posted Jun 23, 2015, 11:32 AM by Randall Stow   [ updated Jun 23, 2015, 11:33 AM ]

A patron came to use the library last week and after getting his materials, he lingered on the front steps as if contemplating something. When he turned and came back into the library, I assumed that he had a reference questions or concern so when I asked him “Can I help you?” I was expecting to hear, something to the effect of, “Can I place another book on hold?” or “Where is the nearest fax machine?” instead, he looked me in the eye and said “ I just wanted to say that libraries are wonderful. They are the only social experiment in my life that have not become corrupted, and have stayed true to their mission and initial vision. Libraries continue to take care of people for free”.  I thanked him, with tears in my eyes.

As everyone knows, it is great to get some encouragement now and then and as a librarian I have to admit that I sometimes need the reassurance that libraries really do matter to people.  What I believe  a public library provides to a community is far more than just books and materials but a vision of social conscience and a place to gain continued education for free. A  public library at its best, should be a place that you can put down your worries and take a few safe minutes to regain a little equilibrium and insight in order to gain the courage to move forward into the life that you envision for yourself. The Randall Library, as my staff and I can attest to, is just that kind of place, and the patrons who use it benefit in ways that can be truly life changing. I’d like to thank my staff for being such dedicated and kind-hearted citizens and I’d like to thank patrons for taking the time to let us all know what libraries continue to mean to people.