My KDL Story: Lisa Montgomery

"Sometimes I've got all four of our cards maxed to get everything we need. I can't even imagine what we would do without the library..."

Lisa MontgomeryWhen Lisa Montgomery and her two daughters visit the Byron Township branch, she makes it a point to first check the hold shelf. Chances are, she said, something's waiting for her to pick up.

While Mom checks the holds, 16-year-old Kara usually heads to the adult nonfiction section and her 8-year-old sister, Marisol, beelines for the children's graphic novels.

It's a weekly ritual for the family — sometimes more often.

Lisa and her husband, Rick, moved from the Saginaw area to Byron Center in 2002. That's also the year they started to home school then 6-year-old Kara. Their very first assignment: get library cards. Often, books recommended for their daughters' home-school curriculum are part of KDL's collection.

"The library has been a tremendous help with our homeschooling," Lisa said. "I can usually find everything here so I don't have to buy a bunch of extra books."

Both daughters say they also love to read for fun.

"(Books offer) a different world," Kara said. "I'm a dreamer... (Books show me) there's so many different things in this world. It fascinates me."

Kara's interest in the written word got a boost in April when she entered — and won — KDL's Teen Poetry Contest — her first effort at writing verse. Since then, the teen said she's created a poetry blog, and at the time of this writing had more than 400 followers.

Kara also has worked with a friend to put some of her poetry to music, and is now eyeing a song-writing career.

"If I hadn't entered that contest, I probably wouldn't be writing poetry or some of the songs that have come from my poems," she said.

Like her mother, Marisol reads a lot. It isn't unusual, Lisa said, to go into her daughter's bedroom at night and find her snoozing, a book having dropped from her hands, mid-sentence.

"One time I was reading so much and I couldn't help it but I fell over," said the 8-year-old. "I woke up and my light was still on. I kept reading and then I fell over again."

The Montgomerys' love of their library doesn't stop at books.

As a family, "We don't have to rent movies because we can get them at the library," Lisa said. Her husband has taken advantage of computer software classes through KDL to gain skills for his delivery and installation management job, and uses audiobooks when he commutes to work.

Lisa said she can't put a price on the value to her family of the free resources available at KDL.

"Sometimes I've got all four of our cards maxed to get everything we need," she said. "I can't even imagine what we would do without the library."


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