My KDL Story: Diana Klee
"They were just so warm and inviting. I've never, not even in the multi-million-dollar libraries we used to visit, seen a library that is so focused on its community..."
When a new job meant relocating nearly five years ago from a suburban area outside Indianapolis to the Cedar Springs area, the Klee family faced not only the challenge of a new community but adjusting from a large, three-story library branch to their new home's relatively small, rural branches.
What they discovered surprised them, Diana Klee said. "The minute we walked in we could tell this was the community gathering place," she said of KDL's Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch.
A few weeks after the move, Diana gave birth to her fifth child — daughter, Lily — who was born with a medical condition that required a tracheostomy, feeding tube and what would turn out to be nearly a dozen surgeries.
"The first time I brought Lily in a double stroller that was filled with medical equipment," Diana said, "I explained that I would have to turn on the machine that suctioned her airway and that it could be quite loud. They were like, 'Of course you're welcome here. Stay.'
"They were just so warm and inviting. I've never, not even in the multi-million-dollar libraries we used to visit, seen a library that is so focused on its community."
And with a supportive community embracing them, the Klee family has embraced their community. Their oldest son, Sam, 19, took second place in KDL's teen filmmaking contest last year for a documentary on ArtPrize. Gabe, 14, volunteers regularly at the branch and meets with a tutor there. And Diana joined a book discussion group, which she said has been "a lifeline to be able to get out and meet people, as well as talk about books with those who love to read as much as I do."
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