Reader letters: For the love of libraries, Elliot Roberts and Judy Garland

Author Susan Orlean (“The Library Book”) in the Los Angeles Public Library.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Here’s to the love of libraries

Regarding Martin Wolk’s review of Susan Orlean’s book “Libraries Evolve Beyond Books” [June 23]: Libraries are a treasure that continue to enrich society. As the world evolves, so do libraries. Not only are libraries treasure troves of information, they also are bastions of services — ranging from the InfoNow Dept. at the Los Angeles Public Library (which Orlean cited in an excerpt from “The Library Book”) to the Veterans Resource Center, newly housed at the Huntington Beach library.

From the public library founded by Thomas Bodley in England in 1602 to the philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie, who played an essential role in funding public libraries throughout the English-speaking world in the 19th century, public libraries have been an indispensable component of our culture. May public libraries continue to survive and thrive as we speed into the question mark of our future.


Ben Miles

Huntington Beach

A farewell to Elliot Roberts

No one could have been a better choice to write on the passing of Elliot Roberts than Randy Lewis [“Elliot Roberts, 1943-2019: Manager for Rock Legends Young, Mitchell and Dylan”]. I’m 63 and to me, Roberts was a name on the periphery, one most closely associated with Neil Young, but I had no idea of his influence on so many artists and the industry itself.


It’s not the facts presented in the piece that I admire so much. In the present day, facts can be found everywhere. It’s the prose, the weaving of those facts to tell a story of an interesting, influential man who great musical artists wanted in their sphere. Is it any wonder that David Geffen and Roberts chose “Asylum” as their new label’s name?

Lewis’ obituary fleshed his career out wonderfully, so much so that I wish it had been longer.

Cy Bolton



Recordings lost to 2007 inferno

Regarding “Artists Sue Over Recordings Ruined in Fire” [June 23]: The word “decimate” originally meant, and still logically should be used to mean, “to kill one-tenth.”

But, worse, the meaning of the phrase “surfaced last week” as used in this story is a sad admission that The Times missed another important story in its own backyard.

Fred Glienna



Judy Garland, 50 years gone

Regarding Susan King’s “Judy Garland’s Enduring Legend” [June 20]: If there was ever an example of Hollywood eating up and spitting out a very young, innocent and extremely talented singer, entertainer and actress, it was indeed Judy Garland.

From MGM’s Louis B. Mayer spiking her food and drink with barbiturates to accommodate a ridiculously strenuous production schedule for a young girl, to an overzealous and abusive stage mother working a child to the depths of physical and mental exhaustion (according to Mary Astor’s biography), Garland’s roller-coaster life and her career ended in tragedy.


To those who claim the ridiculously false notion that pain and suffering are absolute necessities for creativity: No, the aesthetic drive in artists is so strong that they create in spite of their personal demons or destructive, negative experiences foisted upon them by others.

Garland was one of the greatest performers of all time and is still appreciated and revered to this day.

Rick Solomon

Lake Balboa