What moved you to get involved with the Atlanta Fulton Public Library Foundation?
I am personally passionate about libraries. As a child, my family went to the library every Sunday and it fostered a lifelong passion for reading and storytelling in me.
Did you know that the Fulton County Library System is the largest library system in Georgia and it serves over a million residents in the City of Atlanta and Fulton County? That is incredible. Libraries play a key role in Atlanta’s cultural, educational, and economic fabric and provide essential resources that empower all of us.
When people want to read a great book, research a topic, find a better job or learn about something new, the library is there for them. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Foundation works in partnership with the Library System to support this indispensable community resource through advocacy, fundraising and public awareness. So much good happens at our libraries and I wanted to be a part of that.
Why do you feel library services are so important to the communities we serve?
Libraries are about so much more than books. In addition to serving as community hubs and gathering spots, they play a crucial role in our society. They are part of our civic infrastructure, providing everyone with access to information, education and resources that otherwise might be unavailable or unaffordable. Where else can you go learn, or even just BE, for free? There are very few places in society today for that.
Vibrant libraries unite communities in shared physical and virtual spaces and help bridge the various challenges - economic, racial and social - that divide our community. Libraries are the great connector.
What are you most excited about the foundation accomplishing in 2023? What do you see as your biggest challenge?
I am excited about our upcoming #GivingTuesday campaign in November to generate resources for the Library System. The Foundation is committed to being a force for change enhancing our libraries and bringing residents together and the campaign will support that into 2024. My biggest challenge is my learning journey as I wrap my arms around this new role and work to understand how we can best meet our stakeholders’ diverse needs.
Which library service do you love to share with people when you talk about the library?
The community gatherings and workshops. The Fulton County Library System hosts a variety of literacy programs and events that foster a love of reading and learning for all ages. Libraries also foster creativity and innovation and are places where you can learn a new skill or explore new creative endeavors. I love going to story time and crafts at our local branch with my kids.
Libraries bridge the digital divide by providing access to technology. Technology is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. You can access wifi and check out a Chromebook from your local library. For job seekers or students, that is transformative.
Why should someone reading this support the foundation?
No matter what you care about – education, youth services, economic development, community development, equity, job training, and more – libraries play a role. While Fulton County provides essential funding for operations and improvements, contributions enable the library to do more. Through the Library Foundation, citizens like you can support the library and library staff who provide so much for all of us. Every gift of every size matters! It’s easy to give at afplf.org.