Friday, May 06, 2011

Letters to the Children of Troy

From the Troy Public Library site:
In March 1970, Marguerite Hart became the first children’s librarian at the Troy Library. She was hired to plan children’s activities and to develop a children’s collection for the booming youth population in the City. Hart was a native of Detroit. Before arriving in Troy, Hart was the children’s librarian at the Madison Heights Public Library for three years.

In early 1971, Hart wrote to dozens of actors, authors, artists, musicians, playwrights, librarians, and politicians of the day. She asked them to write a letter to the children of Troy about the importance of libraries, and their memories of reading and of books. Hart received 97 letters addressed to Troy’s young people from individuals who spanned the arts, sciences, and politics across the 50 states, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, the Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.

Those writing included First Lady Pat Nixon; Michigan Governor William Milliken; then-Governor of California Ronald Reagan; Michigan State University President Clifton Wharton, Jr., the first African-American president of a major U.S. university; first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong; Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown; authors Isaac Asimov, Hardie Gramatky, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Ben Spock, and E.B. White; and actors Douglas Faribanks, Jr., Vincent Price, and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin.
The full collection of letters in PDF format.


Patricia Markert said...

This is pretty wonderful. I wonder what the letter from the librarian said. It is clear that we have moved from a period of letter writing to a different form of written communication. I loved reading these letters.

David Booker said...

Hi, Patricia. I agree it is pretty (I thought that was a southern adjective!) wonderful. More wonderful is that through your comment I found your blog. I plan on plagiarising it often!

rajumadhur said...

WoW! Thanks for the info man... I gonna put this info in the library board and am pretty sure that many of the fellow card holders will enjoy reading this info...... ;)


Technology Staff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Robertson said...


Thank you for the post about the collection of letters that we have here at the Troy Public Library. They are a wonderful snapshot of the times, and are an inspiration to us as the Library currently struggles against possible closure.


John Robertson
Head, Technology Department
Troy Public Library

maddy said...

Fantastic letter! I took the opportunity this morning to look at the letters received and it's inspiring to see such a wide variety of people cheering on the library and reading. Thank you for making this resource available..