It is no secret, my love of books. I hope also it is no secret I hold an equally deep love for libraries, especially public ones. The first tax-supported public library opened on this day in 1833, in Peterborough, N.H., and it stands today with more than 9,000 other public libraries that feed our need for information and resources.
You may not be able to get a subscription to the Post or pay for Internet connection, but you know you can get that at the library — as well as books in many languages, DVDs, recorded books and reference material and magazines from all over the world.
We talk about all of the things we can live without in economic hard times. Some jurisdictions seem to think libraries are one of those things that can come and go when "times get tough." You and I know better. Call your mayor, call your chairman, call your parish president or county leader and make sure they know that, too.
While we're at it, let's have a shout-out to all of the librarians out there who know where, when and how to find out anything we need to know (whether we knew it or not). Between them and the Dewey Decimal System, we're saved!
HEAR IT AGAIN
Commanding guns, to split the heart,
His and his people's, tore apart
The Sarajevo library.
Books are the memory. And it's plain
Decay of libraries is like
Alzheimer's in the nation's brain.
For all who've failed or aged beyond
The reach of teachers, here are found
The inspiration and the facts.
Who's chanced upon the library's worth,
Sits with the genius of the Earth
And turns the key to the whole world.
by Ted Hughes
courtesy New Library: The People's Network