The books we read shape who we are as human beings. They change our ideas, help us grow, offer us insight into the people and the world around us. Anyone who knows me knows my belief in the power of the written word is unwavering (and I’ll probably never stop harping on about it). And, unsurprisingly, I’m not alone. In support of the St. Johns County Library’s READ Campaign, local leaders came together to show off their love of reading and pose with some of their favorite books and stories.
Judi Cowan and the Friends of the Library Southeast put together this poster campaign after seeing pictures from the American Library Association. “As a Friend of the Library Southeast, I was looking for ways to encourage the community to read or discover our St. Johns County Library System with all it has to enrich our quality of life,” says Judi. “Studies show children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.”
Some of the local celebrities featured in the campaign include Sheriff David Shoar, Brittney Garmen of the St. Augustine Police Department, and Robert Smith of the St. Johns County Fire Department. Dr. Miguel Mas of Ancient City Pediatrics carries How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?, while Cary Cowan of Cowan Financial Group holds John Grisham’s The Litigators. These posters and other swill be used at community outreach programs, and the Friends of the Library SE hope to expand the campaign countywide.
Judi and all of the Friends of the Library hope that the campaign helps to usher people through the door of all the local library branches – and not just for the books on the shelves. “Our libraries have much more than books! Virtual Reality glasses, Zen meditation, yoga, craft classes for all ages, teen cooking, belly dancing, pole walking, card sharks, Dungeons and Dragons, current movies – should I go on and on and on?” Judi laughs. “Friends groups throughout the system support all these activities.” Local businesses and individuals who want to sponsor the library and the campaign can donate on different sponsorship levels for a READ poster of their own that will be hung in the Southeast Branch Library and used for outreach. It’s a fun and unique way to get the word out about the work the library does for the community.