In 1971, prior to the opening of Troy, Michigan’s first public library, children’s librarian Marguerite Hart began a letter writing campaign asking notable individuals to share their memories of reading and illustrate the importance of libraries. She hoped these notes would inspire the city’s youth. Hart received 97 letters in return, from celebrities, politicians, and authors, including Dr. Seuss, Neil Armstrong, E.B. White, Pearl Buck, Ronald Reagan, and Douglas Fairbanks. The notes are eloquent, touching and thoughtful — Michigan State University President Clifton Wharton rhapsodizes on the responsibility of knowledge while Isaac Asimov writes that a library is “a friend that will amuse you and console you.” After the jump are some of our favorite letters to Troy’s children — to see all 97, head to the Troy Public Library website.