Growing up on the west side of Chicago – and in walking distance to a library nearby, Foundation board member Chris Anderson cannot remember a time when he didn’t go to the library.
“The library was always a safe place to go,” he recalled, and by age 11 he could walk there on his own to check out books, which was a great sense of independence.
Chris’s wife, Lyn smiled broadly as she remembered her mom taking her to the library when she was a little girl to check out books. It quickly became her favorite place, and she has loved books ever since, noting that reading is her favorite pastime. Out of her siblings, she was definitely the bibliophile and still is. She affectionately refers to books now as “the beauty of the universe.”
As parents to two sons, it was part of the daily routine to read bedtime stories every evening. Their sons now read nightly to their kids continuing the tradition. Chris and Lyn now share their love of libraries and reading with their grandchildren and noting their oldest granddaughter in fourth grade has her very own library card. Lyn added that for people of all ages, library programs are key to engagement as they are centered around access and exploration. From early literacy story times to author visits and beyond, sharing information that is open to everyone is unique to libraries and a wonderful resource.
A fun shared experience Chris and Lyn have enjoyed for over 25 years is being part of a book group, sharing that they have read lots of books they would otherwise not have been exposed to or read. Chris added that reading a variety of literature is the spice of life.
As a Foundation board member for many years, Chris believes the library is a worthwhile organization to support on different levels. He remembered when he first came on board being amazed at the breadth of all the things the library offered, including online resources, and programming for all ages. He added he believes that many of the library’s programs are able to offer additional resources that exist due to extra funding provided by the Foundation.
Lyn shared her vision of the future of libraries to include more e-readers, a source for continued access to materials and programming for everyone, and a place in particular for students to access technology centered around gaining knowledge.
“Librarians are the most wonderful people on earth!” Lyn exclaimed. “They are always happy to help with anything—be it finding a book, research materials, and connecting people with the resources they are looking for!”