Amy Milstead watched a girl run into the library and leave a sealed envelope with her before running away.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on April 4, 2022
Librarians are some of the most wholesome people out there, always helping out vulnerable and fragile souls. Many an introvert has sought refuge in libraries and the world of books to escape the harsh realities of daily life, and one of them appears to be a student named Reginae. A high school librarian became emotional after a girl ran into the library and delivered her a sealed envelope. Inside was a handwritten letter addressed to the librarian, and it was shared online where it went viral, garnering more than 265,000 likes.
Reginae quoted American novelist Barbara Kingsolver to pay tribute to her high school librarian. “I’m of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved. Truly amazing school librarian is hard to find difficult to part with and impossible to forget,” the scrawny handwriting read. The librarian, who goes by Amy Milstead on Twitter, shared the photo of the letter and captioned it: "I’m speechless. Delivered in a sealed envelope and she ran before I could read it." Milstead is a high school Librarian in Texas and was awarded AASL School Library of the year 2020 according to her bio.
I’m speechless. Delivered in a sealed envelope and she ran before I could read it. pic.twitter.com/ufU1MMHwcT— Amy Milstead (@amyomilstead) March 31, 2022
While she quoted Barbara Kingsolver at the start of the note, she ended it with one of her own, highlighting the doors that the library opened to her. “When you enter this library you are a scientist, you are an explorer, you are a reader, you are important, you are loved, you are respected, you are the reason we are here,” she wrote. The library has always been a safe haven and a refuge for many, and it's a place that stretches time. The letter by Reginae sparked responses from many others, who shared what librarians and libraries mean to them and their community.
Here are some of the top replies we came across:
Yup! When I was small, I grew up on a marsh island & the bookmobile coming out there monthly was a Big Event. We'd fill up the back of a station wagon & use a wheelbarrow or dolly once we got home to offload the books. Needless to say, those librarians remembered me as an adult!— 🇺🇦𝓑𝓻𝓲𝓽𝓹🌻𝓹𝓽𝓪𝓻𝓽𝓼 🇺🇦 (@Britpoptarts) April 1, 2022
There are reasons why we do what we do! 🥲 #mywhy @kimfrog2 @ElginAcademics @ElginSupt @ELGINISD_EHS #FReadom pic.twitter.com/kFh1gpM00a— Keith Barrow (@TexasLibrary) March 4, 2022
I was new in Dallas, TX back in 2007, had no resources whatsoever, I went into your library to use one of your computers so I could apply for a job. I got the job. Thank you. 13 years later.— Cunning linguist and master debater (@fearnoMAGAt) April 1, 2022
That man saved my life, no doubt about it. He made the library a safe space & he did not tolerate bullies. Every kid deserves to have an adult in their life that genuinely cares about their well-being. I graduated over a decade ago but we’re still friends.— MizLNicTeàrlach - “Lovely Bean” (@MizLiot) April 1, 2022
And over the years I’ve met with people who graduated from my high school before me, and who remember him helping them like that. Over the course of 30-odd years he must’ve helped countless kids. Not just that, but he helped kids in their applications for university.— MizLNicTeàrlach - “Lovely Bean” (@MizLiot) April 1, 2022
Books saved me when I was in MS and HS. And when I became bedridden from a chronic illness. I spent many hours at the library when I was young.— Just Michaela (@My_North_Star) April 1, 2022
We moved before 4th grade and new school was a hotbed of cliquishness and cruel girl dynamics I had never experienced and I was fresh meat and first among us to get boobs. My grade school librarian adored, nutured and offered me literal safe space. Can't ever thank her enough. ❤— 💜💙💗 Venomous Fishwife (@majorlady) April 1, 2022
My life was literally saved by the librarians at my high school. librarians are doctors for the soul— Daniel Brace (@danielpebrace) April 1, 2022
My librarians were so kind. I was a huge reader. When my kids started at the same elementary school I went to, the same librarian was there. She remembered me, and reminisced about how I took home books almost as big as me in Gr 2. (I did) ♥️— Seditious Me (@SeditiousMe) April 1, 2022
Reading this thread, and this struck me. Took me back to my beloved HS librarian. I hated the social behavior at the time and would sneak into the library before lunch, hide and just enjoy. She caught me and for the rest of my time in school spent lunch with her 😭❤️😭❤️— Alona Williams (@red505) April 1, 2022
The public library and school library saved my childhood from growing up in a very troubled home. I am forever grateful for the books and kindness showed me there. I don't believe I would have been an old man today on Twitter able to tweet this without librarians.— Compassionate Friend (@Amigo2Todos) April 1, 2022
My high school librarian often told other students to ask me for recommendations because I checked out so many books. Mrs. Hero was a big influence on me, she and I discussed books all of the time. I go to the public library still, even when I just need a quiet place to write.— Lauren. BS, PSYCH (@LauriLocs3Fears) April 1, 2022
Bless you both for being who you are.— Renee Arnett💙🕊 🌻🇺🇦🌻🕊💙 (@ReneeArnett) April 1, 2022
I to have a School librarian who I will never forget, for her kindness to a missfit lonely teen. I moved 6 x in 7 years from 6th grade on. You don't make friends that way. Libraries are sanctuaries filled with friends & sometimes angels 🕊️
My middle school librarian was always stern to me, but realized that what my interests were by what I was reading.— John McGrath (@techwrench) April 1, 2022
I used to find books stacked in the spot I always hid in the stacks, of titles of interesting material.
I love her to this day for what she taught me.
I had no idea what to read so I asked for the librarian's recommendation. She chatted for a minute to get a sense of who I was, then led me to the biography stacks to a series of biographies of American figures, written for young readers, all bound in Robin's egg blue. 2/— #TrumpEmboldenedPutin (@Terry_Wechsler) April 1, 2022
My daughter works at a bookstore. She was helping an older woman choose books today. As they passed my book, the woman leaned in & said: “Oh my daughter loves Heather O’Neill, but I do not. I’m whispering because this is her neighborhood and someone in the store might know her.”— Heather O'Neill (@lethal_heroine) April 2, 2022
this, i always found comfort to spend most of times in libraries when i am not comfortable in class in junior high school (i was bullied), i remember the librarian gave me chocolate bar when she saw im so diligent to return the book without late to due, she was so kind— luce 🪐 (@clovernighty) April 2, 2022
Wow I love that so many had an amazing librarian in their life, Ms.Bramble wherever you are hope you’re doing great 🥺📚❤️🔥— ms.assumption (@sheenanigans92) April 1, 2022
Teachers and students agree: Librarians ARE amazing. So glad to see them finally getting some recognition.#LibrariansAreAmazinghttps://t.co/0kxb2gIXoI— KrisS 🔥 Your Vote, Your Voice 🔥 (@MplsMe) April 1, 2022
Bloody hell. Looking at a message from the Ukraine Library Association concerning the cancellation of their forthcoming conference. it basically says "We will reschedule just as soon as we have finished vanquishing our invaders". Ukrainian Librarians, I salute you— Nicholas Poole (@NickPoole1) February 28, 2022
Took me about 3 weeks to work through the beginner books. She made me read out loud to her, to prove I could read well, then the whole library was mine. If I was couldn't find an interesting book, she'd make recommendations. I still love reading to unwind and learn.— Adrienne (@adrienne3m) April 1, 2022