TRENTON – What do New York Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett, New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck and New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parisi have in common with best-selling authors Michael Connelly, Judy Blume and Janet Evanovich?
They are some of the best at what they do in the world of entertainment and all have joined the NJ State Library team of Library Champions to emphasize how important reading and libraries were in establishing the basis for their successful careers.
“These men and women are known all over the world and have many young fans,” said Norma Blake, NJ State Librarian. “They joined us as NJ Library Champions because of their firm commitment to stressing the importance of literacy for everyone and letting their young fans know that reading leads to success.”
The celebrity Library Champions are hard to miss. Burnett, Tuck and Parisi are on billboards along the NJ Turnpike. Posters of Connelly, Blume and Evanovich, as well other celebrities who are involved in promoting reading and literacy are up in 500 public and school libraries across the state. The goal is to spread the message that reading can help everyone reach their goals, and that books, magazines and newspapers are available for free at your local library.
Author Judy Blume fell in love with books at the Elizabeth Public Library when she was four. “It was there that I found Madeline, my first favorite book,” she recalled. “I still feel a thrill when I enter a library. I never know what I’m going to find and isn’t that the part that makes libraries so special – the endless possibilities?
The NJ State Library’s community based public awareness campaign demonstrates how libraries have the power to transform people’s lives, especially young people, by offering free and excellent reading and learning opportunities for everyone.
The awareness campaign is in support of the New Jersey Library Association’s (NJLA) efforts to register 10,000 Library Champions from all walks of life. Library Champions are people who love their libraries and want to be in the know about issues that may affect them. Those wishing to become Library Champions may get more information by going to the web site http://njlibrarychampions.org.
Viewers are invited to sign up to become a Library Champion with NJLA so that when important library issues arise, they will get notified. They can also enter to win free prizes, such as tickets to events at the Izod Center, by entering the latest book they read.
Zack Parisi is larger than life adorning the NJ State Library in Trenton to promote libraries and reading. Photo courtesy of the New Jersey State Library
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