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April 03, 2023

My Life in the Library

By Suhita Chintalacharuvu

2023 is the year of stories at Hamilton East Public Library. Every month on our blog, we’re featuring a guest writer from our community to share in their own words what the library means to them. We hope these stories will demonstrate that there’s something for everyone at the library, and you belong here. 

Our April library story speaks about growing up at the library, with it being a safe space and a steadfast pillar for comfort, community, and wonder.

“Some of my best childhood memories come from days spent at the Hamilton East Public Library. Whether it was perusing the stacks or spending hours in the reading room, the library always put a smile on my face. As I grew up, the library has become a steadfast pillar in my life for comfort, community, and wonder.

My name is Suhita Chintalacharuvu. I’m a senior at Hamilton Southeastern High School. I have lived in Fishers, Indiana my whole life and, therefore, am lucky enough to have enjoyed the services of the Hamilton East Public Library for 17 years.

Childhood Stories

Since I was 2 years old, my parents took me to the library’s children’s storytime event. I never failed to attend every week and would throw a fit if my parents couldn’t take me. I remember sitting in awe at each reading, on the edge of my seat. I hung onto every word the librarian read and was so amused by the animated readings. Each page was a new adventure, and each book a new experience.

Ultimately, these readings introduced me to the delight of books and were the catalyst for my reading journey. I began to devour children’s books, starting with books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and moving to book series (my favorite being the Junie B. Jones series), all supplied by the library.

Avid Reader

As a reader, the library has helped me grow my love for books. The library introduced me to new books, genres, and literary worlds. Every librarian has been so helpful in my quest to discover books, and they frequently listen to my interests and recommend titles. With their support, I have been able to sample many different genres, from fantasy to romance to nonfiction.

I’m a firm believer that reading is strengthened with discussion. However, many of my classmates and friends don’t value reading as much as I do. The library, therefore, was crucial for me to connect with other passionate readers, which I do in the library book club, Teen Lit Café. This book club was a highlight of my junior year, as I was able to nerd out over characters and themes with other readers, eat yummy food, and make new friends.


Library and Community

With the library, I have not only been able to grow personally, but also I have helped others in the community enjoy the services of the library. I primarily have done this as a library volunteer and have been able to interact with countless community members.

One of my favorite library events to volunteer at is Chop Chop Club, a cooking club for young kids. The work is often messy, and more times than not, I’ve gone home with flour in my hair and eggs on my shirt, but the work is so rewarding. The kids are enthusiastic, asking intelligent questions and measuring ingredients carefully. In the end, it brings me such joy seeing the kids enjoy their creations.

I also volunteered as a Teens’ Top Ten Reviewer for new books from 2022-2023. This was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had through the library. I got special access to new, sometimes unreleased, books, which is a reader’s pot of gold. Writing reviews for books also introduced me to a new side of literature, as I practiced my critical thinking and analytical skills.

Overall, the library has helped me explore my interests and realize my passion for reading and literature. It has served as a safe space for me throughout my childhood and teen years, and the Hamilton East Public Library will forever hold a special place in my heart.”

About Suhita Chintalacharuvu:

Suhita Chintalacharuvu is a current senior at Hamilton Southeastern High School and has lived in Hamilton County her whole life. In school, she is part of the Mock Trial team, DECA, Key Club, and the Girls Tennis Team. Out of school, she plays in the Indianapolis Youth Orchestra and volunteers with the library, the Red Cross, and Indiana Voice. She also loves to watch movies (especially Marvel movies), read books, travel, and go out with her friends. She is undecided as to which college she will attend next year but will study business and public policy in hopes of becoming a lawyer.

Have your own library story to share? Tell us about it here, and we’ll pick a few to be featured on our blog! You can also find storytelling resources and tips here

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