"People of the Library" is a photo project published several weeks before a successful referendum in Carroll, Iowa, that moved forward major improvements for the Carroll Public Library. The project sought to outline the experiences of a variety of people when they visit the library.
Sally Vonnahme: "The library gives kids a bigger view of what there is out there. And there's a lot of kids that do need the extra things to see and do."
Matt Hodges: "My son Maddux is way into science and technology, so we're going to start getting some books on science to do different experiments, things we can do at home. This is Maddux's favorite rule — in order to play games, he has to read."
Bob Tigges: "I checked out some Clive Cussler today, and James Patterson — I swore I wouldn't read that again, but I keep reading his. All the improvements they've been talking about, I'm for it. I think they're on a good course here, and they'll just continue to do it."
Emersyn Babb, 3: "I want a nice home for Dr. Whoot, and a baby for him too, and a sister too."
Tanner North, 6: "I like books about Michael Jackson. He died. And rhinos, and T-rexes. And Batman. And I like Michael Jackson movies. And superheroes. I like the Joker. He's silly."
Harrison Auge, 5: "I like to grab the books and check them out. I like books about owls and eagles and birds that grab some fish. I like to go to library programs in my Captain America costume. I like Batman and Superman and Captain America."
Julie Lueth: "I'm an academic adviser, and I know there are a lot of students who don't have access to the Internet that need a public space to use it. I think there's a big misconception that everybody in Carroll has Internet, which is not true."
Caroline Auge, 10: "I like reading the Warriors series. They're about cats — they have to try to survive in the winter, fall, spring and summer. They have to work together. They have to fight against the rogue cats and strive for food. I think people should go to the library a lot because it's a place where you can learn about a lot of things and have fun."
Donna Evans: "I grew up in Iowa City, and I loved my library growing up. I loved the children's library; I loved the places you could venture in and out of the library. As a kid, you want your imagination to run free. Then we volunteered and ran the children's part of the book sale. And oh my gosh, it was so fun, to see those kids coming in and getting all those books, the parents looking through all those books. It gave me a different insight into libraries. I just think a town without a great library is a shame."
Melissa Pietig: "The library is really nice for tutoring because I can lay out all of my stuff, and have plenty of room, and it's nice, too, that we have the resources right here, right at our fingertips. It's a nice, quiet space for tutoring — I don't know where else I would do it."
Laura Comito: "I got my first library card when I was 4. I learned how to write my name just so I could get a library card. That was it. I've never not had a library card. When I do programming with kids, I come in and I physically get books that tie into whatever classes I'm teaching. Today I picked up books for art around the world, because we're going to Ghana, Africa, Japan, Mexico and Russia. So I spend quite a bit of time crawling around on the floor and looking for books."
Emmett Pick, 2: "I got a sticker with an airplane! I like tractor books. Daddy drives a tractor."
Nora Pick, 3: "I like monster books. They're so good. And I like Paw Patrol movies."
Brittany Schmehr: "It's a very wonderful place. I usually can't do homework when I'm at home. I always come to the library, and it makes you focus. My kids come here for the reading programs. They love it. We check books out, and they read those books like a thousand times at home, and they make up their own little stories. I think in general this library is really amazing, and I hope it can expand, because there's so many opportunities that we have at this library that we could get more people to do if there was more space."
Jen Schulte: "The library is used by all age groups. There isn't a single age group that is not using the library currently. I've been to many other libraries that have a nice space for teenagers to hang out, and there are teenagers that are not involved in sports and they want to hang out with their friends but they don't have anywhere to go. So the library's a great resource for them. If you create a space just for them, I know that they will use it. I think that's the biggest thing I'd like to see for this library."
Erin Bensley: "My New Hope clients love getting out and socializing at the library. They can only listen to the same stories back at their Day Hab so many times."
Cassidy Erlbacher, 11: "I like how they have a lot of books here, and movies. And sometimes I play on the computers."