Why I Support the Library: Floyd Stokes, American Literacy Corporation Executive Director
Floyd Stokes was in The Library’s children’s section with his daughters – a frequent family outing – when he noticed that the family across the table was doing homework.
“Who would think that a family would leave their home and bring their kid to The Library to do homework?” says Floyd, well-known for his “SuperReader” persona he uses to spark children’s interest in reading.
“That was one of those ah-ha moments, that families rely on The Library for not so much the obvious,’’ he says. “But being at a library really makes sense, because you have all the reference books and resources that can help you with your homework.”
Stokes is the founder and Executive Director of American Literacy Corporation, a children’s book author, and a tireless advocate for reading. He serves on the Dauphin County Library System Board of Trustees and has often partnered with The Library to hold standing-room-only programs that attract parents “excited about coming out and getting all the resources.”
American Literacy Corporation’s 365 Reading – daily virtual readings by people from all over the region and the world – can be seen streaming on The Library’s Children’s Program’s Facebook page. Stokes’ first chapter book for young readers, The Story of Nelson Mandela, is scheduled for release in April 2021 from Callisto Media.
What’s your association with The Library over the years? My daughters grew up in The Library, going to Born to Read and storytimes. They check out books. Most recently, my teenager discovered that she could download books for free from the comfort of her room, and that was a game changer. She was just blown away. It’s beautiful to see the connection between myself and my family attending meaningful programs that are informative and entertaining.
Even a professional literacy advocate needs The Library for his family? It’s access to books. Our library can only be so big in our home before we need a place to lay our heads. ‘You don’t really need that bed, do you? You can sleep standing up between bookshelf number 4 and number 5.’
Do you see The Library as that “third place,” a community gathering space? Definitely. Dauphin County Library System has been able to make that jump and be creative and innovative and reinvent itself. There are computers and internet access.