Any resident who’s lived in town long enough has a memory of the Library. Some people (myself included) feel like they grew up there. I remember summer days spent in the cool of the Library, cross-legged on the floor, reading for hours.

As author Nancy Slonim Aronie writes, “Books and reading once saved a very lonely childhood. At the library I found people who took interest in me. From books I learned about people and compassion.”

Poet Rita Dove remembers, too: “My childhood library was small enough not to be intimidating. And yet I felt the whole world was contained in those two rooms.”

Author Ray Bradbury, a passionate advocate of libraries, put it in even more strongly: “You must live feverishly in a library. Colleges are not going to do you any good unless you are raised and live in a library every day of your life.”

The people who visit the Park Ridge Public Library are from all walks of life and of all ages, but they all have their own personal reasons for coming. Some are here daily. Whether they come for books, or for information, or merely to have a place to sit (even on the floor), the Library exists for them – it is first and foremost an egalitarian public space, where all are welcome.

This 100 Anniversary blog is more than a place for posting news and highlights of events held during the coming year. We’re also going to share memories, images, and other curiosities from our past; some moments significant, some merely passing – but it’s in the details that we see the big picture. What better way to honor the Library’s centennial than to tell its stories?

This is also an open invitation for residents – even former residents – to share some stories of their own. Feel free to comment on any of the posts, or drop us a line if you have something you want to share. We know there are some great stories out there, and we want to hear from you.

Happy holidays, everyone!