Boston Public Library Foundation

The Power of the BPL

by Russell Hansen



Nick Rose in the Central Library’s Washington Room

Hi, my name is Nick Rose and I want to share my story with you. The other day I was hanging out in the library’s Teen Room when someone asked me, “What are the three things that you never leave home without?” I answered, “Phone, wallet, keys.” Then I laughed because I realized the fourth thing would be my library card, which is always tucked in my phone case.  And given what it represents, I should have listed it first, even before my phone which, trust me, is saying a lot!

For me, my library card is the best gift I’ve ever received and I’m writing today to tell you how it’s changed my life, and to thank you for supporting the Boston Public Library Foundation.

My family and I used to live in South Boston and my mom, who loves to read, took me regularly to our local library branch to check out books for me with her library card. Around the time I started middle school, I was getting into trouble quite a bit. I was loud, rambunctious, ran the streets after school and occasionally got into fights. One day, as I was leaving the library with my mom, I saw a boy I’d been fighting with and we started yelling at each other, a continuation of a previous fight.

Click here to make your donation!

Click here to make your donation!

As the argument escalated, my mom made me go back inside. Paul Edwards, who worked at the branch, came over to ask me what was going on. He had a really thoughtful, respectful way of listening to me that helped to calm me down. He was concerned that the boy might still cause problems, so he set me up with a computer and let me hang out in the library instead.

The next day I returned to the library, and Paul helped me use the computer again. After that, I was hooked! Paul helped me get my own library card, and I started going to the library after school every single day. Honestly, being in the safety and comfort of the library made me not want to run the streets after school, or get into fights, or do any of the bad stuff that a lot of teens do. And, if you visit the Central Library or any of the branches now, I know you’ll find other young people responding the same way I did years ago!

But the Boston Public Library needs donations from friends like you to continue the type of youth programming that keeps teens and adolescents coming back. For example, $25 will help to buy a book for the library’s teen collection. A gift of $50 can help with supplies for programs on arts and crafts, anime or games, and a gift of $100 will help pay for five days of Out-of-school Time programs at a branch library.

Now, I’m a junior in high school and every afternoon you can find me at the Central Library’s Teen Room or at the new library in East Boston- where my family moved two years ago. As for my plans after high school, I want to train as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, and then at Johnson & Wales. My goal is to open a restaurant in my neighborhood and then expand to become a national chain. When I become successful (which I know I will) I’ll donate money to the Boston Public Library Foundation. It’ll be my way of giving back for all the good they’ve done for me.

For now, though, all I can donate to the Boston Public Library is my time. But I hope that you can step in where I cannot. Please click here to give a gift online to the Boston Public Library Foundation to help us purchase books and fund programs and services for library users of every age. Through your support, you’ll help to transform the lives of other teens like me by giving them the power of the library.

Thank you!

Nick Rose
Junior, Snowden International School

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