Hear the impact of Surrey Libraries in the lives of others.

"An amazing opportunity for my children to foster a love of reading, songs, games, and friendships."

As a new mom with no mom-friends in the area, I started taking my newborn daughter to babytime on Thursdays to help her socialize. Almost three years later, my two daughters and I still walk to the library at least once or twice a week to borrow books and dvds, attend storytime, and for get-togethers with some of the many friends that we have made there. It has been an amazing opportunity for my children to foster a love of reading, songs, games, and friendships.

JENNIFER

"We have saved so much money going to the library, and we are so much closer as a family."

It is the greatest joy for me so far as a parent, that my son loves reading as much as my husband and I do. When my son was very small I used to take him to Baby Storytime. Now that he is a bit older, he loves being read to, and is learning to read himself. Every week, we go to the library together to pick out 15-20 childrens picture books to read our son for the week, and a novel or two each for my husband and I, and a movie for our son and a movie for us. The outing is fun in itself. Our son likes the pop up books to be read to him there, and he loves the kid iPad station, and the puzzles. Then we have something to do together during the week, too. We have saved so much money going to the library, and we are so much closer as a family. I can't thank Surrey Libraries enough for keeping my family close and connected.

"I don't ever want to imagine living without a library in my life."

My mom used to read to my brother and I at bedtime every night before we could read longer stories ourselves. Some of the earliest memories I have of 'family nights' were trips to the library on Friday night with a stop at Dairy Queen on the way home. I would check out the full limit of books I was allowed to take, read them all in a week and return the next Friday night for more. Some of my favourite authors from that time were Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume.

Growing up, my whole family were readers. It was not unusual to see all 4 of us in the living room, no one talking but everyone reading. It was no surprise that I developed a love of reading that superseded almost everything else. My mom would try to make me go outside and play, but I would sit on the back step until she would give in and let me come back in and read.

As I got older, it was natural to look to the library for my first job. I became a 'Page' at the library at 15 years old, checking books in and out, shelving them and helping the patrons. I kept the job throughout high school and until I started my first full-time job upon graduation. One of the things I loved about being a Page was the opportunity to see all the great genre choices being returned that I may not have found on my own.

I continued the family reading passion by reading to my daughters when they were born. It was natural to bring them to storytime when they became old enough and both daughters eventually volunteered to become a Reading Buddy for several years.

Recently, I had to go into the library to dispute a returned damaged book charge. When they pulled up my history, I was astonished to hear that I have borrowed over 3,000 books from the library over the course of my membership - and happy to note that not one book had been returned damaged. :-)

Reading has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. For me, reading is an escape and a relaxation and a treat I look forward to at the end of a long, busy, or stressful day. I don't ever want to imagine living without a library in my life.

COLLEEN

"It is one of the only places that I know of that is free, helpful and resourceful."

This is the place where I go to borrow items for free, to learn and enjoy, by myself or with others.  When my children were small, I would attend many programs and learn about others things happening in my community, ie. strong start.  It is one of the only places that I know of that is free, helpful and resourceful.  I can enjoy a variety of items that I would not necessarily enjoy because of the expense.  I feel grateful that such a service still exists. 

"I went on to university and was the first in my family to graduate."

When I immigrated to Canada, the library was a lifeline. The support I received from staff in accessing services and materials to help improve my English helped me not only build my language skills, but also my confidence. I went on to university and was the first in my family to graduate. The library enriches our community's economy, access to learning, and social well-being.

"Without the library, I would not have been able to get in touch with my family"

Without the library, I would not have been able to get in touch with my family through email when I first came to Canada. The library staff were very kind and gave me a card right away, which I still have up to this day. The staff also helped me print my resumes, and showed me where to fax them, so I can apply for jobs. I now have 3 children and they always sign up for the Summer Reading program. They love getting those medals at the end of the program. The library is like a safe and secure haven for me and my children. We may not visit often anymore, but we still drop by once in a while to borrow books. Thank you to the Guildford and the Cloverdale public libraries for all you do.

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