Troy Public Library

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Letters to the Children of Troy

Phillip Kwik - Posted on

In May 1971, the Troy Public Library at 510 West Big Beaver opened its doors to the public.

To honor that occasion, then-Troy children's librarian Marguerite Hart wrote to dozens of actors, authors, artists, musicians, playwrights, librarians, and politicians of the day. She asked them to write a letter to the children of Troy about their memories of reading and of books, and the importance of libraries.

Dr. Seuss LetterHart received 97 Letters to the Children of Troy from individuals who spanned the arts, sciences, and politics across the 50 states, Canada, and several other countries. Those replying included First Lady Pat Nixon; Michigan Governor William Milliken; Governor of California (and future president) Ronald Reagan; first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong; Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown; authors Isaac Asimov, Hardie Gramatky, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Ben Spock, and E.B. White; and actors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Vincent Price, and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin.

Hardie Gramatky Letter

In collecting these letters, Marguerite Hart created a snapshot of the cultural and political landscape of the early 1970s. She accumulated a diverse anthology of letters that enriches the Troy Public Library’s remarkable history, and one that is a lasting tribute to the children of Troy – past, present, and future.

Several Letters to the Children of Troy are currently on display in the Troy Public Library's lobby. Visit the Library and take a look at these pieces of Troy history.

View all the letters here.

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Comments

Submitted by Jacqueline Pastreck (not verified) on

Just read the entire collection of letters.  What a fantastic collection and a great inspiration for not only the children of 1971 but to any child at any time.  Ms. Hart's efforts resulted in a lasting treasure for the citizens of Troy.  I am hopeful that your library will continue to operate in the years ahead.  When I lived in the area, I made many many trips to the library and was always so pleased with the information I found and the helpfulness of the staff and the quality of the children's programs.  Best wishes to the library staff as well as the citizens of Troy in finding a means to keep your library open and serving the community.

Submitted by Jami (not verified) on

What a fantastic collection of letters!  I grew up in northern Oakland County, so anytime I see an article referrring to libraries and Michigan, I'm always interested.  I took the opportunity this morning to look at the letters received and it's inspiring to see such a wide variety of people cheering on the library and reading.  Thank you for making this resource available, and I hope that the city of Troy will be able to continue to enjoy your services for many years to come.