xv Acknowledgments “Well, Clayton, what is it that you want to be when you’re ‘all grown up’?” I can still see the twinkle in Dr. Hastings’ eyes and the depth of her caring when, during an information session for the Ph.D. pro- gram at the University of South Carolina’s then School of Library and Information Science, she asked me this question. I had discovered the answer to her question long ago, first when my mother took me to visit our local public library and then as a kindergartener when I first visited my school library and met Mrs. Ellen H. Ramsey—I wanted libraries to be my life’s work. The library was such a peace- ful, tranquil place to me, a place where happy days were made hap- pier and challenging days easier. No matter the burdens of my heart, somehow opening the library door, finding just the right book, and cuddling in a soft comfy chair made everything seem OK again. All of my worries seemed to be carried away by the gentle rustling of turn- ing pages. My book journeys allowed me to discover both far and distant places and places within myself. Books gave me the gifts of learning and self-acceptance. Perhaps it is because libraries were the places where I came to love learning and to embrace differences that I came to love finding myself in their midst. From kindergarten forward, every spare moment was spent in the library, and from the time I was in the third grade until I graduated from high school, I was an assistant in my school library. College, graduate school, and now my service on the faculty of the University of South Carolina’s School of Information Science and as director of its Laboratory for Leader- ship in Equity and Diversity (LLEAD) have afforded me the privilege
Previous Page Next Page