Leading the Way

Access to opportunity is in our DNA.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force released its Leading on Opportunity report last year. Organizations and individuals throughout our community are galvanizing in response to its recommendations around improving economic mobility for our city’s children. Your Library is ready, because providing access to opportunity is in our DNA.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has always been committed to improving lives and building a stronger community. Over 90% of Mecklenburg County residents view the Library as a champion for early literacy, digital inclusion and economic opportunity, and the Task Force recommendations resonate with our mission and record of success. Leading on Opportunity outlines interrelated determinants that influence a child’s lifetime opportunities, and Library initiatives strongly align:

We were among the first libraries in the country to dedicate space for a children’s department in the early 1900s, and in 2005 opened the award-winning ImaginOn children’s library. Today’s ONE Access partnership with CharlotteMecklenburg Schools and expanded Active Reading awareness trainings with Read Charlotte are a continuation of our longstanding commitment to early literacy and student success.

Proven initiatives like College 101, DigiLit, VolunTeens and internships will expand under a newly introduced College and Career Connections suite of programs. The Library’s Job Help Center, introduced at the height of the 2010 recession, will continue to add services in response to the needs of customers at every age and career stage.

Your Library embraces families of all structures, and offers support for everyone from new parents and babies through seniors. We partner with Mecklenburg County and community agencies to provide programs on topics from mental health and parenting to financial literacy and new resident onboarding. These offerings will continue to grow and be widely available in branches, outreach locations and online.

Perhaps most critical to economic mobility are what Leading on Opportunity calls cross-cutting factors – the impact of segregation and importance of social capital. Your Library brings people from all backgrounds to a common ground, free and welcoming to all who are curious. A walk through any of our twenty locations demonstrates the magic of people coming together around shared interests.

Providing access to the information, resources and connections that lead to opportunity remain at the core of the Library’s mission and work, and going forward we are laser-focused on this community priority and our potential to collaborate with new partners for even greater impact. Your generous support keeps opportunity within reach.

“The capacity to transform lives motivated Andrew Carnegie to provide startup capital for thousands of public libraries, and that role is as essential today as it was when our library opened in 1903.”

-Lee Keesler, Library CEO

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