Michael Jordan talked a lot Thursday about how he would be the face of the Charlotte Bobcats' franchise, and that part of his focus would be working with city and community groups to help Charlotte be a better place to live.
As several of my colleagues have pointed out to me today, there could hardly be a better place to start than Charlotte's public library system. It is in dire straits, as this Observer story details -- 12 of the 24 branches are set to close.
With those 12 closings will come 148 layoffs. And pretty much everyone gets affected by this, as the branches that will close April 3 are all over the county.
So help save the libraries, Michael. It's a very good cause, and talk about some serious bang for the civic buck -- this would do it. If I were Jordan, I'd get out in front of this issue quickly. (And I don't mean he should write a check for the entire amount himself. I mean he should make sure the Bobcats organization makes a sizeable contribution. He should encourage some of the players to do the same. He should possibly do a public-service announcement for the library system. He should help raise awareness of a serious issue, in other words, by using his celebrity).
And for those Charlotte residents who haven't seen the list of libraries that will be closing yet, they are: the urban branches of Beatties Ford Road, Belmont, Scaleybark and South Tryon; Sugar Creek to the north and Independence to the east; Myers Park, Carmel and Morrison on the affluent southside; and suburban outlets in Cornelius, Hickory Grove and Mint Hill.
11 months ago