In 1970, the new Troy Children’s Librarian wrote to “dozens of actors, authors, artists, musicians, playwrights, librarians, and politicians of the day. She asked them to write a letter to the children of Troy about the importance of libraries, and their memories of reading and of books.” (Our History: Letters to the Children of Troy, May 1971).
You may have seen this story doing the rounds, a fascinating part of both literary and library history, due to the fact that Troy Library is under significant funding threat.
I had already seen it, but my husband saw it too and emailed me (which he does with things he thinks will interest me – and he’s right). I had thought it was fascinating to begin with, but when I stopped and read some of the thoughts, it fascinated me even more. Letters were received from 97 luminaries. “Those writing included First Lady Pat Nixon; Michigan Governor William Milliken; then-Governor of California Ronald Reagan; Michigan State University President Clifton Wharton, Jr., the first African-American president of a major U.S. university; first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong; Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown; authors Isaac Asimov, Hardie Gramatky, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Ben Spock, and E.B. White; and actors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Vincent Price, and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin.” (Our History: Letters to the Children of Troy, May 1971). I really encourage you to check out these many words of wisdom and insight.
Now I don’t have the space or the time, to write a letter to say how important libraries are to me and my memories of reading, at least not in this blog post. So instead, I’ll ask a simple question.
If you were asked to write one sentence to a child, about the importance of libraries, what would it be?
Off the cuff answers are totally acceptable, because that is what my answer is, totally off the cuff. Libraries are open for you to discover the wealth of known information and explore the potential of universe, from the innermost parts of yourself to the fartherest reach of the galaxies.
What would your answer be?