During the month of March 2016, some 140 residents responded to our online survey, sharing their stories about how the Library has made a difference in their lives.  From finding a book, movie or music to enjoying and instilling a love of reading in a child to participating in community events and improving computer skills, respondents selected on average at least three ways in which they rely on the Library.

Ives  Fair Haven  Mitchell  WilsonBldngcropped

The library helps me to use the internet and the computer for school programs and for my work. The library helps me to stay connected to the community and the events going on throughout our neighborhoods. The library offers me an opportunity to attend artistic events such as plays at Long Wharf Theater that I and many others would not be able to attend due to Finances. The Library is a very resourceful tool for me. I visit the libraries at least once a week, if not more.

I was able to get a job after being out of work for almost 3 years thanks to the resources that I use at the library. I was able to find the employment opportunity for my job on the internet and complete online applications and type cover letters, and complete necessary work on the computers at the library, which helped me get a job. I do not have internet access at home and the computers are very helpful. I love reading and enjoy being able to take out books from the library. Reading for me is very important: it gives me an outlet and keeps providing me with knowledge. The library is a wonderful place. I use all of the programs and resources available to the patrons. The Library is a vital resource for everyone in the community. It is a treasure that New Haven has 5 wonderful libraries and such fine, friendly, courteous staff to help all of the patrons.

- Morris Street resident who visits Ives Main, Fair Haven, Mitchell, and Wilson Libraries

A few years ago I started a small business and the library staff was very helpful. They showed my books on writing a business plan, securing loans, marketing etc. They also directed me to free seminars for new business owners at Gateway.

The public library is a tremendous resource, and great place to network with other people and non-for profits.

- New Haven resident who visits Ives Main and Mitchell Libraries

NHFPL125cardsgrassWhen my mother immigrated from Italy in 1935, she was astonished to discover free public libraries. I grew up in our local library and, the first thing I do when I move to a new town is get a library card. I’m 77, and I can’t imagine life without a free public library. Thank you!

I am an avid reader, both fiction and nonfiction, and I would never be willing (or able) to afford to buy the books that enrich my life. Browsing in a library allows me to explore books that it wouldn’t occur to me to buy, and has opened whole worlds up to me.

- Lincoln Street resident who uses Ives Main Library

Read more stories from our March 2016 survey, here.

Read stories from prior years, here.