Many people shared stories of being protected by a librarian or shutting out the noise of life by spending time at the library.
Life is a grind and the hustle and bustle of daily life can often get to you. In a world where everyone is busy to get to the next place, some measure of quietness goes a long way. A library is a place where time slows down, and libraries are run by some of the kindest people on earth. They are places full of treasures for any book lover but also a safe haven for the vulnerable. It's no secret that libraries are underfunded and dwindling in numbers, but one tweet reminded us why their contribution to society is immeasurable. David, a librarian from Atlanta, recalled a woman walking into the library. "Today a woman with developmental disabilities came into the library and said she was lost," he tweeted. "She didn't know her address, but her phone number was in her pocket on a piece of paper with Elmo on it. She kept saying, 'The library is a safe place.'"
"We called and her guardian came right over," said David. "Apparently, this happens pretty regularly. They even stayed long enough for her to check out some new books and Sesame Street DVDs. The library is a safe place indeed." This tweet spurred others to share their memories and association with local libraries and their importance to the community. Many hailed librarians as being some of the kindest and helpful people around. Here are some of the top tweets that we came across:
Today a woman with developmental disabilities came into the library, and said she was lost. She didn't know her address, but her phone number was in her pocket on a piece of paper with Elmo on it. She kept saying, "The library is a safe place."— David (@schaalfan) March 4, 2022
I work at Sesame Street. I was with Elmo all week as we are shooting season 53. I will tell Elmo how important he is to this woman. You made my day. Thank you. #inspire #kindness #inclusion— Dan Guachione (@1sounddept) March 5, 2022
I was being followed and threatened by a girl from school when I was about 11/12. I went in the library as it was closing and told the first member of staff I saw. They locked the doors, made me a cuppa and then one of the librarians drove me home.— Sarah Hill 🇺🇦💙💛 (@thelovelysarah) March 5, 2022
She used to often check in with me when she saw me there after that, and became a good friend that I still speak to 25 years later, despite moving pretty far away.— Sarah Hill 🇺🇦💙💛 (@thelovelysarah) March 5, 2022
I grew up in a volatile household, but we lived across the street from the Glendale Public Library in AZ. Shout out to Catherine, the librarian in the children’s section. I still remember her name 30+ years later❤️. She has no idea how much she meant to me,— Cherie Ramirez (@CherieRZ) March 5, 2022
I grew up very neglected. I never left my house because no one bothered to take me anywhere. Once a week I’d bus to the library and take out a stack of books. I lost myself in them, which honestly is a big reason why I made it through my childhood. Libraries are a godsend.— 🌻🏳️🌈Britt Rose🏳️🌈🌻 (@INeedADamnNap) March 5, 2022
My husband at 83, is suffering with deafness, dementia and deep depression. He asks to go to the library when he is feeling agitated. He stands in the stacks feeling safe and occupied there, surrounded by the books he can no longer understand. The librarians are friendly and kind— HarrietBe (@21harmony) March 5, 2022
There's a REASON homeless ppl flock to libraries when they have nowhere else on earth.I was one of them.The ONLY place that doesn't require money. Literal lifesavers. Cannot understate this. Libraries should get WAY more funding (from defense budget). They truly do God's work.— Dessalines - (FB censorship brought me here) (@BlackShiaCommie) March 5, 2022
My mom was a librarian. One day, while working in a back room, she heard a talk radio discussion advocating the banning of a few books. She was their next caller: I WOULDNT LET YOU CHOOSE WHAT FLAVOR ICE CREAM I BUY. WHY IN GOD’S NAME WOULD I LET YOU CHOOSE WHAT I READ? #library— Karla with a K (@kmk1072) March 5, 2022
Saved me. My bro oldest of 8 watched us when Mom worked. He walked me to the library M-F. I had to stay til HE picked me up. My younger bros were allowed to run rampant. I cried. He said, ONE of us has to make it.I'm the 1st college grad in my fam. My hero died 9/2020 of COVID. pic.twitter.com/3riXw9gdkX— Dr. Dee Va, EdD (@just1deeva) March 5, 2022
My aunt with developmental disabilities would go to the library to check out cat books. The librarian was somehow able to track down her sister to alert her when her appearance changed, they became concerned she was not being properly cared for at the group home. It was kind.— Mariabelle (@maria_cake) March 5, 2022
The library offered my teenaged self a way to escape an abusive home. Reading saved my soul.— 🌊Dennise🌊 this ain't no dress rehearsal (@postzoo) March 5, 2022
I've been a librarian for 23 years. I know what libraries mean, and it's been my privilege and honor to be the caretaker of knowledge & joy. ❤️ you all.#LibrariesEmpower #libraries
I moved to the usa from India at age 7. The first time we went to the library I didn't even pay attention bc we had no money to buy books. Then I found out you can borrow them for free..changed my life. I read about women activists, Arabian nights, nancy drew...so many worlds!— StLuGal (@StLuGal) March 5, 2022
My mother told us the same story about her childhood. She took all five of us to the “liberry” every week. I still remember how excited I was to turn 7 because that was when I qualified for my very own card. And is there a more evocative fragrance than that of a library?— 🇺🇸Joan Pasquariello Krause🇺🇸 (@JoanCKrause1) March 5, 2022
It was closing time in our community library. I told the librarian a bit of cardboard was keeping the back door ajar: did she want me to remove it? She said no, it was there so a youth whose home was chaotic could sleep overnight in the library. He never touched the petty cash.— Kathleen Winter (@supremetronic) March 6, 2022
What a heartwarming story.— Compassionate Friend (@Amigo2Todos) March 5, 2022
I grew up in a violent and chaotic home. For me, the library was my quiet childhood place to get homework done and just read. I hold a special affinity for libraries everywhere. The library is indeed a safe place.
I am so glad that woman knows.
I have encountered a lot of different people in a lot of different careers in my life. Some good. Some bad. But I have never, ever, met a librarian who didn’t want more for me than I even knew I wanted for myself. Heroes, one and all.— Jill Mars🌻 (@jeminky) March 5, 2022
I'm a librarian - 35 years and counting. I can't tell you how much all your comments mean to me. I am going to share this thread with my coworkers. It's been a really hard 2 years. We take equity and access and community justice issues seriously and continue to try to do better.— Erin (@Erinm503) March 5, 2022
We didn't have money for books as kids but I checked 6 books out of the library every single Friday. It got me through some very tough times & gave me a lifelong love for books. Thank you and all librarians for helping kids find comfort & escape 💜— Sharon (@SharonLeavy1) March 5, 2022
We are so touched and glad that we can be a safe place. It's so important to us to be a community hub where everyone feels welcome. ❤️— Tigard Public Library (@TigardLibrary) March 5, 2022
During years of relentless bullying all through high school, the school librarian always used to offer shelter. Making up a list of imaginary jobs for me to do. I won’t ever forget Mrs Gamble 😊— Paul Marks (@paulmarks83) March 5, 2022
Library funding has a fantastic return on investment for a community - they fill up a lot of gaps in other social services and help people find their way to information about other opportunities.— Erika (@FawcettErika) March 5, 2022
And they’ve mostly avoided the stigma other public services suffer.
I grew up as a migrant farm worker, very poor (no indoor plumbing). Our third-grade teacher took us to our small town library. We got library cards. It opened up a world I didn’t know existed. It changed my life. I became the first in my extended family to earn a college degree.— Enedelia Obregon (@bossymama57) March 5, 2022
When I was 14 yrs old my dad passed away. I was so depressed. I cut school for two weeks after, and went to the library everyday. I read all day long. I felt so much better surrounded by those books. I can’t explain it. I guess you could say it was my getaway.— Lissa † (@xivegotstylesx) March 5, 2022
I grew up in foster care during the 70’s. Foster children were a paycheck and never a dime was spent on me. I went from foster home to foster home with a trash bag, no toys or books. The libraries allowed me to read for free. I went often because there I wasn’t treated poorly.— 🦋🐾Joy♼LaPine🐾🦉 (@JoyLapine) March 5, 2022
In San Antonio and probably countless other locations, the library is a safe haven for the house less population. They have even found ways to accommodate them by adding more eoutlets and USB chargers so they can charge their cell phones while they are there.— Jennie Mayes (@MommaBearJen94) March 5, 2022
A librarian friend here in my small town brought a fellow back from the dead with two hits of Narcan she keeps behind the circulation desk.— Are You Even Trying? (@ru_trying) March 5, 2022
Librarians are some of my favorite humans and libraries themselves are definitely safe spaces. #bydhttmwfi https://t.co/sRl1To3chR— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) March 5, 2022
"Libraries do one thing that no other institution does and that's provide access to all."— The Librarian of Tomorrowland (@GBBTomorrow) March 8, 2022
-Levar Burton, @levarburton #PlusUltra #Tomorrowland #CrasEsNoster pic.twitter.com/TtlnR0L60k