Jennifer from Vancouver, Washington

There are many libraries that have changed my life. The medical research library of Oregon Health and Science University helped me find what current research has been done with melanoma. I always need to stay abreast of advances in the field; whether vaccinations, preventative
testing, or results of clinical trials, it is imperative that I, as a survivor, mother, and wife, spend time keeping informed.

As a mother, I rely on our public library for furthering my children's education and love of books. We utilize it's wonderful selection weekly. As parents who have seen thousands of dollars of medical bills, we are unable to purchase books from the monthly book drives at our children's schools, but a library card is free. My kids
have a knack of filling up our green library box quicker than I can flip through the pages of "O" magazine. Then they make their way to the computer with read-along stories and then to the puppets. Our quaint, modest library has become part of my children's memories. Actually, we sometimes visit the bigger, fancier libraries, but the sense of proprietorship is lost. They'll roam around aimlessly, looking for their "private reading room".

Wherever we move, I will track down the library. A few years ago we moved to Sweden and I was lost. Our son was five months old and we knew no one. Again, I found the “bibliotecket” and signed-up for a library card and an email address. I was able to write to friends and family back home on their computer, and check-out children’s books, as well as American movies with Swedish subtitles, to help me learn the language.

The largest, most important, and necessary, change libraries have given to me is growth.  We all will change and grow physically in our lives, but to grow in understanding is rewarding beyond measure.  To me and my children, the library is our “home away from home”. We find laughter, knowledge, and comfort in our library. We are drawn to how we feel when we are within it’s walls…invigorated.

Thank you for your time and consideration.