Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland

Best-selling author and American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland will lend her support to advocate for the nation’s libraries as honorary chairwoman of National Library Week, today through Saturday.

“Libraries Transform: Libraries Lead” is the theme for this year’s 60th anniversary celebration of National Library Week, reminding the public that libraries of all types serve as community compasses that lead users to endless opportunities for community engagement, enrichment and development.

National Library Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of the nation’s libraries and library workers, and to promote library use and support. Some of the opportunities provided by libraries include free access to books, online resources for families, and business centers that help support entrepreneurship and retraining. The theme for 2018 National Library Week is “Libraries Lead.”

“We are honored that Misty Copeland has agreed to join us as National Library Week honorary chair,” said American Library Association President Jim Neal. “Copeland’s efforts to lead youth to pursue their dreams regardless of what challenges they may encounter, mirrors the efforts of librarians and library workers, as they work to inspire, educate and lead users to resources that improve lives.”

Copeland’s passion is giving back to communities. She supports many charitable organizations by giving her time and influence. That support has extended to libraries by means of print PSAs, social media artwork and other materials that feature Copeland.

“I’m thrilled to join leaders from the library community in celebrating National Library Week,” Copeland said. “Libraries help people of all backgrounds access the services and resources they need to discover their passions and achieve their goals.”

Copeland is the author of “Ballerina Body,” a New York Times Bestseller published in March 2017. She is the author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir “Life in Motion,” published March 2014. Copeland is also the author of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award-winning 2014 book “Firebird,” an inspiring children’s book that shows that through hard work and dedication any young dancer can become a “Firebird.”

Copeland began her ballet studies at the late age of 13. At 15, she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. She studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. Misty joined ABT’s Studio Company in September 2000, joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001, and in August 2007, became the company’s second African-American female soloist. In June 2015, Misty was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African-American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is an annual observance by the American Library Association and libraries across the country each April. National Library Week celebrations include the release of the ALA’s 2018 “State of America’s Libraries Report,” Monday; National Library Workers Day, Tuesday; National Bookmobile Day, Wednesday; Take Action for Libraries Day, Thursday; and the celebration of School Library Month through April.

To celebrate, the American Library Association recommends visiting you library and supporting libraries on social media, using #NationalLibraryWeek and #LibrariesTransform.

To learn more, visit www.ilovelibraries.org.

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