Libraries have always been safe havens for me. When I was young, my mom was also a library director, and instead of going home when I got off the school bus, I’d walk across the street to her library. Whether I logged on to a computer, spread out some homework at a table, or helped my mom reshelve paperbacks, it always felt like home. I took naps in that library; I cried after a fight with a friend in that library. My first job was at that library. So maybe that’s why, even now, I can find such comfort among stacks of books.
As a library director now myself, I want our library to be your safe space. I want you to feel at peace when you come through the door. I want you to know that when you enter our building, you will not be judged, you will not be discriminated against, you will not be pestered or nagged. You will be welcomed, just as you are. The library, really, belongs to you. And as long as it is here, you will have a place to come when you are feeling lonely, sad, afraid, or even just bored. The library will welcome you with open arms, provide you with a comfy place to sit, and surround you with all sorts of wonderful stories. Just pick one, settle in, and know that you are not alone.