Every day, librarians help people access information, discover the joy of reading, and feel welcome in their communities.
We asked I Love Libraries readers and the American Library Association’s social media followers to share how librarians have impacted their lives over the years. Here are a few of our favorite stories:
“I was 6 years old in first grade and we had a class trip to the library to get our first library card. We had to be able to write our names in script. I was so nervous my hand kept shaking and I couldn't get a legible signature. The librarian took pity on me, took me aside and quietly invited me back for a tour with my mother (thought I would be calmer then) and she would personally have me sign and get my library card as a reward for being such a good reader. I have been reading, of course, ever since. Librarians rock!”—Judith E.
“Ingrid from the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library created an environment of genuine support and growth for new parents and infants in her weekly baby storytime. I started attending storytime when my son was three months old. Through the months and years of attending, he learned to respond and participate in the group, received invaluable social interaction, and was introduced to sensory play. Ingrid set a steadfast example for the new parents and gently guided us to become confident, eager, and sometimes silly caregivers. Through the unknowns and struggles of the early infant months, Ingrid was a constant. I sometimes wonder who benefited more from baby storytime—my son, or me.”—Erika R.
“Middle school is tough and this was no different for me. I was in 8th grade and had moved to a new school. I walked into the library while most students were eating in the school cafeteria. The librarian smiled at me and said, ‘Do you need any help?’ I responded, ‘I love to read but I don’t know what to pick.’ She made a recommendation and I was hooked. I will never forget that she was always happy to see me and I read everything she recommended. Her kindness helped me get through middle school and further instilled a love of reading. You never know how a book can change a student’s life.”—Bay C.
“My daughter's school librarian, Suzanne, provided a port in the storm for our family when we were struck by tragedy. We were not prepared, obviously, and she allowed my daughter to take refuge in the library and find solace in the books and in her gentle presence. It has been 22 years since that awful time, but the memory of Suzanne's kindness has never left me.”—Cindi W.
“My elementary school librarian took the time to notice when I was upset, and she talked it out with me. She just recognized I was hurting, and she listened. Plus, she ran an amazing library. I was her library helper, and I went on to get a master’s in library science. Over 36 years I've enjoyed working in university, corporate, and school libraries. I wish I'd had the opportunity to tell her how much she meant to me.”—Donna H.
“My librarian has changed my life in a multitude of ways. She is a woman who wears many hats, and who carries much wisdom. She always had an answer for my complex questions about school and life. She always knew exactly what to say and when to say it. I was given the honor of working closely with her through work study, but I have learned far much more with her than in any classroom I have ever been in. From helping me with homework to filling out scholarship applications, she’s been by my side. She will always hold a special place in my heart.”—Charity D.