Students hear from musician about the importance of libraries

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by Jessica Groover

Originally posted December 18, 2011, by the Independent Tribune

Several students at Central Cabarrus High School said that when they attended an event about libraries at the school on Friday, they did not expect a musician to be the speaker.

Beaux Foy, lead singer of the band Airiel Down, is this year’s spokesman for the State Library of North Carolina’s Smartest Card campaign. He visited the school on Friday to talk about the resources libraries offer and encourage students to get a library card or use theirs more often.

The presentation began with a commercial about the campaign, starring Foy.

In the commercial, Foy said that the library offers resources so people can learn about things like photography and provides a place to socialize and share ideas with others.

Foy reiterated those points as he spoke to the students.

“It’s the people that make it,” Foy said. “It’s the exchange of ideas in a face-to-face setting…We want to let you know there are resources at the library. It costs nothing. You go in and check it out.”

He mentioned several libraries in the state and the programs they have had about subjects like video games and photography.

At the conclusion of his presentation, Foy asked the students to name a topic they would like to see featured for a program at the library.

Students offered topics like graphic design, farming, science fiction, astronomy and weight lifting.

“How many other high schools are out there with students of like minds that you can (talk to at library programs)?” Foy said. “These are things you can ask about and learn about.”

Cathy Tallent, reference and teen librarian at the Harrisburg branch of the Cabarrus County Public Library, was also at the event and said she got some good ideas for future events for teenagers at the library.

“It is my job to get these kids into the library,” Tallent said. “I want them to understand the smartest card they can have is a library card.”

Foy agreed and said that all of the other cards in his wallet have interest rates attached to them, but it was nice to have a free one. He is originally from Raleigh and had a Wake County Public Library card with him on Friday.

After hearing about the programs that could be provided at the local library, Central Cabarrus junior Bray Reid said she will get a library card now, while junior Jwaye Covington and sophomore Chelsea Herron said they will use theirs more often.

They all said they were shocked to see a musician speaking to them about libraries. School staff members said they hoped to break the stereotype of what a typical reader or person who goes to the library looks like.

“It is cool that he is a musician and promotes library stuff,” Herron said.

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