Olympian's campaign for libraries

      The Birmingham Public{}Library and Olympic gold medalistVonetta Flowers are teaming to increase awareness of the value of the{}library{}to the community. Flowers will star ina "Champions for Learning" awareness campaign. {}It is set to launch July 27 as the 2012Summer Olympics get underway.

      Flowers is a Birmingham native. {}She says she has volunteered her time to record public service announcements during a recentvisit to the magic city.{}{}In a thirty second television ad, Flowersspeaks of the impact the Birmingham Public{}Library{}had onher life as a child and about her unexpected launch into a successfulbobsledding career. Other elements of the campaign include posters and printads, all encouraging area residents to visit their local{}library. Thecampaign runs through August.

      "The Birmingham Public{}Library{}has been in the community for 125years serving not only as a free resource, but also as a champion for lifelonglearning," said{}Library{}DirectorIrene Blalock.{}{}"Because she is also a champion, we could think of nobetter partner for this initiative than Vonetta Flowers.{}{}We are sograteful that she contributed her time to being part of this initiative."

      Birmingham's public{}libraries{}have a strong presence in thecommunity that will be enhanced by this effort.{}{}Last year alone the libraries{}served2 million people.{}{}And 50,000 books were read by youth participatingin the summer reading programs that take place at various branches.


      This campaign launch comes on the heels of the new logodesign slated to be unveiled officially on August 1.{}{}The new logo isa variation of the enduring flame of knowledge and speaks to exactly what the{}library{}representsas a community organization that provides educational and entertainmentopportunities at its 19 branch{}libraries.{}{}Naturally, reading isthe main association that most have with the{}library.{}{}So books remain a focusfor the organization's image.