Library Lovers “through the decades” tell why they love Aurora Public Library.
- “I like borrowing Thomas (the Tank Engine) movies. I also love the Bookmobile because it makes kids happy.”—Stella Amoni, 2006
- “I love the library because it’s like a limitless universe of learning, swirling with galaxies of knowledge and worlds of books to explore.”—Siobhan Midgley, 1996
- “The library is a place to learn about the newest books, movies and music. It is a source of information and entertainment. I always enjoyed visiting the Aurora Public Library when I was young and now I work in a library, the Geneva Public Library.”— Jillian Anderson, 1981
“I grew up as an alien. I fell very hard in love with words and music and my tastes were ambitious. Many of the sounds I wanted to hear and the words I wanted to find were not available in my friends or role models. I did discover that you could find literature as well as jazz, classical and folk music on records in the library. This was the 80s, so while now you have an opportunity to find some of this on the Internet, I found it in the back bin of the Bookmobile. I found Miles Davis and Pat Metheny. I discovered Steinbeck. I was able to invent this person I didn’t have a model for because of the library. The only place that could keep up with my appetite was a public library. My school was a small, Catholic one and the library was impressive for the resources they had, but I tore through that one room quickly. And music? It wasn’t there. We couldn’t afford it and I suspect it would have been populated with more popular choices. I wanted things not everyone had. I wanted to know things that weren’t on the TV or the radio, back when the TV and the radio meant something. I think it’s DVR and YouTube, now. I don’t lament that, nor do I think it’s replaced the library. The Internet is huge and it doesn’t discriminate. I would never have stumbled across something as sublime as Brahms on YouTube and I don’t think I could read ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ on a laptop screen. Beyond the resource of the library was the recommendation and the subtle validation of a collection.”—Kevin Trudo, 1974
- “I love the library because I love words and the library is full of ’em. There are words in print and words in pictures, teaching words and reaching words, audio words and video words, words that inspire and words to admire, words that make you think and words in e-ink! The library is a wonderful world of words!”—Landa Midgley, 1965
- “This is what the library means to me: It means I’ll always have a place to learn, volunteer and make new friends! As the mother of a 13-year-old boy, it also means learning together as a family about natural disasters and the ‘Wimpy Kid.’ Yay!”—Elizabeth Tellez, 1969
- “As a child the library for me was a place to escape to other places. I would eagerly wait for the Bookmobile to arrive at my school. A lucky Saturday would be a ride on the city bus to the Main Library to pick out a stack of new books to read. As an adult the library was a place to introduce my children to the magic of reading. Now I teach language arts to junior high students.”—Susan Anderson, 1956
- “When I was just a kid in the 40s and 50s, besides playing outside all day and evening, my other joy was going to the library – The Aurora Public Library to be exact. It was “downtown” on an island of all places! We had a TV (the first in the neighborhood), but we wouldn’t think of watching TV during the day. It was play outside, in for lunch, play outside, in for dinner, play outside, and then a little TV, reading and bed. “My first visits to the library were accompanied by my mother, my older sister and my younger brother. Most times other neighborhood moms and kids would join us – the original car pooling! I don’t remember as much getting there; I just remember BEING there. There were books everywhere and shelves, shelves and more shelves. Checking out books was a real grown-up experience. Taking my picks to the desk and getting stamped with the return date – a date for which we were NEVER late. It was about respect for other people’s property. We had no right to keep it any longer than allowed. Others needed the books as well and paying a fine was completely out of the question. And that library card with the little metal piece with a stamped number on it – different colored cards for different ages.
- I never thought of the library and its books as something special; it just was. I guess now I can see how fortunate I was to have such a wonderful resource.
- When I was older (all of about 8 or 9) my friends and I would walk “downtown” to the library. This was in the early 50s and we were much more independent as children in those days.
- Then we moved to another home in Aurora which wasn’t really “walkable.” When I aged even more – all the way up to 10 or 11 – we rode the city bus to the library. It took half of my weekly 10¢ allowance, 5¢ for the round-trip commute! I do believe when I made my case to my parents that HALF OF MY ALLOWANCE WAS GOING FOR TRANSPORTATION they gave me a slight raise.
- Then when I was about 12, I graduated to the “adult library.” Although we had a genuine World Book Encyclopedia at home, I often would use the library for research on a topic I was to report on at school. But more than that, it was a place to meet up with friends and try to talk, while all the time being shushed by the librarian! That’s one of the things I remember most – meeting up with friends! One of the parents would pick us up for the trip home. It was usually dark by then, and I guess we weren’t as independent as I had once remembered!
- Using the card catalog and the Dewey decimal system was a new one for me. When I think of how far we have progressed in that regard it is amazing. The Dewey decimal system is alive and well, but the card catalog has long ago been replaced with digital technology. I love it!”—Marybeth Barcus Kingsley, 1945
- “I was born in 1944 to a migrant family from Texas. I came to Aurora at the age of 5 and had been previously racially isolated with Hispanics. I spoke no English and there were no books at home: too poor. The Aurora Public Library Bookmobile that came to Oak Park School was my first exposure to the library. Later I went to the library to learn about my new community and the world. The library helped me bridge the cultural gap between my world and that of ‘Los americanos.’ Books opened the world of possibilities never before imagined. I think that exposure influenced and helped motivate me to earn an advanced degree and become a ‘life-long learner.’ As fate would have it, my wife Anne and I bought the house at 305 West Downer Place from Eleanor Plain, long-time director of the Aurora Public Library and restored it to the period. “—Alejandro Benavides, 1944
- “Ever since I was a little girl, the Aurora Library has been my passage to adventure, and I really mean that rom the heart.”—Marianne Krebs, 1939
- “Libraries mean a great deal to me in that I have been a reader all my life. I have worked in school libraries, college libraries, church libraries and newspaper libraries. And I have a library of my own of about 800 volumes.”—Barbara Worthington, 1923
- “The Aurora Public Library was there whenever I needed information. They took the time to look it up for me.” My son Tom was small in 1936 and I took books out of the library to read to him. He remembers some of the stories to this day. “Books and reading are so important. I have belonged to the Hawthorne Book Club for over 50 years.”—Ruth Wagner, 1912
↑ Back to top of page
Print this page