When I was 15 years old I checked out a book from a public library for the first time - the Kearney Branch Public Library in Springfield, Missouri. Well, it wasn't the first time I checked out a book, but it was the first time I had done so without my parents driving me to the library. I was in a Steinbeck phase at the time, so I borrowed "Cannery Row" and "The Moon Is Down".
I borrowed these novels from the library because my family was going on a trip to Mississippi to see my grandparents for Christmas and I needed something to do. This was 1995, before the internet and smartphones were ubiquitous. I was a voracious reader in high school and college anyway, all I wanted to read were novels, novels, novels.
Twenty years later, I'm a librarian in New York -- the Acquisitions and Materials Librarian at The Gottesman Library at Teachers College, Columbia University. I maintain the library systems, help troubleshoot access problems, and work on subscriptions and purchases that help TC faculty and students get information that is crucial to their research.
My work at TC seems like a natural fit for me, and I look back at checking out those Steinbeck novels fondly. Even though the Kearney Branch Library has since shut down, I'll always remember it.