A LIBRARY

FergusonPublicLibrary

I spent some of the happiest times of my youth in public libraries.  I loved books, and I never lost my wonder over the fact that I could go someplace and find hundreds of books to browse through and the even more amazing fact that I could take any of them I wanted home to read.

ClevelandParkLibrary

Above is one I spent many hours in when I was a kid in Washington, D. C., in the Cleveland Park section of the city.

The public libraries were open to all but I felt totally at home in them, as much as I felt at home in my family’s living room.  I felt as though they existed just for me.  As civic institutions go, it just doesn’t get much better than public libraries.

SheldonLibSPSBaja

I went to a prep school with high academic standards but I got half my education, at least, at the excellent school library (above, with the red roofs), checking out and reading whatever I wanted to read.

FergusonLibrarySign

The Ferguson Public Library, which has stayed open through the troubles there, gives me hope — a center of quiet and peace and reflection and inquiry and knowledge in a town wracked with grief and rage and plain bewilderment.  The library has been on the news a lot and it has been deluged with contributions — so many that it may be able to hire a second full-time staff member.  It currently has one, plus a lot of volunteers.

I just sent a small contribution myself, and you should, too, here:

Ferguson Municipal Public Library

It’s not much to do, in the big picture of things, but it’s something, and it’s real.

NewYorkerArchCover

I don’t know where we’re going to find the keystone to finish the arch above, but I’m sure we’ll find some clues about it down at the library.

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