Saturday, September 19, 2009

More than a Library

Sacramento Public Library is more than a Library, a storage place of books and magazines, where materials may be take out, then brought back so others may use them. Our Library is more than a place where people come to look for work, check their portfolios, or watch movies and play games, surf the Internet or check their email.

Our Library is a place where memories are collected, history is recorded, ideas grow. Within the Library are three places, collections, where people, anyone, may come and search the past, to understand the present and plan for the future.

On the balcony, ringing the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, lives the Sacramento Room. Its purpose is to collect and archive anything about Sacramento. Books, magazines, pamphlets, photographs, ephemera and much more, are found in this exquisite room. It is the place to start, and finish, when looking for local history.

On the third floor, tucked into a corner of the Central Library, is an archive of magazines in print and on microfilm, from current issues to those dating back to the early 1800's. Published mostly in the United States (with some from the United Kingdom) patrons can discover clues to the lifestyles, politics, entertainment and thinking of the people in our growing country.

Finally, hidden away in a closed area, but found on the Online Catalog, are Federal Documents, the essential history, policy and thinking of the United States Government. From the beginning of our nation, the American State Papers of 1776 and the Congressional Globe (now Congressional Record) of 1835, the investigations of the War of the Rebellion to Watergate, these documents give a blow by blow account of United States History.

Sacramento Public Library is more, much more, than a simple Library of best sellers and popular materials. These three collections are integral to the community of Sacramento, the history of California, the growth of the United States, and our place in the world in which we live.

Gerald F. Ward

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