This past Monday I was coming up the stairs at the college where I work. When I got to my floor I stepped into the large hallway, where several people were setting up lights and cameras. It was the photographers who come each year to take graduation photos. Actual graduation is still about a month away, but I am always moved when I see this rite of passage every year. The ersatz waiting room was conveniently located next to the soda machine and so at least once a day I headed in that direction seeking refreshment. It was also a convenient excuse to b.s. with the students, dressed in their finest, waiting for their turn to be called. People were laughing and mostly in a good mood, though some seemed pensive, possibly wondering what their future brings. Some of them I have known throughout their student life through having helped them on the reference desk, teaching them in a workshop, or in the classroom. New York City has changed a great deal in the last few decades, and much of that is due to individuals who are new to the city and the country. I remember coming in to teach a library session on a Sunday morning and one of the students telling me that he had come here from Africa several years ago. He drove a cab 40 hours a week and was taking weekend classes at the same time. Another student was a single mother who had returned to school after a long–long–hiatus. These stories are not untypical. The strength and courage of many of them is moving. These were the things running through my mind every time I passed the hallway over the course of the week.