Reflections on a Summer with the Library Foundation

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“Our Library touches issues young people are passionate about.”

Isabelle Bradberry interned this summer with the Library Foundation. We are grateful for her energy, her perspective, and her social media chops!

During my last few weeks of summer before heading back to college, I interned for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation to help their marketing team reach a younger audience through social media. At first, this seemed daunting to me—it seemed to me that many young people’s interest in libraries ended with their school semester, and did not extend far outside the world of academia. It was safe to say that the Library’s social media was not exactly a college student hub!

But as I researched for new content, I found that the monumental impact of our Library touches so many of the issues young people today are so passionate about, such as poverty and inequality.

Our Library is an environment in which the city’s most vulnerable can take refuge and find comfort. A Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing survey revealed that our city’s homeless population finds safety and hospitality, along with valuable information at the Library. I found out that the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has a job help center where individuals can get support in formatting resumes, take classes to improve skills, and search for opportunities. Our Library has spearheaded programs in bilingual education, Braille communication, and sensory programs for adults with special needs. It touches the lives of inmates, promotes healing through writing, and welcomes refugee families through programs for children.

Rooted in our Library’s fundamental purpose is to provide equity of access; to give opportunities to those who so often have not been granted them, to enrich the imaginations of our future leaders, and to provide a safe space for the city’s most vulnerable.

We are quick to look to celebrities and activists for inspiration, but we must pay closer attention to what is happening in our own communities. As the next generation of leaders, it is critical that we do not overlook the impact of our local institutions, and our Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is a great place to start.

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