Isaac Asimov on How Libraries Can Radically Change Your Life (1971)

Back in 1971, Isaac Asi­mov sent a let­ter to cel­e­brate the open­ing of a new library in Troy, Michi­gan. Thought­ful as always, his let­ter addressed the chil­dren of the Troy com­mu­ni­ty as fol­lows: “Con­grat­u­la­tions on the new library, because it isn’t just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the far­thest reach­es of the Uni­verse, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and con­sole you—and most of all, a gate­way, to a bet­ter and hap­pi­er and more use­ful life.”

In total, 97 writ­ers (includ­ing Dr. Spock, Dr. Seuss and E.B. White) sent let­ters to mark the occa­sion. You can read through them in the Troy Library Flickr stream here.

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Relat­ed Con­tent

Isaac Asi­mov Laments the “Cult of Igno­rance” in the Unit­ed States (1980)

Isaac Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Wit­ty, Eru­dite Atheist’s Guide to the World’s Most Famous Book

Isaac Asi­mov Pre­dicts the Future of Civilization–and Rec­om­mends Ways to Ensure That It Sur­vives (1978)

How Isaac Asi­mov Went from Star Trek Crit­ic to Star Trek Fan & Advi­sor

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.