By William G.
Every story has a beginning and mine began when my mother brought me to 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA. There she introduced me to the librarian. Taking me by the hand she said, “So young man, you like books”, followed by some serious questions. “What would you like to be? Who would you like to know? Would you like to visit the past, see into the future, or perhaps fly on the wings of a dragon? Would you like to see the invisible man or travel into outer space? Could you live on another planet? Doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs all live here in Mr. Carnegie’s Library. All the books you see on those shelves hold the keys to all you can be or ever imagine. They have the answer to some of life’s deepest mysteries. I hold the key to unlock the door to all these books you see. I am your librarian. I have the key that can help you find whatever you want to know or be…all free. It’s called a library card.”
In the sixty eight years that have passed my love affair with books has never abated. Of all the places I have been and all the friends I have known, one name stands alone. I simply call my best friend, librarian. To all the librarians who helped me find a book, to those who understood how much love and time it takes to show a child the way, as you walk among the books today helping someone find their way, perhaps if you listen very carefully, you can hear the echoes of a thousand thanks joining with mine. Dear librarian, from every mountain top, shady tree, river or brook where I paused to read a book, comes my shout of thanks to each of you. So to those who would like to take the journey with me, the door is open. It only takes a library card and a good librarian. It’s not hard. As long as there are books and dedicated librarians, no man, woman, or child can be held captive or be a slave to ignorance. Take the key they so generously offer, it will unlock what I promise you will be a never ending journey. Some sage advice from an old man on how to make your librarian smile, say thank you and return your books on time. Your adventure begins with a library card.