Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Love your library!

"There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration." --Andrew Carnegie

Today's Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor noted today is the anniversary of the first circulating library in the United States -- Benjamin Franklin started the Library Company of Philadelphia on July 1, 1731. The library was a subscription library, and members paid an annual fee for borrowing privileges. Today, public libraries don't cost anything directly.

This week, love your library -- go visit and see what it has to offer. Libraries are free and offer so much, from a chance to check out craft and cookbooks before you buy to film series and concerts. They're universities for everyone. As science fiction legend Ray Bradbury said in the New York Times recently, “Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”

Today, with the financial struggles much of America faces, support your local library and make sure it stays open to everyone.

Image of Pittsburgh Library taken from Takomabibelot on Flickr.

1 comment:

  1. I love libraries! I didn't even KNOW it was LIBRARY day, but I went to the library today to get some free audiobooks. I gushed to my mom about the library, but she didn't have much in the way of meaningful comments back. But I love love love the library. LOVE IT. Most recently this was confirmed by the fact it had all the audiobooks I wanted.


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