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Sec. Kluttz at ImaginOn with staff from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library

Sec. Kluttz at ImaginOn with staff from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library

In the tough economic times that our state has experienced during the past few years, libraries have become an increasingly important resource in education and for those looking for jobs. Sec. Kluttz saw this first-hand on her recent trips to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Caldwell County Public Libraries.

During Sec. Kluttz’s visit to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library branch on Thursday, the Secretary learned about the library’s early literacy programs and outreach after taking a short tour of the library’s revolutionary ImaginOn facility.

ImaginOn is a joint venture between the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library and the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. The facility includes state-of-the-art theatre spaces, a dedicated library space for kids 11-years-old and under, multi-use classrooms, a teen-only library, a multimedia production studio and an interactive exhibit space. Staffs from the theatre and library use it to put on unique programming designed to get young people to learn in many ways, through all five senses and “from the page to the stage.”

Friday, the Secretary visited the Caldwell County Public Library in Lenoir. The county is the latest library to join the innovative N.C. Cardinal program supported by the State Library of North Carolina. While there, Sec. Kluttz learned all about its wonderful offerings.

Sec. Kluttz’s gets caught reading at the Caldwell County Public Library in Lenoir

The program fosters a state-wide library community that gives North Carolinians greater access to collections that patrons may not have been able to access before. Basically, it allows patrons to get books in libraries across the state, at no charge, with only a few clicks on a website. Patrons can also use the card from their home library at any library in the network.

The system currently has 93 branch locations in 26 counties. That amounts to 9.7 million North Carolinians having access to 4.2 million library items statewide. The program has resulted in 6.6 million circulations since its inception in July 2010.

The program is support the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), but it’s made possible through the work of the State Library of North Carolina, a division of N. C. Department of Cultural Resources.

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