Real Life Stories

I was ten when my family moved to New York City. We came from a tropical country where revolution and political violence had ravaged our nation for an entire year. Throughout my childhood there, I remember our family owning only two or three books. My favorite memory is of a book of fairy tales from which my mother would read to us. We would gather around her on the floor and she would select a story to read. She read wonderfully, modulating her voice, getting up occasionally to act out the part of the wicked stepmother or the big bad wolf. READ MORE
“Dad sat on a hat.  That was the very first, full sentence my son read all alone.  I didn’t prod or remind, I just wrote it on a napkin at a small restaurant where were having lunch and he read it, out loud.  Of course I almost burst with joy and immediately did the unthinkable, I ordered him a second soda.  He was a reader, he’d earned it.  The challenge now, although I didn’t know it then was how to help him become a true reader, a reader’s reader.  I wanted him to enjoy the same life long love affair with literature that I enjoy READ MORE
The spots showed up during our honeymoon. "An eye disease," ophthalmologists back home told us. "Retinopathy." It was October, 1984.A year later, I was blind. READ MORE
Libraries have always been part of my life.  My mother obtained her Masters degree in Madison, Wisconsin, and was often the head librarian wherever we lived.  My brother and I spent many after-school hours at the library, where Mom could supervise homework, or help with research while tending to other patrons.  From her we developed a keen appreciation for a library's importance in the culture of a town, large or small. READ MORE
As a child growing up in the country-miles from friends and playmates-I filled my summers with books from our county's public library.  One READ MORE
    Nearly six years ago, my husband and I experienced every parent’s nightmare, when we were advised that our 10 year old daughter had died suddenly while attending camp.  Most parents that have lost a child feel the need to honor and memorialize their child after their death.  Our local library serves as the solution to our challenge to find a way to remember Claire and share her love of reading with the community. READ MORE
Barbies. That's what other little girls got when they brought home superior report cards, behaved for the babysitter, or bravely faced the dentist. Those girls stood in toy store aisles, drooling over the seemingly endless possibilities. READ MORE
By the time a woman reaches middle age, she has racked up a recollection of firsts: first bra, first kiss, first love, first lover; roller coaster rides at the time of occasion, rocking chair delights for nostalgic reminiscences. Library card heads my list of memorable firsts, connected to the challenge of writing my name for the first time. Just as Siamese twins are indisputably joined together, the act of those two accomplishments was seamless: my mother told me that as soon as I could write my full name, I would be eligible for my very own library card. READ MORE
This is a different love story, and it started when I landed in the United States. I am Brazilian. I came to Upland, California to learn English and to take a long (three months) vacation away from Brazil, after working 15 years as a cultural arts coordinator without a decent time off. I stayed with relatives and took some English classes at nearby Chaffey College, ESL classes in Ontario . My life was pretty much predictable at that time. My idea of vacation was spending time visiting touristy places and learning a couple of words or at least ask for directions. READ MORE
That piercing, rhythmic beep – it was the alarm, and it was 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. I went to the kitchen, shared a quick hug with my dad, and ate breakfast. Then it was upstairs to brush my teeth and “get ready” – that phrase encompassing a 17-year-old’s routine of hair, make-up, and choosing clothes to wear. I was back downstairs by 8:40 a.m. Just enough time to start the car, back out of the driveway, make my way through downtown, and turn onto Route 64. READ MORE

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