When the Troy Public Library on 510 West Big Beaver opened in 1971, children’s librarian Marguerite Hart wrote to a host of famous names asking them to reply with a congratulatory letter, addressed to the children of Troy. Each letter should explain the value in using the library.
She received 97 replies. The Letters to the Children of Troy are wonderful.
7301 Encelia Drive
La Jolla, California 92037
Dear Children of Troy:
That’s the advice of your good friend, Dr. Seuss
16 March 1971
Dear Boys and Girls,
Congratulations on the new library, because it isn’t just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you—and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.
(Signed, ‘Isaac Asimov’)
APR 13 1971
The Young Citizens of Troy, Michigan
c/o/ Mrs. Marguerite A. Hart
Young People’s Librarian
5044 Rochester Road
Troy, MI 48084
Congratulations on the opening of the City of Troy’s first public library, a facility that will serve and benefit you and your community. I urge each of you to visit it often and explore the books that line its shelves by reading them; for reading is a unique form of exploration that will enrich your lives. It is a special way to discovery and knowledge.
Each book holds an experience and an adventure. Your guide is the author. Through books you will meet poets and novelists whose creations will fire your imagination. You will meet the great thinkers who will share with you their philosophies, their concepts of the world, of humanity and of creation. You will learn about events that have shaped our history, of deeds both noble and ignoble. All of this knowledge is yours for the taking. It is something you will have always and that will grow in sharing.
Knowledge is fundamental to all human achievements and progress. It is both the key and the quest that advances mankind. The search for knowledge is what brought men to the moon; but it took knowledge already acquired to make it possible to get there.
How we use the knowledge we gain determines our progress on earth, in space or on the moon. Your library is a storehouse for mind and spirit. Use it well.
Neil A. Armstrong
Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics
E. B. WHITE
NORTH BROOKLIN, MAINE
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’)
Dear Children of Troy
Your library is more full of good things than a candy store or a pirate’s chest. What you get from books is not only pleasurable and valuable but it lasts all the rest of your life.
I send my love to all of you.” ~ Ben Spock
Via: Letters of Note
Would you like to support Flashbak?
Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.