On Tuesday, September 29, 2015, Suffolk’s Main Street Chick-fil-A held its first “literacy Night” by showcasing three local authors and the Suffolk Traveling Library from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Community Coordinator Terry Harper said the idea was spawned by the request of one of the author’s, Elaine Lankford, to hold a book signing there. From there, Harper invited authors Janice Holland and Nancy O’Berry (also a Chick-fil-A employee) to join in the fun. Next, she contacted the literacy coordinator at the Suffolk Library to bring the “traveling library” in so residents could discern what the library has to offer as well as sign-up for, and leave with, a library card of their own.
Patrons of Chick-fil-A were provided the opportunity to purchase a book and have it signed by the author. Each of the authors also had giveaways such as book marks, post cards, posters and, perhaps most important to the kids – chocolate. One child commented it was almost like a pre-Halloween event.
The librarians in attendance let visitors to their area know they have a printing center whereby anyone in possession of a valid Suffolk Public Library card could download items for print, then pick it up later. There is a cost of twenty cents per page for this service, the same cost as if one were to copy while at the library. For those who do not have printers, or have a printer temporarily out of service, this is a wonderful, albeit little known, feature of the library.
The authors not only shared information about their books with patrons, they also spent time networking with one another. The consensus from the three is there exists a need for them to do more collaboration so as to spotlight all the authors in our area.
Even the Chick-fil-A “Cow” promoted literacy by signing up for his library card and proudly posing for the cameras after he received his. He also collected chocolate from the authors, supposedly to share with the patrons, but rumor has it he thought the chocolates were “udderly” delicious.