Nary A Book

April 12, 1893

Memphis spent every penny of a $75,000 endowment to construct Cossitt Library, its first, on the grand structure itself, and opened it with considerable fanfare and without a book.

One of the trustees of the project, the plain-spoken S.P. Read, told the newspaper that was exactly how he and other trustees intended it.

The sentiment was that the people of Memphis should not expect other folks to do everything for them. Here is a splendid building, presented to the people of this town. If now, if these people have not public spirit enough to put books into it, no further evidence should be required to prove that they don’t desire nor deserve to have a public library.