Library love stories

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, February 15 in observance of Presidents' Day.

mom and daughter

Tell us your story!

Do you have fond memories of the library early in your life? Has the library transformed your life in some way? Please share your Library story with us by completing this form.

Harold’s story

Some of my favorite memories are of the library.

I grew up in Northeast and the old Northeast branch library was one of my favorite places. I remember walking there with my Mom. I wish I could remember the names of some of the librarians from that time, I can see their faces as if they were standing right next to me. I loved the tall wooden shelves and the wooden chairs and tables and it was there that I learned of my love for the smell of books. Each one had its own unique scent and that was part of the Wonder. It was here I met Harold with his purple crayon. A favorite because we shared names and my favorite color was purple. I remember all the Dr. Seuss characters, and Dick and Jane.

It was a sad day for me when the branch moved into its shiny new location, in its own separate building. I know it was needed, but the character from the library was gone.

I also remember in the summer we would ride the bus downtown once a week or so and one of the highlights of this was a visit to the children’s library. Beautiful murals and paintings, even more books to love. The same old wooden chairs and tables. And even a few familiar faces, as some of the librarians had moved there from Northeast.

As we got older we ventured upstairs to the Adult library and were shown larger and more numerous books. We learned how to look up newspaper microfilm from our birthdates. And we found we could check out record albums as well. I will never forget struggling home with various packages and these big manila envelopes with the red tie strings crammed with more books than we could carry.

Today, I've tried to instill in my daughter the same love for the library. We visit a couple of library branches at least once a week where we live and the librarians couldn't be nicer.

And whenever we can make it downtown to the Central Library, in this beautiful building I feel the echoes of the character I sensed in the branch libraries of my childhood and I think my daughter gets it and understands.

Heddie's Story

Our family met with hard times when I was a child.  We lived with my auntie, grandmother and other relatives in Pittsburgh, PA, near Carnegie Mellon University.

We faced many challenges growing up and the library stood as a place of solace for me. When many children were off with their parents at events, or traveling, I would take the bus to the Carnegie Hall Museum and Library. There I found a connection with the lives of others that loved books, travel, and reaching into the past and looking to the future through the writings of those books on the shelves. I would spend entire days in the library reading and the time would fly by so fast, especially in the summer. The library was not only a place of learning, but also of comfort and safety. The librarians were always kind and helpful. I sometimes brought a pillow with me and would curl up in a corner near a window and read while the sun shone on me shedding a warmth both on the inside and out.

I could even go so far to say that the library saved my life. While I could have been on the streets, perhaps with people who would have been a negative influence on my life, I was fortunate to have met friends and role models both in person and on the pages of the many books on the shelves. My first and most important book role models were Helen Keller and Anne Frank.

I am forever thankful for the librarians in my life. I continue to be a lifelong learner due to those early experiences. Thank you for allowing the venue for me to express my gratitude to people who don't even know what a wonderful impact they had on my life.

- Heddie Leger

Doris's Story

As the child of a farm family in the late 40s, I rode the bus to the consolidated public school in the nearby small town. There were textbooks and songbooks for our classes, but the grade school did not have a library at that time. There was a "room" with many books at the school and once a week our teacher took us there.

This is where I met Dr. Seuss and began to love books and words. On Fridays our family took cream and eggs to town to sell and bought groceries and other needs. During summers when we went to town, my mother took me to the court house to visit the office of the Superintendent of Schools.

Miss Anderson was superintendent over all the schools in the county. She would sometimes step out of her office to greet us when when my mother and I visited. Miss Anderson's secretary invited me to look through shelves of books, check them out to read at home and return the following week. Even though I had lots of chores as a farm child, I spent many hours reading in the summertime and helped my mother when she needed me.

The high school had a real library. I took library of science my freshman year and spent many hours there supervised by Mrs. Huff, the librarian. The library was also used as a study hall. When I was a junior, we decorated the library to be a ship's hull when we needed a large room for prom banquet. We also had class meetings and school tests there.

The books in the high school library were very different from grade school books. I remember reading His Eye is on The Sparrow, the story of Ethyl Waters and being spellbound by her life. A few years ago I decided to read it again and it had the same effect on me.

Libraries are wonderful places to me. As a child I experienced far away countries and lives very different from mine without leaving the armchair in my grandmother's house. To be able to pick out a book and read it or check it out and take it home to read is to me an amazing privilege. If I could not afford a book, a newspaper, magazine, or a computer they are available to me at the library. It makes so much sense to put these materials in a place where everyone can use them.

- Doris Yonker

Kansas City Public Library Beta