Alizdair-R. 2020-2021 Student Library Ambassador, 9th Congressional District. North Carolina Library Advocacy.

Get to know Alizdair…
In August of this year, I started my Senior year as a sixteen year old at Cumberland International Early College High School. What a difference COVID-19 made in the world in 2020 but thankful for technology that allows us to keep normalcy in our lives. Books are still important and I had a bunch for my college classes. My family and I have used the library as a big source for homeschooling and projects for ten years. I’m a person that try to stay positive in all aspects of my life. I’m the first to set goals and motivate myself and others, for example, in school, travel soccer games, tournaments, debate, and 4-H. The big thing about me is volunteering in the community and making a difference in a person’s life. I was instilled with those traits and values by my parents, Angela and Henry Ray. We were able to keep our tradition of sorting and packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child last month. It was a charity that I have done with my family and friends since I was a toddler.

What made you interested in being a library ambassador?
Libraries have changed my life in so many positive ways. It has personally impacted me in the opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, gain academic success, achieve service and leadership skills. Personally, I would like to promote and advocate the benefits of libraries to others. I believe the NC Library Advocacy can offer me that opportunity.

Would you like to give a shout out to your home library?
Hope Mills Branch Library! The staff is always willing to help and they called me by my name. That’s because we are frequently there — a few days out of the week.

What is your earliest library memory?
My earliest library memory is at Alvin Sherman Library in Davie, Florida. I was only three years old . My mom organized a play date with other homeschooling families and kids. I remembered running inside and immediately stopping in my tracks. I couldn’t believe how big the library was and all the books on the shelves. All the kids and myself were excited to sit up front on the big rug. All the moms sat in the back and we all heard them reading along with the librarian. It was so much fun to follow along in the book and see the pictures. The story time really fostered my love for reading and I started reading at a very young age. It is still with me today. I love that my parents — but especially my Mom — made it a weekly event. I appreciated her taking me there and we have made lifelong friends because of it. I was thankful at that young age and even more as a seventeen year old teenager.

Favorite Book?
Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney.

What do you love about libraries?
Hope Mills Branch’s staff and librarians!

What do you want legislators to know about libraries?
As I have grown older, I appreciate the library, resources, and librarians more, as they have help contribute to my academic success. The library doesn’t reach out to a particular group, as there are opportunities for all people. As we continue to grow, we must not forget the importance of our libraries and the great impact that they have on our community. The libraries are strengthening all generations and we must all understand the importance of funding all of our hometown libraries.