I wish that every member of the City Council could have been present at the library for one of the two sold-out lectures by Doris Kearns Goodwin this past Friday and Saturday. They would have seen, first hand, why we need a new lecture hall and why the hall has to be at the library.
Doris started by recalling her own childhood relationship with her local public library. She talked about her mother, who suffered from rheumatic heart disease, and could not travel, except through the pages of books. She talked about how, as a little girl, she had her own adult library card, and had the task of going to the library, to check out books for her mother. She talked about how she loved being able to turn left, into the adult section, rather than right, into the children’s section, how that made her feel that the whole world was open to her. And of course, her love of books, of reading, of research, has continued to this day, as she writes book after bestselling book.
It was, in short, a magical moment about the relationship of readers, books and libraries. That moment would not have happened in some anonymous distant movie theater; it happened because we were in a small public library. We need a new lecture hall, and we need it at the library.