Julie Gilliland is Associate Director of Marketing at Cleveland Play House and our guest blogger for this post. She tells why she is a friend of the library and why libraries are so important.
Did you learn everything you need to know in school?
No? Me neither. I grew up in a state(no, not Ohio) that did not value education or dedicate tax dollars as it should have. The minute I left that state and started working in a “grown up job” I realized what a disadvantage my lack of education was.
I’m a privileged human who grew up in an upper-middle class household with an intact and functional family. I am sure that for this privilege I was carried on the backs of others from less fortunate circumstances. I cannot imagine the albatross, the inadequate education system, was for those who were left wanting. My insecurity could have morphed into the form of the consummate university student never wanting to leave school, thinking those letters behind my name would mean I was finally whole. I am much too frugal for that expensive path. Thanks to scholarships and a string of part-time jobs, extra work on movies and commercials, I paid for my public university bachelor’s degree in the arts and started my career in the non-profit world.
A benefit to the arts career path is a built-in scholarly lifestyle. I have always been surrounded by voracious readers and seekers of knowledge. My colleagues love travel and palate-expanding cuisine. The love of travel rubbed off on me but I sadly still have a peasant palate. I realized I love lifelong learning, and reading is my favorite way to learn. That fire inside me that started as a desire to beat my in-laws at Trivial Pursuit ® only grew from the honeymoon on.
I have a little secret confidence booster I keep in my purse. It’s my well-worn library card. I’ll never stop learning. And it wasn’t because I strapped on the burden of debt from a master’s degree. I fell in love with the Cleveland Public Library. Clevnet.org is my guiltiest pleasure. Reading books for free?! And you get to return them so they don’t collect dust in every corner of your home?! Sign me up!
When my husband and I need to figure out how to fix the washing machine we check out YouTube. When I need to figure out how to spell “hors d’oeuvres” I check out Google. When I need to submerge myself in the calming flow of words I check out a book. You can download it, flip through the pages, or listen to it—they are all forms of that glorious little thing we call a book. Whether you prefer the smell of a new book when you crack it open, an old tattered book that has passed through many loving hands, or the inviting blue light of reading on a device, it’s all the joy of knowledge we gain from reading. Imagine a world where no one reads? Without our varied and fabulous library systems here in Northeast Ohio we might meet that horrible fate. I’m a friend of the Cleveland Public Library, The People’s University, because they have been a friend to me.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my book. It’s waiting on the bedside table and it is due back next week for the next adventurer. It’s a beautiful little gift we pass back and forth. Talk about enjoying your tax dollars at work. Want to get to know your new best buddy? Visit my friends at https://cpl.org/ to access one of the best library systems in the United States and continue lighting your path of learning today.
Julie Gilliland is Associate Director of Marketing at Cleveland Play House, the recipient of the 2015 Regional Tony ® Award. She has worked for The Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Visit her at www.juliegilliland.com.