Los que nos fuimos lejos
terminamos por no ser de ningún lado. Hace treinta años me fui de Medellín,
porque tenía la sospecha de que Cartagena sería un lugar más propicio para
hacer literatura. Hace veinte años me vine al país del sueño, porque en Cartagena
tenía que relegar la literatura a las horas fatigadas de la madrugada. Aquí
estudié, soy profesor, y después de muchos ires y venires encontré unas
condiciones que me permiten ganarme el
pan y tener tiempo para escribir sin tener que vivir de lo que escribo.
“goddess”, a “fire starter”, a “free spirit”, Marilla Waite Freeman (1870-1961)
was determined to make libraries the “power house of society”, and to use
literacy as the key for the pursuit of happiness. She was like a rock star.
Artists revered her, entire communities were indebted to her enthusiasm, the
small boys on the street would recognize her as “the library lady”. For seven
decades she embodied the spirit of librarianship.
obtained a degree in Literature from the University of Chicago (1897) and a Law
Degree from the University of Memphis (1921).
She was devoted most of her life to promoting the appreciation of poetry
and worked for libraries in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey,
Tennessee, Massachusetts, New York and Cleveland, where she was librarian of
the second largest public library in the country
seemed alien to her interest. In addition to her many influential articles on
general and reference librarianship, she wrote about censorship, the role of libraries
in war times, hospital libraries, adult education, the film industry, and the
relationships between the libraries and their communities. Her many
achievements and distinctions also included being a contributing writer to the Encyclopedia
Americana, being the First Vicepresident of the American Library
Association and receiving a Distinguished Service Medal on the 50th
Anniversary of the University of Chicago.
death, Marilla fell into oblivion. For almost five decades her legacy stayed in
the shadows. But now she is back to business and ready to be the inspiration
many people need. It is time for the Library Lady to become the living legend
she was meant to be.