Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Remembering writer and friend of UK Libraries, John Egerton


UK Libraries lost a great friend and supporter with the passing of award-winning writer and journalist John Egerton.  John graduated from UK and later worked in the UK public relations office.  His writing focused on the south with specific emphasis on race relations and the civil rights movement, education, and other cultural topics including southern cuisine. 

John was presented the UK Libraries Award for Intellectual Achievement at our Annual Dinner last spring.  In his remarks he offered a passionate and thoughtful case for the importance of libraries now and in the future.  I found a particular passage to be inspiring and thought I would share it with you (it is also quoted in the latest edition of “Speaking Volumes.”
“Anytime I find myself in the company of librarians, friends of libraries and lovers of books, I feel at home.  There could be no more essential institution to me than the library.  Without it, I could never have become a writer, nor could I explain or justify now the way I have spent my days and years. 

Libraries are to me - to most writers – what hospitals are to doctors or courthouses to lawyers, or garages to mechanics.  They are the places where a practitioner’s skill and instinct and judgment are brought to bear against an unanswered question or an unsolved problem.  Libraries are my proving ground, and whatever I have accomplished as a writer I attribute in substantial measure to institutions such as these, and to the people who give them life.”

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