I was invited to make a few remarks at Council session last night, as part of my appointment and "election."
My remarks just scratch the surface of what libraries mean to me:
When I describe where I live to my out-of-state friends, I usually start by saying, “Well, let’s see… it’s walking distance from the Library....”
Public libraries have been a hugely influential part of my life. I grew up in Limington, where the one-room Davis Memorial Library was open less than 8 hours each week. The whole library was smaller than this room [council chambers]. It was the only place close enough for me to ride to on my bike. I probably read every book in the children’s section.
Because our rural library resources were limited, we were eligible for the Maine State Library’s “Books by Mail” program. I ordered so many books, and read them, that my parents installed a bigger mailbox just so that we could receive the giant zippered canvas bag from
right at our home, rather than having to go to the post office to pick up the parcel. I can still remember that giddy feeling… opening the mailbox and seeing that “the books are here!” I still get that slightly giddy feeling when my interlibrary loan books arrive. Augusta
I know that
is a better place because we, as a community, value literacy, the arts, cultural opportunities, programs for children, and the many other services that our library provides. We invest in it through municipal funding, through fundraising, and we invest in it with our time. It enables people of every age and income level to have access to learning opportunities. When we use the library, we are patrons, and we are borrowers. It is the embodiment of a skill that we should all have learned in kindergarten – to share. We all don’t have to own a copy of every book, CD, or film – we can share them. Because in the end, it’s having the knowledge that comes from books in our minds that is the ownership that really matters. our city
What do libraries mean to you? How has your local library affected your life, or the lives of your children or parents?