I had a nightmare last week. The kind where you awake in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat. Fortunately, after a few moments, I happily realized it wasn’t true-to-life and breathed a sigh of relief. 

We have all had a bad dream experience at one time or another. My dream revealed a ceremony where all of the libraries in the Phoenix metropolitan area closed their doors- permanently. With no funds, the doors had to close. In one rising crescendo, a bell chimed off in the distance. All the library branch managers stood at attention with large golden keys in hand. Upon the twelfth gong, all keys turned and the doors were closed for good.  Sound pretty far-fetched? Not so. My dream is a reality for some communities. A tragic reality!

Less than one year ago, in the affluent Troy, MI community, boasting top schools, pine trees, large homes and spacious front and backyards, this dream was the community’s worst nightmare. When voters chose not to pass the required millage proposal, all of the libraries in this Northeastern Detroit suburb shut their doors — for good. What a travesty to not be able to visit your local library and select a book, or even wait two or three days for your request to be filled, transferred from another location and be placed on the shelf with your name, awaiting your pickup.

Learning of these closings from relatives who live in Troy, brought the loss very close to home. I thought of the many wonderful experiences my own (now adult) children had with family visits to the public library and how they have passed that love to their children. As grandparents, my husband and I enjoy the story hours, puppet shows and simple visits where we can plop on a soft cusion and read a book to our grandkids! It doesn’t get much better that! 

Kudos to those who make our libraries such a vital part of our communities and extra cheers sent to the teenagers who are leaders through their service and who make a difference.  Please read about the great work our kids are doing for our Phoenix area public libraries in the May Community blog of Raising Arizona Kids magazine. 

Do you know of other kids who are making a difference in their community because of their service leadership?