Thorner: Library devoted to Liberty opens at Heartland Institute
May 12, 2016
Thursday, May 12, 2016
By Nancy Thorner –
The Michael Parry Mazur Memorial Library at the Heartland Institute’s new facility in Arlington Heights celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. A wine and cheese reception and library tours were offered before the main program began and continued after the formal program ended.
Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas Hayes; Dr. John Mazur, after whose brother, Michael Parry Mazur, the new library is named
Dr. John Mazur was on hand to talk about his family and the donation that put the name of his brother on the library. The youngest of four boys, Dr. Mazur brought smiles to the audience by noting he is a bee keeper with “800,000 residents in his back yard.”
Dr. Mazur described his brother Michael as a talented libertarian economist. Very bright and academically minded – having even studied Arabic which, was almost unheard of decades ago – Michael Parry Mazur graduated from Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a Ph.D. in economics. He was a staff economist at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C., serving under presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Michael Parry Mazur passed away in 1987 from cancer at age 39. Before his death, Dr. Mazur said, his brother confessed that the sadist part of his life was not getting cancer, but failing to win his group in the Boston Marathon. Michael had run it several times, and was considered a shoo-in to win, but was unable to compete when he was struck with cancer.
Joseph Davis, an ardent reader and a professional librarian, helped prepare Heartland’s Michael Parry Mazur Library over the last two months. Davis stressed how old books can be just as important today as when they were published. Davis compared books to individuals, much like private actors competing in the free market. Accordingly, reading a book is like having a talk with the author. Books that span the ages produce good citizens, so that free men and women do not perish from the earth.
Diane Carol Bast, executive editor and finance manager at Heartland, is the wife of Joe Bast and was instrumental in organizing the library. She recounted how she never helped Joe collect and organize his library at home because that was his space. So it was ironic she had such a hand in building this one – including an online database from which you can browse every book in the library. There are 16 categories organized by topic, including a Socialism and Soviet Studies section. It is not organized the way a public library is, but is laid out more like a research library. For instance, you’ll see Milton Friedman’s works in the economics section, but also separately in the education section.
The library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but it would be best to call ahead before arriving to make an appointment (312-377-4000). As noted above, the library does not yet lend books, but there is a wealth of material to explore and no admission fee. Further amenities include available study space, free wi-fi, and access to copiers and printers.
If you have books on economics, politics, public policy, philosophy, and other intellectual pursuits (including biographies of significant public figures), you can donate those books to the Michael Parry Mazur Library – even if you have notes written in the margins and sections highlighted or underlined. Duplicates of books already on the shelves are also accepted.
Click on the link below to see video of the Grand Opening presentations, announcing the creation of the largest collection of books about free markets and liberty in the Midwest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcxRxkHalYQ
Upcoming events at Heartland
Upcoming events https://www.heartland.org/events/ at The Heartland Institute include three free movie nights with screenings of the recent Atlas Shrugged movies – parts one, two, and three. In 1957, Ayn Rand introduced the world to a new kind of hero, molded from the best within man, a hero who exemplified the joy of individual achievement. With passion and conviction, Atlas Shrugged speaks to the hero in all of us.
Join Heartland and fellow lovers of liberty for this special series of Heartland Movie Nights, in which each part of the trilogy will be shown on three Wednesdays in a row.
Doors to Heartland’s Andrew Breitbart Freedom Center open at 5:30 p.m. and the film rolls at 6, followed by a group discussion at the end. To register for this free event, click here: https://www.heartland.org/events/movie-night-atlas-shrugged-part-1