Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I am with Jane Austen on this one

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

― Jane Austen

Being one of those trivial personages who enjoys novels, I have to agree with Janes sentiments. A good novel brings much pleasure to the reader who engages. Non fiction is informative, but the novel illuminates human nature.


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Monday, April 22, 2013

A Tribute to Andrew Carnegie - Libraries

Andrew Carnegie a well known American (born in Scotland) tycoon was also a philanthropist of note. While not many remember his role with relation to steel, many still treasure his contribution to the dissemination of knowledge through his funding of the establishment of hundreds of libraries worldwide.

I for one, applaud this generosity of spirit, from someone who had no need to do so.

A Carnegie library is a library built with money donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929, including some belonging to public and university library systems. 1,689 were built in the United States, 660 in Britain and Ireland, 125 in Canada, and others in Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, the Caribbean, Mauritius and Fiji.

Few towns that requested a grant and agreed to his terms were refused. When the last grant was made in 1919, there were 3,500 libraries in the United States, nearly half of them built with construction grants paid by Carnegie.

This is a truly amazing educational legacy.


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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Roger Darnton on The Republic of Letters

All of us are citizens in a republic much larger than the Republic of America. It is the Republic of Letters, a realm of the mind that extends everywhere, without police, national boundaries, or disciplinary frontiers. From the age of the Enlightenment it was open to all; but only a few could exercise their citizenship, for only a minority could read or afford to buy books.