A Letter from Chair Junot Diaz

Dear Reader,

It is my honor to invite you to participate in the 27th annual Stay Home and Read a Book Ball!

This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to support the incredible work of the Los Angeles Public Library. Our libraries, in their promotion and practice of literacy, in their providing free access of information to all, in their diverse educational and artistic programs, in their astounding egalitarianism, represent what is best about our society. And what is best about us. Libraries are not only the finest expression of our democratic sensibilities, they also help to sustain and expand the very same democratic ideals that produced them and which are forever under assault.

Like many of you I came of age in my public library. On weekends and holidays I’d make the long walk to the Old Bridge Public Library no matter what the weather. Two miles and change and yet that seemed like no distance at all. I’m still that guy who walks into every library he sees no matter what the country. Jorge Luis Borges hoped that heaven would be like a library and at every library in our country you will see in bold what for Borges was only a dream—a sacred place of community, of learning, of free information, of hope. Libraries not only make lives, they can save them too. Believe me, I know. And I suspect some of you do too.

So here is our chance. Help the Los Angeles Public Library with your donations and then on March 1, 2015 join the Stay Home and Read a Book Ball by doing exactly that—staying at home and reading a book. Saving lives and saving the future by the simple act of reading—I ask you: what could be more heavenly than that?

Junot Diaz, Chair