The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life.
When John P. Cosgrove donated his personal library to the Pittston Memorial Library we called it a gift of a lifetime because in essence, that is exactly what this gift is. It is a gift of the lifetime of Mr. Cosgrove, not merely his vast collection of books, but also his collection of personal photographs (he's been photographed with every president since Herbert Hoover), his correspondence and his artifacts.
And since this collection spans Mr. Cosgrove's 70-plus career working in the nation's capital, it can only enhance the education of young students. Children studying about John F. Kennedy, for example, are now able to go to their local library and learn that someone born and raised in their own home town actually knew President Kennedy.
The Board of Trustees of the library is to be commended for appreciating the value of the Cosgrove collection and for undertaking an expansion project to not only offer the collection appropriate space in which to be displayed but also to provide the community with additional services including a proposed inter-generational program aimed at grandparents raising their grandchildren.
The groundbreaking Thursday for the Cosgrove Annex was surely exciting for the trustees but also a bit frightening, we suspect. Much of the funding is through a federal loan which, although obtained at a very low interest rate, must be paid back. A capital campaign is underway to accomplish this and we urge participation with gifts large or small.
We hope the additional space also allows for the display of other historical items that illustrate the contributions of other Greater Pittstonians. Too often it is only through an obituary that we learn of such accomplishments which deserve to be on display for all.
And what better place than in the library, helping history to come to life.