Libraries Created Passion for Learning

Libraries Created Passion for Learning


Libraries Created Passion for Learning

I am RJ Gaskins, a student at Gonzaga College High School and

I will be playing football at Stanford University this fall. My

excitement for my future allows me to reflect on the past. In preschool

and elementary school I was raised by a single mother. This meant that

we found unique ways of entertainment, one of which was our local public

library. The library introduced me to books at a young age. This created

a passion for learning in me. Now public libraries include more than

just books; they have computers, video games, audio books and any other

potential learning resource a kid could ask for. I attribute most of my

success now to growing up and having access to a public library. The

library gave me a place to stay, entertain and educate myself when I was

younger. Going to school in DC has helped me learn more about issues in

the city, specifically people experiencing homelessness. Something that

I have learned is that anyone can experience homelessness. We need to

advocate on their behalf. Many people look down upon them because they

smell funny or look different, but McLean is one of the wealthiest areas

in the US and it is our job to help. The way I believe we can help this

issue is through our use of public libraries. Many libraries in DC have

extended services that help people experiencing homelessness. This

ranges from allowing the homeless to hang out in the library to

professional job analysts helping them find work. If these services are

replicated in Fairfax County public libraries then we could help get

other people out of tough situations and set them up for success. If we

provide our libraries with more resources to expand our services then it

will create a more safe and balanced community. I believe this will work

because of the foundation for success that the public libraries have

laid out for me.