Every Day a New Story Began

By Tonya F. 

I will always be a librarian at heart. Having been a public librarian for 8 years, every day brought with it the opportunity to make a great impact on every individual that walked through the door. While libraries are indeed evolving, the ambition is still the same; to engage and enrich the community.

It would be hard to surmise how libraries have changed my life with just one story. From my own experiences as a child struggling to overcome low reading skills, to a shy teenager that was given kindness by the school librarian to sit quietly in the library during lunch (a privilege she granted to no one else)…libraries were a respite from the world around me. It was with this in mind that I greeted every new day as a librarian. Whether it be the recommending of a book or movie to a patron, teaching free computer classes, helping a student go beyond Google for their schoolwork, or assisting a job seeker with their resume and job searching…the honor to impact the community in which I served was never far from my mind.

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Live for Libraries

By Mike K.

Our County Library has been extremely important to our entire family. Our now nine-year-old kids have been attending the library just about every weekend since they were babies. Books can be expensive. Our kids enjoy the classics that we own. But the library opens up a new world of topics and subjects for them. If they are not interested, we simply exchange and find something else. Additionally the library has assisted the kids with various homework and project assignments in school and scouts.

We benefit as well with computer access at our branch. They have specific computers setup for various age group learning games. Our kids would spend hours learning with those.

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Florida Woman Goes to Library

By Sue W. 

After you move from the scholarly western suburbs of Boston to the coast of Southwest Florida, a few things may unsettle you at first.

There are, of course, the gap-toothed guys driving around in pickup trucks flying Confederate flags.

You realize that news reports about Florida Man or Florida Woman—a recent form of Homo sapiens—now come out of your own fair state. You know Florida Man, of course you do. “Florida man assaults wife with machete for buying toilet paper at Walmart.” Only in Florida, you think.

Groceries are surprisingly pricey here. The ice cream truck plays Christmas carols, year round. The sun sets into the ocean. Given the FCAT scores, you wonder if kids here ever go to college.

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The Library: Reliable Friend, Faithful Tutor, Quiet Refuge

By Diana S. 

As an adolescent, I moved and changed schools frequently. New schools presented so many challenges. Apart from the obvious social matters, there were almost always gaps and differences in curriculum that had me asking “am I ever going to catch up?” With each new move, I made sure that I quickly found the local library. It was the only place to find unbiased help that closed the gaps in learning spaces while providing all the tools that I needed to cope with school. The library also offered a wealth of local information and I relied on the library to have up-to-date tools, and knowledgeable people. Libraries drew me to a life-long love affair with reading (which facilitated learning in the most unfamiliar situations). With moving comes chaos – and plenty of it. But, as soon as I stepped through the doors of the library, the absence of chaos became the state of salvation. Beyond studying and academics, I came to the library to expand my interests and learn more about the things I loved in the serenity that only a library can provide.

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Knowledge Is Power

By Kathy M.

Thinking about “The Library” brings back so many wonderful memories of my childhood! As a child, a book received as a birthday or Christmas gift was treasured. And the local library opened the doors to the wonderful world of books as I visited frequently and read and re-read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Lad, A Dog as well as Carolyn Haywood’s Annie Pat and Eddie series and Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins series.

The Detroit Public Library’s Jefferson Branch was a frequent destination being only a few blocks from home. I can recall many summer days riding my bike to the library and borrowing the maximum 10 books, which filled the basket on my handlebars, and then heading home to spend time reading on our sunlit front porch over the next couple days. I still remember the orange biography series The Childhood of Famous Americans that introduced me to our country’s history.

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Loving the Library Again Through My Children

By Andrew D. 

I can distinctly remember my first visit to the public library. As a part of Mrs. Chardoul’s first grade class, we took a field trip to the East Grand Rapids Public Library, and everyone got their own library cards. (I continued to use that same card well into my 20s.)

While EGRPL is a small-town library, there is something inherently magical about it. Nestled on the shores of Reeds Lake, the glimmer on the water added movement to the walls through the windows. It made our imaginations dance beyond the words of the books. It was the hub of our community. It was where we walked to or from on our way to get ice cream at Jersey Junction (just down the street). It was there on the library’s roof where we would sit as the 4th of July fireworks were displayed over the lake. It was a respite for us young bibliophiles who couldn’t find a backpack big enough (or a bike on which to balance) to carry our collection home with us.

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