quotations about libraries

Library quote

We have an obligation to support libraries. To use libraries, to encourage others to use libraries, to protest the closure of libraries. If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future.

NEIL GAIMAN, The Guardian, Oct. 15, 2013


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Libraries really are wonderful. They're better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit in selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.

JO WALTON, Among Others


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A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life.

NORMAN COUSINS, attributed, ALA Bulletin


If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

CICERO, ad familiares


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The Web is cool, but the library is magic. Where else can the spirit of generations of writers stir your soul? So many writers talk about libraries setting them on their magical paths, it's almost a groaner. But we know it's true. Wander through the stacks and you can feel the dreams, the unique worlds bubbling within each volume. The magic enters you as if by osmosis. On the Web, you may feel clever, lucky and driven to download--but rarely inspired to dream and to write.

ARTHUR PLOTNIK, The Writer Magazine, Nov. 2003


God made libraries so that people didn't have any excuse to be stupid.

JOAN BAUER, Rules of the Road


It's funny that we think of libraries as quiet demure places where we are shushed by dusty, bun-balancing, bespectacled women. The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy and community. Librarians have stood up to the Patriot Act, sat down with noisy toddlers and reached out to illiterate adults. Libraries can never be shushed.

PAULA POUNDSTONE, attributed, Friends of Libraries


We have this image that libraries are about nouns but they are about verbs. So, it's not books. It is reading. Every day and every way libraries are throwing pebbles and we don't know what that pebble is going to do but there is a ripple effect.

STEPHAN ABRAM, "Libraries need to embrace change to remain vital", Guelph Today, June 12, 2016


I remember those days so clearly. My sister and I burrowing into shelves as though we were mining for gold, dreaming about the kind of life that we wanted to lead, the jobs we wanted to do, the kind of people that we wanted to be. Each book was so much more than the paper it was printed on; they were doors, possible pathways into our future, and by just being there in the library, we had all the keys.

POLLY HO-YEN, "The internet and coffee shops are no replacement for libraries", The Guardian, June 10, 2016


Libraries tend to occupy a sacred space in modern culture. People adore them.... The grandest libraries, built like monstrous cathedrals, are particularly beloved. It ought to follow, then, that the ultimate library--an infinite library--would be revered as a utopia, especially in an age where data is seen as its own currency. But libraries have a dark side in the cultural imagination.... In the real world, the dawn of the written word incited the same kinds of anxieties that accompany any new technology that reorders people's relationship with information.... The evolution of such fears and perceptions as they apply to information systems--from books, to machines, to artificial intelligence, and beyond--is perhaps a natural one. At the very least, it's predictable. Books are, after all, technology.

ADRIENNE LAFRANCE, "The Human Fear of Total Knowledge", The Atlantic, June 3, 2016


Libraries provide a quiet and tranquil environment. There can be no better place to get some peace and quiet from the potentially upsetting collapse of civilisation taking place on the other side of the door.

SALLY BITTINER, "5 reasons why a library is the best place to hide during a Zombie Apocalypse", OUPblog, May 14, 2016


We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth.

JOHN LUBBOCK, The Pleasures of Life


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Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.

VIRGINIA WOOLF, A Room of One's Own


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I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.

ROGER ZELAZNY, Nine Princes of Amber


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If you want to write ... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.

RAY BRADBURY, attributed, Words from the Wise


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A library is like an island in the middle of a vast sea of ignorance, particularly if the library is very tall and the surrounding area has been flooded.

DANIEL HANDLER, as Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid


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If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.

FRANK ZAPPA, attributed, College Is for Suckers


Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards.

HUNTER S. THOMPSON, The Proud Highway


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A library is but the soul's burial ground; it is the land of shadows. Yet one is impressed with the thought, the labor, and the struggle, represented in this vast catacomb of books. Who could dream, by the placid waters that issue from the level mouths of brooks into the lake, all the plunges, the whirls, the divisions, and foaming rushes that had brought them down to the tranquil exit? And who can guess through what channels of disturbance, and experiences of sorrow, the heart passed that has emptied into this Dead Sea of books?

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Star Papers: Or, Experiences of Art and Nature


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A great library contains the diary of the human race.

GEORGE DAWSON, Address on Opening the Birmingham Free Library