This summer we invited you to tell us a story involving a library in 100 words or less. Thank you to everyone who submitted a story! Here are some of our favorites.
I walked the mile from my apartment to the Middle River library. Down the alley, through the right-of-way, past the Carberry’s house, past the Church of Christ, past the rec center, then across Compass Rd and into my refuge.
I signed out stacks of books, too many to carry, and I never brought a backpack. My arms ached and my face flushed with heat as I trudged home.
I carried my treasures upstairs to my room, poured myself a glass of sweet ice tea, and spent the rest of the sticky, sweltering afternoon in air-conditioned comfort in bookworld.
C. J. M.:
The last book in the series is finally out. I must find it. I check New Books. I check the regular shelves. The catalog says it’s here. The catalog is never wrong. Where is it?
“Can I help you?” asks a kind, wise voice behind me.
With the title and author name in hand, the librarian knows just the place. She leads me to the display case near the checkout.
At long last, my turn with this incredible book!
The ladies at the front desk always greet me with a smile one day I was so down I went into the library and I was crying my heart out one of the ladies came over to me and said whatever it is you will be ok and if you need to cry here all day do so I right here if you need me but at the end of your tears I must see you smile. After about another five minutes I went to the lady and we talk and smiled the rest of my visit.
I doubt I would exist if it weren’t for the library.
My Father grew up in the Williamsburg of pre-gentrified 1955 Brooklyn. A Puerto Rican ten year-old, raised by a single mother with a sixth-grade education, he had zero statistical expectation of escape from those streets. The hood has never been designed for emigration. He should have been a factory worker, or a drug dealer, or a junky. Instead he became a scholar. All because he was gifted an old fat tire bike, and the library he found on his first ride.