Elizabeth P. 2020-2021 Student Library Ambassador, 12th Congressional District. North Carolina Library Advocacy

Get to know Elizabeth…
I am a junior at Providence High School where I serve as a captain on my school’s speech and debate team, an editor of the Roars & Whispers Literary Magazine, an officer for my class council, and a varsity cheerleader rooting on our school’s football and basketball teams. Outside of school, I enjoy volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House as a Teen Volunteer Board member well as at my local South County and Matthews libraries. I love spending time and helping out at my church, St. Matthews Catholic, and in my free time I like to write, listening to music, and spend some quality time with my family. In the future, I hope to study business at a four-year university and go on to earn a law degree.

What made you interested in being a library ambassador?
I frequently visited my local libraries when I was a kid as a visitor and now as a teen as a volunteer, and I have both witnessed and experienced the impacts the resources of the libraries can have for someone’s education. The libraries opened doors to stories and knowledge for me and I know that they are a vital aspect to the success of our communities. I believe that it is crucial to continue and expand aid and funding for our local libraries and felt it necessary to voice my concerns as someone who is personally connected to the cause.

Would you like to give a shout out to your home library?
South County Regional Library/Matthews Library. I originally began volunteering at the South County Regional Library in eighth grade where I love the slotted out window working areas, but when they closed for construction, I started volunteering at the Matthews Library, which has quickly become a home to me as well. I adore how cozy the Matthews Library is and I love the train carved computer area for the kids.

What is your earliest library memory?
I can still remember the day that I got my first library card from the South County Regional Library. I could barely see over the counter as I picked out a plastic, yellow tag and waited impatiently for the scan to process my information. I can still imagine myself lugging a stack of picture books to the counter and proudly scanning my library card for the first time.

Favorite Book?
Educated by Tara Westover.

What do you want legislators to know about libraries?
Legislators must understand the importance of libraries and how vital their future progressions are. Libraries are pillars of communities, lending countless resources of knowledge and growth to all demographics. Over the past decade, libraries have transformed from simple buildings with books to centers for clubs, classes, meetings, and tutoring opportunities for people of all ages. Beyond these changes, however, society quickly innovates and in turn libraries need to as well. Libraries must be equipped with updated and suitable technology to continue to serve communities to their maximum potential. Yet, with the declining lack of aid going towards libraries, it becomes increasingly difficult for local libraries to not only obtain resources for the future, but to maintain ones in the present.