Libraries change lives competition winner - Susan Williams - Public Libraries of New Zealand > Libraries Change Lives

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Libraries Change Lives

Libraries change lives winning story

Libraries change lives winning story

The little girl is three-years-old, she doesn't understand what 'moving' means, or why Mummy and Daddy are stressed.  She does know that her new library has an axolotl in a tank. It strolls across the stones, while she waits in excitement for the librarian to issue the picture books and stamp her hand.

She is eight and can't read yet, the letters all skip out of her head. It’s okay, her parents read her the books she picks out. There’s also a new library wonder called ‘audio books’.

She is nine and her mind won’t let her leave the house. She buries herself in audio books, they take her away from the diagnoses and therapy. In the books there's another little bookworm, called Matilda, who has magic powers. There's a boy called Harry Potter, who finds out that being different isn’t terrible, it’s special. She lives their lives and doesn't feel so alone.

She is ten and reads her first chapter book by herself, it’s fat, faded, and from the teens section. It’s about a girl who becomes a knight, through her own hard work, even when everyone says she can't do it.

She is thirteen. She doesn't fully understand yet what 'Autism Spectrum' means, but she knows she doesn’t have many friends. 

She is excited and scared, this summer she can finally do the young-adult reading programme. There’s a cardboard box full of brand new stories. When she reads four library books, she gets to choose a new book, for free, to keep for her very own. She earns six. There's a word hunt around the library. She works in a team; everyone likes her because she knows so much about books. 

She is nineteen and ill again, it’s depression. Once more she’s struggling to leave the house. The library needs art for the new youth space. She’s given a massive canvas, her work hangs on the library wall and everyone admires her ability.

She is twenty and away from home for the first time, priority one is a new library card. She’s never seen so many books, Wellington library has three whole floors! She can even skype her family, or curl up and do her coursework.

She is twenty-four and studying at university. Sometimes crowds and the work overwhelm her, but there will always be a quiet spot, and a good book, waiting at the local library.



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