Nobody has said it better than Caitlin Moran:
“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen, instead. A human with a brain and a heart and a desire to be uplifted, rather than a customer with a credit card and an inchoate “need” for “stuff.” A mall–the shops–are places where your money makes the wealthy wealthier. But a library is where the wealthy’s taxes pay for you to become a little more extraordinary, instead. A satisfying reversal. A balancing of the power.”
As a child growing up in Mentor, Ohio, if I wasn’t at the local public library or the neighborhood pool or softball diamond, then I was usually curled up with a book, drawing, or writing. Language, books, stories, and the flow and exchange of ideas made my world go round, and that hasn’t changed a bit. Throughout high school and college, my studies of literature, writing, and foreign language culminated in a double major from Lake Erie College in Romance Languages and Communications, and I continued my scholarly work in these areas to attain a Master’s in Spanish Language and Literature. I taught Spanish, traveled, and worked as a bookseller for some time. It finally dawned on me one day, after sending yet another bookstore customer to the library for the resources I knew they needed, that the library profession combined everything I loved to do. And so another Master’s degree it was! …obtained part-time, while I began my work in youth services in public libraries and raised my family. I’ve been a librarian for nine years, now in charge of a branch and representing our organization to the community and the world, and have never doubted that I’m doing what I was meant to do. Working for the successful present and future of public libraries and the communities they serve makes me proud, and also makes it easy to say that I love my job.