Therese from Fort Wayne, Indiana

The library has always been a part of my life since I was growing up.  It has played an important  role in shaping my life.  

My first real memories of the library were of going to the young adults section to check out Nancy Drew books.  I loved the series.  I must have read all but a couple of the hundred or so books in the series.  I read all of them that I could get my hands on.  I’m sure there probably weren’t quite a hundred books, but it sure seems like it back then.  I suppose if back then I had known about interlibrary loan, I would have been able to finish the few books in the series that my school library and public library didn’t carry.  It sure would have been nice to have been able to say that  had read them all.  When you’re in fourth or fifth or even sixth grade, that’s a really big accomplishment.  Maybe someday I’ll go back and find the last few books and read them so I can finish up that chapter in my life (no pun intended). 

The few Nancy Drew books that I was able to buy, I actually saved.  I have them stored away for when I have a daughter.  I want her to be able to enjoy the books I loved reading as a child.

When I was in eighth grade, my sister got a job at the local public library.  I would go with her to the library after school on the days she had to work.  I developed a routine. When I first got there, I would get my homework done.  Then, it was my time.  I would find things to read.  I loved to sit in the young adult section and read the magazines.  I learned so much in those days.  I would read the young women’s magazines and the beauty articles and all  the stories in them.  But, I also ended up reading a lot of articles about health and nutrition. I was able to adjust my eating habits based on what I was learning about nutrition. 

I had such a voracious appetite for reading and I just took everything in.  Oftentimes, I would find a quiet spot and read whatever book I was currently reading. I could always fill hours at the library.  Sometimes, I would just browse the shelves of books until I came across something intriguing.   

My sister frequently shelved books and she would come across so many interesting books in the process.  She would bring these books home and read them, and then I would read them when she was done.  We shared books this way and I ended up reading at a much higher level for my age because of it.  I really got into books that came in a series or at least had multiple books by the same author (like the Donald Clayton Porter and Agatha Christie books).  I liked  being able to keep reading after one book came to an end.

Nowadays when I go to the library for a book, I frequently leave with an armful of books.  A short trip to the library can easily turn into a couple of hours.   My boyfriend (who is more easily bored than I am) will practically drag me out of the library and will frequently tell me, “You have enough books!  You can’t read all those at once anyway”.  Maybe not, but I can and often do read several books at the same time. 

While I admit that I also enjoy bookstores, libraries have got bookstores beat.  Libraries let you take books, and magazines home with you, and that’s what’s great about them.  You have access to a virtually unlimited supply of books and magazines.  How much would  I have actually end up reading if I had to buy everything I wanted to read?  One book or magazine can get so much use and touch so many different people’s lives at a library. 

Libraries are such a great community resource.  With computers, books, magazines, video games, books on tape, CD’s, tax forms (even help sessions), bulletin boards for posting community events and information, and librarians to help you find what you’re looking for, libraries are a central part of every community and serve so many different needs.  Hey, we even have a coffee shop in my local library as so many libraries do these days!

Libraries have been an important part of my life for so long.  After many years of being out in the workforce, I recently came to a surprising conclusion- I want to be a librarian!  My lifelong love of libraries has now lead me to a career in a library.  I’ve just enrolled in my first semester of Library School.  After having gotten so much from libraries over the years, it’s time for me to give back!