Sentiments about Vermont libraries, or from Vermonters about libraries.
“To me the most amazing thing about libraries and the reason I like to go there when I’m traveling is because no matter where I am, the public libraries belong to me. I’m the public. It’s for me. How magical is that?
Like I think for a lot of people maybe they get that from other places, maybe they get that from their workplace, maybe they get that from their church, maybe they get that from their community center. But I don’t have those places. I have the libraries. They’re all mine. And everyone’s. And I think you can’t really understate how rare it is to have a thing that’s for everyone.”
— Jessamyn West, Vermont library technologist in her interview with Rumblestrip Vermont.
“One of the things that fascinates me in the USA is public libraries. Books have to me an irresistible power. Books are my faithful friends, always there, ready to help, giving themselves with no reserve, never asking for something in return.
I was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1929. As I was growing up, all I could find to read were booklets of fascist propaganda, or religious pamphlets. So it was: Fascism and Religion, two forces denying light to my mind. I will never forget the immense damage that those two forces caused to me and my entire generation.
To live in the USA is for me a great privilege. Here, I’m free to choose, to walk inside public libraries and to feel at home. A friendly, happy home.”
— Piero Bonamico, Sr., Barre, VT Resident, in his Letter to the Editor published in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus
“If you want something done ask a librarian; if you really want something done, ask a Vermont librarian!”
— Judy Platt, Director of Freedom to Read for the Association of American Publishers, 2010, regarding VLA Intellectual Freedom Committee work with Senator Patrick Leahy’s office to write The SPEECH Act against libel tourism.
“It may be asked what will the town profit by a library?…Ask the boy, taken perhaps by his parents reluctantly from the schoolhouse to the field or the workshop at the age of fifteen, feeling as I once felt, as though youthful ambition and hopes had been nipped by an early frost and who now at least requests a chance to read the Life of Franklin, or of Columbus, or of Andrew Jackson or of Abraham Lincoln: Ask him. Reject the Town Library, and his modest request may be denied. Behold, as his hopes are postponed, the answer, on his robust face, in the quivering lip…”
— Justin Smith Morrill, US Congregational Senator from Vermont, 1883, at the dedication of the library in his home town of Strafford, VT. From: Borgmann, Carl W. “The Education of Free Men.” Vermont History 25 31–45. Print
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