Whenever I move to a new community or neighborhood, I always make a point to know where my nearest branch library is located. That is simple as a Google search today, but you really have to visit a library to see what makes a particular branch important to its neighbors and patrons.
The Woods Library is such a small building. So much the air conditioner is installed on the outside of the building and stands as tall as the building itself! Every time I visit Woods, my new neighborhood is revealed to me in all its vibrancy.
The library sees a young man who brings his gaming computer and utilizes the internet during summer break. I see him as a computer engineer bringing future entertainment, technology and social connectivity for younger generations.
The library receives a mix of multi-cultures and multi-classes. I see how civility and decency can thrive in even the tightest of shared surroundings.
The library witnesses a new elementary school teacher and Tucson resident meeting with a seasoned colleague. I see the library serving as a business incubator or startup and an exemplary community member aspiring the next chapter in education.
The library is meaningless without volunteers and library staff. Each of them beautiful, charismatic and helpful from the inside out! I see them as captains and crew of our vessel. Each of them empowers patrons to navigate the stars to their own path of achievement and opportunity.
I live in a crossroads neighborhood of Tucson. Where East of town meets West. Northwest meets Downtown. Established folk live next to up-rooted folk. Regardless of class, ethnicity or status, my branch library is a perfect demonstration of its patrons growing themselves where they are rooted.
During this political season, I ask each of you to vote not only your passion and pursuits but also consider those of your neighbors. We share this community together. We all require access to basic resources in order to thrive in Tucson. Some of us wait hours for shared computer and internet access. Some walk 3 or more miles in the blistering sun to gain access to information. Others are emerging from homelessness and their second chance is waiting just beyond those sliding glass doors.
Thank-you Pima County Library, Woods Branch Library and my Tucson community for helping this person navigate their way to a second chance in life.
-William Vicens Jr
Love Letters to My Library is a collaboration between Love Letters to Tucson and Pima County Public Library. The love letters will be revealed monthly on the library website and Love Letters to Tucson. To kick off the series, we’re proud to share a letter from William Vicens Jr., who offers his heartfelt musings about neighborhood vibrancy at the Woods Memorial Library.
Do you love your library, but are at a loss for what to write about? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Check out the upcoming post for more information.