What is a library?

Letters of Note is rapidly becoming my favourite website.  The latest entry publishes letters sent by famous childrens' authors on the opening of a new library in the US in 1971.  Here's what Isaac Asimov told the children of Troy, Michigan.  A library is:

... a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you---and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.
Meanwhile, EB White told them:
A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people---people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.
Rather wryly, the article goes on to say that this library is now 'dodging closure'.