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This column was on the editorial page on the "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette" today, 
March 7, 2002. No author is given. I thought you might
be interested...

Gift to a Library

     The size of Jim Blair's gift to the Fayetteville library isn't what's most 
impressive about it - although the gift is a big 'un: $3 million.
     That's thought to be the biggest single gift ever made to a public library in 
Arkansas. But what really registered was Jim Blair's
memories of a librarian who was nice to a 7-year-old. The 7 -year-old was little 
Jim, back in the 1940's, and the librarian worked at the
Fayetteville library. She let young Blair take home a box full of books every 
Mr. Blair said her actions probably violated every check-out policy that existed 
back then. But she knew him and trusted him with those
precious books. She knew he'd be back the next week for another boxfull.
     Jim Blair's story will sound familiar to anybody who ever fell in love with a 
library at an impressionable age. Love catches most of us by
surprise. Sometimes the most unlikely candidate will get swept off his feet by 
those rows and rows of books, and all the previously
unimagined worlds they opened. Jim Blair knows the feeling, and he remembered it 
after all these years.
    This gift gets the library close to the $23 million needed to build and equip 
its new building.
    We'd bet that the library makes its ambitious goal. There are a lot of folks 
out there who love their libraries, and remember.

Judy Stewman, Librarian
De Queen High School
1803 W. Coulter Drive
De Queen, AR 71832

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