Daughter of a Librarian

Alice Taylor, Duke ’13, member of Duke Community Leadership Project team


As the daughter of a second-generation librarian, it is unsurprising that I grew up in a house filled with books, titles from authors ranging from Seuss to Faulkner bursting off of every available surface. Reading played an integral role in my childhood, whether it was the bonding experience of bedtime stories with my parents each night, the excitement of picking out a new book at our school’s biannual “Book Sale” event, or entering summer reading “challenges” at my local library each year. 

Beyond the simple joy of immersing myself in a good book on each of these occasions, I have no doubt that a childhood spent reading has had a tangible impact on who I am today and my academic accomplishments thus far. Reading introduced me to a world of new perspectives, expanding my imagination and ability to empathize with different people. I’m also sure that the sheer magnitude of my exposure to vocabulary over the years has helped me immensely in everything from completing the dreaded SAT verbal section in high school to crafting essays for my courses today. 

I thus remain thankful for a childhood filled with books every day. For this reason and more, when deciding which local nonprofit I wanted to partner with for a semester-long project for the Duke course, “Leadership, Development, and Organizations”, I placed Book Harvest at the top of my list. I’m excited to be a part of an organization that helps local children build their own libraries and hopefully develop a lifelong love for reading, as I did. I hope that my work, and that of my teammates, helps Book Harvest maintain this worthy mission for many years to come.