Marjorie Smith’s earliest memory of libraries is when her father took her to a branch of the Chicago Public Library on Saturday afternoons, at age 3 or 4. Back then, you had to be able to write your own name before you could have a library card of your own. When she was in 5th grade, in addition to the books she checked out of the school library, she also frequented a local bookmobile.
Throughout her life, she has enjoyed being “lost” in a book, escaping to other times and places. She recalls being in 5th grade and reading all the Sue Barton books written by Helen Dore Boylston. The series focused on Barton’s pursuing a career as a nurse, while balancing a family life and several life-changing events. Smith said, “I was sure I wanted to be a nurse. However, from elementary school through high school I volunteered in the library, and realized that being a school librarian was the career I really wanted”. Her career path even led her to work at the Huntley Area Public Library for a short time as a member of the Circulation Department.
Eventually Smith retired, but that didn’t hinder her love of libraries. She currently volunteers one morning per week. She downloads audiobooks, ebooks and checks out music CDs. When stressed she has found that going to a library or bookstore is very calming.
In addition to her volunteer work at the library, she is also a cherished member of the HAPLD Friends Foundation, an organization that supports library services with fundraisers, book sales and social gatherings. Her work along with hundreds of others help fund programs at the library such as Summer Reading and online services including JobNow! and HelpNow!
At the moment she is enjoying the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, but also loves picture books! Marge took her love for the library one step further in 2016, as she became a member of the Library’s Board of Trustees. While libraries have transformed Marge, there is no doubt that Marge has done her part to transform the library. It is with great pleasure that we share Marge’s story with you during National Library Week.