Georgina H. Garth
Athens-Limestone Public Library Foundation
Library a symbol of community
A public building tells us what citizens of that place value. The grand British Museum conveys their sense of pride in their long and storied history.
The mighty Reichstag Parliament building in Berlin portrays the now solidly democratic German people, who overcame Nazi and Communist dictatorships. The imposing white stone obelisk of the Washington Monument states we value the memory of one who brought us to where we are today.
Likewise our new Athens-Limestone Library. It states to any visitor that we value public education. We place a manifest, concrete value on the free distribution of knowledge. For, by so doing, all members of our community can benefit. It states that all of us in this community are considered worthy of being an informed citizen. The collected sum of human knowledge in all its forms, in books, but also in newspapers, in journals and magazines, and in computer-generated information, is there for anyone with a library card. And this library worthy of our town shows that we are an open minded, educated community; that we want more than one channel or one point of view, and welcome new ideas.
Our Athens library is a ‘yes’ to public awareness. It is a center for public knowledge, but also salutes community. Visitors will see we aren’t afraid of cultural activities, for we will have the great auditorium and discussion rooms. They’ll see we aren’t afraid of an educated public, because such people are more open to reasonable public debate; they can make better-informed decisions on the public good. An educated people are also wary of, and less easily deceived by, one-note ideologues. To paraphrase that great conservative statesman Edmund Burke, a good education is the cheapest form of national defense.
Perhaps someone who wants to move his company here might be attracted by a town which states we are all in this together, and education is important enough to pay for it.
John W. Davis