• By Don Dwiggins
  • Posted Friday, October 23, 2015

Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin Selected for 2016 Heritage Calendar

Library Director Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin was recently part of a select group of North Carolinians honored by Governor Pat McCrory at a reception at the Governor's mansion for their contribution to the African American Experience in North Carolina.

Sprinkle-Hamlin along with 11 other honorees will be featured on the 2016 Heritage Calendar, celebrating the North Carolina African American Experience.

Joining Governor McCrory in the ceremony were Vanessa Harrison, President of AT&T North Carolina, June Atkinson, Superintendent of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, State Senator Daniel Blue and former ACC basketball and tennis All-American John Lucas, among other notables attending the event.

Selections for the calendar were made from men and women who have excelled in many fields, including education, law, community service, philanthropy literature, science, engineering. performing arts, space exploration and sports.

A native of Winston-Salem, Sprinkle-Hamlin has been the Director of the Forsyth County Public Library since 2000. She has held many positions in the library system since joining it as the department head for children’s outreach in 1979. Her love affair with books goes back to her childhood. “Reading is powerful,” she said “When you read you can visit places that you’ve never been before. You get to know people’s situations and challenges that you may not have had. I read for knowledge and to be enlightened. Plus, it’s entertaining.”

While she enjoys many types of literature, a focus throughout her career has been supporting works by African-American authors or which deal with African-American culture or history. “We have really great writers that a lot of people don’t know about,” she said. “Some of my favorites are Isabel Wilkerson, Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, Alice Walker, Trice Hickman, Kimberla Lawson Roby and Dr. Maya Angelou. I think that we should read all types of literature.”

She has also been a strong supporter of performing arts, an interest which stemmed from enjoying the theater while in college. She is currently the President of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, and has been the Executive Producer of the National Black Theatre Festival since 2007.

Sprinkle-Hamlin is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, with a bachelor’s degree in education, and Clark Atlanta University, where she earned a Master’s degree in library science.

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