Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cathy Bentz: A Passion for Libraries and Literacy

On a mission for library system. (Charlotte Observer/Mooresville News, 2/9/2011)

Excerpt:    Some say libraries are a relic of history and that paper books aren't compatible with today's digital culture of iPads and Amazon's Kindle.

Bentz insists, however, that libraries are as relevant today as ever.

"I've learned so much from reading: history, the world and different cultures. What's society going to do if our libraries can't provide that?" she said.

Even if people aren't using libraries for books, Bentz insists many libraries teach lessons needed to succeed in life. Many libraries offer programs that can keep students from falling through the cracks, teach adults and children to read and how to use computers.

These are the types of programs that could have helped Bentz's father, Gene, when he was slipping through the cracks in school. He always had a hard time reading, which caused him to reject studying and, she believes, also caused him to become a disciplinary problem while at school.

The lack of a degree eventually caused him to lose his job as a social worker; he spent the rest of his career as a construction worker.

Bentz's passion about libraries and literacy is a personal conviction that literacy is necessary to be successful.

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