National Library Week 2023, April 23-29, will be celebrated with the theme “There’s More to the Story.”
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries participate, including school, public, academic, and our community’s very own Levine Sklut Judaic Library.
In the 20 years since the Library was established it has grown to serve more than 6,000 visitors each year and carries an extensive collection of more than 15,00 titles, all with Jewish content or written by Jewish authors. It has been an important place for connection: connecting to books rich with knowledge, history, and the ability to entertain; connecting to tools for productivity and learning such as public computers and Wi-Fi; and perhaps most important, connecting to each other through book clubs, classes, and lectures. Our Library serves as a community work space, a place to meet, a rainy day play area, or simply a place to relax with a book and a cup of coffee.
But as the theme of National Library Week suggests, there’s much more to the story, and we invite you to be part of that story as Center for Jewish Education embarks upon a campaign that will allow us to transform the Library’s space to meet the needs of our growing Charlotte Jewish community. Our Library’s redesign is one of the areas identified by our community as a priority. As such, the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte is taking on this initiative on behalf of the community and offering an additional giving opportunity to support this effort when making a contribution to the 2023 Annual Campaign.
In the nearly 20 years since the Library’s establishment, its collection continuously developed to stay relevant with the times, including the introduction of eBooks and audiobooks. However, it is clear that in order to continue to serve our community, the Library needs to continue to evolve and modernize. We must meet the demand for public co-working, gatherings, and 21st century learning needs and modalities.
The Center for Jewish Education Capital Campaign will raise funds to transform the Library’s space to meet the needs of our growing Charlotte Jewish community. Modernization highlights include a redesigned children’s room, group study spaces as well as individual study rooms, and integrated work spaces that will allow the library to function as a gathering place for knowledge and engagement.
In redesigning the space, careful thought was given to creating an inviting, friendly, and comfortable space for our community’s youngest readers. The children’s room hosts more than 740 story times a year with our community’s beloved Miss Debby. The new plans for the room include different areas to cater to a variety of ages and interests, from interactive games and play stations, to quiet spaces for reading and studying, all with a flexible design that can be adapted as needed.
One anonymous donor says, “There is no greater time to invest in the education of our next generation and Shalom Park has been instrumental in the development of our children over the years. We can’t wait to see the designs be brought to life and give our community another reason to come together and learn in each other’s company.”
As we celebrate National Library Week in April, we invite you to be part of our Library’s story. Stop by, check out a book, and join us in enhancing Jewish education and engagement by supporting the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library Capital Campaign. To learn more visit: www.jewishcharlotte.org.