My KDL Story: Carrie Datema

"The library helped us keep moving on with our lives when things were tough..."

Carrie Datema

Carrie Datema and her husband made a decision when the family's budget grew tight: lose the cable television and Internet. Going without extras that many people consider to be household must-haves made life difficult on more than one front, but proved to be solvable with just one resource.

Carrie attends an online university and is studying toward a degree in psychology, so without an online connection at home, she visited KDL's Plainfield Township branch three times a week to attend classes, work on and hand in assignments and email professors and classmates.

She and her husband, Jake, also visited the branch with daughter Annabelle, 7, after church on Sunday — theirs is right across the street — to check out books, movies and even television series to keep themselves entertained during the winter months.

"The library helped us keep moving on with our lives when things were tough," Carrie said.

But KDL has proven to be more than just a stopgap for the Datemas. Even though Internet and cable have been restored at home, the family still visits the branch a few times a month, whether it's to satisfy their daughter's fascination with, say, Abraham Lincoln and astronomy, or so Jake can pick up a few of the latest music releases or the couple can find a cookbook that inspires them to whip up something together.

Carrie said she has friends and family who don't use libraries or haven't been to one for years, so she makes it a point to pitch for them whenever she can. For example, she recently showed her mother-in-law how to download eBooks onto her Kindle through the library's website.

When someone tells her there's nothing at the library they would like or that could save them money, "I tell them, 'Guess you haven't roamed around in one long enough lately. If you go to the library, you'll find it.'"


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