Thank you everyone who came by to post a comment in support of the Library Lovin’ Challenge. It warmed my heart more than I can say to see so many people not just pause to say “here” but to actually take the time to share a library story of their own. I have often said that books saved me until I was stong enough to save myself. For so many of us the library was a lifeline, both as children and as adults. We loved  books and felt happiest when we were surrounded by books, reading books or sharing books with friends. We grew up to  be teachers and librarians and writers and so much more. And you all shared that love with me by posting over 200 comments to help me reach my goal.

As a thank-you to library lovers everywhere, I created a PDF of poem about the need for books, entitled, WHERE DO I GO, that you can download here. If you want to read it before downloading, it appears in this blog post.

If you’re interested, here is my original Library Lovin’ Challenge post. It was the brainchild of Jennifer R. Hubbard, whom we know around here on LJ as[info]writerjenn. Thank you, Jenn, for kick-starting this fabulous event!

And here are some of my favorite library stories from the many wonderful comments!

I remember walking home from the Bookmobile, so many books tucked under my arm that I was in danger of toppling over.

I haunted the local library as a kid. They awarded little pins for the number of books read (they kept track) and my little posterboard was covered with them.

I was the kids in the Edward Eager book, walking out of the library with the stack of as many books as they’d let us check out. My sisters & I all took ten each, every week (?) and then we’d swap as needed. Now I thrive because of my local bookmobile–they make life SO easy!

I remember when I was nine and moved from England to D.C the biggest wow wasn’t the snow or the Air & Space museum, which were incredibly awesome– it was the LIBRARY! You could take as many books out as you wanted. I was in heaven!! In England the max was six I think. I walked out that library on my first visit with a stack of books so high! US libraries really are the best!

I would walk across the street to the public library after school and then walk home, walking and reading at the same time. It was a considerable distance as I recall. It took almost an hour, but I would just walk and read, walk and read. It is a miracle I wasn’t hit by a car or didn’t fall into a hole or walk into a wall…I wonder if it would have been a faster walk if I had not been reading?

I think the library 3 blocks from my house saved my life when I was a kid. When I went to buy my house, one of my unspoken assumptions was that it would be a *good* house if it was within walking distance of a library. It is. 😉

I don’t remember a time that libraries have not been in my life- a place of excitement, refuge and knowledge. Our country needs these places now more than ever.

We visited the library every week as a child and I proudly presented my dogeared card to take out the maximum number allowed. Now, libraries provide lifeblood to my work and serenity in the chaos of frenetic lifestyles.

I think the Bookmobile is my all time favorite library. We lived at the end of a long dirt road and there were 8 children in our family. I think the Bookmobile ladies felt sorry for my mom! It wasn’t until years later that I discovered that the Bookmobile didn’t deliver directly to just everybody’s house and that there were designated stops which most people would go to. It was such a gift because getting us to town to visit the actual library was a rare occurrence.

I lived a half a block from the library and every weekend my mom and I would bring home two shopping bags full of books. I practically lived at that library all my growing-up years. I should have known I’d become a librarian!

When I was a newlywed we went to the door one Saturday to be greeted by a local law enforcement officer who had come to collect our overdue library books. How blessed was I to live in a community where the police had time to help out the library and nobody thought that meant there were too many police! I guess I loved those books a little too much!

Libraries: America’s Red Carpet For Immigrants
I know this is true because of how I felt as a newcomer to America.

I spend more time at my library than any other place in town.

My daughter is a new reader at age 5. I’m so thankful that she love reading and that she loves the praise she gets for it. That makes it easy for us. Anything we can do to promote reading among kids and their parents we’re all for it.

I love libraries almost as much as my 6 year old son does! His biggest bday present when he turned 6 was getting his very own library card!

Libraries were crucial to me, too, growing up. Now that I am a librarian, their effect on the education and development of children in our communities is so beyond supplementary – it’s, frankly, a little frightening in this frugal spending environment considering just how much libraries do for people.

The bookmobile saved my life as a kid. We had no money and with the exception of encyclopedias and some harlequin romance novels, no books in our house. It was so cool.

We need Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to become Andrew Carnegie so that libraries would have the funding they need.

As wonderful as this Internet is, it shouldn’t completely replace libraries. They offer something this connection can’t, a sense of the vastness and accessibility of knowledge.

I wish libraries were open 24/7. I love that adrenalin rush when I walk inside the library doors and know the world is waiting for me inside.Thanks, Ben Franklin. You started this and I love you for setting books free!