Deborah from Rockford, Illinois

I am a single mother of three children, college graduate and (again) student, preparing for law school this August.  How I "arrived" here is due in large part to early education and training at public libraries.  If it weren't for some very special, dedicated and patient librarians, my mother, father and grandmother, the opening of the "world" inside library walls would not have occurred.

I seriously doubt that I would have become the parent (or educated woman) I am today without encouragement from many sources, including "the library" in many locations.  Education, imagination, poetry, history, current events, learning, research are still and have always been at the top level of importance for our family.  My children are
also dedicated library "patrons" and have been taught the library system while enjoying everything from "story hour" when they were small children to progressing from "Goodnight Moon", "Dr. Seuss", "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory", to writing an essay. They have also learned how to research a subject, learn and use the Internet, and the LOVE of reading (or as I call it "expand your mind...").

Without access to public libaries the /window of knowledge/ would become small and narrow indeed.  I shudder to think what civilized society would become without such centers of learning as our public libraries.  We are fortunate to have a well-supported and much loved library here. 

My children know all of the librarians and that they will be helped anytime they have a question, comment or even suggestion to make the library experience even better for everyone.  That is because our country has the freedoms to do so, including free, public libraries. 

Other countries are not so fortunate. There are many places around the globe where what a child is to learn, when they are to learn it, and how the learning is taught is often severely restricted, or not available at all.  Punishment for disobeying is swift.

My family have been residents (even before the revolution of 1776 and what followed) and then citizens, of this country for several generations.  Most all have been and continue to be highly skilled, college graduates, and contributing members of society.  Without libaries this would not have been possible.  Libraries are key to maintaining and improving society and the knowledge base it needs and wants.  My children aptly term this valuable public asset with their comment of  "Libraries Rock!".