By Vanessa M.
My parents were big believers in reading and its role in education – not just traditional education, but self-guided: the experiences, perspective, and communication advantages that come from being well-read. There were always stacks of books around the house. We took full advantage of our library – it would have been unaffordable to buy that many books each week.
My literary interests hopped around the world. At one point I was obsessed with the North Pole. Then Cambridge. Then India. The library always had books to take me where I wanted to go. We actually traveled as well, but many places I’ve only experienced through books. In college, I used medieval primary texts. I never would have had access to these outside of a library. It was simply amazing to smell, see, and feel a book that old.
By the time my daughter was born, I had fallen out of the habit of reading and going to the library. My mom told me I should check out the impressive kid section at our local library. We’ve been going there ever since, whenever we have a free Saturday morning. My daughter loves our library trips, and the stacks of books we bring home. She has an impressive vocabulary for a 4-year-old and a love for reading. I’m also reading more, and remembering what a nice escape a book can provide. We often take advantage of children’s groups at the library and community events. I regularly see students and tutors meeting, and the computer lab is busy with people looking for jobs online or for help from staff on how to navigate the digital space. Our library plays a critical and transformative role in the community and many people’s lives.