Libraries and reading have been the cornerstones upon which I've built my life.
Many of the women I admire first visited me in the form of a book: Martha Washington, Dolly Madison, Clara Barton (I read all the young readers' biographies of women before I started the biographies of famous men at my elementary school library.) Little did I know when my Aunt Jean mailed me my first "Cherry Ames, Student Nurse" book that my public library would allow me to continue on, and read every book in the series.
No matter where I've lived or what I've done, libraries and books have continued to be my cornerstones. I'm fortunate to live in a town that is blessed with librarians who care and are there to help with books and materials available for everyone to enjoy. As an elementary teacher, I often borrowed multiple copies of books from our library for my students to use. Time spent reading to my successful high school grandchildren, who visited our library often, still warm my heart.
As an adult I've enjoyed many of the classes offered through our library, made use of cultural passes, used the Xerox machine (cheaper than Office Max) and probably saved myself thousands of dollars in borrowed materials over the past 35 years — not to mention reading newspapers and magazines and having a quiet conversation or two.
Libraries are worth the investment. For every $1 of public revenue collected for libraries, between $4 and $8 in resources are returned to the community. My life has been enriched in multiple ways by our Gladstone Library.
Truth matters, freedom matters, and librarians and libraries matter.
Susan Liston is a member of the Gladstone Library Foundation and Gladstone Historical Society.
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