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Wow, that is some kind of memory!
About the library, I’m not sure exactly what the controversy was, but there was some kind of movement afoot to check people’s reading habits at public libraries and Sargent was strongly in favor of the custom of considering library card records private.
It was after the McCarthy era and too early for Nixon, so I really don’t know who was behind it. But it was one of the first political issues I remember becoming aware of. I was still at the age where people outside the family and immediate neighborhood were kind of shadowy figures. My mother was an avid reader and we used the library a lot.
What I have read about the McCarthy era sounded scary. Checking reading habits, sounds like "big brother" is nosey. I am glad we live in a country where we are free to read what we want.