We people are a strange bunch. We've constructed incredible cities, flown to the moon, and learned how to make pizza. However, we have yet to rid ourselves of all the insecurities, inequities, and injustices that plague our everyday life.

Luckily, there are libraries, places that are perfect for taking a break from all these nuisances. The idea that we ought to fill a building with books to borrow for whoever asks is just so beautiful in its simplicity. There is nothing but upsides to a calm, quiet area where everyone can hang out and read.

And a recent thread on Twitter illustrates this point wonderfully. It all started when one librarian from Atlanta recalled an experience they had with a confused woman.

David's wholesome tweet instantly prompted others to share their own stories of libraries being safe places, and has quickly evolved into a collective read that can warm even the coldest of hearts.

#1

Heartwarming-Stories-Libraries-Safe-Spaces

just1deeva Report

Jessica LanSpe
Community Member
4 months ago

I bet your brother is SO incredibly proud of you.

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According to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), libraries form an important part of the public service infrastructure, complementing other institutions such as schools, health centers, and cultural centers, as well as non-public actors such as NGOs.

They frequently have an explicit mission to serve all members of the community, in particular the vulnerable, and are associated with educational opportunities.

In fact, in many places, they are the only genuinely public indoor space. As such, there is both an opportunity and a duty to respond to the need for safe spaces.

#2

Heartwarming-Stories-Libraries-Safe-Spaces

kmk1072 Report

Jessica LanSpe
Community Member
4 months ago

Choosing books is one of the freedoms I hold DEAR in this country, the USA. I won't let ANYONE take that from me, as long as I have fight in me.

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#3

Heartwarming-Stories-Libraries-Safe-Spaces

BlackShiaCommie Report

DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
4 months ago

They should! Libraries are so important. With all the technology these days people forget how wonderful libraries really are.

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#4

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INeedADamnNap Report

Shaunty M McMillin
Community Member
4 months ago

Irl Matilda

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Information is a key driver of development; it is what allows us to take better decisions for ourselves and those around us, to innovate, and to create. Providing access to this information in a meaningful way is therefore essential to development, from the individual to the global level, and libraries play an integral part in delivering this.

While it has long been understood that a more literate and educated population is good for overall social and economic progress, some countries are increasingly underlining the direct role of libraries in reducing poverty, in promoting full and active citizenship, democracy, and free expression, and in supporting sustainability.

#5

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21harmony Report

DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
4 months ago

I get this. When you're between isles and isles of books, the smell, the feeling...everything feels safe. I used to like doing this at uni. Just randomly searching shelves alone. It was so much fun.

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#6

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TigardLibrary Report

Steve Fischer
Community Member
4 months ago

BP. Get rid of vafapow134 for scam links

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#7

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supremetronic Report

Ana Garfield
Community Member
4 months ago

Wow... This one got to me..

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The young, who are moving from a situation of dependence (being fed information directly by teachers or families) to independence, take on new responsibilities and must make big choices. As they collect new experiences and find out new things about themselves, the importance of being well-informed grows, as well as simply having a quiet place where they can be calm, and be themselves.

As each person discovers their identity, their information needs become more and more diverse. They often meet challenges – isolation, institutional problems, and literacy, amongst others (and often more than one at once) – that leave them particularly vulnerable. Rapid economic and social change can intensify these situations.

#8

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Erinm503 Report

DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
4 months ago

Librarians are awesome! I've know a few in my short lifetime and they're all been really nice people. Keep up the great work!

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#9

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NENaturist Report

Paula McNeely
Community Member
4 months ago

A man who reads many books lives many lives. A man who reads no books lives only one life.

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#10

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ShoshanaKessock Report

AmandaKay
Community Member
4 months ago

My husband used to go to New Utrecht with his Gramma every week when he was a kid for "weekly stories". She'd get him a book & he would read it to her! He's in his 40s now & still has the fondests memories of that library too. So glad to hear they are a creeper free safe space!

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#11

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StLuGal Report

Cold Contagious
Community Member
4 months ago

It's awesome to hear about the wonder and awakening of the spirit that is being shared with us.

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"Libraries do see themselves as community hubs," Michael Lynn, Service Development Manager for the Northern Ireland Library Authority, explained. "We do try to offer that space that people need within communities if they want to come and browse books, if they want to engage in some of our activities, read a book, to study or use our computer facilities."

The organization oversees 96 physical libraries and Lynn said they're all different; each one has its own particular niche within the community. "Some of them are big bustling libraries, like city center libraries such as Lisburn and Belfast Central. But then you go into the smaller communities, not just rural communities, some of the smaller urban communities, and you find there is a real core of people who do use the libraries and depend on them and look forward to using them."

#12

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Amigo2Todos Report

Cynthia Avers-Williams
Community Member
4 months ago

This is the kind of idiocy I grew up with... we then I read, I block everything else out. Total immersion. My mother would get mad because I didnt hear her call me from the other room so she would throw things and hit me to get my attention. Her favorite objects to throw? Books, of course.

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#13

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1sounddept Report

Paula McNeely
Community Member
4 months ago

Tell Elmo Hi

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#14

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jeminky Report

Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
4 months ago

This is so true. That librarian who suggested books and took interest in you and smiled when you took books out. In homes where there is little to no encouragement or approbation, this means the world.

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#15

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postzoo Report

Debra Helmlinger
Community Member
4 months ago

Yes, yes, yes, Libraries are welcoming to everyone, spent 37 years as a Youth Services Libraians and helped many of all ages finding what they needed even when sometimes it was a place to be away from the outside world.

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Libraries offer plenty of different types of events, too.

"We've got events for children in terms of school class visits and storytimes ... for moms and wee toddlers," Lynn said.

“We've got reading groups for adults, tea and newspaper clubs, Knit and Natter where groups can come together. We've got our digital offering as well, our Go On sessions that we run for people. They will cover all sorts of activities like scam awareness, using iPads, money-saving ideas, and tips, how to use WhatsApp and Zoom."

#16

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thelovelysarah Report

Cold Contagious
Community Member
4 months ago

That was very kind indeed. Above and beyond the scope of their regular duties.

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#17

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FawcettErika Report

Who cares what I think, but...
Community Member
4 months ago

It bothers me that some people condemn that rich people in the past ONLY put money towards building libraries. They knew what they were doing.

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#18

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paulmarks83 Report

Bart Suchecki
Community Member
4 months ago

The librarian at my school would let me move the TV carts so I could hide from everything I created a sort of fort in a corner and read by myself, I loved her!

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#19

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maria_cake Report

Cold Contagious
Community Member
4 months ago

That's fantastic! She may have been being neglected, her medication may not be working as effectively, or her condition could be worsening. It was very kind of them to pay attention, be diligent and locate her family, and take care to inform them of the changes that they've noticed.

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As Lynn said, it's not just about books anymore. Libraries are working to create something that meets the needs of everyone.

"It's also about bringing people together socially," he continued. "It's about trying to combat that social isolation that there is in urban and rural communities. It's giving people a sense of place, giving them somewhere they can come, they won’t be bothered, and do whatever it is they need to do."

And judging from this Twitter thread, people definitely value these efforts.

#20

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ButlerCory Report

DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
4 months ago

Same here. You could read any book or magazine or anything!

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#21

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Ann Dennis
Community Member
4 months ago

Congratulations!

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#22

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Mayo
Community Member
4 months ago

Poor Laura. Im hope she've beautiful future ahead of her.

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#23

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ru_trying Report

Adrienne Gallo-Girard
Community Member
4 months ago

What a wonderful librarian. Sadly, most of us are trained on how to administer Narcan and keep a supply at the ready. Many of us have sharps containers in our offices. The pain of the opioid epidemic hurts our hearts. But better someone ODs in a place where we can help than in a desolate alley with no one around.

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One recent story from New Zealand perfectly describes the people who work at and visit libraries.

As the country celebrated a national holiday, one of its largest city libraries was closed, with staff and security given the day off. However, an error with the automated door programming meant Tūranga's doors opened to the public as usual – and the unstaffed and unsecured library was happily used by the public, who browsed and checked out books for hours before someone realized what happened.

As well as its books, the library is also home to a wide variety of artworks and sculptures – but staff say nothing was stolen, and there were no serious incidents to report.

#24

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efan78 Report

ZefRam
Community Member
4 months ago

libraries are truly the best place in the world

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#25

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xivegotstylesx Report

Steve Fischer
Community Member
4 months ago

Reading can be a safe harbor when your reality really sucks

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#26

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K M
Community Member
4 months ago

I hope you are surrounded by books and love now.

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#27

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CherieRZ Report

Sarah Elizabeth
Community Member
4 months ago

Any chance Catherine is still alive? If so, and if it wouldn’t be too hard to track her down, you should do so and tell her. If she is still living, your gesture would mean the world to her.

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A library staff member at Christchurch city council said 380 people came into the building that Sunday morning.

"Our self-issue machines automatically started up and 147 books were issued by customers. No book-theft alarms went off, and at this stage, nothing has been reported missing, nor have we spotted any damage."

“We're grateful for the honesty of the people who used the library during this time," Bruce Rendall, the head of facilities, property, and planning at Christchurch city council,l added

He said there had been an investigation and the door system failing was “very rare”.

#28

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MommaBearJen94 Report

Steve Fischer
Community Member
4 months ago

A cell phone, usually provided by the government, is the only way the homeless can access services, while providing them a lifeline to society.

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#29

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Brian Bennett
Community Member
4 months ago

You just have to keep cool and if you go along with them they will be very little trouble!

#30

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mkwtzmn Report

Char Char
Community Member
4 months ago

And I will fight by your side!

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#31

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
4 months ago

oh, beauty.

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#32

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Ontheotherhand Report

Brian Bennett
Community Member
4 months ago

Yep right up there with my, Social Insurance, heath card (Canada) and Citizenship. Don't leave home without them

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#33

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cheryl_boucher Report

Ana Garfield
Community Member
4 months ago

Elmo needs to do video chat.

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#34

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marareboi Report

D Stone
Community Member
4 months ago

One of the first things I thought of when Covid closed down the Central Library in Portland was the worry of what would happen to the homeless. They do such good work with helping the homeless, especially during the 8 months of the year when we have bad weather. Just the fact that there are multi floors with sitting places so that they can get out of the rain and cold is very helpful. Can't even imagine how many lives have been saved. I've had a library card for 50 years. It is one of my most prized possessions.

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#35

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wearaGDMask42 Report

Brian Bennett
Community Member
4 months ago

Have you ever seen an angry librarian, I have but they are the calmest angry person you will meet in your life. I was in the library and was close enough to here a man berating a cognitive disabled man, they poor fellow was so scared - I went to the librarian told her an accompanied her to the the older man still giving this poor fellow hell, the old man came in to read papers and the other fellow messed them up - She told him very quietly in no uncertain terms where to go and that was out but could come back when he learned to treat all human beings the way we have treated him. It was just so cool how she did this she was calm and cool never raised her voice but you knew if you did not obey her death may ensue!

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