Date: April 30, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
Occasional discussion has been given to furnishing better library facilities for rural communities. Very little action has resulted. In spite of our great centers of population we are still far from being an urban people. A great mass of our inhabitants live in the country and have all the disadvantages as well as the strength of that kind of life. They are a large and important element in the nation.
Since the opening of the century much progress has been made in the schools of the rural sections. The telephone, radio, motion picture, automobile and good roads have done much for their improvement. Newspapers and periodicals reach nearly everywhere. But there is still a wide area and millions of people without access to any libraries. In spite of all the other facilities books are the principal permanent repository of knowledge and culture. An individual may make progress without books, but the people as a whole are dependent on them. Where there is the most leisure and the least outside diversion the need for books and the benefits from them are the greatest. Provision for rural libraries would be a public service of the first importance.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Greg Harkenrider who prepared this document for digital publication.