The Temple of Knowledge

Ronald Clark: As a child, I
always thought I was rich, and one day at the dinner
table, I said something like, “I’m so glad we’re rich.” And my father almost choked. My mother said, “Well,
honey, we’re not exactly rich.” And Dad said, “We’re poor! You understand? We’re poor!” And then they offered
my dad the position as the library custodian. And my father was the keeper
of the temple of knowledge. In some libraries, it’s all
chewing gum wrappers and dust. My dad’s library, you
saw nothing but wax. He would even wax the
tops of the bookshelves. And when you walked up
those stairs and looked down on the book stacks,
they gleamed. Jamilah Clark: Did you realize
how different your home was from your friends? Ronald Clark: At first, I was
kinda ashamed of it as a child because you always
want to be normal. I would never invite any
of my friends to visit. They would always say,
“This guy lives in a library. I mean, he literally
lives in the library!” You know, but nobody else
had as many books as I had. You had to be very
quiet during the day. But, once the library closed, I was the only kid
in the building! I could run and
scream and jump and yell. And if I had
any question about anything, I would get up in the
middle of the night, go down, get out
a book, and read until 3 o’clock
in the morning. I began to realize how great
I had it because the library gave me the thirst of learning. And this just never left me. Coming from a family in which
nobody had ever graduated from high school, much
less gone on to college, I was the first one. After I graduated, I got a
position teaching at a college. And, I took my dad, and I
showed him the classroom and my name on the door. Professor Clark. He just nodded. You know how Daddy is, quiet. But… I saw the way he looked at it. He wanted me to
have higher horizons. And, I can hardly even imagine
what my life would’ve been like had I not lived in the library.


  1. Frankie Gillette

    February 7, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Great!  Makes me want to contribute again!

  2. LklL L

    February 8, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Yeeess an animation

  3. LukeDaDuke

    February 8, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Wasn't there another animation with the same story?

  4. Caleb Fox

    February 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I already liked your videos, even ones where you had to hold back on animation, but it's nice you guys managed to get back at it again! Keep it up! 😀

  5. • ItsMrRogue •

    February 8, 2018 at 2:14 pm


  6. Nyanpire The Cat

    February 8, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Finally a new animated StoryCorps.

  7. insanomonkey

    February 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Brought a tear to my eye. Let's all make our fathers proud 🙂

  8. Aneokame

    February 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Amazing story! Been waiting a long time for another animation too. Thanks!

  9. Poke Pat

    February 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Wonderful animation!

  10. Toasted machine

    February 8, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Yay early

  11. Katy Little

    February 8, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    What a wonderful experience to grow up being surrounded by books. Professor Clark how rich you were . . . and are.

  12. MaxtotheKelly

    February 8, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Woohoo! Like the video! Show them how much we love these!

  13. Lamar Romero

    February 8, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Beautiful story guys! I had no idea people grew up in libraries like this!

  14. mutantformula

    February 8, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful story. <3

  15. NEW GUY

    February 8, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Love you guy story keep it up. Try to make a new channel story in Spanish

  16. break life80

    February 8, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Animation ohmahgawd

  17. Crusty Plunger

    February 8, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    story corps is my favorite anime

  18. Renime89

    February 8, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Living in the library sounds amazing

  19. Jaqen

    February 8, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Lol he essentially had a really slow internet decades before anyone else.

  20. babuganoosh

    February 8, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Yes! Absolutely beautiful, please keep doing more of these whenever you can.

  21. Nicholas Fabian

    February 9, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Take a look, it's in a book, Reading Rainbow!

  22. Night Cale

    February 9, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this my whole entire life!!!

  23. Carter

    February 10, 2018 at 6:09 am

    Why are the ratings hidden?

  24. Peace&Quiet

    February 11, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    U guyd rly should do animated videos

  25. Wonderful Productions

    February 12, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    I enjoyed Ronald Clark's story already when you shared his story with us late last year, but the fact that you went back to it and animated it makes it even better! The animation was so bright and lively, it left me with a scene of nostalgia for the old school animations I use to see in school all the time. Professor Clark's story is certainly a unique one for it was so cheerful and different from others stories of African Americans growing up in the 1940s. Thank you Storycorp for giving us another uplifting masterpiece!

  26. WickedBad ButtPlug

    February 14, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    One of the most beautiful channels on this entire site

  27. Sherrie Miranda

    February 20, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    I love this story & the way it is animated! It's amazing how books change our lives!
    Sherrie Miranda's historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
    Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

  28. pattyfromtoledo

    February 22, 2018 at 1:09 am

    LOVE this!!!

  29. Kirsten Großmann

    February 22, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    What a lovely story. The fact that it really happened makes it even sweeter. Wow.

  30. GeneralCane

    February 24, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Weird how the ratings are hidden with their two newest animated videos. I'm not sure what you're trying to get across, Storycorps, but many of us got onto this channel for the realistic stories tied to the lightheartedness of animation. We all know that like:dislike ratio is about 40:1 at least.

  31. Rosemary Alles

    February 25, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Cool. 🙂

  32. Ankita Patel

    February 25, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    What a great story..I would love to live in the library. I would of done anything to stay up and read as many books as I want.

  33. Dolly Ensey

    February 26, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    How special to “live” in a library ..

  34. Harrison Reynolds

    March 8, 2018 at 4:08 am

    Can you come to New York Monroe

  35. AtomicStag

    March 12, 2018 at 2:30 am

    Please upload more animated story videos! They're so great and heartfelt!

  36. Zachary Pederson

    March 14, 2018 at 9:27 am

    thats such a nice story

  37. Mister Mups

    March 16, 2018 at 3:43 am

    I wish I could live in a library

  38. Ryan Dart

    March 26, 2018 at 8:14 pm


  39. Ryan Gav

    March 31, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Story Corp should make books

  40. Ebeohp2018

    April 9, 2018 at 4:51 am

    As a kid, I wanted to be locked up in a library!

  41. What Ya Reading!

    April 9, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    That would be a dream for me. To live and work in a library OMG

  42. Your Dad

    April 11, 2018 at 1:41 am

    i want to live in a library

  43. Quế Man

    April 15, 2018 at 5:19 am

    Thanks for all great stories you shared.

  44. Borky

    April 20, 2018 at 4:41 am

    Oh this Is gold <3

  45. Michelle Branham

    May 5, 2018 at 12:19 am

    Bad wtf is this make better

  46. Melanie Davis

    May 17, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    I liked this story, thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  47. Memestar Fm

    May 30, 2018 at 12:47 am

    Omg I love all of these so much!

  48. T Phoenix

    June 3, 2018 at 4:28 am

    Amazing story!

  49. Titan Ri3

    June 24, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Messyourself sent me

  50. Phantasmal Poppy

    July 28, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Just…wow. Will you listen to the way the man talks about his father. Not, "oh, my daddy's just the library janitor", but a proud "My father was the keeper of the temple of knowledge". Just wow. I'm sure his dad just thought he had a job to make ends meet but even years later, his son still views him like this.

    You can tell when somebody was good to their kid and the kid turned out to be a good person when you hear this sort of thing. It feels so rare nowadays. Lucky parent, lucky child to have each other like that.

  51. Living With The Guzmans

    November 11, 2018 at 9:06 pm


  52. Hedylogos pothos

    December 5, 2018 at 9:09 pm


  53. Zain Chupacabra

    December 24, 2018 at 12:24 am

    Well at least he never had any library bills

  54. Zain Chupacabra

    December 24, 2018 at 12:24 am

    It gives me a good feeling to know he became a professor, and his dad got to see it.

  55. Aerial Hiking

    February 25, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Man, this would be a fantastic movie!

  56. Ana Paula

    May 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    I loved! The book can open much opportunities for us, mainly for childrens! <3

  57. Josh N

    May 16, 2019 at 12:08 am

    He had the internet before the Internet existed

  58. Wesley Lyman

    July 10, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Nice Story

  59. Adriana Machado

    July 21, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    I would have loved being your friend and expend great afternoons at the library.

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