High School Dropout to Lawyer: A Library Success Story

By Carol S.

This is my father’s story: He was a high school dropout. Although he loved to read, he didn’t like school, so he would frequently ditch class and hide out at the Detroit Public Library, devouring books until the truant officer found him and dragged him back to school. Eventually he dropped out of school altogether in order to work. (This was during the Great Depression, and his family necessarily valued employment over education.)

Read more

My Home Office

By Emily S.

As a District Sales Manager for Cengage Learning who doesn’t report to an official office space, I was finding it difficult to accomplish much in my home office. Distractions like laundry and tidying the house kept me from being as productive as I knew I could and should be. I ventured out to my local library and found exactly what I needed-a space that allowed me serenity, the luxury of turning my phone ringer off, and a place that encouraged thinking. I was able to stay focused and there was something about being surrounded by books written by high level thinkers that helped me raise my game. I was able to accomplish more in a 5 hour clip than most people I know who were reporting to an office for 10 hours.

Read more

My Best Friend, My Confidante

By Stacey S.

When I was growing up, I had two big obstacles – my public school library was tiny and not well-funded and I did not have a lot of friends. I remedied both of these by spending as much time as I possibly could at my town’s public library. Starting downstairs in the children’s library, I spent so much time there that I was asked if I wanted to volunteer to re-shelve books. You would have thought I had been offered a shopping spree at a candy store, the way I reacted. I would spend most afternoons tasked with putting away one cart of books, and it would take me all afternoon – I would not merely re-shelve, but I would skim if not outright read every book before I put it back. The library was my best friend and where I turned when I was sad or lonely – there was always a good story to lose myself in, there.

Read more

First to Graduate

By Debra K. 

I first discovered the world was much larger and more exciting and exotic than I had ever imagined thanks to my local public and school libraries. Though I loved school as a child, it was mostly due to the social aspects rather than the learning, that is until I read my first young adult novel in early middle school, which sparked a serious (some would say obsessive) love of reading. By the end of middle school I was reading a book a day — sometimes hidden behind my textbook in the back of class. I took my current book with me everywhere — often bumping into furniture and walls at home as I walked and read. This earned me the nickname of Mrs. Magoo after a beloved myopic cartoon character popular at the time.

Read more