We're grateful to Izzie Monroy for taking the time to submit this Love Letter.
Dear Pima County Public Library,
Listen, I know we’ve been avoiding it for quite a while, but there comes a point where someone needs to say something- and, if I’m being honest, this has had a long time coming:
I know I haven’t said it enough.
You see, if there’s been one constant in the past eighteen, chaotic yearsit’s been you. Maybe you don’t remember all too well, but you were there every step of the way. I recall my weekly excitement in preschool every Wednesday afternoon, when I would happily be the first in line to listen to Nanini Library’s Storytime. Then, from elementary to middle school, I would spend countless hours at the Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library, playing on the computer or exploring the newest update to the holy grail that was the teen section. Entering high school, I interned at the Joel D. Valdez Library and made a second family I never knew I would have the privilege of knowing. You gave me a place to learn and grow where the sky was the limit, ready with whatever lesson I needed to learn in that very moment.
You gave me one more opportunity, annually, however, that I think needs a special shout out—Mega Mania! Ever since the very first run, I’ve made it a point to attend this mini, local convention you decided to take a risk on. I remember first attending many years ago, seeing the cosplay competition and admiring the confidence and craftsmanship it praised among all ages; then, the following July, I decided to cosplay for the first time as a little girl named Hermione Granger. Since then, my immersion into the world of cosplay has created a segue into learning skills like sewing, woodworking, and improvisational acting as well as giving me a diverse community of close friends I would’ve never had the opportunity of meeting otherwise- some of which will go beyond Tucson with me this August. And even until now, I’ve come back to MegaMania with my Gryffindor robes and wand, a year older and a year wiser, helping design escape rooms and running panels. I’ve attended many conventions across Arizona now, but only one truly feels like home. You gave me a place where I could be unabashedly curious, knowing whatever I decided to take on was welcome, and encouraged.
Thank you, for being the one place where- even if it was only for a few moments of immersing myself in a world of fantasy and charm at a time- I could grow, learn, and wonder without abandon, and create the future I knew could be.
MegaMania! 2019 is right around the corner... join us!
Listen to Izzie read her love letter on Arizona Public Media's Arizona Spotlight. A huge thank you to AZPM's Mark McLemore for turning the written word into the spoken word for this project.
Love Letters to My Library is a collaborative project between Pima County Public Library and Rachel Miller of Love Letters to Tucson. Has the Library helped or changed you in some way? Does a particular location, service, or program hold a special place in your heart? Please tell us about it. Submit your Love Letter today to firstname.lastname@example.org.