Tell Us Your Stories

The New Mexico Library Foundation is collecting your stories about libraries in celebration of our 20th anniversary.  Please share your stories by sending an email to:
Here are some stories we have collected. 

I remember participating in the summer reading program at the John C Fremont branch if the Los Angeles Public Library.  I read 144 books, and finished second. I was about to go into the 8th grade. Among the authors I read were John R. Tunis, Robert Heinlein and Willy Ley.

The Fremont Branch is a 1927 California mission style building whose architecture  I still cherish. I think it’s on the National Register.

-Joe Sabatini


My parents instilled a love of reading in both my sister and me from a very young age.  We always were encouraged to go to libraries.

I remember one summer in particular when we lived in a small town, my mother would drive us in every week to pick up books. I read the whole series of the Oz books that way, as well as many many others.

- Diane Jacobi


In the beginning of grade school, I lived 4 blocks from school and 6 blocks from the library. I was allowed to walk to school every day, but never the library. Finally one Saturday my mother said I could walk to the library. I bravely walked those many blocks and entered the bricked Carnegie Public Library with its massive stairs ascending through tall doors stepping lightly on the creaky wooden floors inside.

I’ll never forget my feeling of freedom and exploration entering by myself.  The quiet felt safe and every book was openly available to find new friends or fascinating facts.  I don’t think my feet touched the ground on the way home in anticipation of announcing my new found world and joy.

-Heather O'Daniel


When I was 12, my mother started library school and eventually secured a job with the Univ. of Alabama Main Library. Part of her new job was to, sadly, weed out the majority of titles in the Young Adult collection the library maintained for the library school. Because I was an almost compulsive reader, my mother got permission to some the discards to me. Into my life came the complete set of the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings. I’ve never been the same since.

-Marian Royal Vigil


As a child in rural Northern California, I obtained my first library card at the local library (actually a few shelves of books housed in the multi-purpose room at the grade school.)  With no television or radio in the house, I devoted significant time to reading, and managed to read through most of the books in our small library.

No doubt that this early love of reading has been the foundation for me personally and professionally. I credit my journey as a publisher to the time spent reading early in my life.

-Sandy Rea


My 1st memory of a library took place in La Rochelle, France at a DOD. As a child we traveled throughout Europe. Whenever we went to a city that had a military base we always spent time at the post library reading. At that time, reading materials in English were hard to come by.

-Alison Almquist


My mother was an elementary school teacher. Both parents read all of the time. Not me. My dad would take me to the library each week and I would dutifully check out a book. But, I never read them – because I couldn’t. I didn’t learn to read until I was in the 6th grade.  Six years of “faking it.” In 6th grade my school got a new teaching system – SRS – I remember it all these years! Something clicked and I learned to read.

When my daughter was in 1st grade she was diagnosed with a, dyslexia variant. Then they diagnosed me. I had struggled all the way  through school. In my dyslexia variant I flip whole paragraphs, don’t know left from right, can’t do arithmetic functions with number 7-8-9 and can’t remember number sequences of more than 5 digits (zip codes with 7-8-9 baffle me and phone numbers are a total loss.) Because of this, I was told I was stupid and could not succeed in college. But I read and read and read.

Eventually I was able to go to university and just this past May, got my doctorate from Vanderbilt – at 58 years old!  Because I kept reading.

-Kim McKinley