I asked some of my library friends to share a few of their library experiences with me and this is a short version of what they had to say.

David Hutchison, Librarian, Douglas County, 1983-1995: I’ve been asked by a biker for poetry books. I’ve helped kids find a book “like the one I just read.” I’ve retrieved resume information for job seekers. I’ve shown people of all ages how to use a mouse. Libraries are a “canary in the coal mine.” A flourishing library demonstrates the commitment of local leadership and citizens to fund a source of education, enterprise, and imagination for the benefit of everyone.

Marilyn Woodrich, Librarian: I’ve always been impressed by the number of people willing to come to a “Book and Breakfast” program at 7 a.m. and even more than pleased that reviewers were willing to talk about a book or books that they liked simply because they loved reading and wanted to share their finds.

Marian Coxon, Children’s Librarian: Children need libraries, the only place that offers many FREE programs for them. Storytime programs develop their early literacy skills and a love of reading. Summer reading programs help them maintain their reading ability. Libraries are a primary resource for school assignments and homeschooling parents.

Carol Hilderbrand, Retired Branch Librarian: A librarian’s favorite moments... a young child’s delight at the puppet master’s performance; a senior’s smile when she learns how to open pictures of her newest grandchild in her email; a patron’s thrill in finding the newest book in his favorite series; an online student diligently researching a difficult topic; a youngster’s concentration signing her first library card.

Leigh Vansickle. Retired Reference Librarian: Two memories that left a lasting impression. A woman called the Reference Desk because she had just received a diagnosis from her doctor that she would soon be blind. I was able to do some research and find that there was actually something that could be done for her condition. She ended up seeking out a specialist and getting the help she needed. Another patron was a retired nurse who had always wanted to be a missionary. I found information on the groups she wanted to work with. She actually came back a year later and thanked me and told me all about her experiences in Africa.

Lois Soulia, Librarian: I’ve helped kids identify lizards and snakes they brought to the library. I’ve helped students find information needed for a term paper. I shared the fun of adventure stories for kids who were bored in summer. Young mothers thanked me for finding books for them to read about the world beyond their kid-smeared walls. They also appreciated the clean and safe restrooms when they were in town. Libraries level the playing field for poor kids and also provide information that helps them have better lives.

As a group, we loved our library work. We all felt we changed people’s lives for the better. We saw every day how libraries are loved by those who use them.

The libraries served all of Douglas County for 61 years. None of us can believe that our neighbors’ lives would be improved without libraries and we have a pretty good idea of what our people would be missing out on without them. Please save our libraries by voting “Yes” on Measure 10-145, the library funding measure.

Lois Soulia moved to Douglas County in 1959 to work at the Douglas County Library. She’s lived in Douglas County ever since.

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