In Honor of: 
Kericho Primary School
Kericho, Kenya
Why I Love My Library: 

Books have always been an escape for me-an escape from reality. With reading, I have been able to live a thousand lives, to walk hundreds of miles, to feel feelings I have never felt before. I have been able to connect with people who do not exist. Every time I read a book, it takes me to a world that I create for myself. This is a world I live in parallel to this one on earth, a world that is run by imagination, a world where everything is possible. This is the world where I would like everyone to experience.

I grew up in a small green town called Kericho, here in Kenya. I went to Kericho Primary School. It had a really equipped library compared to the ones in the town. Some did not even have a library, all they had were a few books stored on a dwarf-sized shelf. I will always be grateful for the library I had.

The library has always been my safe haven, the place I run to when I am terrified of the world, of people and sometimes even myself. My profound love for libraries started when I was ten years old, short, very thin and frail. The children who were taller and built would pick on me because of my size. They would kick me in the stomach and hurl me into walls for leisure. They found it funny because I was “as light as a doll” as they would say. I did not find it funny and I absolutely hated it! All this made me feel so small, like a speck of dust, in this very big world. My self-esteem was at its lowest. I did not believe in myself anymore. The perception that I had of the world was very twisted.
But all of it suddenly changed when I went to the school library and read Matilda by Roald Dahl. Her life was worse than mine yet she still had a wonderful time. It inspired me to look at the world with a new dimension. I could say that is when I started a reading culture.

I would go to the library every time I got the chance to. Books would be read every night in bed before I slept. My childhood became filled with memories from books that I couldn’t remember it without books. After finishing a book, I would write down all I had learnt about my favourite characters and copy them. This built me in ways I could never have imagined. My already tarnished confidence sky rocketed. I got new friends and many classmates who wanted to be my friends. Looking back, I guess at that point was when my charisma got born.

Our librarian, Mr. Kirui was a very stern man. He was the one who noticed my reading habit first. It was one rainy afternoon when I could not go for physical education class so I decided to go to the library. I sat on an isolated corner and fished out one of the books that I had read before. He saw me and asked me if I understood the book. He was very impressed when I told him I had finished reading it two weeks ago. I got fond of him and years later he taught me how to do research and how to cite other peoples work and make references. I always believe that he was heaven sent because he made me see the library as an adventurous place and not a place that if filled with big, boring books.

Eight years later, and here I am, eighteen years old with the thirst for books. My love for libraries has helped me pass my high school finals and currently I am at the United States International University (USIU-Africa). The first building I looked for was the library and it is a library that everyone would die for.

In a nutshell, my journey with my libraries has helped me believe in myself, boosted my self-esteem and made me a very intelligent girl. My university assignments are much easier since I have a wide knowledge and I am used to reading a lot. I have also been writing short stories and poems to inspire children who do not believe in themselves and those who are being bullied. I would not have been able to be where I am now, if I did not use my library then.

Sharon