A Library Story: Liz Cutler

A Library Story

“The library has been the center of my life in Princeton”

Photo credit: Catherine “Cie” Stroud

Liz Cutler, a parent, educator, sustainability advocate and artist, puts it succinctly:

“The library has been the center of my life in Princeton.”

A literature teacher at Princeton Day School, Liz was a voracious reader when she moved to town; her first stop was Princeton Public Library, where she found not only enough books to meet her appetite, but films of the plays she was teaching and documentaries that supplemented her instruction.

As each of their three children were born, the library took on increasing importance for Liz and her husband, Tom Kreutz.

While important to sons Sam and David, the library was a special place for son Isaac, who was disabled by a stroke as a toddler.

“As he gained independence, the library was the only place in town where he could go on his own,” Liz said. “He volunteered there. He would meet me there, on the Third Floor, and read until I came. It was a safe space where he was known and accepted for who he was. He had friends amongst the staff. Everyone watched out for him.”

When Isaac died at 26 in January after complications from pneumonia, library staff joined the community in grieving a young man who Liz said “lived a very rich, happy life, and was both ever-loving and deeply loved by all who knew him.”

While the library has a special place in Liz’s heart — it hosted the first public exhibition of her artwork earlier this year — she is quick to point out that hers is but one of many lives so enriched.

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