Library Slip Legacy

There’s a children’s section here at the library.

On the first floor, behind the newspaper racks, the Chicago Sun Times draped haphazardly over the wooden bars.

There are novels there; young adult fiction lined side by side, Newberry Honor stickers stuck sideways on their spines.

There are picture books, too; shelves reaching near the ceiling, their thin spines flaunting chirpy titles and taglines.

I’ve spun through the library turnstile many time in these past weeks and months.

Stepped around the corner, pulled picture pages, novels off the shelves, flipped through them.

I’ve borrowed some of them, tucked under my arm, shoved into my book bag between battered notebook and folders of notes.

There are books everywhere in my room; stacked on the desk, lined on the book shelf, pushed in piled next to the dresser.

Sitting on my bed, I open one of the library book, flip through the pages. A library return slip, not mine, but faded and flimsy from years of preservation between the book’s pages, falls onto my lap.

I pick up the paper, read the faded printing on the top of the page.

I recognize the name. A former elementary education student, her last year at Moody coincided with my first.

This same name has fallen from my library books before; library return slips memorializing a former student whose learning interests have proven to be a foreshadowing of my own.

She’s left a legacy of learning, and there’s a strange comfort in knowing that outside of these Moody walls, there is a young teacher who read the same books that I’ve pulled from the shelf, who learned under the same professors whose tests I’ve crammed for, who struggled and learned and taught and worked.

And now I’m here, studying and learning, being challenged and growing, and sometimes I wonder, as I find another of her faded library slips under my bed, if I’m leaving a legacy at this school, too.

~Natalia

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