Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Library is Many Things

Early-1971, in an effort to attract as many youngsters to the premises as possible, Marguerite Hart — children's librarian at the newly-opened public library in Troy, Michigan — wrote to a number of notable people with a request: to reply with a congratulatory letter, addressed to the children of Troy, in which the benefits of visiting such a library were explained in some form. It's heartening to know that an impressive 97 people did exactly that, and below are just four of those replies, all from authors: Isaac Asimov; Hardie Gramatky; Theodore Geisel; and E. B. White.

(Although sadly a common situation these days, it's worth noting that Troy Public Library is currently dodging closure. How long it remains open is a mystery.)

UPDATE: Philip Kwik of Troy Public Library has been in touch. All 97 letters have now been posted to the library website and can be viewed, as PDFs, by following this link. This is an incredible collection of letters from a whole host of names, and makes for amazing reading. Many thanks Philip.

Transcripts follow. All images courtesy of Troy Public Library.

from: Letters of Note (thanks to Amanda F for the link)

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