"Libraries Transform" is an American Library Association campaign created to help libraries spread awareness of the many ways in which libraries impact their communities. These stories illustrate the transformative power of inspiring lifelong learning for everyone in our community.
Maria: An American Dream
Maria has been working with an AmeriCorps volunteer at Cooper Branch to prepare for her U.S. citizenship exam. Once she becomes a citizen, Maria wants to help others realize their learning and educational goals by working in the public schools.
“. . . my tutor is a wonderful person, helping me prepare for taking the citizenship test. I feel so grateful for the assistance I received at the library . . . . This has helped me to feel better about taking the test. I don’t think I would feel as ready without the help I received through the library services.”
Eddie: A Family Affair
Eddie is the father of twin boys who got their library cards when they were 16 months old. He took them to Grow a Reader classes, such as Books Before Bedtime and Alphabet Soup. Now nine years old, they enjoy STEM classes such as Fabulous Fridays, and special events, such as the annual CRRL-Con at England Run Branch. When at the library with his boys, Eddie also picks up audiobooks for his wife’s commute and books that help him plan lessons for his church classes.
“ . . . I stumbled upon Ms. Meaghan and Mr. Craig doing Grow a Reader classes (Alphabet Soup) and fell in love with the class and people. I could not believe how much they put into the class and cared so much for the kids and parents. My nine-year-old twins still want to go with us during summer for storytime.”
Annie: Unlocking Worlds
“Books describe the world for me. For example, in the book, The Secret Garden, the author describes the tiny shoots that grow through the ground in the spring. She describes all the buds that came on the trees in the garden. Nothing can replace that. Books help me to see things inside my head.”
“I was surprised to find out all of the things the library does to reach out to the blind and physically handicapped. The digital reader is such a wonderful gift. As I get older it is harder to sleep at night. The player has a sleep setting which keeps me from missing parts of the book if I do fall asleep.”
BK: Feeding Bodies & Minds
Brian “BK” Kiernan is the Food Services Director of Fredericksburg City Schools, and he directs their free summer lunch program, which was available at four locations in Fredericksburg, including Headquarters Library. He is recognized statewide by No Child Hungry as an innovative leader and model for others in summer lunch services. He introduced the concept of serving free summer lunches from a food truck called “Mobile Cafe,” which enables his staff to offer kids a selection of hot and cold menu selections in locations without kitchen equipment. Because of flexibility gained by this unique delivery method, the FCS program was the first to offer summer lunches at a public pool.
When asked about having the Mobile Cafe at Headquarters Library, BK said: “The biggest surprise was seeing a lot of the same kids almost every single day, which we don’t see at our other locations. That tells me this is a great location to serve kids who really depend on this service.”