Monday, June 02, 2003
More than 300 persons jammed the Westport Public Library today to honor novelist and journalist Pete Hamill.
The Booked for the Eveningӓ event included readings of Hamills works by performers Joanne Woodward, Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon, as well as columnist Mike Lupica. There were also musical selections by songstress Susan Terry tied to HamillҒs career.
Hamill told the crowd that he spent many days as a youngster in the library in his native Brooklyn and he felt that by honoring him, the library was really honoring all libraries.
Libraries are temples of human memory ӗ without them we lose our memory, he said.
He said it was important to have Hitler as well as Homer in libraries because ԓwe must have shadows as as well as light.
Hamill praised philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for donating so much money to libraries around the country, including 65 in New York City and added, ԓImagine Donald Trump doing that?
The author won applause from the audience when he denounced federal agents being authorized to snoop into library lending records as part of increasing homeland security.
ԓI dont think anyone should come into a library and demand to know what people are reading,Ҕ he said.
Hamill drew laughter from the crowd when he said it had taken him years to figure out why librarians always whispered. His explanation: They knew they were working in a temple.Ӕ
The “Booked for the Evening” event is the library’s annual fundraiser. Previous winners of the Westport Library Award were Tom Brokaw, E.L. Doctorow, Calvin Trillin and Wendy Wasserstein.
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thanks for your ny post column in 1971 entitled raisin in the sun . i too enjoyed the brooklyn libraries when i attended manual training high school. god speed