Growth in Moore County has been the talk of the town. From developments, to new schools, to expanding municipal services, Southern Pines has been bustling. In response, the Southern Pines Public Library announces a new programming theme for the year – Dream It, Achieve It: Envisioning the Future at Your Library.
To be launched during the Library’s annual September 10 Dedication Day, the featured programming, outreach, and educational opportunities will provide a variety of paths that will empower Southern Pines residents to reach their goals.
Population growth in Southern Pines has yielded a boom in independently owned businesses, including shops, restaurants, and more. Bringing creative approaches to business in a community, entrepreneurial thinkers solve complex social, political, and economic problems.
“On Tuesday, September 10th at 5:30 p.m., you’re invited to the Library to learn from business leaders at Beyond Brick and Mortar: A Roundtable Discussion with Local Entrepreneurs,” says Librarian Mary Howard. “They will reveal their unique perspectives on starting their own businesses, and maybe even provide some inspiration for those eager to start a new business or pursue a side interest.”
Howard is excited about launching the Dream It, Achieve It theme with this event.
“The roundtable discussion is just the beginning of a year centered on supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship,” she said.
As part of a pilot project of the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program, the Library will become an entrepreneurial learning center. Through a grant from the NC IDEA Foundation, the Library will support the Foundation’s efforts to educate 100,000 North Carolinians with an entrepreneurial mindset. Howard will attend training to become an Ice House Facilitator; throughout the year, the Library will conduct a series of targeted marketing campaigns, in-house and outreach programs, and entrepreneur boot camps.
To support Town growth, the Library is expanding services for all ages at the new Southern Pines Fire Station 2. The station’s multi-purpose room will be the site of three new programs – for young children, families, and adults – beginning in September.
Later in the year, a 24/7 remote library kiosk will be installed there where cardholders will be able to check out and return materials. The project is made possible by combined funding from the Town, the Friends of the Library, and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
“This had been a dream for our community for several years,” says Library Director Lynn Thompson. “We’re grateful for all the funding partners who have come together to make it a reality.”
While the Library supports the health and growth of the community at every age and stage, it plays a unique role in the lives of children from age birth to five and their families. Research shows that quality early learning experiences and healthy development are keys to success in life, and the Library provides brain-building interactive programs, outreach to daycare centers, and a literacy-rich environment for families.
“We have dreams for the children in our community and want to do all we can to ensure their life achievements,” says Thompson.
This year, in addition to its ongoing partnership with the Growing Moore Readers Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, the Library has a new opportunity to work with the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Initiative. This program of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation and their partners in strategic planning ensures that the state’s early childhood system best meets the needs of young children and their families. As a grantee, the Library will conduct surveys and focus groups for families with young children to help determine the services needed to support them in the future.
“This is a way for the Library to leverage our existing connections with families and the early childhood community to contribute to the project, as well as gaining insight into how we can improve our program.” says Kelly Ficker, Library Associate for Early Childhood Outreach.
The Library is poised to help residents move toward the futures they envision – whether through community entrepreneurship programs, resources at the new 24/7 mini-branch, success in reaching grade-level reading proficiency, or whatever dreams they hope to achieve.