Many months ago, when this project was still a long way off from being much more than a collection of ideas scribbled down in two Moleskine notebooks (how many projects have started that way, I wonder), I found myself waiting to talk with a lovely librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library’s main branch. I’d love to talk more about that conversation (with the charming and insightful Laura Pershin) in the near future, but for now I just wanted to throw out this little tidbit that I came across while browsing the AADL’s website.

Words and music by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, 1944. Performed by Judy Garland in the film Meet Me in St. Louis, 1944.

While browsing through old newspapers and listening to the radio at our archive this afternoon, I caught part of a 2006 interview with Hugh Martin, composer, lyricist and arranger of such classics as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Boy Next Door” and “The Trolley Song” from the great 1944 musical Meet Me In St. Louis. Martin, who died [in March of 2011] explained that he was browsing through an old newspaper at the Beverly Hills Library when he saw a photograph of a trolley with the caption, “Clang! Clang! went the trolley”…and three hours later the song was done.

- posted by amy on the AADL blog, Tuesday March 15, 2011

A nice story about one of my favorite musicals, and proof that inspiration for the next great project can come from pretty much anywhere. Do you find inspiration for your work in your local library? Or maybe it’s one you’ve visited, in person or virtually. Visit our Submit page to share your own story, favorite library, or inspiring resource (book, collection, exhibit…). We’re looking forward to hearing from you! – Laura

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