I know the library is important to you, and I want to thank you for your support. Our three libraries mean so much to so many in our city. They’re not only places of learning and discovery, but also of acceptance and community. I want to share a story with you from one of our Northside librarians about one young library patron because it illustrates just what makes our libraries so special:
I met Mario at the Don Callejon Spring Fling the year before the Northside Library opened in 2014. Many months later when I began working at the Northside Library, I spotted Mario. He had quickly gained a reputation as a loud, annoying kid who had been asked to leave the Library on several occasions because of his disruptive behavior.
As a teen librarian, I was eager to get to know the kids who visited Northside Library. I was able to spend time every day with Mario and other teens who came to the library after school. They earned candy by answering tough trivia questions, played board games, hung out with their friends, and made a home out of what had been for so long a large empty building waiting to become a library. Over the course of the year, I got to know Mario and his friends pretty well.
On National Coming Out day this year, Mario told his father he was gay, a secret he had kept hidden the entire first year I knew him. His father was outraged, and Mario’s life got a lot tougher.
He posted on Facebook how life was treating him and how sad and depressed he was, but at the end of the post, he tried to think of the positive. He said that he felt like Harry Potter at the Dursley’s and wondered where his Hogwarts was. Then he said, “The closest thing would probably be the library, Alex is my Ron and Portia is my Hermione, and Angela Ocana can be my Dumbledore.”
Mario still makes the trek to Northside a few days a week even though he is now a sophomore at Santa Clara High, because he loves this library and the people in it. The Library has become a bastion of safety for this community of teens, a place to express themselves, and a second home.
Teens like Mario, who now serves on the Teen Library Council, volunteers at library events, and is adored by Library staff, need places like the Library as much as we need great kids like them to come through our doors.
Imagine yourself helping teens like Mario find a place that feels like home to them. Your year-end gift will allow more people to find their place at the Santa Clara City Library.
Your gift of $200 could buy craft supplies for up to four events. Your gift of $500 could support the ukulele club. Your gift of $1,000 could help supply the manga and graphic novels book club.
Please donate today. We ask you to make the most generous donation you can. Your gift transforms lives and creates brighter futures. Without you, happy endings like Mario’s wouldn’t be possible.
Thanks for all you do!