The rails of the printed page

In celebration of National Library Week, here’s a post from Washington’s poet laureate. What do you remember about your local public library when you were growing up? How has it changed since then? Do you think public libraries are important? I hope so.

Washington State Poet Laureate

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This week libraries across the country are celebrating National Library Week. We all have read, or heard, stories of how libraries have literary saved people’s lives. Those lives were perhaps mired in difficulty and libraries offered a way to engage with new ideas, imagine possibilities and experience lives different than their own.

Growing up in El Salvador I did not have any public libraries. I knew there was a National Library in San Salvador, the capital. There were probably libraries in larger towns, but they were not easily accessible nor part of the collective consciousness. My father and mother, both teachers, were avid readers so I was lucky to have many books at home. They showered me with books they thought useful for me to read. They signed me up for a Book-of-the-Month Club through which I read Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Juan Ramón Jímenez, and many of the Western…

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