Letters to Children in Michigan on the Opening of Their New Library in 1971

It was the spring of 1971, and the public library in Troy, Mich., was finally getting a permanent home. As the grand opening neared, Marguerite Hart—the children’s librarian—dreamed up a way to inspire Troy’s youngsters to come to the new library: she wrote dozens of letters to actors, politicians, and authors from across the globe. Hart asked them to address the children of Troy and speak about the importance of libraries, books, and reading.

By the time the library opened, 97 letters had graced her mailbox. Here’s a snapshot of what they had to say.