‘What Does the Library Mean to You?’

Posted on November 7, 2019

by Ryan D

Editor’s note: In this series, Toledo Lucas County Public Library customers speak about what the Library means to them. Their answers are lightly edited and condensed. These interviews took place in Main Library.

Malik Daniel, 24, of Toledo

I’ve been coming to the Library since before they remodeled it. I usually come here because a library is a quiet place to get your mind right, focus on studies and get back in touch with yourself. Because if you try to study, or read a book in a hectic setting, you don’t have that same experience as you would reading in a quieter setting. The Library gives you an opportunity to do that.

I’m the type of person who reads for pleasure, but also to understand and get more information. What better place to do it than a library? And if a library looks nice enough, which this one does, it adds to that ambience. Sometimes, people just sit here and charge a phone, use the WiFi or focus on their personal life. This is a good place to relax your mind, be at peace and just be.

It definitely helps because you never know what anybody’s going through. You can just come through on a day, and not have anything going on, but you could have a lot going on mentally and you just want to come in and relax. The openness of it lets you find a quiet place to yourself, to just not bother anybody, not do anything rash. It gives you a peace of mind. ‘Ok, I’m in a safe place.’ The Library is like a safe place. You can relax your mind, and not focus on aggression. Get rid of the negativity, and just breathe. And like I said, just be. It’s peaceful.

This is a good place to relax your mind, be at peace and just be.
Malik Daniel

Julia Berry, 23, of Toledo

I’m a student, so I have a pretty flexible schedule. It’s nice to have a space down here to study. It’s cool to see the Library and how it seems like a very welcoming space for many different groups of people: Students, people just reading and things like that. For me, it’s been really, really good.

I think the employees are extremely pleasant. I met a security guard, and I was here every day last week sitting for an exam. He came up and was like, ‘You’ve got to take a break every hour and a half.’ And so he watched my stuff while I went for some water and took a break. I found the employees and people here very pleasant. I think libraries in general are important. They’re my favorite spaces. This is obviously a beautiful space.

It’s important to have a space outside the home to go. The libraries at school, you are surrounded by your peers, which in some situations is really nice and great, but sometimes it’s nice to kind of get away and realize that the stress of school is not what everyone’s experiencing. It puts things in perspective for one, and lessens the load of comparing yourself to other people in our program.

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