The right to a public library

“What is the best gift which can be given to a community?” asked the most famous of these benefactors, Andrew Carnegie, in 18go. “A free library occupies the first place,” he declared in answer to his own question.”‘ Not everyone was of his opinion. In Britain, for instance, the truism that “a public library is essential for the welfare of a community” was not officially proclaimed until 185o, when the MP for Dumfries, William Ewart, forced a bill through Parliament establishing the right of every town to have a free public library.”‘ As late as 1832, Thomas Carlyle was angrily asking, “Why is there not a Majesty’s library in every county town? There is a Majesty’s jail and gallows in every one!”

The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel

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Krista Stevens

I'm a runner, reader, writer, and editor.

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