“I am inclined to think, sir, that perhaps the two most valuable and satisfactory characteristic products of American civilization are the librarian, on the one hand, and the cocktail on the other. I will not attempt, sir, the delicate question of deciding which is best, but I am given to understand that some of us have sampled both and found them equally satisfactory and equally stimulating.”
—Croydon (England) Public Librarian L. Stanley Jast, responding on behalf of overseas visitors to a welcoming address by Louisiana Purchase Exposition President David Francis, at the first session of ALA Annual
Conference, Oct. 17, 1904, held at the St. Louis World’s Fair.
[many thanks to American Libraries Direct, newsletter of the American Library Association, for calling my attention to this excellent quote]