Over the past year, I’ve had the honor of writing about a diverse group of authors who will be participating in Book ‘Em North Carolina on Feb. 23 at Robeson Community College. Last year’s event brought in more than 2,000 attendees and raised $9,000 for Robeson County literacy campaigns. More than half of the attendees came from outside the county.
The success of Book ‘Em North Carolina depends upon community support. Civic groups, businesses and individuals throughout Robeson County are lending their time, energy and donations to ensure its success.
Robeson Community College is providing the facilities for more than 75 authors, publishers, literary agents and a Hollywood producer. Their faculty has been deeply involved, supplying expertise, manpower and materials.
Four rooms will hold panel discussions and talks beginning at 10 a.m., hosted by librarians from Lumberton, Red Springs and Pembroke. The Friends of the Robeson County Public Library will host authors in a hospitality suite at the event.
Food will be provided by Golden Corral with a portion of the proceeds donated to literacy efforts. The Village Station Restaurant will feed the authors the evening before the big event.
The Lumberton Visitors Bureau has been instrumental in publicity efforts. Attendees from as far away as Illinois and Michigan and book clubs in Myrtle Beach, S.C., have arranged bus trips to the event.
The Robeson County Arts Council will be showcasing Robeson County’s talents in the arts as attendees enter through the lobby.
Civic organizations, including Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club and Fairmont Chamber of Commerce, have provided their monetary support as well as volunteers.
Lynn Noble, a teacher at Tanglewood Elementary School, will oversee a variety of readings and activities in The Children’s Corner, a special section. Students with Studio One will bring books to life by dressing as storybook characters. The Robeson County Arts Department under Sandi Carter has created the artwork and signs that are displayed throughout.
Southeastern Regional Medical Center will have a mobile unit at the event, and Lumberton police will be on hand as part of the “Buy a Book and Stop a Crook” theme, providing fingerprinting and DNA for children and information on staying safe.
Moderators for panel discussions have volunteered from throughout the business community, including Robeson Community College, SRMC, the law offices of Bruce Jobe, BB&T, Lumbee Guarantee Bank, Josh Whitley State Farm, LPL Financial, Mary Jo Walter at Edward Jones, Lumberton Optometric Associates and Lumberton Chevrolet.
Individuals too numerous to list are providing their time and energy in dozens of ways. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open to the public at 9:30 a.m. This is my 11th event and second in Lumberton, and I’ve been pleased to chair it alongside Katie Huneycutt, the Youth Services Librarian at Robeson County Public Library.
p.m.terrell is the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation and founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina. She is the author of more than 16 books, including a series set in Lumberton. For more information on the event, visit www.bookemnc.org or contact p.m.terrell at email@example.com.