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I Love My Library!
Featuring Dorothy and Esteban Garcia

Esteban grew up in Mexico. To support his family, he began working at the age of 10 and left school after the sixth grade. His childhood dream was to be a civil engineer, but he did not have to the opportunity to pursue it.
Dorothy: I remember the first day we walked into the Covington Branch. Esteban looked at me amazed and said, “I can have any of these?” He couldn’t believe the breadth of what you have here.
Esteban: When I came the first time I was blind, but now I see. Each time I come, I find different things like music and DVDs. Libraries are good for the soul and heart.
Libraries in Mexico are very small. It is much easier to learn and have opportunities at this library. Little by little, I try to learn more things at the library. I find many tapes and books to learn English. I also take the English as a Second Language class at the Causeway Library.
Dorothy:  Libraries are the quintessential continuing education program. You can be 6 or 96.
When I was growing up we always went to the library and participated in Summer Reading. In this country, we grow up with libraries and we almost take them for granted. For Esteban, every trip to the library is a treasure hunt.
Esteban: The first time I came to the library, I was nervous. Now I feel like I’m at home. I’m so comfortable. When I have free time, I want to spend it here.


I Love My Library!
Featuring Mary Beth McGuinness

Mary Beth McGuinness

My love of books began when I was just a little girl in Belmar, New Jersey. When I came home from school at lunchtime, my mom would read to me while I ate. Then I discovered Nancy Drew, Caddie Woodlawn and Mrs. Mike. In seventh grade, my teacher read poetry to our class for fifteen minutes each day. That’s how I met Casey at the Bat, Hiawatha, and Evangeline.

My library love story didn’t begin until I was an adult because, unfortunately, public libraries were a very different place when I was a girl. You weren’t allowed to talk and as a child I was too intimidated to ask the librarians for help.  Today, libraries are friendlier places and I don’t mind asking for assistance. The staff at the St. Tammany Parish Library has helped me with so many projects like genealogy research, learning how to use the computer, finding supplemental books for my classroom, researching books for literary presentations, and so much more.

I’ve also enjoyed all the great programs at the library. I’ve played Scrabble, discussed philosophy at the Socrates Café and attended book clubs. And now that I have grandchildren, I use my public library in a whole new, wonderful way. The St. Tammany Parish Library is truly my home away from home!
I am so passionate about the library that I became a Charter Member of the St. Tammany Library Foundation. I feel it’s my job to tell people that the library has so much more to offer than books. Although, between you and me, I’m still in love with the books!

I Love My Library!
Featuring Yvette Fontenot

I have loved libraries since I was a little girl. I grew up in West Baton Rouge Parish which had only one branch, but it also had a bookmobile. The bookmobile came to my neighborhood and parked in my neighbor’s driveway one morning a week. I spent that morning each week of summer vacation lying on my stomach with my hands under my chin staring at the children’s books until I discovered the perfect ones to take home. Books have always been a part of my life.

When I moved to St. Tammany as an adult and discovered everything that goes on here, I was blown away. First, I became a member of the Bookworms Bookclub at the Causeway Branch. Since then, I have learned to knit and quilt, played Scrabble, made jewelry, attended cooking demonstrations, watched foreign films, and seen musical performances at the library. I even used the Business Resource Center when I began my small business. They were such a help to me.

When my daughter Amelia was born, I wanted her to love the library too. I brought her to her first storytime when she was just 6 weeks old. Ms. Lillie, the librarian, was so welcoming and it was great getting to be with other moms. Amelia participated in her first Summer Reading Program when she was just nine months old and has participated every summer since. She can read by herself now, but in those early days I loved reading to her and marking her little card. My plan has worked. Amelia can’t leave the library these days with less than ten books to take home.

I just can’t say enough about my library. So many people don’t know what the library has to offer. I love having the chance to tell them all about it!

Last updated 3/18/2013
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