Rachel from Winona, Minnesota

When the doors of my life appeared to close through the divorce of my parents, the doors to the library opened.  The books I discovered began teaching me about a whole new world; a world of hope and inspiration.  As a little girl, I'd escape by reading books; they took me on adventures and to new places!   The books would pile up in my arms as I'd check out as many books as possible.

My mother, a single parent, took my sister and I to the library weekly; she understood the value of reading. She always made sure we were a part of the library summer and year long reading programs.  She knew that reading would stretch our imaginations and allow us to dream.  It was her way of helping us travel the world.  Once I had a book, I couldn't stop reading...this has lead to such a love for reading.  Additionally, this has transferred into my teaching profession...my fifth grade class has daily access to our school library and classroom library. 

I want to instill in my students a love for reading as well as the opportunity to dream, learn, and discover a whole new world through books. The library opened up my world to many different types of literature.  As I pass by the library shelves, I see the poetry and humor as well as the fantasy and fiction shelves; my world has expanded from these genres.  I then stroll down another aisle in the library and see non-fiction and biography books.  Through these genres, I have learned about the lives of others; I learn about their struggles and triumphs.  Once again, the library's opens its doors to me thus opening the doors to the world and all it holds.