In honor of Thanksgiving, we asked I Love Libraries readers and the American Library Association’s social media followers to reflect on why they’re grateful for their libraries.
Responses ranged from cherished childhood memories to stories of how libraries have gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are a few of the highlights:
“Growing up in a military family and moving a lot meant my best friends were library books. We always found the local library first. School librarians befriended me.”—Kerstin C.
“I am grateful for my library and all others because they serve the total population. From the smiling faces of the youngest to the thoughtful ones of our seniors, from story hours to reading rooms with the latest newspapers, all are welcome. Library staff are some of the kindest people I have met.”—MaryEllen C.
“I set myself a challenge to read a book a week this year. With COVID, my budget is limited, so having access to my local library has allowed me to continue on my goal.”—Melissa E.
“My library, wherever I have been, has saved me thousands of dollars in entertainment spending by hosting workshops and readings as well as providing my entire family with books, music, and videos. Currently, my reference librarians help make online teaching successful for me and my students and are keeping us aware of what is available, though we cannot physically go to the library right now.”—Carolyn C.
“I love Los Angeles Public Library’s local and global community support and overall friendly, supportive sentiment, especially this year. Libraries are all that’s right with the world.”—Julie B.
“I believe libraries are sacred places. They hold the history, science, and imagination of the ages. From first holding a book which I could read on my own, at age four, to now seventy fours years later, I have discovered information, travel, novel perspectives, the past, innovative ideas, and so much more. My life has been enriched beyond measure.”—Kathryn F.
“The public library is a magical place. It's where I discovered peace of heart and a stronger self-identity for the first time. Growing up in a white blue-collar suburb, I was the only Japanese-American girl in my entire school. The teasing seemed relentless and I felt like a lost sparrow. My first visit to the local public library felt like I went from rags to riches. I could borrow any book I saw! It was there I found Little Plum by Rumer Godden, the first book that uplifted my Japanese heritage to something of valuable fascination. I love my library for giving me a hope-filled first look at the specialness of my background.”—Joanne M.
“[I’m grateful to my library] for having books I desperately needed as a queer kid in the late 70s. The Carnegie Library saved my life.”—Michal S.
“I am thankful for libraries because every single library I've set foot in has helped me learn and grow. Whether I stopped by to check out books, movies, or CDs, or hunkered down in a study room or at a public computer to read and write papers for my degrees, or attended a program just for fun, the libraries I've visited have had a strong impact on me as a human being. I am thankful for the free resources that libraries have offered to me throughout my life and to their communities.”—Kelle B.
“I am thankful for my library because during the upheaval of 2020, my library never missed a beat and fed my heart, mind, soul and spirit; making quarantine, uncertainty, suffering from COVID, and isolation so much easier.”—Kristin S.
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