Patron Perspectives: Written Testimonials

For this week's Patron Perspectives feature, we have a variety of written testimonials! Here are their full stories:

Reena Natla:

Growing up, I've always considered the library to be a second home. Not only did I enjoy being surrounded by books, but the library also featured many different programs and activities, and I would constantly find myself there. I looked forward to going to the library whenever I had the opportunity. Not only did they provide possibilities for me, but every library visitor was significant in their own way at this special place.

I recall coming to several activities, but one in particular stood out: StoryTime with Ms. Lezlee. The most memorable and influential event I've attended at the library has been StoryTime. At 3 years old, Storytime was the first program that got me enthusiastic and passionate about reading. Ms. Lezlee's StoryTime sparked my imagination and broadened my comprehension of the world. As I grew older and passed the StoryTime program age limit, I found myself with a book in my hands frequently because of this program. Even to this day, I always make it a point to bring a book with me wherever I go.

As time passed, I discovered more about the East Lansing Public Library. I discovered Homework Help, Cooking with Kids, Books and Bagels, and the great librarians. The most significant aspect of uncovering the East Lansing Public Library was meeting Mrs. Thode. I recall often going to the library, delighted to pick out books and, most importantly, to see her. Mrs. Thode continues to play an important part in my life to this day. I look forward to seeing her every time I volunteer at the library and am eternally thankful for all the opportunities she has provided me. She taught me to be kind to everyone and to go out of my way to make others feel special.

Altogether, the East Lansing Public Library will always hold a meaningful place in my heart because it allowed me to genuinely discover myself. This library was extremely inviting and provided so many learning opportunities that left me with wonderful memories. The East Lansing Public Library has formed me into the person I am today, and I hope that other children have the same positive experience with this extraordinary place as I did.

Kim Chi:

In August, Kim Chi (@KimChi_Chic) shared a story on Twitter, transcribed here:

This is kind of random but public libraries are so important to me. I could even go far as to say it changed my young adult life. Library was a place to get away from unhappy home, get lost for hours in all the books, graphic novels, magazines, cd's, etc. The summer reading program where if I read 5 books, I could get a voucher for a bagel that kept my poor young self fed. I learned English on the computer games there and I even got to help organize their anime festival which gave me a sense of being needed. One librarian in particular, Mary Hennessy (Mrs. Hennessy as I called her) from East Lansing Public Library had always been so kind to me and I looked up to her as if she was my second mom. I hope she's doing swell, wherever she is. 

Anyways again, sorry for being so random but I just read about how public libraries keep losing its funding and it made me really sad because I know libraries have the power to nurture and change another young soul's life just like it did with me. When I'm old and retired one day, I would love to work as a librarian. Libraries forever!

(Link to the original twitter thread:

Leanne Davis:

Well I messed up, Fossil Day was 2-4, and I thought it was 4-6. But Dr. B saved the day! He nailed it, and Laini was thrilled to meet the life size prehistoric bug, and she is the proud owner of an ammonite (her second favorite fossil - because everyone has a favorite fossil list)! I love this library and its staff!

Veronica Wright:

I love ELPL because it offers the community so many opportunities, and isn't just a place to go to check out books. I love all of the kid friendly events, craft bags, and services that are available. At the beginning of the pandemic we started heavily utilizing the library when curbside services became available. I would check out about 20 kid books at a time at least once a month. I also greatly appreciate the removal of late fees as a working parent because that means one less thing for me to worry about! In addition, I would pick up craft bags when available for a fun free activity to do with my son while we were stuck at home.

We also heavily use ELPL's digital services. I love listening to audiobooks because I rarely get a chance to sit and read a book, but I can listen to tons of books while I am walking, cooking, or doing housework.  My husband and son also like to read digital comic books as part of their bedtime routine.

Now that things are opening up more we have been enjoying some of the awesome in person events, especially those that are available on the weekends. My son loved the recent Robot Rally event where he got a chance to play with and program different robots. He especially loved building pathways for the bug robots and built a circular rink for the two bugs to wrestle each other.

Even if there isn't an event we like to make trips to the library because my son loves to play with all of the puppets and toys. All of the staff are so friendly and nice whenever I need assistance. There are so many things that I love about the library, I could go on and on! I was so excited when I realized you could rent passes to the zoo from the library; what a great resource for families which we have used more than once! I also love seeing all of the artwork from the local schools on the wall and was pleasantly surprised when I found my own son's artwork on display. Overall, we are so grateful for what the library offers and are glad we can enjoy all of these amazing services.

Robin Fisher:

Robin wrote a short creative piece about the library:

                                        The Sanctuary

Negative thoughts consumed me from the inside out, and I began drowning with no escape. I was being held hostage by an anchor that was pulling me deeper into an endless dark & suffocating sea. Gasping for breath, I was beginning to lose this battle, and after fighting for so long and hard I grew tired, and just wanted relief. I didn’t wanna be anywhere anymore so I went to the library, where I could be everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

Within a book, I could escape and become someone with problems that seem less heavy to carry than my own or get to know someone that makes my burdens pale in comparison. Abandoning myself I got lost in the pages of other worlds, stories, and adventures. Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn in by the warm soft lighting and the soothing murmuring voices inside, unable to pull away from the kindness radiating from the employees. In this cozy atmosphere, there is no room for rejection, all are welcomed with genuine kind smiles. You can feel that people truly care about one another and while inside I was finally able to breathe again. With the buzzing of activities and all the people reading, studying, working, or enjoying this place, I felt a sense of community. No longer alone, I escaped the sea, and it could not reach me, for I had found sanctuary.

Annette Irwin:

I just have to tell you how good it feels to go into the library.  I thought about this yesterday when I dropped off a bird watching kit and a pre-school kit that I had checked out.  I don’t get into the library like I used to before COVID and even then it was certainly less than when our kids were in school.  However, going in makes me feel so much closer to “normal” before COVID.  Also, I am always reminded of how much is available to us at the library!  I, of course, have been checking out books all along through Libby and LOVE the convenience of that tool.  However, I am going to keep reminding myself that a physical visit now and then is good for my mind and soul. 

My other message is about what a difference the library made to us as a family and how I have seen the impact in my daughters as women out in the world.  My youngest daughter has now moved twice since graduating from MSU, and in both cities she signed up for her library card.  The library was a source of not only checking out books, but another way to learn about her new city.  My oldest daughter is now a mom.  She now takes her daughter to the library where she lives, and I am certain she does that in part because of her own positive experiences as a young girl going to the library here. 

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