My mother was illiterate. Therefore, I was not read bedtime stories; and there were no books in my home. But we lived in a big house with several families. My cousin, who was much older than me, started taking me to the local branch of the Enoch Pratt public library in Baltimore, Maryland where I grew up. A whole new world opened up to me. I would come home with an armload of books and have them read by that evening.
When I had children, I made sure that there were always books in the home whether we bought them or borrowed them from our local library, which was on Court St. at the time. Since we lived close by we would walk to it.
When my children started school, I would help the librarian shelve books. Also, if children had questions about a book, I tried to help find what they wanted.
When my children left home, I decided to work in OU’s literacy program, hoping to get an adult, in order to do for others what I hadn’t been able to do for my mother.
There were no adults in the program. Instead, I got elementary school children who were not reading at grade level. I always look forward to my tutoring sessions and love the pupils I have had. I also encourage them to get a library card and take books home to read. In addition, I am a conversation partner for students from other countries. I always make it a point to take them to our library.
Today, I am a frequent visitor to our wonderful library. My first stop is always at the free section. I have a granddaughter and want to make sure that her library is always stocked with books. I also make it a point to go to the monthly book sales to stock up on books for my granddaughter. If I am in Columbus on a Monday, I take her to story hour at her local library in Bexley. Her mother lets me use her card to get books for Cecilia.
Now I am in two book groups and enjoy not only reading the books (which I usually borrow from our well-stocked library), but then discussing them with other people. The library has been a focal point in my life. It has gotten to the point where my daughter asked me to stop getting books for Cecilia because she no longer has room for them. But that hasn’t stopped me. I just store them in my home and read them to her when she comes to visit.