I King RoadWhen I was four years old my grandfather took me on the bus with three big satchels to Main Library. When we walked in, I was astounded not only by the volume of books by the unbelievably beautiful artwork done by the WPA and CCC. I stood there for at least 10 minutes just soaking it all in. Then I started to cry. My grandfather was so upset and said what’s the matter? I told him, sobbing, dziadzia, (which is Ukrainian for grandfather) I am never going to be able to read all these books! He told me that I was going to live a long time and there would be plenty of time to read all these books and more. Then we went to check out and I asked the librarian if I could have my own library card. She raised an eyebrow and said you have to be able to write your name in cursive. I told her, I can do that, my grandfather taught me. I can read and write in English, Ukrainian, Polish, Hebrew and Latin. Which language do you want me to write my name in? She smiled broadly and said, English would be wonderful. So I signed my name in cursive and got my first library card. It was like getting a bar of gold as far as I was concerned. Now all these books, all these wonderful ideas, all these thoughts we’re now mine to read with my very own card. I was the library aide at the Rossford Public Library, and often took the bus to Main Library downtown where the librarians were kind enough to let me into the stacks so I could find all the books I wanted. I still took my usual three satchels because I would fill them all with these treasured books. When I move to Toledo, the Holland Branch was my home-base and all the librarians and aids there were helpful and wonderful. As time went on, I became more and more disabled and was thrilled that the King Road Branch was built with a drive-thru window to take items back and pick items up. The staff there is also so helpful and kind, and after a month, they all know me by name. My mother and grandfather passed the love of reading to me as I did to my children and my grandchildren. I have worked to renew every library Levy and will always continue to do so, because the public library is one of the underpinnings of democracy. I have been reading buddy, a Homework Helper, have registered voters, and have introduced hundreds of people to the inner workings of the library and each got their own card with as much pride as I first did, no matter their age. I love the library!
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