This post is part of our Sunday series of reader essays, and was written by Tangle reader Justin.
Public, local libraries abound in virtually every town in America. From the libraries in New York that provide services to millions to those in small towns of fewer than a thousand people, and including the cities in between, in each one you'll find a dedicated and altruistic public servant eager to help in every capacity they can. For example, I live in the village of Ridgewood, NJ, a small suburban town, but our library is a feature of the community. The windowed atrium spills light throughout the room, illuminating the rows of bookcases, perfectly framing the help kiosk where an equally radiant librarian is always eager to assist. But more than just being a repository of books, the Ridgewood Library is a kind of great equalizer in its own right. I have frequented my local library for my whole life, and I've noticed a stark similarity between libraries and a particular book held in most of them: The Giving Tree.