Shepherd woman expands horizons with library card
By Tony Farkas
SHEPHERD — Maria Luna wanted to see the world.
She couldn’t, however, afford the travel. However, when she went to the Shepherd Library to for books about learning to speak Italian, she found the world could come to her.
Maria also found more — new hobbies, new crafts, and a passion for painting that she didn’t know she had originally.
“I’ve been coming to the library since 2004, but now I come every day,” she said. “The library has changed over the years; it is very important.”
Maria said she loves reading, and loves books, but she can’t afford them. Since she started wanting to learn to speak Italian, she would check out dictionaries. Soon, though, she found her local library is more than books.
“I see a lot of things I can learn here. I love world history, and I don’t think everyone can know everything about that; a friend of mine told me about ‘The Diary of Anne Frank,’ which I didn’t know existed, and with that book I learned more about history,” she said.
The staff that work here are very educated people, and Maria said that she learns a lot from them — things she didn’t know at all.
It help Maria develop a passion for gardening because the library held classes on planting and plant care; she learned that she loves to paint after taking painting classes offered by the library.
“I find that it relaxes me a lot, and it was something I never did before until I came to the library,” she said. “Once I started learning one thing, it led to another; the experience made me more curious than before.”
Librarian Terri MacIntyre said that Maria has learned to do many of the things the library offers on Wednesdays, such as painting and crafting.
“She likes to expand her knowledge on many things; interested in types of language, and the library gives her opportunities she might not have had otherwise,” she said. “Maria tells us that she’s amazed that more people don’t take advantage of the library, because the library has so much more to offer than books, and she shares the news about library even when people feel that libraries are not relevant anymore.
“For her personally, it’s been a life changing experience, and it has expanded her possibilities more than she ever knew,” MacIntyre said.
She said that’s the benefit of the library; if you can’t see the world, the world can come to you.
Maria has taken advantage of what the library has to offer, and more people should do that, she said.