Last Friday during the Town Hall Meeting to discuss the library expansion project, I engaged in a conversation that sparked my childhood memories about going to the library. I remember feeling ecstatic, invigorated, and in awe all at the same time. I remember the smell of the old Carnegie building in Gibbon, NE. I remember the stairs, the carpet, the bookshelves, and even the librarian Mrs. Catlin. The library was a second home to me, and the knowledge and education I received from that little public library has definitely played a part in my successes as an adult.

Of all my childhood memories, the old library stands out as some of my favorite memories of all time. The topic of discussion last week was just that: childhood memories of the library. As we sat and discussed the old Carnegie building in Fremont and the history behind the current Keene Memorial Library, the historical value of both of these buildings shone brightly. We also celebrated and embraced the importance of the library to the history of Fremont. Having the meeting in the May Brother’s Building was such a perfect setting to discuss the nostalgia and historical memories.

As we discussed these memories and the history, I realized that we are in the process of sculpting the future memories of those young folks not yet born. Designing an expansion to our current library will essentially create new memories and new dreams and influence the lives of children for another 50-100 years.

Everything we do in the library is designed to improve the life of Fremont community members. We want to influence learning, thinking processes, social skills, literacy, and a sense of community. We often discuss what we do in the library, but not often do we get to explain why, or what impacts we feel we are making on the community as a whole.

After my article last week about what it is staff does every day in the library, I began to think about how big of an impact every action we take makes on the children, young adults, and adults of Fremont. It was heartwarming and inspirational to sit back and actual contemplate the value of our work. Many days we run so hard, so long, we forget to take stock in the value and benefits of what we are doing. This is true for many folks in the community. So slowing down, reassessing, and actually accepting that what we do makes a difference, helps us restock our reserves so we can come in on Monday and continue with the planning, development and implementation of so many programs, events, and community partnerships.

Tina Walker is Director of Keene Memorial Library in Fremont.