Opinion: Books are just one part of a library, says Morristown resident
To the Editor:
"When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself," so stated Russian-born American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He authored over 500 science fiction and popular science books. "Closing a public library is child abuse, really, because it hinders child development," said Alan Bennett, English actor, author, playwright. And, those are exactly my sentiments as I read all about the plight of the Ogdensburg library.I'm now a retiree but in my youth I was a member of the library club through four high school years. Even though I changed career moves, my love of the library never changed.
People who think a library is just about books are dead wrong. Books are the most obvious and easily understood part of a library but it is just a part. There is so much more. The Ogdensburg library system also loans out a variety of audio and video media, provides computer and internet services, is the keeper of local history (the entire Ogdensburg Journal is maintained there on microfiche) and houses genealogical sources,s library programs (including digital) and a meeting room that facilitate community groups.
Famous librarians include Benjamin Franklin, Melville Dewey, Golda Meir, J. Edgar Hoover, Casanova (really!), Lewis Carroll, Jacob Grimm of Grimms' Fairy Tales fame, Laura Bush, Eratosthenes (Greek scholar who discovered the system of latitude and longitude and made significant contributions to astronomy and also the chief librarian of the Great Library of Alexandria), Pope Pious XI and, saving the best for last, and most important to this area is none other than our own St Lawrence, one of the patron saints of the library who was killed by the Romans in 258 for refusing to turn over the collection of Christian treasures and documents he was entrusted to protect. (Who could vote against him?).
Famous people whose quotes state their ardent library affection, admiration and value include:
- Albert Einstein - “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”
- Neil Gaiman - “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.”
- J.K. Rowling - “When in doubt go to the library.”
- Ray Bradbury - “Libraries raised me. Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”
- Anne Herbert - “Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries. (She was a noted American journalist)
- Patick Ness - “Librarians are tour-guides for all of knowledge.” (Twice Carnegie medal winner).
Where are you heading with your life? Each direction is good if there is a library along the way. Help save your community with your YES vote on May 18th.
With a shout out to the wonderful library staff at the Morristown Library.