From Peter Rabbit to Harry Potter and Back
|Let's build a pillow fort and read all night|
Another Smith graduation speaker, Alistair Cooke, notoriously told the class of 1954 that their way to the top would be determined by whom they married.
I want to do old Alistair one better, and tell you that you don’t get to the top by marrying someone. A much simpler way is to sleep your way to the top."
Everything I am is based on this ugly building on its lonely lawn - lit up during winter darkness; open in the slashing rain - which allowed a girl so poor she didn’t even own a purse to come in twice a day and experience actual magic: traveling through time, making contact with the dead - Dorothy Parker, Stella Gibbons, Charlotte Bronte, Spike Milligan.
A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer but a citizen, instead.
…A library is such a potent symbol of a town’s values: each one closed down might as well be six thousand stickers plastered over every available surface, reading “WE CHOSE TO BECOME MORE STUPID AND DULL.”
…Kids - poor kids - will never know the fabulous, benign quirk of self-esteem of walking into “their” public library and thinking, “I have read 60 percent of the books in here. I am awesome.” Libraries that stayed open during the Blitz will be closed by budgets. A trillion small doors closing."