Adair from Fairfield, Connecticut

 As a child I was overwhelmed and I must confess bored by
   libraries. The Dewy Decimal System was not written in my
   language. The buildings were gray, dark, and lifeless. Sweat
   rolled into my eyes, my lips quivered and I stifled fear every
   time I asked the Reference Librarian a question. I thought I was
   supposed to already know the answer.

   What changed all this? Libraries changed. The institution of
   public libraries changed with the times and libraries and I are
   finally on the same page. I also believe that Librarians
   themselves have changed. Have you noticed that many are now
   hipper? Snazzier? Funnier?

   It was a “Winter Words” Writing Conference at a local
   library that lured me into the main library for the first time in
   my new hometown. Then there were all the technology classes that
   the library gave for free, and then it was all the programs for
   job seekers. Other libraries held their own, I learned about
   blogging at one and how to find a literary agent at another. I
   heard Frank McCourt and Jean Fritz speak at another and oh joy .
   . . my family and I belong to a Family Book Club reading the
   classics at another library. (My favorite classic is Call of the
   Wild by Jack London).

   As a writer who researches, I have been known to leave a
   library, smiling, with 14 books under my arm. As a memoirist it
   could be a collection of inspiring authors, or as a writing
   critique group leader it could be a score of books about how to
   lead writing groups. On Earth Day and every day I believe in
   being green. Why purchase all those books when I can borrow them?
   I am helping myself and saving the planet at the same time.

   Oh . . .  and have I mentioned that as a writer the most
   important thing I do is read? On holiday weekends, before I had
   my son, it would be me behind those Foster Grants carrying two
   dozen books into my car. I would exhale, as I plunked myself in
   my easy chair at home, reading for pleasure. Now on Mother’s
   Day the present I ask for most is, “Alone time to read!”

   This is my song to libraries and librarians everywhere. You have
   played a substantial role in my personal and professional lives.
   You have helped me to not only become who I have been, but who I
   am becoming. Thank you.