Some of my earliest memories are of my hometown library. Sorting through the plastic bags that held books on tape. Competing in the summer reading challenge. Sitting in the 1980s-modern chairs to leaf through a book and decide whether it was worth taking home.

Initially, I think my love of libraries ran parallel with my love of books and reading. But through the newspaper stories I’ve written over the last 15 years, I’ve come to see libraries as something more than a repository for books. They’re a town center, a place where everyone feels welcome, and a source of so much of a community’s knowledge, education and training.

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