Dennis Lehane on Public Libraries, Writers, and Freedom

On March 23, 2013, I traveled to Seattle to attend the King County Library System’s Literary Lions Gala at the Bellevue Hyatt.

Award-winning writer and Boston resident, Dennis Lehane gave the keynote.

In his 30 minute talk he spoke about the importance of the Boston Public library in his own life and more generally about the importance of libraries to our society, to the concepts of liberty, freedom, the pursuit of knowledge, and opportunities that come from that pursuit.

I was really excited to get a decent recording of Dennis’ talk and looked forward to posting it here when the time was right. I did not expect that the time would be now, nor that the circumstances that compel me to post it would be so tragic.

Yesterday Dennis posted a brief note on his Facebook page where he responded publicly to the day’s events. In that note he wrote,

When I watch the footage of the first explosion, I look at the Boston Public Library Main Branch across the street, and I think no matter who they turn out to be–Islamic jihadists, home grown militia, neo-Nazis, something else–what really scares them, what they truly hate, is the access to knowledge that building exemplifies.

Thoughts are with all the victims and their families, and with the citizens of Boston.