When I was a little girl I loved to read. I was always checking out books from the school library. Sometimes I read several books a week. I didn’t spend all of my time watching the few channels we had on tv. I spent my days and evenings exploring a variety of places and living different experiences along side the characters in the books.
Then summer came along and I no longer had access to a library.
My neighborhood didn’t have libraries or bookstores. We could buy books or magazines from Eckerd Drug store or Tom Thumb but the selection was limited and I didn’t have any spare change.
I looked for libraries in the yellow pages and could not find any within walking distance. Waking distance back then was a few miles, not across the street or around the block. In the end, I road a city bus and walked a mile or so to get to the closest library and check out as many books as I was allowed at one time.
As I grew up and moved to the suburbs, I realized that libraries could be within walking distance of your home. I took my children to reading time at the library and they participated in summer reading programs.
It has been proven that reading has a very positive effect on children and adults. Why don’t all neighborhoods have libraries within a certain mile radius? Why isn’t that a priority? If we invest now, we pay less later.