It seems straightforward, right? Everyone loves a library — the picture books, the programs, the comfy chairs, the quiet, the air conditioning, the crafts, the community. It’s a place to run into your neighbors or even to meet them for the first time. It’s a place to get involved — to learn and grow and integrate.

For these reasons, I am often asked the sweetest questions: “How can I support the library?” or “What can I contribute?” In fact, I find that library patrons are very gifted at expressing gratitude and, for their constant generosity, I am grateful too. Except that there is something I have been longing to tell them. The best way to love your library is to use it.

For example, if you have ever had three books in your hand and thought, “I should just take one because I don’t want to be greedy,” I say, “be greedy!” If you have ever asked, “Can I read children’s books as an adult or is that silly?” I say, “be silly!” If a child has lamented, “I can’t choose just one,” I say, “don’t make them.”

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