Jean Mitchell has called the Southwood Library her home library for the past 50 years. She visits so often that all the staff know her by name. The library isn’t just a place for Jean to read, it also keeps her in communication with her loved ones. When her daughter was living in Qatar, Jean would visit the library every Tuesday to use the computers and e-mail her daughter. Tuesdays came to be known as “Jean’s day” by staff and patrons as she regularly visited the library to keep in touch.
The library was also a source of support during a trying time in Jean’s life. In 2004, her husband fell ill. During his last few years, Jean would often borrow DVDs from the library to watch with him. They loved classic films and quickly went through the library’s collection. When Jean’s husband passed away in 2014, the community library came together to support her, sending her a wonderful card with their condolences.
Love for the library has been passed down through Jean’s family. Her grandson, Joel, recently moved back to Calgary from Victoria with his wife, Raluca, and their daughter, Isabelle. They often visit the library in their neighbourhood and Isabelle has fallen in love with the library, just like her great grandmother. In honour of Isabelle’s first birthday in May, Jean purchased a New Central Library window in her honour with the inscription, “Our Hope, Joy, Love Isabelle 26May2017.” Jean’s community library played a huge part in her life and she wanted to support the Library to ensure that it can continue to do so for other Calgarians.