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      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.

      {}

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