Students at Germantown Friends School share their love for the Friends Free Library. Clockwise from top left: Bobby Lynam ' 21; Ndaia Blakney '23; Jeremy Middleman '14; and Marielle Issa '15.

Students at Germantown Friends School share their love for the Friends Free Library. Clockwise from top left: Bobby Lynam ‘ 21; Ndaia Blakney ’23; Jeremy Middleman ’14; and Marielle Issa ’15.

The Friends Free Library at Germantown Friends School celebrated National Library Week by asking library visitors (students, employees, parents and community members) to share how libraries have changed their lives.

“It has been so much fun to hear all of the different stories,” said library assistant Kathryn Murphy. People wrote on a dry-erase sign and shared a “selfie” photo to the nationwide hashtag campaign #NLW14 #LivesChange.

The stories included a high-school student recalling memorizing her library card number before she knew her phone number, a preschooler writing that reading books about dinosaurs makes him feel like he is “living with the dinosaurs” and a community patron sharing his dream of one day becoming a librarian.

“Dreams are discovered in libraries, and libraries provide a path for those dreams to come true,” Murphy said.

Kackie St. Clair, head of the Friends Free Library, said, “Libraries are a place to connect your knowledge and your curiosity to the worlds beyond the library walls and a much-needed place for some peace and quiet.”

At the FFL, the staff assists community members with computer skills, writing resumes and filling out job applications. The also get to know and help every student.

“These connections may be small but they are significant in building a sense of community and belonging,” Murphy said. “Libraries provide endless resources and support—for free! That is a beautiful thing.”

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