, Salem, MA

May 5, 2014

Letter: Support public libraries

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

In this dark era of constricted individual rights, our public libraries represent a shining beacon, perhaps the last vestige of America’s expressive freedom. With encroachments on constitutional rights all too frequent, public libraries are a symbolic sanctuary, a living, palpable community deserving undying support. Where else can one become inspired to investigate wondrous insights, behold timeless literary treasures, pursue quests of profound spiritual and intellectual wisdom?

We must never countenance certain dubious interpretations of the First Amendment claiming the right not to be offended by unpopular ideas. Unfortunately, human intellectual progress in America is hampered by the tyranny of such politically correct impositions. Unlike the literal burning of the ancient library at Alexandria, our modern public libraries’ destruction is metaphorical, in that there are those wishing to impose control; what is deemed popularly acceptable to read, or not to read.

Left free of censorship, public libraries are the cherished bedrock of healthy societies, hallmarks of strong communities, oases in America’s cultural wasteland.

Steve Perkins