Alysia Mongkau – 1st Place Essay Winner (Secondary School Category)

Congratualtions Alysia! You have won 1st Place in our Secondary School category!

Library’s Impact in Life

By Alysia Mongkau (9th Grade)

               Libraries can change people’s lives whether they realize it or not, in different ways. Some lives might change in similar ways, while others might be a whole lot different. Let’s take my life for example. Then that way, we can also see how library changes my life. Without any doubt, it also changes other people’s lives too.

Before I came to America, I never knew that the library, a quiet and peaceful place to hide, can be really helpful and also useful in my life, now that I am in high school. Before I came to the United States, there was no such thing as a public library. Not all schools have their own library, only the really expensive school, and it is also limited. Not all books are in it, usually just the children’s books. I used to hate library so much, because in my old school, the library was the room where detention was held. When I came here, I was really surprised at how you can check out as many books as you want, stay as long as you want—or at least until the library closed, and it is so peaceful that you actually get your work done.

There are also a lot of benefits from the library and it also changes our life without us always knowing it. Library saves our money. Instead of buying new books to read, or going to theater to watch, we can just check it out from the libraries without paying. I love the library because of the DVDs too.

From such a peaceful place, it helps us to concentrate, and without us realizing, it is getting us closer to our goal to make us more successful. We can also use the advantages due to the fact that we can use the free internet, free computer use, and it helps a lot in our studies, especially for the last minute people. Libraries also help new comers from all different countries, helping their English language, and it also help people gain new knowledge, to improve our life. The libraries also help us to keep in touch with other people around the world.

The thing with libraries is, we need to appreciate them because they may not exist for long. Since technology is growing and getting better, some people think that eventually all libraries will be online, that the online libraries are going to replace the old lovely libraries, and life is going to actually change because of that.

The library keeps my imagination and it helps me through school, and life. It gives me ideas on how to learn at school, how to cook, how to be more organized, and it makes us more creative. It moves the knowledge from the book to our brain. If we buy books from the store, we have this mindset of how we can just read it whenever we feel like it. But when we check out a book from the library, we have to return it and it helps our brain work harder, and our brain gains more knowledge.

Thanks to the library, now people can check out books as much as they wish, read as much as they want, learn as much as they can, and gain knowledge as much as their brains can hold.


WayAnne Watson – 1st Place Essay Winner (Undergraduate Category)

Congratulations WayAnne!!! You have won 1st Place in our Undergraduate Category!

Undergraduate Library Essay

by WayAnne Watson

Confession is good for you, I’ve heard, so here goes.

I blame the system for it—the shelves, the quiet, the siren song of unlimited words for free, for me. I promise it wasn’t supposed to be like this. I had other things to do, too, and the books were all for school, until I spotted The Lives of a Cell sandwiched between clothbound cardboard at shoulder height.

Okay, maybe it was slightly lower than my shoulder. Maybe I didn’t need to be in that aisle. Maybe I didn’t need to look up the call number beforehand and email the entry to myself in Encore. Maybe I didn’t need to spend an hour on the carpet with a lonely stack of dusty bindings.

Call me a fanatic, but I’ve never figured out how to avoid this, how to stare at the sun without blinking, how to pass by treasures unmoved, how to escape.

I could have listened to my better judgment and avoided the gaze of the titles in my face, thought ahead to my predictable lack of common sense and walked out empty-handed. But I didn’t and now I’m here: curled up and tucked under the covers of my red and white-striped comforter, reading by the glow of an iPhone backlight.

Tonight it’s my serially renewed hardback of Annie Dillard’s For the Time Being, a meditation on natural evil in the world, full of sentences so beautiful I want to barf up every speck of passive voice defiling my soul.

Tomorrow, who knows? The borrowed stacks strewn across every horizontal surface in my room have more to give than I will ever gather.

Still, let’s get this much straight—I can fall asleep. That’s not the problem. I can also put the book away. Just not now.

Let me go—I sit on the edge of infinity and abyss. These strings of words and punctuation, these smooth black shapes on dry pearl pages, these are my heresies and credos. Their abstract imperfections solidify and erase themselves in printed sum so that by the time I look away I can hardly tell the difference between sentences and stories, between beauty and theme.

Soon it’ll be morning—a threat and a promise. Soon I will wake up and get dressed and eat breakfast like a normal homo sapien untouched by the magic of Annie. Chewing together in mechanical synchrony with the cafeteria crowd, I will stare blankly at my tofu and worry about homework, probably forgetting everything I devoured the night before.

Tossing the book in the return slot later that morning, there are a few faint marks bisecting the far corners of the pages, a few stray scraps of paper tucked in between the margins. In my mind, I picture a pale view of hills, a dog’s smile, an overcoat, a wooden door harp—made up memories from lives I have never lived, crowding out voices and faces of present and past. Out in the open, I look for symbols, signs of these imaginary haunts, but I find nothing I can hold, nothing I can show for my time.

Yet, somehow I know it’s true libraries change lives. What they never tell you in the brochures is how.


Jessica Yoong – 2nd Place Essay Winner (Undergraduate Category)

Congratulations Jessica Yoong on Winning 2nd Place in our Undergraduate category! This was your submission:

Libraries Change Lives

by Jessica Yoong

The paper is crisp and smooth beneath my fingertips. The scent of fresh ink gently wafts towards my nostrils. My eyes scan the page, and the letters form words, which form sentences, which form pictures and ideas within my mind. Within minutes, I am transported to another place and time. As I sit between the stacks of books lining the shelves that tower over me on either side, I feel as though I am just one small child amidst a towering forest of books. Even as a young adult, I still cherish the moments of awe that filled me as I would sit amongst the lofty library book shelves as a child. Throughout my elementary school years, weekly visits to the community library were my tickets to a great realm of new discovery.

Ever since I learned to read at age five, my mother would take my younger brother and I to the community library to select books and educational videos to borrow. I was fortunate to belong to community that had a large library with an entire floor dedicated to children’s books, magazine, and media. The library also hosted various musicians who held concerts in the library’s performance hall, and my mother would take my brother and I to listen to the soaring melodies of the harp, violin, and piano, in turns.

Throughout my elementary and middle school years, I eagerly anticipated the summer reading programs that the library would offer, during which children and teens could receive prizes and win books in proportion to the number of hours that they had logged for having spent time reading books of various genres. I would sink into a comfy chair on the third floor of the library, and dive into a story of Ms.Frizzle’s adventures on the Magic School bus. I gained insights into the importance of friendship and family values through the stories of the Berenstain Bear family. I was inspired by the optimism and spunk with which Ramona Quimby faced the world, as portrayed by author Beverly Cleary. History came alive through the American Girl books, and I would be caught up in the adventures the girls would experience and feel as though I became acquainted with each person they met. Biographies of the childhoods of famous Americans such as Theodore Roosevelt, Clara Barton, Rosa Parks, and Abraham Lincoln gave me an education on the values of perseverance, courage, and independence. Significant individuals who impacted the course of history would come alive as I read their biographies. These fictional and nonfictional books introduced me to the wonders of science, society, and history. I was inspired to strive to change the world in the way that acclaimed historical persons had done in the past.

I have come to realize that a library served as an invaluable resource that had a significant influence on my childhood and helped to shape the way that I view the world today. Through the reading of good books, one may gain knowledge and insights on any subject and enter a world of endless possibilities. A library can serve as a portal through which one may be educated and inspired to go forth and change the world. Libraries do change lives.

Maria Lombart – 1st Place Essay Winner (Graduate Category)

Congrats Maria Lombart! You have won 1st place in our Essay Contest’s Graduate category. This was your submission:

A Place To Be
by Maria Lombart

Resilience: Two sisters and a story of mental illness. It looked like an intriguing read as I reached for the book and gently turned its pages. Suddenly startled, I thought “Oh no, I didn’t pay for this book, I shouldn’t be reading it!” Then with a sigh of relief I remembered. I was in my local public library where I could pick up and read any book. For free.

My first memories of libraries are of driving through the dusty streets of Cairo, my younger sister and I reading in the back seat while classical music played and our dad told us not to read because we would get car sick. We never listened for the enthralling world found when stepping into pages of Sweet Valley High and Little House on the Prairie kept us turning pages even as we started to feel queasy. Soon we reached the small library at the Catholic cathedral where we exchanged thumbed paperbacks for as many as the librarian would let us check out. Before we’d eased back into bumper-to-bumper traffic, we had returned to our illusory worlds.

Countries came and went yet libraries remained constant. Whether hunting for autobiographies amidst academic tomes in the Newbold College library, exploring Apeldoorn’s public library near my grandparents’ retirement home, or checking out endless back copies of bound Reader’s Digests when we moved to Northern California and were waiting for our shipment of schoolbooks to follow, each time I stepped into a library I sensed I was coming home. The familiar musky scent comforted me with its familiarity.

Here the familiar was found when my world got just a little too hectic from constant moves, languages I didn’t understand, confusing customs, and repeated losses. I knew how to use a card catalog and find the corresponding book on the correct shelf, whether I was in the Netherlands, Middle East, or North America. Dewey’s Decimal System was more predictable than my third culture life as we exchanged one continent for another.

Simultaneously, the library was more than a place to house books; it was a place of wonder and escapades waiting to be discovered. To open and read any book I chose was more delightful than going to Disneyworld. While some toured imposing cathedrals and ancient temples where they stood in awe; I visited libraries. There I found old books so well acquainted with, I could recite whole sections by memory like Three Men in a Boat when they battle a lump of butter and someone ends up sitting on it by mistake. There my eager fingers opened up new stories of missionaries who’d lived even more exciting lives than mine.

I’ve never delivered piglets, sailed down the Thames River, eaten kippers at midnight, or faced down a leopard in the jungle. I’ve never offered rice to a crocodile, built a log cabin, or drank cordial. Yet in some small way I have done all of these and more, as I found my secret wardrobe, pushed lightly against the back panel, then it slid open and I tumbled into a thousand captivating lives.

I have a friend who’s never read an entire book all the way through. I look at him in disbelief, thinking How can you even live? For me, to read is to breathe. I must have books in every room I inhabit; some carelessly strewn, others stacked 5-deep, all waiting to be opened. I prop one open with a tube of toothpaste so I don’t waste precious reading time while I brush my teeth; I find my two-minute timer a harsh intrusion.

A new book is waiting to be opened; I picked it up just this afternoon. Its title intrigues me, The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband. Grateful for the library where I found this treasure, I turn its pages slowly, savouring the introduction. Finch writes engagingly and I think we shall quickly become best friends as he lets me peek briefly into his life in hopes it will change mine. Like all the others have before.

Monica Desir – 2nd Place Essay Winner (Graduate Category)

Thank you Monica Desir for your submission and congratulations on winning 2nd place in the Graduate category! This was your submission:

Libraries Change Lives

By Monica Desir

(Graduate student—School of Education)

A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.

—Andrew Carnegie

When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. 

—Keith Richards

            Libraries are far more than organized, priceless book collections. In addition to traditional hard copies and e-books, libraries provide patrons at every age and stage with a plethora of services and essential information having life-changing potential. Some individuals might propose that libraries will become obsolete in in an age when tsunamis of information are becoming increasingly widespread in society. However, this very situation pleads most eloquently for the presence of libraries, as the latter serve as compasses amid the chartless oceans of unfiltered information in which humankind is drowning.

Libraries are like health-food stores, transforming lives one at a time; but in order to benefit, individuals must personally decide to use the goods and services provided. True, health-food stores must compete with traditional stores, many of which are larger and offer a wider variety of products. However, the products and services that health-food stores provide target a population seeking positive answers. In addition, they serve as antidotes for specific ailments resulting from ingesting the barrage of junk foods that traditional stores make available. So do libraries among their larger competitors. By way of example, they provide order amid the chaos of unfiltered information. They provide databases targeting specific subjects, and train patrons regarding their use, thereby making the scholar’s work less frustrating. They provide wholesome entertainment in the form of music, biographies, educational videos, and other materials for individuals and families. They provide classes in media usage and information access to illumine the path for the information seeker. They provide linkages to sources of information not available locally, and they provide a welcoming atmosphere for individuals of every age and stage.

Libraries change lives by providing models for various hobbies and careers. I recall developing an intense and life-long interest in astronomy after reading several library books describing the various constellations in the heavens. In addition to hobbies, library materials can also impact individuals in their career choices as they enter the worlds of their heroes in action. Research linking career choice to library usage is likely to yield interesting results.

Further, libraries transform lives by helping dreamers to realize their goals. In addition to treasuries of books and other media spanning the distant past to the imaginable future, libraries provide students with relevant and organized information in their quest to arrive at their goals as they pursue and complete their education-related projects. In my sphere as a soon-to-be graduate, my academic journey would have been insurmountably challenging without the availability of libraries, since I literally consulted hundreds of library-related resources, both local and distant, as I worked on my doctoral dissertation.  As libraries help to students to realize their educational goals, they are transformed into efficient graduates who can fill their places in society. The story of Dr. Ben Carson, an erstwhile seemingly unpromising minority youth from the inner city in Detroit, Michigan, is only one of several success stories in which libraries played a major role in transforming “the class dummy” into a world-renowned neurosurgeon.

James A. Michiner aptly summarizes the role of libraries in impacting his life and the lives of people at large in the following words: “Public libraries have been a mainstay of my life. They represent an individual’s right to acquire knowledge; they are the sinews that bind civilized societies the world over. Without libraries, I would be a pauper, intellectually and spiritually” (Par. 1).


Michiner, J. A. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Debby Suhendra – 1st Place Essay Winner (Community Category)



Congratulations Debby Suhendra for winning 1st place in the Community category of our 2015 Essay Contest with this submission!

“Library is for your future…”

By Debby Suhendra

Library change people’s lives.Many of people spend time in the library for a lot of reasons. Some of the people needs quiet place to do their homework or assignment. While others just simply want to find many good books. Another things are to get a lot of information about anything. Library is a wonderful place to change people.

Here is also the place that you can invest your future. Come and see how amazing this place. There are a lot of knowledge and wisdom surround here. If you want to be smart you have to stay here. If you want to achieve your future or to fulfill your dreams just come and enjoy your time here. Library impact people’s future.

Library is the place to inspire you. You have so many thing to do and to be through the library. The idea and the creativity comes up from the library too. You can explore so many thing and the resource is from the library. Digging and digging the sources in the library is so amazing. Library will never stop inspiring many people forever.

There is no other place that can give you so quiet moment except in the library. The place to give you more  concentrate to do your duty is in here. People loves to go here to do serious things. We become so serious to do something in the quiet place. You can be no disturbing by others. So quiet and so peace is in here.

Library can impact for our character. You can control your tongue not to talk too much, because in the library you cannot talk loudly. So it control your willing to talk and it is so amazing. You can be a calm person here too…

Library is the place that help you save your money. You can borrow books here. No need for spending the money, just borrow it. And anytime you feel bore you can change with other book. You just borrow and no need to buy it.

Library is the most important place to be a good reader. It improve the ability to read. You become having a good habit to read. Just come and borrow books and read it. So many kind of book are in the library. You just choose it. That make you happy and not bore to read.

Charles T. LeBlanc – 2nd Place Essay Winner (Community Category)

This is our 2nd Place winning essay of our Community Category. Congratulations Charles on a job well done!

Libraries Change Lives


Charles T. Le Blanc, B.S.’98 , M.S.A. ‘2002

Libraries are vital to our expansion of Knowledge, an opportunity to escape from the world of ignorance, which when utilized properly can undo the psychological damage and become a tool to enhance our lives through the developed wisdom and applied science of study. The choice, however, is ours to use, when expanding our knowledge about any subject in the world. It is this newly gained knowledge that starts a change in the individual and subsequently motivates change in others who are in contact with that individual.

There’s probably not one person that has not been affected directly or indirectly by libraries in one capacity or another around the globe. Whether you use the library tool directly or not, it still affects you in some type of way. Those of us who do benefit from its use also bring benefits to those who don’t. To this extent, they enhanced the creative ideas or further a cause that eventually affects everyone in society.

The organizational structure of the material gives inequitably hands on research data on more subjects than any other resource. The great learning that takes place from reading its books, using its computers, being a part of training workshops, interacting with other libraries and professors, in addition to having access to hands on materials, makes the library a miniature university. Authenticity of the research data and or materials in the actual book or papers is highly depended upon accuracy of materials collected and the methods of obtaining empirical information. Actually seeing and in some cases feeling the materials gives a person a sense of reliving a part of history.

As more and more books and writings are put to computer files and posted to the internet, there might be a concern that the library may lose its usefulness. But not to fear the libraries have made a smooth transition into the age of computer technology. OCLC(On-line Computer Library Center) was developed not long ago and now connects with over two billion individuals. But not everyone has access to a computer and many old timers are still computer illiterate. There are still estimated to be over one million libraries around the globe. The library addresses both those concerns by being a place where everyone can have access to the actual books, learn how to use computers, master the art of using the computer for research or writing, creating and furthering ideas, as well as sharing knowledge with the world.

Libraries have changed the lives of many in the community through architectural design. Some of the most beautiful buildings in the community are libraries. Their environments are usually controlled by tranquility to allow for much silent studying and learning. The peaceful environment puts the individual in another world. The only thing close to this environment are the university campuses, parks, museums, art institutes and some churches. Museums and art institutes run a close second to libraries but only because of their collection of rare items and atmospheres of splendor. But only the university can trump the library when it comes to increasing knowledge.  But the libraries are an intricate part of every institute of learning from pre-school to advanced degree programs. Without the library the universities would be dysfunctional. The foundation for research and development are laid down at the library.

There are so many libraries in the world that they are diversified into many special types. Law libraries have been the deciding factor of whether a person spends the rest of their life behind bars or walk away free.  .History sits on the shelves in many libraries in the form of ancient books, writings and charts. Art as big as it is, still has its place in the libraries of the world. The library of Congress is among the biggest library in the world and the British library in London, Great Britain is even larger being the largest library in the world but still these two cannot hold every book and writing around the world in its confines. The addition of computer cataloging has develop the library system to one of the largest giants in the world paradigm of systems.

Where would we be without libraries? We would be extremely dysfunctional and very limited in accumulating and passing information on to the generation coming behind us.

Let us thank God He gave us the wisdom to create this idea called a library. There’s no other tool like it on the face of the earth. Now let us use them and encourage others to discover the great power of the library this indeed will change their lives.