“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” ~ Harry Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States, at a time when the country was at war, and later, transition into peace. In his campaign for re-election (1948) Truman was famous for his “Whistlestop” tour of the country, speaking directly to the people.
“The Library is an open sanctuary. It is devoted to individual intellectual inquiry and contemplation. Its function is to provide free access to ideas and information. It is a haven of privacy, a source of both cultural and intellectual sustenance for the individual reader. Since it is thus committed to free and open inquiry on a personal basis, the Library must remain open, with access to it always guaranteed.”
Vosper (1913-1994) was an influential American librarian who taught at UCLA and Kansas University. He advocated for the thoughtful development of collections and international collaboration between libraries, including the development of multi-lingual collections. He was the winner of the prestigious Joseph W. Lippincott Award and recognized by American Libraries as one of the Top 100 Librarians of the 20th Century.
In 1970, Vosper refused to close the doors of the UCLA library in response to anti-war protests, despite instructions to do so by university leadership. Instead, he posted notice that the library would be considered a sanctuary devoted to the free access of information.
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” – Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was an American revolutionary and a founding father of the United States. At the age of 81, he participated as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention, delivering an influential speech that convinced many who still held doubts about one particular clause or another, to sign the document.