Category Archives: Events

All American Marathon Discount Code


The 5th Annual All American Marathon is scheduled to be held on March 25, 2018 in Fayetteville. The race offers a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k option. This year I an Ambassador for the race and have a special All American Marathon Discount Code to share for this race. You can save 10% off registration using the promo code JOHNALLAMERICAN.

I’ve run the half marathon twice and this year I am going all in and running the full marathon. The Marathon and  Half Marathon starts in Festival Park in Historic Downtown Fayetteville and finishes on Fort Bragg at the Main Post Parade Field. The 5K starts and finishes at the Main Post Parade Field on Fort Bragg sharing the finish line with the Full and Half Marathon. Every registered participant receives a performance t-shirt & customized finisher medal.


Last year there were over 3,700 runners at the event where runners were treated to a race course that gave them an inside look at Fort Bragg. The race has a lot of local support and everything about this race is done really well. I highly recommend you check it out if you are looking for a spring race to add to your calendar this year.

This time around I don’t have any specific time goals for this marathon. I’m just looking forward to running with friends and using the race as motivation to improve my overall fitness in the new year. One of my favorite places to train is the Raleigh Greenway so if you see a guy out there running with an All American shirt and have a question about the race feel free to chase me down! #RunStrong


All American Marathon
March 25, 2018
Fayetteville, NC
Discount Code: JohnAllAmerican


...[READ MORE]   SOURCE: Triangle Explorer

Lessons Learned: Love for nature, books, the community, and of course, libraries!

Some of my favorite topics include nature, books, the community, and of course, libraries. It’s even better when I have an opportunity to weave the four topics together.

I want to share some details about my journey to Durham County Library. I grew up outside the city limits of Clinton, NC on a small farm that I didn’t learn to appreciate until I was much older. Little did I know the value of growing up so closely connected to nature and what great life lessons were being learned and applicable in so many aspects of my future.

My parents have always loved the outdoors – from growing corn, beans, and tobacco for the market to having a vegetable garden and a yard landscaped with pink azaleas, red rose bushes, marigolds and more. Each day after school included some tasks of watering, gathering, or in the words of my dad — watching nature grow before my very eyes. These daily tasks were teaching me responsibility, and the value of community, healthy eating, as well as the value of good old fashioned work and patience. Such teaching moments from my parents and a host of other relatives increased my interest to learn more — and always sent me on a quest for knowledge that I would gain from books; selected from the bookmobile – that in my mind, visited – ONLY ME.

The lesson of responsibility was what I considered a privilege of taking care of the gift of nature from the creator and knowing that with attention, love and care I could have a role in helping something grow into a consumable meal or flourish into a beautiful flower that would serve as a source for honeybees, prancing butterflies, and would be aesthetically pleasing for all passersby.

The lesson of value of community and one another was my favorite. You see, vegetables were not only grown for the family but for neighbors near or far, as well as any stranger that would happen by and give any inclination of need or desire for fresh vegetables. In fact the vegetables were grown in what I considered a huge sandbox filled with great fixings for a salad, side dishes and all one could possibly need for a happy stomach.

The other lessons can be summarized together — you couldn’t help but always make healthy eating choices, as fast food and processed foods were not daily options, and family always took time to gather around the dinner table for meals, and great conversation about the happenings of the day. The results were seen in what I thought was hard work — but now I know was just love disguised as work. I’m sure you know that the time it takes anything to grow to your satisfaction either drives you to impatience or teaches you patience. I hope the latter is the one each of you relate to most.

With all of these life lessons came what must have seemed like a zillion questions to the adults in my life. Each would dangle just a carrot of answers and then direct me to a source that has consistently been a part of my life — libraries.

I have always had a love for knowledge, for books, for libraries and could easily get lost and become the character of the novel full of joy, happiness, sadness and courage. This love has continued and fortunately led me on a path that surrounds me daily with libraries filled with books that holds great knowledge page after page.

All of this is why being Director of Durham County Library is so meaningful. It gives me an opportunity to use lessons learned to build a better community for Durham County. I’ve worked in several library systems – New Hanover County, Forsyth County, Mecklenburg County and Fulton County in GA, but I must say working in Durham County at the Durham County Library feels like returning home and it feels like the right place to be. Correction, not only does it feel like the right place to be, it is the right place to be and I hope Durham County Library and our staff make a lasting impression on each person we encounter whether visiting our brick and mortar locations or visiting us virtually.

Source: Durham County Library

9th Wonder: How To Get Nominated for a Grammy

01/18/2018 to 01/18/2018 – Patrick Douthit, a.k.a 9th Wonder, will discuss the work behind his two recent Grammy nominations. The producer received recognition for his work on Kendrick Lamar’s most recent release, which is up for Album of the Year, and his contributions to Rapsody’s “Laila’s Wisdom,” which is up for Best Rap Album.

Douthit is a lecturing fellow in Duke’s African and African-American Studies Department.

The talk is part of a reception and launch for “SexyNotSilent,” a visual arts exhibit by Edith Grey (Natasha Powell Walker) in the Jameson Art Gallery in the Friedl Building on East Campus.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Friedl Atrium. Refreshments will be served.

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About Tammy Baggett

Originally from Clinton, NC, Tammy has served as your Director of Durham County Library for the past seven years. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Parenza, who is also from Clinton, NC. Together they enjoy spending time with their families and friends, as well as their two horses.

Tammy received a B.A. in Speech Communications/Public Relations from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University where she received her Masters of Library Science. She has worked at William Madison Randall Library at UNC-Wilmington, New Hanover County Public Library, Forsyth County Public Library, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, as well as, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Tammy provides motivational speeches to groups concerning career growth, team building and goal setting and is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club of Durham. She is a member of the American Library Association (ALA), the Black Caucasus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and the North Carolina Library Association (NCLA). She is immediate past President of the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association (NCPLDA). Tammy also serves on a number of boards in her community and is a member of the County Manager’s Executive Leadership Team. She is in her fifth year as a monthly presenter for the Durham County Leadership Academy.

She is passionate about delivering quality library services in Durham County where her team places a high emphasis on improving literacy in Durham and offering programs that enhance digital inclusion as it relates to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M). Tammy believes that leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching. It’s her goal to give back to the profession by mentoring others. She is dedicated to helping youth capture a love of reading at an early age. It’s her philosophy that we should all work together to make the world a better place; and what better way to start than the power of reading for pleasure and knowledge.

Source: Durham County Library

Sausagefest at The Rickhouse

01/14/2018 to 01/14/2018 –

Durham’s first Sausagefest invites meat-lovers to taste and stock your
fridge with locally crafted sausages from your favorite restaurants and
butcher shops!

VIP tickets include early entry from Noon – 1pm
with passed appetizers, T-shirt and an exclusive sausage making demo.
General Admission entry from 1 – 4pm

Sausages of all kinds will
be available for take home from FIRST HAND FOODS, LEFT BANK BUTCHERY and
more! Restaurants providing bites to include GOCCOLINA, DASHI, THE ROOT

The event benefits Durham’s transition age youth, via non-profit organization LIFE Skills Foundation. They are improving lives of young adults who have aged out of the foster care system or are at risk of homelessness and exploitation. LIFE Skills provides them with housing, independent living skills classes, counseling and wraparound supports to help them thrive as independent adults. LIFE Skills is starting a young adult resource center called The HUB where youth can meet immediate needs like showers, clothing, food and safety as well as connect with mental health services and work on securing permanent employment and housing. There is nothing like The HUB in Durham, and through Sausagefest, we can help LIFE Skills fund this space.  

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Picture of the Week: Benelux Coffee

Benelux Coffee – Cameron Village

Benelux Coffee is a nice local coffee shop located in the Cameron Village area of Raleigh along Oberlin Road. It’s a spacious cafe with lots of seating making it perfect for meeting friends or just lounging around nursing a hot mug of coffee on a quiet morning in the Oak City. They roast their own coffee beans and offer a full menu of coffee, espresso, and cold brew drinks. They also have baked goods and Belgian Waffles. One thing I really like about this shop is they offer one free refill on their drip coffee. Next time you are over in Cameron Village check them out!

...[READ MORE]   SOURCE: Triangle Explorer

Pork, Pickles, & Peanuts: Tastes of NC

07/14/2018 to 07/14/2018 –

Celebrate North Carolina food culture and history. This extremely tasty event includes a BBQ and Pie contest. Guests can taste the BBQ and pick a People’s Choice winner of their own.
In the morning, join junior interpreters for special demonstrations in the Historic Area. The Duke’s historic house will be open to walk through with costumed interpreters and historic music.

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ADF’s Movies by Movers Winter Screening

01/28/2018 to 01/28/2018 –

This event will feature four films that celebrate the conversation between the body and the camera:
1. Early Mourning, directed by Ben Hartley
2. Behind the Wall, directed by Bat-Sheva Guez
3. Walking the Green Sound: a Dance Film for the Trees, directed by Yulia Arakelyan, Erik Ferguson, and Grant Miller
4. Apostasy, directed by H. Paul Moon

Free and open to the public!  

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Book of Opportunities

“You control your destiny by identifying goals and opportunities you want to accomplish. In doing so, if you want them bad enough they will become your story over the days, weeks and months ahead.” ~Tammy Baggett-Best

New Year’s Day, the first page of a 365 page blank book. Each year almost everyone makes the typical New Year’s resolutions – exercise more, eat healthier, read more, travel; and the list goes on and on. I take a slightly different approach by thinking in terms of goal setting or opportunities. In my view there is a distinct difference between a resolution, goal or opportunity. Resolution is defined by Webster as something that is resolved. Goal is defined as the end toward which effort is directed and opportunity as a good chance for advancement or progress. Key words being effort is directed and chance for progress.

Each year I reflect on the past 365 days and where my efforts will be directed in the 365 days ahead. It’s about what opportunities I want to accomplish. This year I’ve identified several opportunities that I want to fill the blank pages of my 365 day book. I call it the “Book of Opportunities.”

  • Opportunity to improve the quality of life for self and others
  • Opportunity to expand my knowledge base
  • Opportunity to make new connections
  • Opportunity to use time more effectively
  • Opportunity to invest my time, talents and money for a cause I hold dear to my heart
  • Opportunity to try new adventures
  • Opportunity to learn new skills
  • Opportunity to explore and understand new cultures and languages
  • Opportunity to take new risk

Now you fill in the blank. What are your opportunities in your 365 page book?

Source: Durham County Library
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