Read some of the stories we have received for our Libraries Change Lives campaign. You can also share this page on your Facebook and social media sites and see if your friends have similar stories. Thank you so much for your stories.
A momentous event took place at midnight as 15 August 1947 dawned and India became independent from British colonial rule. I was nine but was allowed to join a large group of parents and some children as we all crowded around the only radio in the Railway Institute and Library in Godhara, a small town in Gujarat in western India. At the stroke of midnight, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (PM) gave his famous speech welcoming Indian independence first in English (which I did not understand because I did not learn English until four years later) and then in Hindi which I understood enough to become excited about the future. This changed my life and that of 350 million Indians.
I love my local library! As a member, I've borrowed thousands of books, from vegan recipe collections to literary classics. Very grateful for this amazing community resource.
My first memory of the library was when, as a nine-year-old voracious reader I discovered the small library in the Main Street of Shepparton in central Victoria. This was during the Second World War when there were many shortages and, as a sickly child with my right leg in a calliper, I was desperate for fresh reading material. There I discovered books with stories which opened the world to me. I particularly loved the North American Indian - was it Deerfoot? All the rest of my life I have been, enthralled, comforted(at school) and sustained by my local library. And my children and grandchildren are continuing in the same vein - beginning with Storytime at our local library.
The library is wonderful, fantastic helpful staff and great books programmes and interests that you can join in with!
It gives me a place to come to avoid my flatmates when living with others gets too much. It allows me to read about my interests and allows me to read biographies which is my hobby. I love how the library card has names of authors on it, because it has prompted me to read things of authors I haven't heard of and research them one at a time. I love it. I feel very lucky to have this library.
I'm chemically sensitive and have problems reacting to printed material, including fragrances and moulds on books as well as to inks and paper. Discovering the e-library has been a life changer for me in that it's allowed me to continue reading. The choice in the Monash e-library is excellent, whether it be audio books or books I can read, and the staff have been wonderful in getting hold of books for me that aren't already in the library
My parents came as refugees to Australia, working long hours in factories, but on Saturday mornings, my mother always took my sister and I to the local library where we borrowed 4 books each. It was so precious. My parents struggled with the traumas of the past and fought so hard to make a future for us in Australia. So growing up was turbulent, but I had my books to find hope, imagination and peace. My parents knew that it was my important haven. I believe that is why I am a children's author today. Thank you to the public libraries.
Home Library Services Video Story
Lily is 103 and receives books from one of our dedicated Home Library Service volunteers.
‘I can’t imagine a life without books. I’ve always been a book person.
Libraries and books teach people so much from children to grownups!
‘Oh yes, I enjoy her (volunteer) visits and the chats. Sometimes she stays the whole morning!’
Lily reads romances and mysteries these days and she reads them in large print.
Read more stories
This library makes me meet Ana. She taught us a lot. People here share different opinions and memories. And I read a lot in this library too. This is a good place. Thanks to everyone here.
Every Saturday before my tennis lessons me and my dad go to the library. It's an exciting part of our weekend because we both love books. Every Saturday I'm filled with excitement to find out which book I'm gonna read next. Three years ago this was far from how I felt about libraries. I dreaded the place, didn't take a chance to read a book and enjoy it. Instead I would race to the computers while my parents browsed the bookshelves. Then I came across a book I had always loved "Nancy Drew". I constantly read the series and my interest broadened. Libraries turned into the best places for me. Now it has turned into a normal Saturday routine and my family and I don't know what we would do without our library.
Asonlei & Y
I am a new mother from Sri Lanka. When I come to library they were so friendly and taught me and guide me about this country. My baby loves books. As a new person to the country I needed help to get more books. Clayton Library ladies help solve my problems and it helped me to find new friend and my daughter got to see more kids. I am grateful and thankful and appreciate your hard work. Thanks you.
Storytime is so good. we love it so much. Angela loves to sing very much after we went to library to sing and play. Wendy is so good and nice, we all love her.
The library has changed my life because I used to read small books when I was little.My teachers would think that I am a basic reader and can't read bigger books. My best friend, Sienna would read humongous books and I wanted to be just like her.I tried asking my teacher if I could try bigger books but she disagreed.So I decided to go to the library with my parents to read with freedom.At first it was a bit difficult reading beyond my capability but after a couple of books I got used to it. After that,My reading level got higher than usual and everyone was amazed. Now after 4 years I am a very advanced reader and enjoy my books beyond my capability.I hope that the library changes more life's.
Library for me has been a breather in cold winter days, a meeting place for mums and also an opportunity to share our ups and downs with other mums. Library for me has been a place where I can calm down, read some books silently when kids are away in kinder/school/daycare. Library has given me opportunities to volunteer and mingle with other. I love this place.
I met 3 extraordinary people when I joined the Scrabble Club in Oakleigh 3 years ago - lucky me!
Eleni's story is in Greek Language. Here is the translation.
"How can you say in a few words that the Oakleigh library has changed my life?
I am from Greece from where I immigrated almost 5 years ago.
In my country I was reading a lot of literature books in Greek which is my mother tongue. When I came here one of my concerns was, where would I find books to read. I was feeling a void as I knew it would be almost impossible to find a library in Melbourne with new editions of literature books. However in my life came the Oakleigh library and brought me so much joy by bringing every so often the Greek books that I so much wanted to read. Thank for the joy you are giving me and letting me travel to all these far away places by letting me read in Greek all these literature books. It is magical"
I am very grateful to spend time with both of my kids in the library with the free books, singing time and chatting. During my maternity leave it helped me relax and provided entertainment to the family such as bed-time stories.
I began researching my family history when I retired. I found that my local library held a subscription to the extensive "Ancestry" database. Its indexed census records, passenger lists and electoral rolls have allowed me to trace the lives of my ancestors, without time-consuming travel or wading through piles of papers. All this without charge, instead of requiring an expensive personal subscription.
When our children were young we took them to Glen Waverley library to choose books to take home. Then I took grandchildren to their local library to listen to stories and take home books. We have found staff friendly and helpful whenever requiring advice or help. Now we benefit from belonging to the Family Tree group to help find our ancestors. Libraries are an important place for young and older persons to continue to learn and enjoy books.
Apart from endless resources the library has nourished me over the last 3 years. It has become an outlet for myself to meditate and occasionally meet some extraordinary people. On the flip side there have been anxious moments with negative and extreme energies harbouring the community within the library. But that either makes us or breaks us and the library has been a destination to confront these obstacles and re-energize into a stronger person.
A friend told me recently that years ago she was deeply depressed and unable to work. A psychologist said she MUST get out among people every day as part of her recovery. He asked her what she enjoyed doing and she said "READING". They devised a plan where she would walk to her local library and become a member. However she also realised by borrowing she would be home on her own while reading. So, each morning, she would walk 2km to her library, select a novel, read for an hour or two, then stash it behind other books on the fiction shelves and hope it would still be there when she returned the following morning. She did this for 6 months and came to know library staff quite well but never admitted she was hiding the books she was reading. My friend said it was getting out to the library every day and the friendliness of the staff that literally saved her life, and she will be forever grateful for public libraries. She is now well and working!
The library has changed my life by helping me with learning a language before I went to live in Central, South America & Spain way back in the 60's and after returning to Australia and enroling at University as a mature-age student it was most beneficial in continuing my studies by enabling me to borrow novels in Spanish.
The Library plays an important role in our lives since my daughter was born. We went to baby time once a week. We also like the 1000 books program. My daughter got her first library card from Clayton Library. Since I am back to work my father-in-law helps us take care of my daughter. I told him about the Story time. At the first beginning he was not confident to participate in the story time as his English is not good. And now he can sing most of the songs from Story time and makes some friends there. That is great. Thank you Clayton Library.
When I was growing in the 1940's there were no public libraries and my mother would not pay for me to join a private library. I loved reading so a friend at school would borrow books in her family's membership and lend them to me. My mother said I always had my head in a book. I still love books and while attending university and working there was no time to read for leisure but now I am retired I read a lot and belong to a book group.
Weekend programmes like Lego Robotic and School Holiday programmes changed my kids alot, especially learning new skills, to be more creative and visualising what they have learnt or read to come into reality. We are really thankful to the Monash Library staff who run or co-ordinate these programmes. Especially Wendy for their hard work. We really want to join activities next year and looking forward to that. Thanks
I have always felt at home in libraries and appreciate borrowing books, magazines, reserving new books and when my children were little, storytime. You enrich my life, thank you!
I am always reading and I found that my speech increases and I increase in my vocabulary. Reading gives us a greater chance of knowledge and lots of high modality words come to our minds when we write stories.
Re: Lego Mindstorms: It wasn't challenging enough!
Re: Lego Mindstorms - intermediate. Amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope it's on again in 2019
How have libraries changed your life? Growing up books was my solace. The library was my haven where I would spent most holidays, after school and Saturdays. My love of books was fostered by the librarians who always had interesting suggestions which expanded my view of the world. I attribute my time spent in libraries surrounded by books as one of my main inspirations for becoming a writer.
- I have been attending the library digital learning classes. I have learn't how to use a computer and the Internet. I am going to buy an iPad. I feel much better about using computers now!
- I was ten years old when I first moved to Australia, we had very little in the way of possessions. We didn't have much in our new home - beds, furniture etc. Our family of four stumbled across the library, we asked could we join - yes we could! While my parents found out how to join my brother and I ran around looking at all the books - the books, there were so many beautiful, colourful books!!! We asked how many we could borrow, I think the lady said 10 each - I am not sure, but it was as if we had won the lottery. The immense joy those two little kids felt I will be always grateful for.
Thank you to those books that filled us with the happiest memories in very, very hard times
- I have always loved visiting and enjoying the rich resources available at the local library. When my son was diagnosed with dyslexia I turned to the library to find quality (evidence based) decodable readers to help him learn to read and write. With the help of the wonderful
collection of decodable readers at the library, my son is now starting to read. I am so grateful to the library service and staff because literacy is essential for health and wellbeing.
- The Family History Group has been amazing. It has helped break down the brick walls and provided information and education which enabled me to further my research. Our leadership in Nanette and Jason is exemplary. Such a friendly group.
- Just love the audio tapes/talking books erc. Love downloading books on BorrowBox. Great to use computers for family history. A wonderful family history group at Monash Library.
- I am a new mother and an avid reader. I started attending Story time when my baby was a few weeks old and it has been wonderful because I have met other local mothers and it is a great social activity for myself and the baby. The baby is now 6 months and she recognises the songs from story time and is very interested when we read her books.
- Library taught me how to sing to my baby for the first time. As a migrant I learn the Aussie way of life at the library. I also found a few friends at the Story time. It’s been 10 years since I started coming here and I’m still enjoying it every bit. Thanks a lot for hosting story time every week. Our family loves it.
- The Library is giving us a platform to meet new people and have some activities together. Especially programs like Lego Mindstorm and other technology related is giving us an opportunity to learn new stuff so that we are able to try all those. Thank you for all this and looking forward to see the library running new programs.
- We moved to Melbourne almost 3 years back and my kids were 1.5 years and 4 years old. I was looking for ways for them to settle down and learn things. Bringing them into the library 2-3 times a week really helped. And for them to make new friends and get adjusted. Also had my 3rd baby and now he loves coming in as well. Also borrowing books and learning through it made a big difference to get to know about things in Melbourne was very important.
- I am a grandma and I come from India. No friends here and no family. Bringing my grandson to Story time helps meeting other people. Not feeling alone. Wendy is going to do a Diwali Story time. Happy. I celebrate it in my country. Clayton Library give me time to do Conversation Circle too. Thank you.
- My kid gets lots of fun at the library. We feel so happy when he can really get himself involved. We meet lots of friends here and my kid is quite happy here. Thank you so much.
- I had an exam and the librarian at the Oakleigh Library helped me to print my notes.. I had been organised but a series of events prevented me from printing elsewhere earlier. The Librarian was very helpful and I got my notes printed. Local libraries have something for everyone, and can be there to help with all sorts of education, information or pursuit of information.
Share your story online with us here: