Previous | Next
760761762763764765766767768769770771772773774775776777778779780781782783784785786787788789790791792793794795796797798799800801 of 824
place where you get books--the branches. We help people find
employment. We tell them what the services are, if they need medical
help or their pensions or their social security. It's a general
service facility. It's the last sort of community house in the
communities. The librarians have to be very well trained because
they have to be able to do all this. We also have to train Chinese
librarians because there are certain areas here where if you don't
have a Chinese librarian you might as well not have a library.
You've got to have people who can understand Haitians, which isn't
always very easy.
You have spoken of the analogy between the Statue of Liberty and
the New York Public Library, I believe.
[laughs] I was told you had. I guess you haven't.
No I don't think I said that. America is populated by
people who came through Ellis Island, which is also at the Statue of
Liberty. They move in to various sections of New York City, and a
lot of them have got their sort of primary education out of the
branches. Some have gotten practically their total. There's an
author and critic at Yale--professor at Yale--who wrote me a letter
saying, “My education started in a very small branch in the Bronx.
Then I went to the Fordham Library Center, which was a bigger one,
and I got more education there. Then I spent years at the
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help