Library Story: Rediscovery


Jill Pfaff seen in orange during the Stutsman County Fair 2018

Story by Jill Pfaff


My library story really begins quite recently. It started when I accepted a position working at the James River Valley Library System. Prior to working for the library system, I honestly did not give much thought to the library other than it being a potential source for me to acquire my next book. The library has always been a “given” so to speak.


Growing up, my parents and most of my siblings were avid readers. Our home bookshelf housed a full set of encyclopedias, books on faraway places, on animals and many of the classic novels.  My parents encouraged reading and I fell in love with reading.


The library has always been in my life, beginning with my school libraries. I began school in a small North Dakota town and I recall getting on the bookmobile to pick out something that our tiny school library did not have. when I was ten years old, our family moved to Tucson, AZ, and I had access to numerous types of libraries. I realize now that I am very fortunate to have this privilege.


In the few short months since I began working for the library, I have come to realize what the library means to others. The library is not just a place to borrow a book. The library is a place to meet with friends and to spend time with loved ones. It’s a place to study, to work, or to spend quietly reading and reflecting. It’s a place to have a meeting or a group event. Lastly, it’s obviously a source of entertainment in more ways than one could possible imagine. I love seeing old friends meet for a game of chess and young friends playing games and interacting with each other on the computers.


I have discovered that the library is a great place to begin to search for family history and records. there is so much history within the pages of the books housed on shelves and on the reels of microfilm. Here all this time I thought that to begin a genealogy search began with google or with a subscription to Ancestry.com!


I have rediscovered the library and for me it’s been a great discovery. I will never look at the library the same way again and I’m thankful for that. I hope to let as many people as possible know what the library has to offer.

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