I write to call your attention to the important role played by The New York Society Library in the literary and intellectual life of New York.
I have myself been a member of the Library for so long that I can no longer recall exactly when I joined. I know that during the seventeen years that I served The New York Times as its art critic, I found the Library an indispensable resource in my work. Somehow, the book I needed—and needed, usually, in a hurry in order to meet a deadline—could always be found in the stacks. Nowadays my writing encompasses many fields of intellectual endeavor—literature, politics, journalism, history, as well as art—and I still find the Library my most dependable source for otherwise hard-to-find old titles and the most serious new ones. Nor am I alone in the kind of intellectual dependence I have come to rely upon at the Library. Many of the writers I work with on a regular basis feel very much as I do.
The Library should indeed be recognized as a pillar of the literary and intellectual life of New York.