In 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his famous "I Have A dream" speech in Washington D.C.. It was, as it is now, a testament to the faith of King that one day America would set things right and that all people would be equal under the law. His words are preserved in history books, libraries and historical museums across this great land. On this day of observance of this man's remarkable life, it seems appropriate to share new dreams. Not to take away from this man's life work, which is impressive and perhaps can never be matched again, but to learn from his work in order to give librarians a bit of inspiration.
I have a dream that one day all libraries, in every city, whether large or small will be open for every child who seeks to read and learn. The threats of closing the library's doors forever will never be a threat that will cross the minds and hearts of any citizens.
I have a dream that literacy programs for children in the form of story hours, will never cease. Children of all races, all ages and all income levels should enjoy the benefits of early literacy activities.
I have a dream that libraries across the country will roll out more Bookmobiles to go where there are few opportunities for children to get to a library on their own.
I have a dream that schools will find funding for their school libraries to ensure that students receive a well rounded education that is made possible with the support of a media center.
I have a dream that libraries will never give up on fighting for the rights of every individual to have access to books, computers and lifelong learning.
This may seem a little over the top to those who do not work in a library or use their library often. After all one could point out that King's dream was of a higher calling then what one librarian dreams for the future. However, it can be argued that this little dream fits in well with what King hoped for over forty-nine years ago. King believed that everyone should have the same opportunities to succeed in this great land of ours. What better place to learn, to grow and to chase a dream then at the local library? Whether by reading fiction that stir the soul or self-education through non-fiction titles, the library offers the same opportunity to all to learn, read and grow. It was Lady Bird Johnson who said it best, "Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest."
A salute to Martin Luther King and his lasting legacy of hope and equality. It has changed our nation for the better and it still inspires us today to reach for the very best within ourselves to be better than we can ever dream.