“The library is always the first place I look for when I move to a new community,'” Daisy Almonte said when we sat down for lunch to talk about the library. She uses Capitol Hill and Beacon Hill branch libraries. “The first library program I went to was on how to purchase a house,” she recalled. “I drove all the way to Northgate to attend the seminar. I couldn’t believe it was free! I remember walking in and asking, ‘Are you sure there’s no fee?’ I learned a lot of information from that seminar and felt that I was no longer scared to buy a house when I walked out of the library. I just couldn’t believe this seminar was free! I wish there were more community training programs like that,” she said.
“The library is like a hidden treasure,” she explained. “The more you dig down into its resources the more you find. When I was in graduate school, I was able to download a whole book from the library for one of my classes. I also didn’t realize that the conference rooms weren’t just for business-specific reasons instead, anyone can actually use them. I didn’t expect them to be very equipped and roomy. My graduate classmates and I met there to work on projects. They made it so convenient and in addition, it’s free. Lots of places require deposits, but all we had to do was show our library card and we felt like we were VIPs.”
It’s not just her own use of the library that makes it so important she told us, “Organizations send people to the library all of the time. I have worked in hospitals to help clients with their financial needs. If they were not able to complete a DSHS application with us and were not able to go to their local DSHS office, we would recommend the individual to complete an application on-line using the library computers. I have observed many organizations having on-line forms and many of these people having to apply for resources are low income families without computer access. This is why the library is such an important resource.”
Daisy also uses the library for research. With library resources she created a film for her graduate practicum, ” I have no filmmaking experience, but I was able to take books out from the library that gave me the information I needed to create a short film. I was told by my practicum supervisor that the movie has been very successful and individuals from other organizations were requesting copies to use for training purposes and to increase awareness in their communities.”
Like many library patrons she enjoys using online holds to explore library collections, “It’s great to be able to drive to the library that is convenient for me and even ask for a CD that is from another library,” she said. “But I wanted to mention that through the library, I got exposed to music from all over the world. My friends always ask what I’m listening to and it surprises them when I mention that it’s from the library. I love the library and I feel that they love their patrons too. I always look forward to going there.”
“What would happen if the library were to go away?”, she wondered. “We wouldn’t have that face-to-face interaction with the helpful staff to help us with some community resources questions, we wouldn’t have these beautiful buildings, and library patrons wouldn’t get free Wi-Fi internet connectivity. I mean, the library offers so much to my life, that the only thing that would make it perfect is if it came with a free cup of tea.
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