I was a thirsty first grader in October 1963. On autumn Saturdays, my mother took my sister and me to the local library in south suburban St. Louis. I remember walking into the Tesson Ferry Library, surrounded by seemingly endless shelves of stories. Inevitably, we’d spend no more than thirty minutes to an hour there. But each time we left with a soothing feeling and a few books tucked under our arms for closer examination at home. Thanks to my mother and a subsequent stream of committed teachers, the message I received was that the search for knowledge could be a cozy, gratifying experience.
At six years old, I never dreamed I would write my own books. Or that one day they would appear on the shelves of the St. Louis County Public Library, where I grew up, and the Scottsdale Public Library (shown year) where I live fifty-five years later. But that’s what happened.
Each time I pass through the doors of the library here in Arizona, that same rush of anticipation returns. I’m back in my quiet space. A safe haven for learning.