Catherine T. 2020-2021 Student Library Ambassador, 9th Congressional District. North Carolina Library Advocacy.

Get to know Catherine…
Hello! My name is Catherine, and I am a sophomore at Myers Park High School in Charlotte. Along with my ardent love for reading, I have a passion for writing poetry and essays. When I am not spending time with family and friends, I play volleyball and work with social justice initiatives.

What made you interested in being a library ambassador?
After learning more about the NCLA and the work they are doing, I was interested in becoming a library ambassador. As a child, the environment of my local library facilitated not only learning but the promotion of acceptance and friendship. I have made discoveries and advances in myself that I would not have made without the influence of libraries. Providing a home and community for those who might not have one otherwise, the power of a home library is indescribable. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to defend these sanctuaries and inform legislators of their importance.

Where is your home library and what do you love about it?
I tend to hop around many libraries in the Matthews/Charlotte area. I consider the Charlotte Mecklenburg libraries on Hickory Grove and Matthews Station Street to be my home libraries. The warmth of the staff and the people I have met on my visits have made them irreplaceable. My most simple yet most splendid memories involve visits to these libraries, sitting at a back table with a coffee and nowhere else to be.

What is your earliest library memory?
I distinctly remember visits with my mom in the afternoons for group reading. While the details are fuzzy now, I remember resting my head on her shoulder listening to the story and occasionally receiving maracas to play while listening to music together. The fondest aspects of these memories were moments where I began to understand the love I had for reading.

Favorite Book?
Recently, The Grace Year by Kim Liggett and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi have become my favorites. However, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen will always have a special place in my heart.

What do you love about libraries?
While they have retired now, I give all of my gratitude to the staff at the Hickory Grove and Matthews libraries. Their kindness and support have left an ever present mark on my family and me.

What do you want legislators to know about libraries?
I think there is a notion held by many that young people do not utilize libraries because of the rise of technology and other sources for novels. However, I want to inform legislators that libraries are beloved and needed by many. For those without access to books or internet, libraries are essential. For those searching for a sense of belonging and a space free of judgement, libraries are essential. For those longing to step into a world of knowledge, growth, and fantasy, libraries are essential.