“Rotary Loves Readers” is a key ongoing program for the Rotarians of Wimberley, and last spring they asked students in elementary and junior high here to write letters to the editor on the importance of libraries. Winners from among the entries were chosen and cash prizes were given.

This Christmas season, as you consider how to handle your gift-giving, I thought you might be interested in seeing what these very prescient young people — our future — think about libraries. If you think there’s no future in books and reading, these students will set you straight. So, below I’m including excerpts from some of the letters. Take a moment to read through them and you’ll be impressed by how thoughtful the students were and also by how much they cherish books, reading and the Wimberley library:

From Olivia Wilson: “Overall you can always go to a library to connect to a different world you want, and no can change that. Libraries are the world, but in words.”

From Xavier Deans: “What I like most about libraries is that you can find time just to be quiet and have your mind open to a world of fantasy, fiction and nonfiction books. The library is a place to free one’s imagination to whatever you read. The library is a sacred place like the Chamber of Secrets in the Harry Potter book. … The library is like walking in a winter wonderland.”

From Adan Rossell: “I can personally attest to how important the library was for me when my family and I recently moved to Wimberley. I didn’t have WiFi in my house and needed to access my school information at Danforth Junior High, so my public library quickly became homework central. The library was reliable and easy to use. I found books for my reports, watched tutorials on math problems and even snuck in a game or two.”

From McKayla Brombach: “Libraries to me are like second homes. When you enter a library you feel welcome and happy. There are books surrounding you and you can’t wait to dig in. There are nice, quiet spots to sit down and read and friendly front-desk staff.”

From Risa Espinoza: “The sad thing is that some people don’t have access to books and libraries like we do. I had the experience of living in one of those places, Nicaragua. That is why we should cherish the books, opportunities, and libraries that we have in our community for we are very blessed with the knowledge of reading.”

From Cash McCollum: “I have used the library many times to do research for projects. No matter what, I know the library will have whatever I need to do my project. Even if it’s not for research, libraries let you read about things you can’t see or do in your real life. The Wimberley library also has magic shows and special guest readers during the summer to keep kids excited about learning during non-school months.”

From Kayla M. Pierce: “It doesn’t matter if you’re a reader or not. The library has stuff for everyone, like art classes, movies, computers and such. It’s a lot of fun.”

From Lindsay Thompson: “Libraries are crucial to our community because they bring us together.”