Library Stories

Stories from the Community

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Mitchell’s Story

 “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.” – Ray Bradbury

You can reinvent yourself at the library, as many times as you like. I certainly did.

When I was in grade school and high school in Texas where I grew up I didn’t apply myself. I had a difficult family life and I slipped through the cracks of the system. I was not college bound.

During one of the last spring breaks of high school I visited a friend out in California, in Sonoma over spring break. I had an awakening there. I fell in love with the place. I met people like me who liked what I liked, who loved what I loved. I determined at that point that after high school I would move to California, find a nice town with a community college and good libraries and give myself a second chance.

Santa Cruz was the place. You all know why. The weather, the location, the people. I got a job as a bank teller and went to Cabrillo. I applied to UCSC when I first arrived just for the heck of it. They more or less laughed me off the campus when they saw my high school grades and test scores. This motivated me. I had something to prove now.

When I was not in class at Cabrillo I was working downtown at the bank. On every break I would walk over to the library. I used the resources there to discover jazz and classical music, to watch old educational PBS and BBC programs like Nova and Connections. I sucked up eastern philosophy books. I read the classics. I explored poetry. All the while, right next to me people were studying to become welders or car mechanics or nurses or farmers or chefs, you name it.

For me a library is a place to fill out an empty part of yourself. It’s a place to remake yourself. It’s a place to start over and become a better version of yourself.

Thanks to the resources available and to my motivation to use them I eventually transferred from Cabrillo to Stanford. There I gained proof that I was perfectly intelligent and capable. Today I am a successful entrepreneur. I run a company that supports many families. I have a healthy happy family, a good life and a contented soul.

Much of what I have is due to my local library.

Mitchell Kimbrough

Follow us!