By Jane W.
I work at a public library in a medium size town. We host a holiday event each year where we host carriage rides, pictures with Santa, a live reindeer, crafts for the kids to do and take home, puppet shows, a Christmas tree lighting, and more. It is a free family event. We have hundreds of people attend.
I worked the door one year, and a man came to the door holding the hands of his 2 daughters.
You could tell they did not have much money by how they were dressed and as they arrived, this man got a worried look on his face and began to leave. I stopped him and did my duty by telling him where each event was held and what their was to do that evening. He whispered in my ear that they would have to leave because he could not afford to have his girls see Santa and pay for a picture (because his experience was from a Mall where photos are so expensive). I told him the girls could see Santa for free and that a photo was only a $1 if he wanted one, the carriage ride was $2 and the rest of the activities were free of charge. He looked so relieved and said “you mean it is free and only a $1 for a photo? Even I can do that for my girls. Christmas celebration at the library!” The girls were so excited and their father was their hero. I will never forget that day when the library could offer a quality of life moment to a family that had so little to celebrate. Libraries offer programs, classes, resources, access to technology and fun: all free of charge. No other institution does what libraries do!