The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Eloquent Requiem For All The Lost Libraries

     In 1971, the children's librarian at the newly-opened library in Troy, Michigan wrote to a number of notable people asking them to write letters of congratulation to the children explaining the benefits of having a library.

    Sadly, the Troy Public Library is currently dodging closure.

Here are some of the letters. The first two will show the actual letter, the last will be a transcript. There were 97 in all. The rest are at the link.


April 14, 1971

Dear Children of Troy:

Your librarian has asked me to write, telling you what a library can mean to you.

A library is many things. It's a place to go, to get in out of the rain. It's a place to go if you want to sit and think. But particularly it is a place where books live, and where you can get in touch with other people, and other thoughts, through books. If you want to find out about something, the information is in the reference books---the dictionaries, the encyclopedias, the atlases. If you like to be told a story, the library is the place to go. Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and women have had. And when you are reading a book, you and the author are alone together---just the two of you. A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people---people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.

(Signed, 'EB White')

No comments:

Post a Comment