Jessie: When I was a freshman at NYU, I went to see a panel of Czech authors discuss their latest books at the NYU library. Most of them had written about life during and after Prague’s famous Velvet Revolution and their experiences living in Eastern Europe throughout the Cold War. Their stories about Prague’s tumultuous history and unique culture inspired me to study abroad there in the spring of my sophomore year.
Taylor: Living and attending college in Boston for the last 4 years, The Boston Public Library Courtyard was always my go-to spot whenever the slightest hint of warm weather arrived in the city. It’s the perfect urban oasis where the likes of Harvard professors, wide-eyed freshman, and tourists from all over the world can all be spotted enjoying the lavish gardens while cozying up with their favorite book. Although I admittedly never read anything while hanging out here, some of my prime people-watching (an activity I take very seriously) was done in this quaintly nestled retreat in Downtown’s bustling Copley Square. Especially during these last few days, I can’t help but to get a little nostalgic for my favorite library in my favorite city.
Dana: I was in a teen reading club at my local library the summer before 7th grade. It was a pretty small group, and one of the girls commandeered our first meeting and made us look up ghost stories on the internet instead of talking about the book. I was kind of mad at her for derailing the whole thing but didn’t see her again. Two years later, we had an English class together and have been best friends ever since. She’s still obsessed with ghost stories.
Emilio: There is really nothing else like the library, at least not in the neighborhood I was raised in. In our small working class enclave, more than an hour into the Bronx on the red line, it is a place where the local youths hang out hang, their parents still at work, where the chess players, hunched over their rooks and pawns, complain loudly about said youths, and the young mothers drop of their kids, because in their words, “they’re your problem now.” Occasionally people even read. I’ve worked at this library for as long as I can remember, and it’s been like a second home to me.
We’d love to know your favorite library stories. How has a library impacted your life?