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Stories from Everyday Champions

Become a New Jersey Library Champion!

How is your library helping you in these tough economic times? Tell us your story.

The library changed my life

All started in January of 1996

I attended a Word Perfect class at BCIT from January 1996 to May 1996. My instructor was wonderful. I came from Bell Telephone of Pennsylvania and worked in data processing for over 20 years. Needless to say that work experience did not provide PC training on a daily basis. Therefore I was a not able to utilize a personal computer ... period.

My Library's Summer Reading Program Got My Son to Read

I have been bringing my son to the library since he was five years old. His reading level was a little low when he got into the upper grades, but he enjoyed coming to the library to get books and take part in the summer reading program that was offered. He won an award for 100 hours of reading which lit up his eyes. That encouraged him to want to read more.

Families Would be Cheated with Loss of Library Funding

The library continues to be a safe, healthy place to learn and grow. Children who are taught to read and research make better choices as adults during difficult economy times and changing social economics. In this economy, I have adjusted my living and spending budget, however the bigger loss I see is to the families that will be impacted by the loss of library funding.  At my library, I was able to access online the listing for my long time home which I had to put up for sale due to a mistake in mortgage paperwork.

Enables me to Keep in Touch on a Budget

I go to my library to use the free internet to keep in tough with friends and family because I can’t afford a computer with Internet access at home. - Jack, Pemberton

Library for the Blind Helps fill Empty Hours

My husband recently became BLIND. Without the services of the NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center he would have no way to fill the empty hours since he can no longer read. I do not know how anyone with a conscience can take away these services from the blind. We are senior citizens and he has so many hours that will be empty and the thoughts of this is devastating. Multiply this by the large number of Blind Persons in NJ. Bernice, Belvidere

Unemployed Need Library Resources

Jobless for a year, I can’t afford Internet access at home. Since most employers require an online submission of an application or resume, I would not be able to search for a job without my library’s computer and Internet access. - James, Bloomfield

The Library is One Sacrifice We Should Not Have to Make

Seeing that I am slated to lose my job due to the budget cuts in public education, I have had to make many sacrifices. I have had to change my diet due to the rising cost of food. I have had to cut out all extra driving that is not needed for work or errands due to gas prices soaring. I have had to stop purchasing books, movies, and games because I can't afford to spend on such things. I am now unable to pay for doctor's bills. I am barely able to pay rent.

Without Libraries Our Children's Education will Suffer

The library is always there with books for our children to read and grow and instill new ideas. The library is always here for our seniors, who on fixed incomes after years of hard work enjoy the programs the library has to offer. I and my family would most certainly be devastated if any of the programs my library has provided would no longer be there to use. My daughter and I have used the New Jersey library system extensively. Our country as a whole has been downtrodden with the education of our young.

Interlibrary Loan Convenient, Economical and Progressive

I grew up in New Jersey but later lived over 20 years on the west coast. While in San Francisco, I was able to make use of the entire branch system, searching for materials on the internet and having them sent to my local branch. When I moved back to NJ five years ago, I was so glad to see that Morris County had developed a similar system for member libraries. I have a Jefferson card but actually am able to use the Dover library much more conveniently. The Dover staff have been wonderful (as have those at Jefferson when I go there).

My Library is a Special Friend

Things have hit home for us as my husband just lost his job because of sudden heart illness. The increase in food prices has also hit hard. Now they are shorting us of their product with reduced sizes of familiar items, even sugar. The library has been my rock for all my life, especially now. The library has been my unspeaking friend through all the trial and tribulations of my existence. I think I was reading in the womb and it taught me to be able to read without a lot of light, which any bookworm will tell you they have mastered!!

Job Search Help is Essential

At this time I'm employed in a lower-paying field than usual (and am in a temporary job). So, some of my bills are simply not being paid on time. I'm also buying more discounted food. I'm looking for a new job to start by the end of June. (and hope to find one on my own rather than having to rely on the state of NJ for economic assistance, if at all possible). I use the computers at my library every day to search for a new job. I've also gone to a parenting workshop and some other workshops. Maria, Bloomfield

Libraries Help Conserve Resources

Sharing books helps in gaining knowledge. We will save forests by not printing the same book for each individual person in world. One copy could be used by many people and each one save a lot of money, even for the govt. Jagruti, Green Brook

Interlibrary Loan a Valuable Service

During the past few years, I have checked out many, many self-help books related to natural health and healing. Being unemployed right now, I am very grateful to not have to spend money buying these books. Most of them have been obtained through the interlibrary loan service. Losing that service would be devastating to me! Claire, Nutley

Unemployed Need Library Services

 I have lost my Job as main breadwinner for my family due to mergers and cutbacks. We have lost over 2/3'rds of our income while our property taxes and energy costs have jumped. No vacation this year, no more buying anything that is not on sale. We never go out to dinner or a movie, and no purchases are being made in any non-essentials. Our library has helped my wife tremendously in researching graduate schools, and for me in researching companies (using Reference USA) that I feel I could help.

Library Job Search Resources are Vital to Job Seekers

I lost my job last year so the sacrifices are many. I can not afford to pay for the services my local library and other nearby libraries are providing. While I am out of work I have been doing volunteer work to stay active in my community. My family has basically cut out every luxury and we are now falling behind on our bills. Without the library services my job search will be severely hindered. I attend many job search related networking groups sponsored by the libraries in the area including county libraries.

Interlibrary Loans Helped Stretch My Education Budget

My father was unemployed for more than a year, and as a full time student, I couldn't afford to buy textbooks for many of my courses. My library helped me by requesting the textbooks from other NJ libraries who had them, which helped get through the semester. Steven, Englewood

Library is a Respite from Everyday Challenges

Recently my family has had to cut down on extra expenses, such as home internet access, phone service and basic cable. Even after we stopped using these extras, we still had to cut down on the amount of food we were able to purchase monthly. It's still very hard for us to make ends meet. I've even decided to stop my pursuit of higher education so I can work a second job to help my family further. The public library has helped me deal with the hard times my family is going through.

I will be the first of my immediate family members to graduate from college, and you helped me with that.

  The library has been a life saver for me in that I am attending UCC (Union County College) in Cranford, NJ and when I can’t get to school, I come here to the library and log on to the UCC site to do homework, tests, and other projects. I have achieved a 4.0 GPA and intend on maintaining it.

I would like to say, Thank You Plainfield Public Library for assisting me in my education. I will be the first of my immediate family members to graduate from college, and you helped me with that.

Thanks again and God Bless You.  -Patricia, Plainfield

Library Use and Appreciation Spans Generations

I am a library student and part time worker. I have always used the library to borrow books, movies and to use the internet for business an d pleasure. My son has attended story hour since he was 3. He is now 5. The Read to Rover and summer reading and crafts were one of the highlights of summer activities. My son has enjoyed reading to Rover and the many story times. He also enjoyed the movies and Kurt Gallagher. We are not dining out, and we are reading and watching movies at home.

Interlibrary Loan too Valuable a Service to Lose

 I am currently retired and my wife will be retiring on July 1, 2010. We spend more time watching movies at home and cooking together, in lieu of going to movies and restaurants. We, also plan many more day trips rather than traveling vacations using guides we loan from our library. Our staff at the Long Hill Library are extremely helpful and I have gotten much enjoyment out of many books suggested by the staff. The delivery of books from other libraries in our area is an outstanding service, saving money that would be spent on gas.

Library a FANTASTIC Resource

My full-time job has been cut to a single day per week. We pay our bills with partial unemployment but buy almost nothing, including clothes. We go to the doctor for emergencies only. It's been difficult. My library and its staff have been a fantastic resource in my job search and in my attempts to continue my education to increase my marketability, as well as a source of free, much-needed entertainment in the form of books, reading programs and movies.

Communities & Children Would Suffer with Library Cutbacks

The Evesham Library has helped my family by being a place where my toddler can experience all sorts of wonderful programs and interact with his peers, other adults, and even, at times, dogs! The Evesham Library has helped me to broaden my toddler's horizons through both actual experiences, and through all of the wonderful books, children's music cds, and educational DVDs we borrow. The librarians are always helpful and friendly and so sweet that my son can't help but be comfortable there.

I Depend on Library for the Blind

I am visually impaired and use recorded books EVERY DAY! Jeanne, Whiting, TBBC

At Least We Can "Afford" to go to our Library

Since my father and I both lost our jobs, we have had to cut back on most things. When you are foregoing doctor visits and putting off car and home repairs, you are not even thinking about buying books and movies. Fortunately, we can get books and DVDs at our local library for free. - M,  Marlton

Library a Source of Entertainment & Enrichment

With the economy the way it is, we have cut back on a lot of extras. Almost all our books are borrowed from the library. We very rarely buy books, except at the book fair at school! We attend so many of the library’s children’s programs for both entertainment and enrichment. We don't go to movies. We wait to borrow them from the library as well. - Ann, Evesham

Losing Library for the Blind & Handicapped is an Affront to the Disabled and Seniors

Due to physical limitations, I receive books from the Library for the Blind & Handicapped. If this is taken away from me, I will have lost the “art of the word” which has been important to this 78 year old since I was a young girl. While prices are rising, my social security has remained the same as in 2009, and governments do nothing but put down more limits on the seniors pocketbooks, as well as the everyday population. - Lucretia, Hackensack TBBC

Library is Key Resource for the Unemployed

Being unemployed I can’t afford Internet access or even a phone at home. I am dependent on the resources at my library, such as the Internet and newspapers, to find a job. - Dwight, Browns Mills

Budget Contraints Made Our Library Even More Valuable

Due to budget constraints, my family cancelled the Internet and has stopped buying books, cds and DVDs. We now use library access for school assignments and to borrow books, cds and DVDs. - Guadalupe, Hillsborough

Job Search & School Work

 My library’s resources help with job searches and helps with getting homework done for school. - Traci, Browns Mills

Library Resources are Vital to the Families of the Unemployed

Because I have been out of work on medical leave since August 2009, we had to cut back on a lot of things and Internet access was one of them. At our library, the internet and movie borrowing that is free helps with school work and other activities that we can not afford. - Kimberly, Pemberton

Unemployed & My Library is my only Option to Find Job Opportunities

 I am unemployed and have no home computer. I go to the library everyday to pursue my job search on the computer, to research job opportunities and to check my e-mails. This is my only link to changing my current situation. I have no other options for computer use on a regular basis. - Kathleen, Westwood

We Use Computers for School

 I can’t afford the Internet at my house so my family and I go the library to use the computers for research for school and to take out books. - Lori, Pemberton

A Place to Get Help With Homework

The library is a place where I can go for some quiet time, get help with my homework and relax. - Stephanie, Browns Mills

Safe Place for Children

 I am out of work and my finances are very low. The library has provided a safe place for my son and me to play and learn. - Lisa, Pemberton.

Library for the Blind & Handicapped a Godsend for my Dad

My father, who has severe macular degeneration, lost one of his true joys: being able to read. Thanks to the NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center, he has found some happiness again by being able to listen to audio books with his supplied digital player. It's been a godsend for him! We've all had to make great sacrifices during this brutal economic situation, which is incorrectly referred to as a recession, but is quite realistically a depression, but should we sacrifice our access to literature, knowledge and resources to aid the unemployed?

All the Information & Resources I Need Are at the Library

On our budget we don’t go out as much or buy a lot. With my library, I don't have to purchase books that are expensive, nor do I have to pay for the Internet. All of the information that I need is at the library. The library was very useful when I was in college. I didn't have to buy books for my research papers. I came to the library to use research databases and books. Sometimes I would even use the internet and the computer to complete projects for college. If I wasn't able to find a book at the local library I was able to get the book from another library through Interlibrary Loan.

Libraries are NOT Disposable to New Jersey's Unemployed

 I am unemployed and could not make it without the library systems and its services. - Jennifer, Princeton

The Library Helps Stretch My Fixed Income

I am able to get books to read for my book club without having to buy them. As a retiree on a fixed income, that helps a lot. - Delores, Willingboro

Losing Library Services Would Be Devastating

My family started using our library for everything. My husband gets audio books for his commute, which makes his hour-long commute go much faster. My children get movies regularly to take on vacation and also to watch at home. Their preferences change almost every month, so I am able to save money by not purchasing the books. I am an avid reader and I request books and utilize the books-by mail service frequently. I request from all of the member libraries. I also stopped going to video stores to save money, because all the movies I wanted were at the library.

Unemployed Familes Depend on the Library in Many Ways

 Since my husband lost his job, we are working on only one income and unemployment. This means major cutbacks in entertainment such as going out to dinner, movies, etc. We have saved countless dollars on borrowing books, DVDs and music as well as entertainment costs by making use of the library often. Our three year old daughter absolutely LOVES going to the library. I let her "pay" for our checkouts with the library card. We also try to go there for events and crafts so that we can entertain the kids for free. - Heather, Bridgewater

Enables Disabled New Jerseyans to to Continue to Read

As a disabled person, it is very difficult and expensive for me to get around. I am able to borrow books and movies by mail. - Lynn, Pompton Plains

The Library is important to Seniors and Our Grandchildren!

I come to the library to use the computer so I can cut down on the expenses at home. Also my family likes to take out the books and get my grandchildren to know how to use them. - Jeanne, Browns Mills

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