Real Stories

Authors on Libraries

Writers are passionate supporters of libraries. We’ve interviewed over 100 authors over the last few years. We asked them about their memories of libaries and how they use their libraries today along with their views on censorship and budget cuts at libraries.  Hear what they have to say about the importance of libraries.

I Love My Librarian Award

Librarians touch the lives of the people they serve every day.  The I Love My Librarian Award encourages library users like you to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians.  We want to hear how you think your librarian is improving the lives of the people in your school, campus or community.

Real Life Stories

For every person who loves libraries, there is a story about what the library means to them.  Read stories about libraries submitted by real people or share your own story.

If Arizona had a backwoods, that's where I would have been born in 1947. I was born into a family that was short on money but long on seeking knowledge. We had books and it was expected they would be read. By the time I entered kindergarten, I was an accomplished reader. Thank you, Mom. Libraries were a place to get books and, for me, that justified their existence. I don't remember there ever being "children's programs". It seemed to me that children were barely tolerated- seen and not heard. Didn't care. Books.

I got older and did the things most people did: got married, had babies, worked, and paid taxes.

Then one spring and summer my life changed. I lost my wife, retired and dealt, as best I could, with all of that. Along the...


When I was 16 and struggling with what it meant to be in love with another girl, the library gave me an alternative narrative from the one that I was developing - that I was a total freak.

Understanding what it means to be gay when you are a young teenager growing up in a small town in Michigan - especially then, the 70's - wasn't easy. There were no aunts or uncles or friends or Ellen or Modern Family. There was just me, my secret girlfriend, and our feelings.

Even though I didn't feel that loving someone else could possibly be wrong, that wasn't the message I got from anywhere else, including my church. So, as soon as I got my driver's license, I went to a nearby town, a bigger town that had a bigger library and I researched the...


Every day, people of all ages and backgrounds from rural, suburban and urban communities across the country turn to their libraries to find jobs or go online, to get help with homework or complex research projects, to start on a business plan, connect with their kids or simply find a space to relax. For every person who loves libraries, there is a story about what the library means to them. We want to collect and share those stories. Is the library important to you? Do you have a story to tell?

In the above description of what a library can be for several people, the one that saved my life was left out. A space to feel safe. During my high school years of hormone induced mental balance, I knew that I...



One of the best strategies that I have employed to create change, improve the perception of the library, and promote the library’s integration into the university's curriculum is to take advantage of existing institutional initiatives. By demonstrating how libraries can contribute, support, and enhance an existing initiative (e.g. higher education's push to create more blended and online courses that enhance student learning), it is possible to create greater momentum and reduce the institutional friction that exists when creating a separate and additional library initiative.....READ MORE

Has the library made a difference in your life? Share your story.
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Living Stories Living Libraries: Everyone in a library has a story. Only you can tell yours