The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


Checking out the chapters of my library life

Laavanya Viswanathan (’26)
The outside of the Cherry Hill Public Library

A 7-year-old me stumbled up to the librarian’s desk with a stack of thick books higher than my head. The librarian giggles at me and my mother rushes towards me, lecturing that I wouldn’t be able to read all these books. Yet, I shake my head stubbornly, determined to take home the looming tower of books. I wanted to figure out what happened in the next volume of the Harry Potter series, learn about the colorful cultures of Kazakhstan, and learn about the biography of Milton Hershey.

Every now and then, my mother repeats this story to me. She teases me: reminiscing about how the librarian’s shocked face embarrassed her in the moment.

It’s these little memories that I’m glad I’ve made at the Cherry Hill Public Library. From sneaking around in the adults section to find my mom to sprawling on the checkered carpet with a mess of picture books, the library was one of the few places I could find love in.

As I grew older, I would wander off to a new section of the library. Part of it felt like unlocking a new stage in a video game. With a grip on my pink membership card that flaunted my messy signature on it, I would toddle around the kids section. I would discover the manga section and explore the worlds of Eiichiro Oda, Hiro Mashima, and Yoshihiro Togashi. I’d stroll into the YA Fiction and Nonfiction section, exposing myself to the hilarious romances of teenagers in romance books or the hidden truths about society in crime books.

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Today, I visited the library once more. It had been an extremely long time since I had last visited. But, instead of the feeling of curiosity and excitement I used to get from traveling up the stairs to the kid’s section, there was a pang of nostalgia and loss. The vast openness that I used to marvel at, could no longer be felt. The towering shelves that I would go on my tippy toes to reach a novel, I now had to look down at.

But, perusing amongst the aisles of books brought me back to the same feelings I had as a child. The magic that I found in opening each book to read its blurb returned to me. I was once again the 7-year-old who checked out towers of books to take home.

Albert Einstein once said “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” Mr. Einstein was right. Stepping into the library, past the automatic sliding doors, opened me to the universe of possibility and knowledge.

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About the Contributor
Manar Hadi
Manar Hadi, Eastside Opinions Editor
Manar is a stubborn yet determined individual who loves to explore different cultures, communities, and perspectives. He is a junior and is arguably the best Eastside Print Opinions editor to have ever existed. Typically, you can find Manar staring at his Google Calendar, stressing over absolutely nothing, or laughing about nonsensical things. To him, anything that allows him to express his creativity and satisfy his endless curiosity is a thing worth pursuing.

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