources. Most libraries have computers for patrons to use that have access to the internet. Many libraries offer or connect with community services to offer programs for the community, including computer training, tax preparation, legal advice, health education, job searching, and more. These can be of great benefit to the community and, in particular, a needed service for those who are at a socioeconomic disadvantage.

    And this brings me to one other thing that I have always admired about libraries (that is, in addition to the helpful, knowledgeable, and wonderful librarians that I have always come across). Libraries are for everyone. I have always felt comfortable in the library. Whoever you are, you are welcome. It seems like social barriers take a back seat there. The freedom to learn is a most basic tenant in America. Without free of access to books, other forms of literacy and communication, and the services of those who can help us do so (librarians are a lot like teachers), then the opportunity to learn becomes about the haves and have nots.

    I have lived in North Carolina for 23 years now and used to take my children regularly to libraries all over our county. I continue to go to the library on my own and now that I am in library school, I am going several times a week. There is something special and unique about each library that I have been to, yet also many similar things. Some of these are excellent service, an environment that engenders a love of books, and a respect for all patrons. The libraries of North Carolina are doing important work in our community and helping many people. I hope this is more than enough cause for our state and federal legislators to understand the importance of supporting libraries!
    Chat Conversation End

  3. Wow! Great job to each of you. Have a wonderful time in our nation’s capitol. Way to represent North Carolina Libraries!

  4. Pingback: Libraries: Our story, our future

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