Finding Community and the World

By Linda H. Moving to Michigan in January made it pretty hard for a stay-at-home dad and a pre-schooler to meet new friends twenty years ago. My husband and son found that the children’s rooms in two different community libraries brightened that first lonely winter considerably. The librarians were so taken with my son’s enthusiasm … Read more…

My Library is Everywhere

By Kate P.

As a child, during the summer the book mobile from the Royal Oak Public Library would park two blocks from my house on a cool, shady street along the park. Climbing up those steps into the book mobile, I was full of anticipation of an adventure — I would get lost in the stories that awaited me! I still can remember the naturally lit space, and smell of the wooden, book-lined interior. I would haul a canvas bag down the hot sunny sidewalk back home, loaded with the maximum number of books bumping against my legs, on a regular basis. Special requests would be waiting for me the next week, thanks to Pam, the patient librarian.

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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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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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Impeccable Timing

By Lynn M. 

I just finished watching the library video story when my 7-year-old nephew knocked on my office window. Unbeknownst to me, he had been camped out under my window with his father’s watch to tell him when my work day had officially ended. The reason he was so excited? His favorite author we had been sharing together had released a new series he found at our local library. We began the original series together, first my reading to him, then progressing to sharing the reading together, and finally him reading the last three books to me. He was so excited he already read the entire book during recess, lunch, and the ride home from school. Neither his father nor his mother read for pleasure. While they are quick to pay for a new video game or toy, they do not buy him books. His love of reading is supported mainly by our local public library and his school library. Checking out my limit of books is how I devoured books when I first learned to read, and it’s so wonderful he has that resource available to him in this day and age of digital media. Without the resources a library provides, he would be limited to the books I buy for him as the only adult in his life that shares the love of reading. When he can devour a book in less than a day, it’s not a habit anyone less than a full library could sustain! It is so wonderful to see him just as excited by library day at school as he is by pizza day!

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