We're grateful to William Vicens Jr. for taking the time to submit this Love Letter.
Whenever I move to a new community or neighborhood, I always make a point to find my nearest library branch. That is simple as a Google search today, but you really have to visit a library to see what makes a particular branch important to its neighbors and patrons.
The Woods Memorial Library is such a small building the air conditioner is installed on the outside and stands as tall as the building itself! Every time I visit Woods, my new neighborhood is revealed to me in all its vibrancy.
The library sees a young man who brings his gaming computer and uses the internet during summer break. I see him as a computer engineer bringing future entertainment, technology and social connectivity to younger generations.
The library receives a mix of cultures and classes. I see how civility and decency can thrive in even the tightest of shared surroundings.
The library witnesses a new elementary school teacher and Tucson resident meeting with a seasoned colleague. I see the library serving as a business incubator or startup and an exemplary community member expanding the next chapter in education.
The library is meaningless without volunteers and library staff. Each of them beautiful, charismatic and helpful from the inside out! I see them as the captains and crew of our vessel. Each of them empowers patrons to navigate the stars to their own path of achievement and opportunity.
I live in a crossroads neighborhood of Tucson—where east of town meets west and northwest meets downtown. Established folk live next to up-rooted folk. Regardless of class, ethnicity or status, my branch library is a perfect demonstration of its patrons growing themselves where they are rooted.
During this political season, I ask each of you to vote not only your passion and pursuits but also consider those of your neighbors. We share this community together. We all require access to basic resources to thrive in Tucson. Some of us wait hours for shared computer and internet access. Some walk 3 or more miles in the blistering sun to gain access to information. Others are emerging from homelessness and their second chance is waiting just beyond those sliding glass doors.
Thank you Pima County Public Library, Woods Memorial Library, and my Tucson community for helping this person navigate their way to a second chance in life.
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.