By Jessica D.
I was lucky enough to have been raised by a mother who was steeped in reading from a young age. Given that, she surrounded us with books, magazines, newspapers. Not only did she volunteer in our school library, but she made weekly trips to the library a necessity in our house. We’d enter and my sister and I would make our way into the children’s section. Usually, I’d head straight to find “my” copy of Molly Bang’s The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher and my older sister would search out for “her” A Cache of Jewels. My mother signed us up for every summer reading program and we’d meticulously track our reading and books.
Our library had long benches beneath sunny windows, a 21-foot trolley to share a book with someone, cheerful workers who were always helpful (and I know I was not as as polite as I am now), and a wide variety of reading material apart from only books in the form of children’s magazines like Cricket, Ranger Rick and others.
Libraries changing lives? It’s true that I have no idea what kind of person I’d be if my library hadn’t been such a strong force while growing up, but I’m a teacher now due largely in part because learning excites me. The simple act of gaining knowledge has empowered me. And my journey of learning new information began within the walls of my library.