I Had No Idea

By Kathy S. 

Having a love for reading my whole life, and two years experience as an elementary school language arts teacher, I was excited to return to my Alma mater as the new K-12 librarian. My first year, there, I was assigned a junior as a student aide.

She was a quiet, well-mannered young lady who was a conscientious worker and a great typist. We were still typing cards for the catalog by hand back then, so I showed her how to type the cards and assigned her to accession the new library books. She did such a good job, that the following summer, I paid her out of my own pocket to help me get the library ready for the fall.

Eventually, she graduated, got a job, married, started a family, and finally started to college to become a teacher. Years later, I received a letter in the mail from her. She had been assigned to write a letter to the teacher whom she felt had most impacted her life, and SHE CHOSE ME! In her letter, she related how, coming from a large, impoverished family, she had grown up with only one book in the home-The Bible-from which the mother read to the family, but they were not allowed to touch it. Consequently, she grew up thinking that she did not like to read. She went on to share that while accessing the new books, she became intrigued by the covers and started to pursue the books. As she did, she discovered that she enjoyed reading.

The letter went on to relate that this new love of reading carried over to her filling her own home with books for her and her children, and her interest in becoming an educator. She began her letter, with “You may not have realized, but….”

The truth is I HAD NO IDEA; but that letter is one of my most prized possessions!

Libraries do change lives!

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