'I Wouldn't Be Alive Today Without Libraries'

"I am extremely grateful to be here to tell you how essential libraries have been to me in my life. Mine is a happier ending than I could ever have imagined for myself, for a kid from a background like mine. And that is thanks to libraries. It is thanks to librarians. It's genuinely no overstatement to say I don't think I'd be alive today without libraries....

"To have come so far from that wee girl in the not warm enough coat accompanied by the young mum just desperate for a rest in a warm, safe, free space where no one would ask her why she was there or move her along. To have come so far from that teen holding on by her fingernails, who used libraries to smash apart the narrow horizons life had given her. Libraries gave me everything. Libraries gave me a truly happy ending when so much said I should not have one."

--Author Kerry Hudson, speaking at the annual conference of CILIPS, Scotland's library and information specialists, as reported by the Bookseller
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