Last week’s This American Life, “The Room of Requirement”, chronicled three stories of libraries, and more importantly, librarians, filling unexpected but critical roles in the lives of patrons. All three stories are wonderful, but the third act is a real doozy.
As a child Lydia Sigwarth was insulated from the trauma of homelessness by the boundless welcome of the place where her family took refuge- the Dubuque Public Library in Iowa. She was insulated so well, in fact, that she didn’t realize her family had been homeless until adulthood. She revisits her childhood library and reconnects with the librarian who made her feel so cared for during what could have been the worst periods of her life, but wasn’t.
I’ve seen this same scenario playing out at ImagineIF weekly, and it struck a resounding chord to hear an adult reminiscence about the graciousness of a librarian to a disenfranchised child.
Grab a tissue and have a listen.
-Executive Director, Charlotte