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The Librarian

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In the fall of 1978, I began school in the afternoon kindergarten at Beechwood Elementary in Whitehall, Ohio. In that year I became acquainted with a nice lady from the local branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. My memory of her is still very clear: she would sit in front of the class, holding the book up to her side, so that we could see the pages as she read them to us. I saw less of her as I progressed from grade to grade and it has been many years since I have been in the Whitehall school system or its branch of the local library system. Even so, I think of her every time I reflect back on early influences that helped me to develop a lifelong love of books and of reading.

She came to mind again as I read a story in Saturday's Columbus Dispatch: Carol Sue Snowden, known to me before then only as the Librarian, died in January of ovarian cancer. The article was generally focused on a gift that she left in death: more than one million dollars to the public library where she worked for thirty years and to seven schools where she read. The generous gifts were made possible by the economy that she practiced in her life, a good lesson for many whose daily spending deprives them of living comfortably.

Naturally because of my experience with her, I was inclined to reflect on another great gift that she gave. By all accounts she loved books; undoubtedly she understood that reading could affect people in profound ways, opening opportunities for them that simply would not otherwise exist. She came to share her time and her love of books with my classmates and me, as she did to many classes over a period of decades. That's a lot of people to help. I am very grateful to have been one of them.

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2008-06-18 12:24 AM
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