Letters to the Editor_________________
Speaking up for the Wright Library
Re: Speak Up (7-23-09 and 7-24-09 issues Dayton Daily News)
“Metro library will ask voters for more money” and "Libraries are becoming obsolete, just like the post offices are. We need to deal with the facts and stop reminiscing about the good old days.”
My first thought upon reading this item in the paper was one of pity for its author. To not know the fun of browsing in friendly public library is to miss one of the great pleasures of growing up. I can remember going to the first Oakwood Library when it was on Park Avenue. Even though the rule was SILENCE, if you encountered a friend you could talk in whispers across a table or retreat to the stacks.
Oakwood high school teacher Catherine Hadeler was the first librarian at the spacious Wright Library in its present location.
When I returned home after serving three years in the Army overseas during World War II, I found my mother had saved a few letters addressed to me. Among them was one from Catherine Hadeler informing me that I owed the library forty eight cents on an overdue book.
Catherine and I later became dear friends since she and my mother spent their last years in the same retirement home. She and I would discuss art, a subject she was passionate about.
Near the front entrance to Wright Library are three benches for those who may want to sit outdoors to read. There is also an inscription on a stone showing that these were put there in memory of the late Oakwood icon Richard Pryor. The inscription reads: “A good book is a friend for life.” How true!
Learning to turn knobs and push buttons will never replace books as the road to creative and original thinking. Jacques Barzun, the great teacher and writer on art and music, in an essay entitled ‘The Centrality of Reading,’ says “Reading and its necessary twin, writing, constitute not merely an ability but a power.I mean that reading is not just a device by which we are reached and reach others for practical ends. It I also, and far more importantly, a mode of incarnating and shaping thought.”
People may argue about ecoomic or management factors but Wright Memorial Library is a community treasure, and we need to do whatever it takes to assure that that both entrances are used the way its architects intended.
David L. Smith
Library needs to downsize role
The Oakwood Library is short $300,000 in a $1,700,000 budget. Maybe rather than ask for the needed funds it is time to re-evaluate the function of the library in a 21st Century Oakwood. Oakwood has a number of attributes that make the current operations of the library redundant and in some way counter productive.
The use of the facilities of a public library has changed. The library should be a reference source. When I was a child, the libraries had pictures pasted on cardboard that we used in school reports. This is hardly necessary now.
These are my suggestions:
There would significant saving when these ideas are implemented. I am sure other ideas could be used to reduce the budget of the library. It has become time to accept a new lesser roll of the library in Oakwood.
James A. Broz
August 11, 2009
Volume 18, No. 32
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.