Touring Libraries

Understanding Community, One Branch at a Time

The Threatt family has long recognized Charlotte Mecklenburg Library as a valuable educational resource – and lately, they’re using the Library to learn about the community.

Clara Threatt has been a storytime regular since her three children were babies, and the Library is a critical piece of their homeschool curriculum. The children, ages 7, 9 and 11, use the Library for traditional research, and to provide context and satisfy curiosity sparked by what they’re studying. The family recently read a novel about a woman who spent her life travelling, and then used the library to learn more about each of the character’s destinations.

Lately, they’re travelling themselves – and discovering the people and places of Mecklenburg County by visiting all 20 Library locations.

The “Tour of Libraries” project was inspired by a trip to New York City. Clara and her husband visited New York Public Library to see the original Winnie the Pooh housed there, and the library bookmarks they picked up were the children’s favorite souvenirs. An idea was born. Clara explains, “Years ago, my husband would take the girls to visit a new park each week. They got to see different neighborhoods and playgrounds, and they made new friends. After the New York trip, I determined to visit every library in the Charlotte Mecklenburg system.”

So far the Threatts have been to just over half. “ImaginOn is our primary library, and it’s been neat to see the kids figure out new branches and feel confident asking for help. We were astounded by all the shelves of holds at the Matthews location, and to learn that they empty their book drops every hour – wow!”

But more important than learning about libraries, the Threatts are learning about community. “Just like the tour of parks, we’ve been to libraries that are off our beaten path and each location is unique. We’re introduced to another part of Charlotte by getting out and exploring the neighborhood. The anticipation and decision-making about where to go next is exciting and gives us greater appreciation for the breadth and diversity of our library system and our County. We’re looking forward to spending more time exploring after we wrap up our school year in May.”

Interested in taking your own tour? Find a full listing of Library locations here!

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