“In the late 30’s, I made a discovery in the library that helped change my life. I had become manager of the school debate team, and on the advice of our coach, went to the Periodical-Reference Room. It was my first visit there. I was astonished to discover shelves dense with periodicals and newspapers from everywhere. And these with points of view and opinions differing from each other and, disturbingly, differing from mine. As I returned again and again to this room, I began to understand that what was meant by the freedom to read was the very thing I was experiencing. It was this: I was fortunate to be literate. There was no censorship. There was before me an incredible array of information from a wide spectrum of thought. It was available to any reader as well as to me. This was an awakening, and my respect for the freedom to read was never after emptily verbal. Nothing has since seemed less American to me than attempts to restrict a library’s holding to a particular taste or belief.” - Virginia Reichard

“In the late 30’s, I made a discovery in the library that helped change my life. I had become manager of the school debate team, and on the advice of our coach, went to the Periodical-Reference Room. It was my first visit there. I was astonished to discover shelves dense with periodicals and newspapers from everywhere. And these with points of view and opinions differing from each other and, disturbingly, differing from mine. As I returned again and again to this room, I began to understand that what was meant by the freedom to read was the very thing I was experiencing. It was this: I was fortunate to be literate. There was no censorship. There was before me an incredible array of information from a wide spectrum of thought. It was available to any reader as well as to me. This was an awakening, and my respect for the freedom to read was never after emptily verbal. Nothing has since seemed less American to me than attempts to restrict a library’s holding to a particular taste or belief.” – Virginia Reichard