Love Letter to the Elyria Public Library

Dear EPL,

Aside from the people in my life, there is nothing I love more than a good book. I read voraciously. Always have. You, dear library, have played an enormous part in growing that love of reading into the full blown obsession I have today.

First, when I was a small child, I never got to go to the library. It wasn’t until I was in the fifth grade and we went on a field trip in school to visit the main branch that I got my first glimpse of the wonder that is a library. I couldn’t believe that I was allowed to check out the books, to borrow something like I would from a best friend. It seemed like heaven on earth.

When the Bookmobile started visiting my school I was beyond excited. The library could come to me! Because my mother couldn’t drive at the time and I couldn’t go to a branch, the Bookmobile helped me to bridge the gap.

When I was a teenager the library was essential to my educational success. It helped me to research projects that my school library lacked the materials to help me with. Also, and I am dating myself here, it helped me to realize a love a music I didn’t have access to without the library. I checked out many a record across genres that the radio no longer played.

As an adult, the library became my home away from home. When I was a young, single girl going to college I would hang out in the library, reading magazines, newspapers and fostering my love of books even more with the vast majority of titles I was now old enough to explore. By then CD’s were the thing and I got to try out the new technology there before investing in it at home. My favorite day with regards to the library was when I found out that they were opening a new branch on West River Road.

As a mother, the library has been nothing short of a Godsend. I have brought my children there since the time that they were infants to partake of the quality programs the library offers. They came to hear stories, watch puppet shows and play games. They visited often just to play at the West River Branch’s children’s area. Now at 13 and 11 years old, they still visit the library for the art programs. My teenager, like his mother, enjoys the selection of music available to him as well as the fact that his favorite subject, Star Wars, has its own section, easily accessible to his voracious reading habits. The movie section was my husband’s favorite section for quite some time. Young married folks with small children don’t have much money, and being able to enjoy a video for free was right up our alley.

I have sons, so when I became an aunt to two nieces, I found myself in unknown territory. The library comes to the rescue in that facet of my life, also. I’ve taken my oldest niece to programs designed specifically for girls at the library, including the Fairy Party last summer. The girls got to dress up like fairies, make giant bubbles, create a headband and wand, decorate a cupcake and even be given a fairy name. None of those things would have occurred to this tomboy mother of sons without the library’s help.

As a Nook owner, I love the library even more. I have suffered from insomnia for years and the electronic books are accessible to me 24 hours a day. Countless times I’ve discovered a book at about 3 a.m. and was able to download it right away. The library even helped me by giving me a handout with step-by-step directions in simple language that taught me how to check out an e-book with my Nook. Even Barnes and Noble who created the darn thing can’t do that!

As a writer, I enjoy the Writer’s Group at the West River Branch. I searched for writer’s groups for years before the library announced this program. If there were other programs around, they didn’t advertise enough to be found in my online searches. The day I got my newsletter from the library and it said there was going to be a Writer’s Group, I was the first person to call and sign up. The group helps me meet like-minded people that help me hone my craft, a priceless experience all writers are desperate for.

You see, I love you, Elyria Public Library. You’ve been there for me, offering so many programs, books, music, movies and magazines. I will continue to love what you offer for the rest of my life, and I’m sure my children will, too. I for one will be voting FOR Issue 3, because I can’t imagine my life without the wonderful things you provide our citizens and my family.