In Honor of: 
Great River Regional Libry
St. Cloud, MN
Why I Love My Library: 

I grew up in a tiny town, in a troubled family. Like many kids in my situation, the Library was one of my only refuges. Everything available to me on those shelves - those untold worlds and persons and adventures - lifted me up out of the trap of shame and abuse that was my day-to-day life, and taught me that there was more, that there was a way out, that my dreams did not have to die. The Library was also my first job. It gave me my first paycheck and the sense of independence and hope that comes with earning your own money - the sense that with hard work and perseverance, I could escape to a place where I belonged, where I had value, where I could create the life I dreamed of. I made it out, I'm living that life I dreamed of, and the Library continues to enrich and enthrall me. I've tried to explain my love of the Library to others - but it's often difficult. It is so deeply rooted in my being, it is so much a part of me and has been since the day I got my first Library card. It's hard to make others understand just how much one building, made up of books on shelves, can shape and change a person, can guide you through life, and help you end up exactly where you were meant to be.