Tuesday, September 05, 2006
The Smartest Card - The Coolest Day
Kevyn Adams is the official North Carolina Spokesperson for the Smartest Card campaign this year. Have I lost you? Fair enough. Kevyn Adams = hockey player for the Carolina Hurricanes and all-around great guy. Smartest Card Campaign = American Library Association initiative (annually done in September) to encourage people to sign up for a library card. Better? Cool.
Anyway, the State Library serves as the main point of contact for this event, and each library system in the state liaises (I can make a verb out of anything...) with the State Library to get materials and ideas for their own individual campaigns. In past years, a celebrity serves as the "face" for the campaign all over the country. Last year, for example, it was George Lopez. This year, ALA decided each state should choose their own "local" celeb, and North Carolina asked the Hurricanes if someone wanted to do it. They sent us Kevyn Adams, bless them eternally.
Since we are in Raleigh, the State Library asked if we could host the kick-off press conference in one of our libraries, and our liaison (who works at my "old" library and now has my "old" job) said "I know JUST the place!" So she (her name is Brandy) hosted them there. And, since she knows me and likes me, she asked if I would come help out. Okay, really... I DEMANDED that she let me come help, but whatever... details.
So Kevyn showed up at about 11:40 today in his Hummer for an 11:30 press conference. But no one really minded that he was late. He didn't seem at all flustered or nervous, and he did a great job. First he spoke a bit about how his mom felt it was very important that he do things other than hockey, and reading was one of them. He read a book to about ten 5th graders from a local Elementary school. They are all Safety Monitors at school, and this was a little reward for them.
He read The Magic Hockey Stick and filled the kids in on hockey vocabulary ("lumber," "assist," and "hat trick") as he read. I suspect most of the kids in the room knew these terms, but were WAY too shy to speak up in front of their hero. One little girl did give the definition of a "hat trick" and she seemed terrified. But she did great! I was going to post their pictures... but internet safety... blah blah blah... so you'll just have to imagine how cute they were.
After he read, he signed autographs for all the kids, and one young man boasted to Kevyn that he was there when the 'Canes won the cup back in June and how fantastic that was. So Kevyn asked him if he'd be there this season too, to which the young man said, "Well, I'm not really that much of a hockey fan." Laughs all around, and Kevyn followed up with "So you were just on the bandwagon, eh?" Many chuckles from the press and myself.
He signed one young lady's jersey and when he finished, he said, "You'd probably rather have Staal's autograph, but that's what I can do." More laughs, especially from me. (Staal is the young up-and-coming heartthrob of the team for those of you who aren't hockey fans... and need I remind you... you SHOULD be hockey fans.) When he mentioned Staal, one of the teachers there commented that Staal had come to their school a couple of years ago, to which Kevyn replied, "Can that guy read?!" Even more chuckles. A good time.
When the kids were all cleared away from the table, Brandy and I asked if he'd pose with us, which he was more than happy to do. As I stood beside him, I mentioned that I WOULD be there next season, which he laughed about and joked that you can't ask kids questions you don't know the answer to because you never know what they'll say. Too true, Kevyn. Too true.
Finally, Kevyn got his library card. His wife already has one, but he had not yet gotten one for himself. I swear I've never had more fun seeing someone get a library card. What a fantastic guy and what a great thing for North Carolina libraries. If you live in the area, check out the news tonight. We should be covered!