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Forrest (Frosty) Troy
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Photo of Frosty TroyMy life-long love affair with the public library began in my childhood in McAlester where I was number six in a family of eight boys and a girl. My older brothers were all athletic, but I was the runt of the litter. I tried out for boxing, baseball, and basketball but was too little and too slow.

That’s when I discovered the McAlester Public Library and began my journey through a gazillion books. Much of my reading was guided by the head librarian, Mrs. Andy Gravitt. She was the reason my book reports always drew an “A.”

When I was assigned by the Tulsa Tribune as State Capitol correspondent in 1960, one of the first people I encountered was State Librarian Ralph Hudson. He was located on the first floor of the Capitol. He was in a heap of trouble because the Legislature was not only niggardly in its appropriations, there was talk about closing the library. I teamed up with Hugh Hall, Oklahoma city Times Capitol correspondent, and our stories paid a handsome dividend for Ralph.

Ralph then enlisted us in a campaign for a new idea—the bookmobile. Rural Oklahoma was badly underserved. Once again, the stories paid off and the rural-dominated Legislature came up with the funding.

I have continued my support, including running a free ad periodically to promote libraries. I also go after censors with a vengeance.

Today’s public library is a technological wonder, but the fanciest computer ever built will never replace the written word or the librarian who cares for the reader..

-- Frosty Troy, Editor
The Oklahoma Observer

Frosty Troy accepts the Library Legend Award

Frosty Troy accepts the Oklahoma Library Legend Award
from OLA President Pat Weaver-Meyers

April 2, 2007

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