Noted and Quoted
A collection of quotations from the media about libraries, librarians, and librarianship. Upload a quotation.
Some people say libraries are old-fashioned, they're lost in a new society. No. It's all learning in a new environment.
Chicago Tribune, April 28, 2013
The Caldecott changed my life. It meant that I would not have to work in an office again. I would be able to work at books I loved in my own home without worrying too much about paying the rent.
Artist Nonny Hogrogian, reflecting on her 1966 Caldecott Award in School Library Journal, Dec. 2012
Advances in science and technology have improved the ability of the health care system to treat diseases, yet the sheer volume of new discoveries stresses the capabilities of the system to effectively generate and manage knowledge and apply it to regular care.
Institute of Medicine 2012 survey conclusion, as reported in AARP Bulletin, November 2012.
“But I love libraries. Bastions of truth in a world full of lies.”
Abby, a character in With Her Eyes Wide Open by Seth Harper, reflecting on a trip to Chicago's Harold Washington Library.
"Physical libraries need to model themselves on museums, galleries, and important cultural and historical institutions—a place to see real and beautiful books. Look how popular the British Library has become. There will always be a market for nostalgia. The history of libraries will be back on the curriculum, it will take the place of Second Life.
David Nicholas, director, CIBER Research Ltd., "Disintermediated, decoupled, and down," CILIP Update, April 2012.
“I decided to stop returning library books this year. I think I wanted to do things that I was uncomfortable with, step outside my artistic comfort zone, have a fearless year.”
Singer-songwriter EZRA FURMAN, discussing the inspiration for the title of his first solo album, The Year of No Returning, Chicago Tonight, WTTW-TV, Apr. 26
“Even though Spaulding’s name is not readily recognized, he was an American patriot who safeguarded the freedoms of US citizens by writing the Library Bill of Rights.”
Teresa Wood, describing Forrest Brisbane Spaulding, head of Des Moines (Iowa) Public Library from 1929 to 1952, as depicted in the play The Not So Quiet Librarian, “A Librarian to Remember,” Webster City (Iowa) Daily Freeman-Journal, Apr. 20.
“We are inspired by our Los Angeles librarians—past and present—who are the unsung heroes of our local history. While some people may perceive the role of librarian is just to organize books on shelves, many work to preserve the freedom of information, encourage literacy, and archive and share the region’s history. To all these qualities librarians add a layer of flexibility, responding to the ever changing needs of society. If we had our choice, every week would be National Library Week.”
“12 Librarians Who Made or Saved Los Angeles History,” kcet.org, Apr. 11.
“My heart’s with what we’re doing in Firestone. My stomach hurts when I think about NYPL, the first great library I ever worked in, turned into a vast internet cafe where people can read the same Google Books, body parts and all, that they could access at home or Starbucks. And my head tells me that I can’t predict a thing because we’re living through a great revolution, and we don’t yet know what lies on the other side.”
Anthony Grafton, Princeton (N.J.) University professor of history, comparing the renovations of New York Public Library’s Schwarzman Building and Princeton’s Firestone Library, “A tale of two libraries and a revolution,” Daily Princetonian, Apr. 2.
“The problem is, Google aspires to know everything. Knowledge is control. Give Google the right search terms and almost anything known will soon be on your computer screen. Now much mail is ‘Gmail’—living on Google’s servers. Google offers online office programs and storage of your private and business documents. Our privacy is in many ways determined by the benevolence of Google. Woe to us when Google goes bad.”
Dennis E. Powell, “We’ll Miss Libraries When Google Takes Over the World,” Athens (Ohio) News, Apr. 22.
“Everyone should hire librarians. Every time you hear about budget cuts and cutbacks on hours, it seems like our libraries, and librarians, are the ones suffering. But these places, and these people, must be the most helpful, the most informed, and the most knowledgeable resources on the planet. If they hired librarians to be clerks at the DMV, everyone would get their license plates on time and walk out of the office looking forward to renewal time. If librarians ran health care, people might still get sick, but not tired.”
Jeff Rundles, “The Library and Customer Care,” Colorado Biz, Apr.
The fact is that well over half the ebooks currently available can be read at no cost whatsoever and most of the rest are available at prices so low as to unlikely challenge any but the most destitute among us. And this raises some very real questions about the continued value of the ‘free’ lending library in the age of the ebook.
LSSI Vice President Steve Coffman, “The Decline and Fall of the Library Empire,” Searcher 20, no. 3 (Apr.).
“Outside, I ducked out of the way of a beeping Book Robot that was performing no book-like functions I could see, and I slid down the wall. Beside me sat a young-ish librarian in shiny black flats, poking derisively at her phone. This was my last chance to get someone on the record saying the end is near. Has her New Jersey library suffered from the loss of grants and city budget cuts? ‘Actually, we’re working on expanding,’ she told me. ‘We desperately need more space.’ This was her first conference. ‘It’s been very interesting.’ God, I can’t even coax her into saying how the lack of natural light and recycled air is destroying her will to live.”
Jessa Crispin, in her description of the PLA Conference exhibit hall, “Book Report,” The Smart Set, Mar. 27.
“The library, to me, is the second most sacred physical space on the planet.”
Poet Nikky Finney, winner of the 2012 National Book Award for poetry, during a reading at the Richland County (S.C.) Public Library, Mar. 22.
“Since the future is already here, we can see that many publishers are placing bets on a declining library market. I think that’s the prudent thing to do. The evidence for this is that librarians keep telling us that their budgets are shrinking. I sometimes wonder if librarians understand that they are making a strategic mistake: By talking about their money woes, they reduce their clout with publishers. Librarians tend to argue on moral grounds, publishers on economic grounds. Most of the time, the money wins.”
Joseph Esposito, “Predicting the Present,” in The Scholarly Kitchen, Mar. 19.
“Another major incident was the mice. I had been warned that the library was one of their favorite playgrounds. I was rather surprised at the calm manner in which this news had been announced, and I was worried about this unfortunate presence. But, like everything else, that was how it had always been. I adopted a cat, but he preferred running around on the roofs of the Haute Ville with the other cats from the area; it’s easy to see why.”
Marie Lebert, reminiscing about her job with the city library of Granville, France, in “L for Library,” Ebooks, Feb.
“This place is a treasure trove.”
Actor and Scripter Award honorary dinner chair HELEN MIRREN, describing the University of Southern California Doheny Library, which hosted the event, Feb. 18.
“I saw in the news about Penguin pulling ebooks. Why are publishers such poopyheads to you guys?”
Los Angeles librarian Shayera Tangri relaying in a tweet an actual statement by a patron, Feb. 13.
“A library is not just a building full of books. It is a garden to cultivate individuals.”
Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, at a January 30 ceremony establishing a school library in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, UN News Centre, Jan. 31.
“Education will be more about how to process and use information and less about imparting it. This is a consequence of both the proliferation of knowledge—and how much of it any student can truly absorb—and changes in technology. Before the printing press, scholars might have had to memorize The Canterbury Tales to have continuing access to them. This seems a bit ludicrous to us today. But in a world where the entire Library of Congress will soon be accessible on a mobile device with search procedures that are vastly better than any card catalog, factual mastery will become less and less important.”
Former president of Harvard University and former secretary of the Treasury Lawrence H. Summers, “What You (Really) Need to Know,” based on a speech at the New York Times Schools for Tomorrow conference, New York Times, Jan. 20.
“America’s librarians, in town for a big conference, had descended on the downtown cantina in force, and the waiting area was a dense sea of lovable nerd. The dining room was loud and packed, too, and the staff looked like they’d been hit by a really well-read tsunami.”
Joe Tone, “The Librarians of America Just about Destroyed Wild Salsa Saturday Night,” Dallas Observer, Jan. 23
“People will be doing research here, so we’re going to discourage them from making phone calls. But if somebody wants to break into song, I guess that would be all right.”
Andy Leach, director of the newly opened Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Library and Archives in Cleveland, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jan. 15.
“I just wanted to find a place to feel safe. It is tough being a woman out there. Sometimes I read romance novels. Because they are telling stories about love and being wanted.”
Hope Pitts, 22, unemployed and homeless, on why she comes to the Central branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jan. 11.
“LIBRARIANS—in times of stress we take comfort in trusted authorities.”
Time magazine’s list of things not considered dangerous for 2012, which also includes money, teddy bears, and hugs, Jan. 9, p. 36.
“For as long as anyone can remember, Amelia wanted to be a librarian. Not a sexy choice because of those darned shoes, but Amelia loved to read, and later, to knit.”
Michelle Zimet, department coordinator for Germanic studies at the University of Chicago, writing about her 21-year-old daughter, Amelia, in “I’m a hypocrite,” a commentary in the Chicago Tribune, Jan. 25, 2012
"When I was a skinny girl in university, I worked as a shelver at the library: a job I loved! Then I moved a couple of times and worked in call centres since that was the 20-something thing to do. I then realized I’d gained nearly 40 pounds from my sedentary jobs. Four years ago I applied to the library again, and though I’m now 32 in a part-time entry-level position at the library, being happy, healthier and physically active is much better than working full-time on my butt."
Ottawa, Ontario-based submitter to health-tip site IYamHealthy.com.
"Today the Picture Collection remains open at the Mid-Manhattan branch nearby on 40th Street — and it’s still easy to find images of anything from abacus to zodiac — but the ravages of sustained use are apparent, and their eventual disintegration is inevitable. Fortunately, the library’s vast citywide collection of prints, maps, posters, dust jackets, sheet music, menus and cigarette cards (the latter of which, interestingly, comprises 10 percent of the entire collection) is now available to the public online at the NYPL Digital Gallery. For designers who had already migrated to other online sources anyway, this wellspring of cataloged riches may become one-shop sourcing for rare, unusual and exotic references."
Designer STEPHEN HELLER, writing about his experience finding Yiddish theater posters at the NYPL Digital Gallery, Salon, Dec. 25.
"I know that collector types can be a pain in the neck and seem perpetually frozen in time—or at least in their parents' basement—but someone has to look out for the past, lest it slip away forever. It was amazing to be around people who are dedicated to making sure there is a trail, who work with painstaking care to maintain the integrity of what came before."
Musician and spoken-word artist HENRY ROLLINS, reflecting on his visit to the Library of Congress, LA Weekly, Sept. 29, 2011.
So many American efforts to influence foreign countries have misfired — not least here in Vietnam a generation ago. We launch missiles, dispatch troops, rent foreign puppets and spend billions without accomplishing much. In contrast, schooling is cheap and revolutionary. The more money we spend on schools today, the less we’ll have to spend on missiles tomorrow.
New York Times Sunday Review columnist Nicholas Kristof, writing about the charity Room to Read distributing its 10 millionth book to libraries in developing countries, Nov. 5.
Every student on the establishment of the university, may use the books of the library on paying fifty cents into the hands of the librarian for the session in advance. The encyclopedia shall not be taken out of the library by any student not belonging to the senior or junior classes; and no other shall ever consult them, except in the presence of some member of the faculty.
The third of 9 rules regarding the use of the University of North Carolina library in 1799, For the Record, Dec. 13, 2011.
“When that old robber baron Andrew Carnegie decided to plow his ill-gotten gains into building this library system ‘for the people,’ he had to have believed we would realize its value and support it in the years to come....
"Stately old buildings are expensive to heat, cool, modernize, and maintain. The information age has necessitated more and more computers, e-readers, and other technology, all of it essential for people who don’t have it at home, especially children whose future depends on multi-platform literacy.
"The library leadership has done a fine job of raising capital funds and using them to their best advantage. The result is a growing list of library redesigns, each one a jewel of form and function....
“Rejecting this small levy because it should have been more widespread would be like rejecting a diphtheria vaccination because it doesn’t cover measles. The money won’t do everything, but it will do something, and that something is well worth doing.”
Staff writer Sally Kalson, in an editorial favoring a tax levy for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, “Small Library Tax, Big Returns,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 6.
“As Wall Street and Occupy Wall Street continue their battle for the soul of American society into the winter and then an election year, the flood of knowledge represented by the OWS People’s Library is one of the best weapons protesters have to hold their ground against their much better financed, and armed, adversaries.”
UC-Irvine History Professor Mark LeVine, in “The People’s Library and the Future of OWS,” Al Jazeera, Nov. 16.
“The internet is an accumulation; a library is order. I have nothing against the electronic library, it’s just not a replacement for the library of ink and paper.”
Argentine-born Canadian writer Alberto Manguel, interviewed in the Ottawa (Ont.) Citizen, Nov. 20.
“Libraries are where we learn about things that are new to us. Their books broaden our perspectives, change the way we see the world and, at the most basic level, provide us with free and open access to knowledge and information. Over the two months that the People’s Library has been in operation at Zuccotti Park, we librarians have come to see how vital this mission is to the enrichment of our broader society.”
University of Pittsburgh Associate Professor of English William Scott, who volunteered for six weeks as a librarian for the Occupy Wall Street Library, “The People’s Library of Occupy Wall Street Lives On,” The Nation, Dec. 12.
“You know how Occupy Chicago is talking about the 1% versus the 99%? Well, where the library is concerned, there’s only the 100%. Everyone is impacted.”
Carolyn Alessio, mother of a 9-year-old Girl Scout who joined a November 9 protest by her Troop to oppose Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget cuts to the Chicago Public Library, “Girl Scouts Protest Library Cuts,” Gazette Chicago, Dec. 1.
“And here is where I most respect the high office of the librarian. Above the restrictions of budgets and the frustrations of hierarchal administrations, the librarian has the possibility of changing lives. Like great teachers, great librarians meet needful individuals at the precious moment of choice. The right book at the right time is often a nexus to individual destiny. The great librarian listens, senses the need, and has the reading experience to recommend what is crucially appropriate to that reader. Great librarians provide a better service to their clients than many psychoanalysts who ought to be reading more meaningful novels and fewer academic case studies.”
Author MONTY JOYNES, “In Praise of Librarians,” Writing As a Profession blog, Sept. 1.
“I’ve caught stupidity. And he cured me.”
“I love libraries. I spent a lot of time in the Greenfield [Mass.] Public Library when I was a child. I would give money to build a library, but if for some reason you were crazy enough to think you had a better idea for your money than building my library, I wouldn’t pull a gun on you. I wouldn’t use a gun to build an art museum, to look at the wonders of the universe through a big telescope, or even to find a cure for cancer.”
Magician, comedian, and libertarian PENN JILLETTE, God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), p. 150.
“We have the internet. We don’t need a library at all.”
Comedian and political commentator BILL MAHER, on his Real Time with Bill Maher show, HBO, Oct. 14.
There is no frigate like a book, and no harbor like a library, where those who love books but can’t afford their own complete collections, or those who need a computer, or kids who need a safe place to read after school, or moms with toddlers who want their babies to learn to read, can all come together and share in a great community resource.
Detective fiction author SARA PARETSKY, urging residents of Chicago and everywhere library hours and staff are threatened, to advocate for their public libraries, Sara Paretsky’s blog, Oct. 30.
All the time, you see, the council had been longing to improve the library service, and the only thing standing in the way was–the libraries”
Author PHILIP PULLMAN, slamming the Brent (U.K.) Council for its claim that closing half of its libraries would help it “fulfil exciting plans to improve libraries,” The Guardian, Oct. 24.
With our schools under great financial pressure, students are relying on the library for more up-to-date equipment, references, and materials than the school can provide. People are also turning to the library for entertainment materials, including books, music, CDs, etc., and job searches because of tough economic times in this small community. The Library is a major basis for community activity. I doubt that most people realize its importance, including our local politicians.
Waseca, Minnesota, resident MEL STRAND, responding to Minnesota Public Radio’s question, “Do libraries give us a core service?”, Nov. 1.
But the libraries at the anti-Wall Street protests are not quite as novel as they first appear. They have a tradition going back the better part of two centuries. In a recent article, Matthew Battles, the author of Libraries: An Unquiet History (Norton, 2004), noted the similarity to the reading rooms that served the egalitarian Chartist movement in Britain.
SCOTT McLEMEE, writing about librarians in the Occupy movement, Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 2
“If I learned anything in my visit to Loudoun County—it’s a reaffirmation of the power of reading. Hundreds of kids and parents turned out to discuss the way books change our view of the world, of each other. And the kids at Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center? They told me that they have a whole new bag of tricks for keeping out of trouble when the return home. At the top of the list: reading.”
Author PATRICIA McCORMICK, in a thank you letter to Linda Holtslander, Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library division manager, programming, development, and community relations, after her “One Book, One Community” program about her novel Purple Heart, Sept. 28.
Librarians and artists have an affinity for one another, perhaps because we’re both outlaws. We seek understanding rather than agreement. We are open to greater worlds than the day to day world we occupy. We are often left to stand alone from the first, to make our way toward conscience and morality at ages far younger than the average person. We seek solitude, in order to hear the thoughts in our heads—and to make room for the hope in our hearts.
Singer/songwriter JANIS IAN, addressing school librarians of the Metro Nashville Public Schools at an in-service program held at J. T. Moore Middle School, August 9, 2011.
Much speech is protected that is not wholesome or uplifting. The court was merely saying that the choice as to whether to engage in or receive such speech should be made by us, not by government.
First Amendment attorney Steven Helle on the June 27 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that video games are fully protected speech, even with regard to minors, Chicago Tribune, June 29, 2011.
"Does anyone here read?"
Author LAURA LIPPMAN's joking query to an audience of librarians at the PLA President's Program at Annual, after a series of audience questions went to her husband and co-speaker David Simon about his television series The Wire.
"Congratulations on the new library, because it isn't just a library. It 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."
Science fiction author ISAAC ASIMOV, in a March 16, 1971, letter to the children of Troy, Michigan, in honor of the opening of Troy (Mich.) Public Library, which is currently threatened with closure. Children's Librarian Marguerite Hart wrote to dozens of celebrities asking them to write a letter to the children of Troy about the importance of their new library; Asimov is one of 97 who responded. The library has posted all 97 letters on its website.
"Books are magic: you never know where they're going to end up. A book brings the project inside school buildings. When a gay kid goes to his school library and this book is there, it's a message to him that he's accepted."
It Gets Better project co-founder DAN SAVAGE, talking about why he adapted the video series into a book, Huffington Post, May 9, 2011.
"It's a shame some libraries are closing, but this is not the end of civilisation. Quite the opposite."
LEO BENEDICTUS, "The joy of e-reading," Prospect, March 23, 2011.
BOOKS. Keep them. Yes, e-readers are amazing, and yes, they will probably become a more dominant reading platform over time, but consider this about a book: It has a terrific, high-resolution display. It is pretty durable; you could get it a little wet and all would not be lost. It has tremendous battery life. It is often inexpensive enough that, if you misplaced it, you would not be too upset. You can even borrow them free at sites called libraries.
Sam Grobart, "Gadgets You Should Get Rid Of (or Not)", New York Times Personal Tech blog, March 23.
I often ask people, especially noneducators, “How much of what you do in your job or profession did you learn in high school? In college? In the last five years? In the last month?” How much of living and working today is significantly dependent on our ability to learn [and] what educator in today’s schools holds, as an explicit part of their mission, helping children learn to teach themselves? Why it’s librarians, those educators who are too often among the first to be laid off in order to balance budgets. Such a sad and tragic lack of vision.
Educator and author DAVID WARLICK, “Who Among Us Is Explicitly Tasked with Helping Children Learn to Teach Themselves?” 2¢ Worth, March 19, 2011.
At the same time, the HarperCollins model now further calls into question just what it is that libraries do for what class of people and why so much of what they offer is free. This question only used to come up when libraries purchased significant collections of Hollywood VHS tapes and major-label music CDs, but very few people would ask the same question about books, which were seen even by skeptics and grouches as core mission materials, grandfathered in.
Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn, Change of Subject blog, March 8
"The next phase of the internet is about content."
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, PBS NewsHour, February 7, 2011. His company had just acquired The Huffington Post.
“They’d probably be glad we’re still reading in this busy world.”
Zetema President Caroline Campaigne, asked by the Chicago Tribune what founding members of the 100-year-old book club would think of e-books, February 26, 2011.
“There is no doubt that Google’s relevancy has come under attack in an unprecedented way in recent months and it has been snowballing. This is an effort to slow down that snowballing.”
Search Engine Land blogger Danny Sullivan on Google’s efforts to give priority to original content in the way it ranks search results, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, February 26, 2011.
“I know the trend is to go towards e-books, which is great when you’re traveling, but when I sit in my library, I get comfort from books. Stores like Borders are comfortable—they’re user friendly, they have great titles. Even though shopping online is great, there’s nothing like shopping in a store with walls and paper.”
Buffalo Grove, Illinois, building inspector Robb Packer commenting to reporter Wailin Wong on Borders, the nation’s second-largest bookseller, filing for bankruptcy, “Most Dire Chapter at Borders: 11,” Chicago Tribune, February 17, 2011.
“And so Hermione Granger, that charming grind, still goes to the Hogwarts library and spends hours and hours working her way through the stacks, finding out what a basilisk is or how to make a love potion. . . . Now, having been stuck with the library shtick, she has to go on working the stacks in the Harry Potter movies, while the kids who have since come of age nudge their parents. ‘Why is she doing that?’ they whisper. ‘Why doesn’t she just Google it?’”
Staff writer Adam Gopnik, “The Information: How the Internet Gets Inside Us,” The New Yorker, February 14, 2011
“The gap shows up in their obsessive use of social media. University hallways teem with cell phones; library windows glow with Facebook pages as students update legions of ‘friends’ about the latest party or Guitar Hero conquest.”
Towson University instructor Andrew Reiner on the generation gap between him and his students, “Brand Me,” AARP: The Magazine, March-April 2011.
Although the turmoil in Egypt is a matter for the Egyptian people and their government to resolve, limiting internet access for millions of people is a matter of concern for the global community. It is essential to communication and to commerce. No one should be denied access to the internet.
Facebook spokesperson ANDREW NOYES, who declined to comment on the political specifics of unrest in Egypt that has inadvertently made the social-media powerhouse a conduit for news updates through the Al Jazeera fan page, “Facebook Treads Carefully after Its Vital Role in Egypt’s Anti-Mubarak Protests,” Washington Post, Feb. 2, 2011.
“As alluring as the river, the Dixon Public Library beckoned with countless volumes of adventure and derring-do.”
Ron Reagan, writing about the Illinois boyhood of his father, President Ronald Reagan, My Father at 100 (Viking, 2011).
“They are the Facebook generation. Their lives are already enhanced by technology and we have to keep up with that.”
Sharon Guan, director of Faculty Instructional Technology at DePaul University in Illinois, “Technology Gets Schooled: New Programs, Functionality, Gadgets Change Higher Ed Experience,” Chicago Tribune, January 20, 2011.
Anderson: “Probably misses her glasses because she’s a librarian.”
Henson: “That’s an ugly stereotype, John. Not all librarians wear glasses. Some wear contacts!”
Winter Wipeout hosts John Anderson and John Henson, discussing librarian Kate Harvey, who was competing on the January 20, 2011, episode.
I'm having a wonderful time; I'm surrounded by librarians. It doesn't get any better than that.
Author Neil Gaiman, speaking to a fan during a book signing for The Graveyard Book, American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, San Diego, January 9, 2011.
One problem is obvious: the Vat's collection, which has been accreting since the mid-fourteen-hundreds, is so vast that even the people who run it haven't always known what they're sitting on top of.
“God’s Librarians: The Vatican Library enters the twenty-first century,” by Daniel Mendelsohn, The New Yorker, January 3, 2011.
What an extraordinary window into the universe a good library is.
Pulitzer Prize–winning author Richard Rhodes, Arthur Curley Lecture, American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, San Diego, January 8, 2011.
“What we’ve got to do is create a stable environment. Right now, it’s on the fast road to falling apart.”
Conservationist Jeff Allen of the World Monuments Fund on the restoration of Iraq’s cultural treasures, “Undoing Babylon’s Bad Face Lift,” New York Times, January 2, 2011.
"The only thing that drives anybody crazy is the results for the students, which right now nobody's happy with."
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, in an exchange with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, over how to fix the nation’s education system, Newsweek, December 27, 2010.
People don't care about books [or other packaging]. They care about ideas.
Tim O’Reilly, quoted in a profile, “The Great Predictor” by Carlye Adler, Newsweek, December 20, 2010.
Thoughtful parents introduce books very early in life. They read to their own bellies while pregnant, let their infants chew on cardboard books, and encourage their toddlers to leaf through picture books.
“Ask Amy” columnist Amy Dickinson, Chicago Tribune, December 9, 2010, asking readers to give books for Christmas and join her “A Book on Every Bed” campaign
With too much unmediated information to choose from, people select what they wish to believe. These days a wild rumor in an e-mail from your distant cousin can trump The New York Times.
Evan Thomas, “Why It’s Time to Worry,” Newsweek, December 13, 2010.
"We have to educate our way to a better economy."
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, PBS NewsHour, December 7, 2010.
The last night of my father's life, I sat up late in hospice with him. He hadn't responded to us in almost two days, and I had run out of ways to say goodbye so I was reading the book I had shoved in my purse on the way to the airport — a copy of Agatha Christie's "N or M ?" But in between the words, the silence was just too full of what was going to happen next. So I read aloud, to my dying father, from a yellow-paged, dog-earred paperback that he had given me in a big red box one long ago Christmas.
L.A. Times Television Critic Mary McNamara, in “A lifetime bond over books,” December 5, 2010.
“Not being aware of the diverse resources that exist or the different ways knowledge is created and shared is dangerous."
The conclusion of Alison J. Head, co-principal investigator for Project Information Literacy Progress Report, which determined that only 30% of 8,353 students from 25 college campuses polled nationwide ever asked a librarian for research help, as reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, November 9, 2010.
With her makeover and the glasses, she also had the right look--one that said "hot librarian," perfect for a fake authority figure.
Paul Farhi, “From Second City to ‘30 Rock,’ Tina Fey Rocketed to Becoming Twain Prize Winner,” Washington Post, November 9, 2010
Each time I went to the library, I felt safe. No bad thing can happen to you in the library. You can’t be raped or mugged in the library. You can’t be talked down to, belittled, or humiliated in a library. When it looked like the sun wasn’t gonna shine any more, God put a rainbow in the clouds. A library is a rainbow in the cloud.
—Author and poet Maya Angelou, alluding to abuse she suffered as a child, during an October 29 address at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, DNAInfo (New York City), October 30, 2010.
My paean of praise for the physical library included some of the familiar lines....You go also for the people, the other readers, and the librarians. And you go for the sheer pleasure of having space and quiet to think—not to mention the pleasures of transgression. And on this topic I had a little nostalgic reflection on all the things we used to do in libraries . . . eat, drink, smoke substances legal and illegal, have sex. I was tempted to ask for a show of hands from those who had ever made love in a library bookstack, a bibliophile’s Mile High club, but thought embarrassment might produce a misleadingly low score.
—Cambridge University Classics Professor Mary Beard, “Bedding Down in the Library,” a post in the Times (U.K.) blog A Don’s Life, October 30, 2010.
If you think your local library shouldn’t be funded because you haven’t used it in a while, think of it this way: Would you want the government to close your local hospital because you’ve been healthy for a while?
—U.K. researcher John Kirriemuir, “Are U.K. Public Libraries Expensive to Run?” in Use Libraries and Learn Stuff, Oct. 31, 2010.
You see, as the CEO of Hartford (Conn.) Public Library, I have one of the best jobs in America, because I am participating in creating a sustainable 21st-century urban public library, one of the last remaining truly democratic institutions in our nation. And the quintessential public option. Who could ask for more?
—Matt Poland, CEO of Hartford (Conn.) Public Library, in a guest editorial in the Huffington Post, Oct. 28.
Libraries are full of hints to life's great puzzles.
Avi Steinberg, author of Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian, “Lives: A Prison-Library Reunion,” The New York Times Magazine, October 3, 2010.
The Supreme Court opens its new term Monday, and the justices will be quickly confronted with a potentially momentous question: Are offensive and hurtful words always protected as free speech, even when the speaker and the target are private people, not public figures?
David G. Savage, “Free Speech vs. Private Lives: Supreme Court to Hear Case on Funeral Protests,” Chicago Tribune, October 3,2010.
Have you been to the library lately? It's more than just a place to grab a book--and these days, it's more popular than ever.
“What to Love about Libraries,” Chicago Tribune, October 3, 2010, in which Jenniffer Weigel explores the offerings at the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library.
I’ve learned that different [interview] questions work for different jobs. The manager of my picture-framing business, for example, hires people to do ‘pick-ups’—they retrieve finished framed pictures from a room full of racks for customers. She routinely asks interviewees if they have ever thought about becoming a librarian; those who say they have thought about it tend to do the job best and to stay around the longest.
—Jay Goltz, on his conversation with a shopkeeper he frequents, “What’s Your Favorite Job Interview Question?” New York Times: You’re the Boss blog, September 27, 2010.
In education, we would do well to appreciate what our country has built, and to try to fix what is undeniably wrong without declaring the entire system to be broken. We have a moral obligation to be precise about what the problems in American education are--like subpar schools for poor and minority children--and to resist heroic ideas about what would solve them, if those ideas don't demonstrably do that.
Nicholas Lemann, “The Talk of the Town,” The New Yorker, September 27, 2010.
Wired blogger John C. Abell, in “Librarians Rock. Well, Anyway, They Disco”, Epicenter blog, September 16, 2010.
Many public library systems—the five biggies are Boston, New York, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles—have faced an ugly two years of recession-spawned budget cuts and trimmed hours. Yet political leaders who control the purse strings for the biggest cities fought and saved their libraries from severe harm. The city that has not done that is Los Angeles.
Patrick Range McDonald, “City of Airheads: Villaraigosa Dismantles L.A.’s Vaunted Library System,” L.A. Weekly, September 16, 2010.
"Probably no other group has fought harder against censorship or government snooping into citizens reading habits — or received less public credit for it — than librarians and the American Library Association. This is true, quiet patriotism — standing up for the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, often at the risk of their jobs. They are walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Librarians are high on my list of American heroines and heroes."
Aberdeen, Maryland, resident Craig Herud, in a letter to the Baltimore Sun, September 9, 2010.
"You're gonna go to the library and pick out two books, and at the end of the week, you're gonna hand me a written report about what you read."
Actress Kimberly Elise as the mother in Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (Sony Pictures Television, 2009), setting her son on a path that turned him from a failing TV watcher into one of the great neurosurgeons of his time through regular visits to the Detroit Public Library.
The best ally in the struggle against violent Islamism is moderate Islam. The unfounded attacks on the backers of Park51 and others, along with such sideshows as a pastor calling for the burning of Korans, give substance to the Al Qaeda argument that the U.S. is waging a war against Islam, rather than against the terrorists' misshapen effigy of the religion. Those stirring the pot in this debate are casting a spell that is far more dangerous than they may imagine.
Lawrence Wright, “The Talk of the Town,” The New Yorker, September 20, 2010.
Detroit Lions Coach Jim Schwartz, discussing lessons from his parents that still apply, Detroit Free Press, September 10, 2010.
Keeping libraries open, giving access to all children to all books is vital to our nation's sovereignty.
Novelist Karin Slaughter, “Fight for Libraries as You Do Freedom,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 10, 2010.
But there's a wild card in all this, namely the library card. My numbers are based on a single use of a book. Yet each time somebody reads a library book, its environmental burden is reduced, because its production requires only a onetime resource use, whereas the e-device needs power for each use. Moreover, paper books can survive hundreds of years and readings; the e-reader, if it has its ancestors' DNA, is doomed to a comparatively brief existence. Hence, as Nicholson Baker concluded in his cantankerous book about books, Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, it may be premature to wantonly abandon paper tomes. And there will always be a place for public libraries.
Bob Schildgen, “Ask Mr. Green,” Sierra Magazine, September/Ocotber 2010.
I’m starting to understand what my grandmother must feel when she heads to the library once a week to dutifully check the email account my uncle created for her. . . . I never thought my lack of interest in e-readers made me particularly unique—until recently, when Consumer Reports and national headlines started implying I was actually in a freakish minority. . . . Their bottom line was the same: Of course you need to buy an e-reader. What are you, a Mennonite?
—Self-proclaimed “26-year-old child of the internet generation” EMMA SILVERS on her preference for print books, “E-Reader Revolt: I’m Leaving Youth Culture Behind,” Salon.com, September 2, 2010.
I don’t understand why people would work so intensely in a noisy environment. My mother said people work best in a quiet place, free of distractions. One day I told a table of industrious students, ‘I have to ask you not to use your computers so that others can sit. I pointed to a big sign that said the same thing. ‘Don’t worry,’ I said brightly, ‘We have talked to people at MIT and they have created something they call a library.’ All the other customers laughed—but none of the people who were working.
—GUS RANCATORE, co-founder of the coffee house Toscanini’s in Cambridge Massachusetts, on studious customers who overstay their welcome, “Those Dastardly Coffee Campers,” Atlantic, Sept. 1, 2010.
Print is dead. Everybody says so. I checked it out and it’s true. Print is dead. I saw that on the internet.
—“Native Son” columnist Carl Nolte, on the irony of predictions about the death throes of print even as library circulation and brick-and-mortar bookstore sales rise in San Francisco, San Francisco Chronicle, August 15, 2010.
What worries [me] is that a load of shit has been talked about digitization as being the new Gutenberg, but that fact is that the Gutenberg led to books being put in shelves, and digitization is taking books off shelves. If you start taking books off shelves, then you are only going to find what you are looking for—which does not help those who do not know what they are looking for.
Jeanette Winterson, expressing her dismay at the 25th-anniversary celebration in Edinburgh of the publication of her novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit that her childhood library’s DVD collection is growing at the expense of its book collection, “New Libraries Will Deny Children Access to Classics, Fears Winterson,” Glasgow (Scotland) Herald, August 17, 2010.
Look, I would suggest you go from here directly to the library. Get a copy of the Bill of Rights and you’ll realize that everybody has a right to say what they want to say.
—New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, responding to a journalist asking why he supports the construction of an Islamic center several blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan, “The Mayor, the Mosque, and Public Response,” New York Times: City Room Blog, August 18, 2010.
The nonfiction and reference section has an answer center with dedicated phone lines and live-chat librarians.
Reporter Robert Duffer, on how the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Public Library is “adapting to the changing needs of its community,” Chicago Tribune, August 7, 2010.
It is my identity as reader that shaped the type of writer that I am. And I owe that to an old Ford bookmobile, a summertime pleasure that changed the way I see the world. Rather than feeling alone and isolated in turmoil-ridden Mississippi, a cool, air-conditioned library on wheels connected me to a world beyond the limits of where I grew up. In my life, that has made all the difference.
—W. Ralph Eubanks, director of publishing at the Library of Congress, “Escaping the Summer Heat in a Bookmobile,” National Public Radio, August 6, 2010.
Walking to the library is still the most ecofriendly way to read.
“Books vs E-Books: Does One Have to Win?” Newsweek, August 9,2010.
There is nothing like a banned book to turn a teenager into a devoted reader.
Malcolm Jones on the “lucky” adolescents who live in a school district that has banned Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Newsweek, August 9, 2010.
"Libraries have been the savior of my life."
Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School professor and founder of Harvard Law’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, in an exclusive American Libraries interview during Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 24, 2010.
This is an argument about the future—and whether this country will have one. The fact is, it cannot in a world where information is currency and American kids are broke.
Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts, on the state of education in America, August 3, 2010.
No man has ever put his hand up a woman's dress looking for a library card.
Retort to Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show when Carson commented that men really do like intelligent women, captured in the documentary film Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, directed by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg, IFC Films, 2010.
I don't know how to read anymore. I can only read 20 or 30 words at a time before taking out my iPhone and caressing it and snuggling with it.
“The Russian Immigrant’s Handbook,” The New York Times Magazine, July 18, 2010.
"Can't get to your local library? Let the library come to you."
Susan Kreimer, “Libraries Reach Out to Homebound,” AARP Bulletin, July-August 2010.
The FCC and its supporters seem to think Americans desperately need government assistance to protect themselves and their children against an onslaught of filth.
Columnist Steve Chapman supporting a recent federal appeals court ruling that called the Federal Communications Commission’s ban on “fleeting expletives” unconsititutional, Chicago Tribune, July 15, 2010.
Mindful of Ohio's curriculum requirements, the school's teachers came up with a project for the 5th graders: figure out how to reduce the noise in the library.
The only mention of libraries in “The Creativity Crisis” by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman (Newsweek, July 19, 2010), an article that supports the concept of learning through creative problem-solving and holds up the National Inventors Hall of Fame School, a new public middle school in Akron, Ohio, as an example.
“The people who welcome us to the library are idealists who believe that accurate information leads to good decisions and that exposure to the intellectual riches of civilization leads to a better world. The next Abraham Lincoln could be sitting in their library, teaching himself all he needs to know to save the country. While they help us get online, employed and informed, librarians don’t try to sell us anything. Nor do they turn around and broadcast our problems, send us spam, or keep a record of our interests and needs, because no matter how savvy this profession is at navigating the online world, it clings to that old-fashioned value, privacy. (A profession dedicated to privacy in charge of our public computers? That’s brilliant.) They represent the best civic value out there, an army of resourceful workers that can help us compete in the world.”
—Marilyn Johnson, author of This Book Is Overdue! in “U.S. Public Libraries: We Lose Them at Our Peril,” editorial in Los Angeles Times, July 6, 2010
The Great Hall was restored in 1990, but this one building tells only part of the Ellis Island story. The 30 unrestored buildings that served as the hospital, psychiatric ward, morgue, and library tell a different story about suffering and perseverance that is perhaps even more compelling.
Lorie Conway, producer and writer of Forgotten Ellis Island, in a 2010 Save Ellis Island brochure requesting donations to preserve what the National Trust for Historic Preservation calls one of the 100 most endangered sites around the world.
I loved the books but I needed the librarians.
—Boston Globe correspondent Danielle Dreilinger, reminiscing about her childhood library experiences in reporting the June 24 retention of three full-time librarians to maintain services at Somerville (Mass.) Public Library’s three branches, June 28, 2010.
I might have put up a good fight against some of the men I'd met when my dad took me along to librarians' conferences, but Norbert was no typical librarian.
—Adam Langer on a “thug librarian” character in The Thieves of Manhattan, his forthcoming novel from Spiegel & Grau, July 2010.
This is how the world works: The lonely striver with bad hair and serious overbite who is scratching out her thoughts in the Omaha Public Library is facing a wall of sheer granite a thousand feet high and luckily for her she doesn't know it now but someday she will and my heart goes out to her.
Garrision Keillor on the unfair advantages society lavishes on the beautiful, syndicated column, June 23, 2010.
The way to get to a librarian is to imply that a profession requiring tecnologically sophisticated researching skills is solely populated by cranky old ladies whose only pleasure in life is to shhh people. Oh and a few inhibited young ladies who could find love if only they would remove their glasses. Miss Manners suggests combining the two offensive images by responding to all comments and questions solely by giving the librarian one of those sweetly vague, nearsighted looks and a regretful smile, and putting the forefinger vertically across your lips. Repeat as often as necessary.
Judth "Miss Manners" Martin, responding in her syndicated column to a Gentle Reader whose "very nosy librarian" calls out titles and comments loudly about the books patrons are checking out, May 31, 2010.
Though I've spoken frequently during the 23 years since publishing my first book, I can honestly say that I've never felt better about a presentation . . . I'm sure my audience of forward-thinking, eco-friendly librarians played a part.
PBS Simple Living host Wanda Urbanska on her 2009 appearance at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Chicago, The Heart of Simple Living: 7 Paths to a Better Life, Krause Publications, 2010.
That's a funny thought—that I might never have time to read all the books in my own house. I'll think about that on my way to the library to check out a book to read.
“Gimme a Smile” columnist Peggy McKee Barnhill, on her overflowing private library, “Surround Yourself with Books,” Juneau Empire, May 9.
You drive for miles across a godforsaken Midwestern scrubscape, pockmarked by billboards, Motel 6s, and a military parade of food chains when--like some pedagogical mirage dreamed up by nineteenth-century English gentlemen--there appears . . . a library!
New York University professor Tony Judt expounding on the wonders of the American university system, “America, My New-Found-Land,” New York Review of Books, May 27, 2010.
We're now three decades into the personal-computer revolution, and you'd think that by this point these devices would be as easy to operate as a toaster. Yet think about how much trouble it is to use a PC: the weird freezes and glitches and crashes, the shutting down and waiting for the thing to boot back up, the hassles connecting to printers and networks. It's nuts.
Technology writer Daniel Lyons, Newsweek, May 10, 2010.
It is pure hullabaloo, millions in advertising canceling itself out by sheeer overload, and one block away is beautiful Bryant Park and the serene reading rooms of the New York Public Library, where, for all you know, the scholarly gentleman across the table from you may be studying the art of explosives. It's a free country.
Humorist Garrison Keillor commenting on “the Incompetent Bomber” who tried to blow up Times Square May 1, in his syndicated column, May 5, 2010.
I've never read The Chocolate War, but complaining about nudity in a novel that contains no pictures is like complaining about there being too much sound in a sandwich.
Writer Amelie Gillette, writing about ALA’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books list, where The Chocolate War ranked 10th in 2009, “Parents Still Hate The Catcher in the Rye,” The Onion A.V. Club, Apr. 15, 2010.
"The only time I’ve ever found a library fun was in the opening scene of Ghostbusters."
—Writer Richard Yarrow, evoking outmoded library stereotypes to strike a contrast with today’s actual libraries in “Check out the new look of libraries,” Metro (U.K.) Online, April 14, 2010.
The really cool thing about Twitter has been its business model. Instead of trying to do everything itself, the company threw open its doors and let other people build little applications that make it more useful.
Technology columnist Daniel Lyons, “High-Tech Frenemies,” Newsweek, Apr. 26, 2010.
If you sit in the library after school, text-messaging to people across the room ("Hey, whassup? RUOK?:-) L8R), you've successfully eliminated 98% of the nuance of face-to-face dialogue, the delicious nuance and also the awkward stuff, like when you send a big textual hug ("((H))") to people you've never actually put your arms around--you've skipped some essential steps in gaining intimacy.
Garrison Keillor in his Apr. 21 syndicated column, “Silent Brotherhood: RUOK? No? ((H)).”
I feel grateful that I am able to help people have a more pleasant search experience.
Sunmee Huh, 16-year-old high school honor student from Germantown, Maryland, on why she created Good50.com, an elder-friendly search engine designed with her 82-year-old grandfather in mind, AARP: The Magazine, Apr. 2010.
I monitor my spending: I don't travel much, my wardrobe is antiquated, and my library card has seen lots of action!"
—Lois Jackson, Washington, D.C. retiree on how to make the most of retirement, “Retired and Loving It!” AARP: The Magazine, May-June, 2010.
At a time when we should be putting people back to work, short-sighted lawmakers are taking away the very tools that will restore the health of our economy. The books and Internet resources found there provide a foundation to build a better future for millions. Our library workers are indispensable.
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees President Gerald W. McEntee, in a statement released April 12 to recognize National Library Workers Day.
SHHH! Keith Richards, the grizzled veteran of rock’n’roll excess, has confessed to a secret longing: to be a librarian.
Reporter John Harlow, sharing a sneak peek at the Rolling Stones guitarist’s forthcoming autobiography, The Sunday Times of London, Apr. 4, 2010.
What's so bad about having a lot of libraries?
—Christopher Stockbridge, avid user of Boston Public Library, discussing closure contingency plans, in “Anger, Queries Mark Meetings at Branches,” Dorchester Reporter, April 8, 2010.
All in all, the most ecologically virtuous way to read a book starts by walking to your local library.
—Daniel Goleman and Gregory Norris on the longevity of print tomes vs. e-readers, in “How Green Is My iPad?” New York Times, April 4, 2010.
When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.
—Rolling Stones legend and bibliophile Keith Richards, quoted from his forthcoming autobiography Life (Little, Brown), in which he confesses to a “secret longing” to be a librarian, “It’s Only Books ‘N’ Shelves But I Like It,” (U.K.) Sunday Times, April 4, 2010.
There are no good guys in [Running with Scissors]. ’ said Jill Driver, outlining the Riverview High School panel’s concerns. ‘So we felt there was no reason to keep the book.’ ‘That’s exactly why we wanted to keep the book,’ said Paula Marczynski from Robinson High.
Freelance writer Catherine Robinson, on nine challenges to Augusten Burroughs’s 2002 novel at the high schools of Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools, of which two reconsideration committees opted to remove the title, The Daily Loaf, March 26, 2010.
As a child, my favorite book was Dandelion Cottage, by Caroll Watson Rankin. Every time I brought it home from the library, my mother would say, "Not Dandelion Cottage again." I'd also read any book of fairy tales.
—Interview with children’s author Beverly Cleary, The Costco Connection, April 2010.
The nurse-midwives of literacy, public librarians are already loaning e-readers; a library that got 10 as gifts reported that within a half hour they had all been checked out.
—Author Anna Quindlen in Newsweek, Apr. 5, 2010, arguing for an end to the either/or view of print versus electronic.
The main thing to know about the iPad is that right now nobody, not even Steve Jobs himself, really knows how this device will be used.
—Daniel Lyons, Newsweek, Apr. 5, 2010.
It’s all too appropriate that our blue-haired librarian is wearing a pink scarf. Thanks for destroying everything that’s good in the world with your terrible library, Fidel Trotsky-Tsung!
Comics Curmudgeon blogger Josh Fruhlinger, commenting on a “Hi and Lois” cartoon in which it is implied that a library’s free services drove a bookstore out of business, March 30, 2010.
Imagine if all public school students received a library card, or even a public library–connected e-book, on the first day of school. Imagine public library kiosks in train stations and hospital lobbies, allowing any New Yorker with a library card to download the newest novel or the greatest classic.
—Julie Sandorf, president of the Charles V. Revson Foundation, in “New York City Foundations and Philanthropists Must Realize That the iPad Era Demands a New Partnership,” New York Daily News, March 26, 2010.
We often forget that in totalitarian dictatorships, where media is tightly controlled, simply publishing a non–government approved book is an act of sedition. . . . Instead of trying to protect the citizenry from these ideas, it is the librarian's duty to protect our resources from the machinations of paternalistic meddlers.
—Gainesville (Fla.) High School senior MIRIAM MOSHER, who is this year’s winner of the Florida Free Speech Forum’s writing competition, in “Unsung Activists Who Protect Our Privacy, Our Right to Know,” Gainesville Sun, March 15, 2010.
Before parents accept the wisdom of a school board to cut school librarians, they should ask: Will my child graduate with a 21st-century resume, or a 19th-century transcript? . . . As the information landscape becomes ever more complex, why does a school district want to abandon its professional guides to it?
–Web publisher MARK MORAN, who heads Dulcinea Media, in “Young Learners Need Librarians, Not Just Google,” Forbes, March 22, 2010.
I just got back from the library; I reserved a cubicle for the semester.
—Miss Sue the tutor, played by Kathy Bates, advising rising football star Michael Oher, played by Quinton Aaron, how to succeed, The Blind Side, directed by John Lee Hancock, 2009.
As a child, I pretty much lived in the library.
—Journalist Nicholas Kristof, 13th National Conference of the Public Library Association, Portland, Oregon, Mar. 24, 2010.
I spent my entire childhood at the library!
—Singer Natalie Merchant, 13th National Conference of the Public Library Association, Portland, Oregon, Mar. 24, 2010.
It doesn't matter whether they carry on their efforts in analog or digital format. For they are waging the holy battle to resurrect the entire world, over and over again, in its entirety--keeping every last tidbit safe and acid free.
Pagan Kennedy, reviewing Marilyn Johnson’s This Book Is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, New York Times Book Review, Mar. 7.
Technology has rendered the conventional definition of personally identifiable information obsolete.
—Maneesha Mithal, associate director of the Federal Trade Commission’s privacy division, quoted in “How Privacy Vanishes Online” by Steve Lohr, New York Times, Mar. 16, 2010.
The final wobbly argument in favor of keeping the [Mendocino County, California] libraries running is that it would prevent lost jobs among the librarian class. This is true enough, but if your only job skills are a thorough understanding of the Dewey Decimal System and the ability to alphabetize, what did you expect? Tenure? But good luck in the employment market anyway.
—Tommy Wayne Kramer, in “Save the County, Close the Libraries,” Ukiah Daily Journal, Feb. 22, 2010.
Heaven bless the long-suffering school librarians: the library was the one place I enjoyed in school.... It's a shame that the football team got a bigger budget than the Library.
James Stephenson in “Seen Not Heard: How Obscure Security Makes Schools Suck,” Boing Boing, Mar. 11, 2010.
Measuring teacher performance based in part on the test scores of their pupils would seem to be a no-brainer.
—Evan Thomas and Pat Wingert writing on education reform, “Why We Must Fire Bad Teachers,” Newsweek, March 15.
Millennials are the first truly digital generation. Three quarters have created a profile on Facebook or some other social-networking site. Only half of Gen Xers and 30% of boomers have done so.
—Robert J. Samuelson, “The Real Generation Gap,” Newsweek, March 15.
“Oh no, we would never get it back!”
—Humorist Paula Poundstone, quoting a California librarian when she asked if she could check out a book on the history of curse words, National Public Radio’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, March 6.
His goal was to make it not seem as competitive.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences librarian Lucia Schultz, explaining to the Associated Press why Oscar show producer Allan Carr told presenters not to use the expression “and the winner is,” March 8, 2010.
Librarians are my favorite people, and libraries are my favorite place to be.
Agatha Award–winning mystery novelist KATHERINE HALL PAGE on why she dedicated The Body in the Sleigh to librarians. “Author’s note,” The Body and the Sleigh.
That these books are available for children--for a child like me--all these books!--leaves me dazed, dazzled.
—Novelist Joyce Carol Oates, remembering a childhood visit to the Lockport Public Library in upstate New York, Smithsonian, Mar. 2010
“Things I Miss About Chicago” entry for Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library center, by expatriate Drew Adamek, Beachwood Reporter blog, Feb. 22
I actually consider this library as a luxury, because you do not need it to live. People need to realize—especially in these economic times we're in right now—if you don't pay, you can't play.
Prescott, Arizona, City Councilman John Hanna, defending a proposal to charge residents for library use, Prescott Daily Courier, Feb. 24
Glenn, Glenn, Glenn. The library isn't free! It's paid for with tax money! Free public libraries are the result of the progressive movement to communally share books. The first public library was the Boston Public Library in 1854. Its statement of purpose: Every citizen has the right to access community-owned resources. Community-owned? That sounds just like communists. You're a communist!
Comedian Jon Stewart, responding to television host Glenn Beck’s February 19 Conservative Political Action Conference keynote in which Beck asserted that he educated himself for free at the library, The Daily Show, February 22.
I educated myself. I went to the library—the books are free.
Television host Glenn Beck, addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference February 19.
Let's talk about libraries and freedom. Libraries today are not our grandma's libraries. They are busy and noisy, crowded and fun. They serve as a city's social and artistic arena. They protect American freedom to read and right to privacy.
—Norm Schiller, board president, Mississippi Valley Library District, Collinsville, Illinois, St. Louis Today, Feb. 17.
“The library had everything I wanted: a bathroom, a Toronto telephone book, all the morning’s newspapers, warmth, and friendly staff. Frequently in this space we critique the things the City of Toronto does wrong, so I just want to take a second to praise something that this city does right: Maintain 99 branches of the library, the biggest borrowing library system on the continent. It’s a beautiful thing.”
—Peter Kuitenbrouwer, writing in the Canadian National Post January 6 about his experience at the Ashdale branch of the Toronto Public Library, which came to the rescue when he wound up in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
“[The library is] one of the very few institutions on earth where any soul may walk through its doors free, and depart enriched.”
—Diane Asséo Griliches, Library: The Drama Within (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996), p. vii.
“[Having this library card is] like you’re carrying a postcard in your wallet every day."
Jane Lynch, in a meditative blog post on library cards, in Los Angeles Metblogs, Jan. 29.
“You’re pretty cocky for someone whose job is obsolete because of the internet.”
—Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler), responding to a Pawnee (Indiana) Public Library staffer’s wisecrack in the “Sweetums” episode, which aired on NBC Feb. 4.
Sometime after that first miserable try, I did what I should have done to begin with. I went to the library and pulled out a few articles....
Doctor and journalist ATUL GAWANDE, in the opening of his recent book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (Metropolitan Books, 2009).
A library is an enormous repository of information, entertainment, . . . [and] also probably the densest concentration of potential boredom on earth.
“Our Boredom, Ourselves,“ New York Times Book Review, Jan. 21.
The library has the advantage simply for the reason their catalogs were organized by live human beings, and not some computer algorithm that guessed and failed—again. And again. And again.
PC Mech’s RICH MENGA on the library’s importance today, despite many technologists’ arguments to the contrary. “Are Libraries Dying?” Dec. 2
I typed in "Luddite," and [the OPAC] gave me a list of six books (six!) as well as links to Amazon reviews. I set out to find each book. . . . I spent three hours at the library and did not learn much about Luddites, but what I did find actually gave me chills. This is what I discovered: If you have a specific destination, the web is the place to go. If you just need to search, there is no place like the library.
Author DIANA WAGMAN, on her quest for information about Luddites at the Los Angeles Public Library, “A Luddite in the Library,” Los Angeles Times, Nov. 22.
I see the web and everything it stands for as being an immense improvement over our old arrangements. It’s absurd to sit around sentimentalizing about the decline of the book in the face of the kind of knowledge that the web now gives us, and the research it allows us to do.
TERRY BELANGER, MacArthur fellow and founder of Rare Book School, in “The Book Mechanic,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 6.
Were it not for libraries, there would be no safe harbor for characters and stories, nowhere for them to wait out disasters and economic storms.
AMY GOLDMAN KOSS, author, most recently, of teen novel Side Effects, on the safety that libraries provide books that are remainedered, or pulled from bookstore shelves because sales are low. "Hero librarians save my babies," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 11.
We think of libraries as houses for books, but they’re so much more. They are full of discovery and adventure and beauty and delight. For me they’re full of memories. I dream of calm spaces and big chairs, and a time in the future, perhaps, when I can stand by my own daughter as she picks through the shelves, as my mother did for me. I will take her there not because I couldn’t go when I was a child, but because I could.
Writer CHRISTINA ENG, “Library Love,” Brown Alumni Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2009.
I'm convinced I am an excellent at-home Jeopardy! player today because of [my gradeschool's] library.
Entertainment Weekly columnist DIABLO CODY on how libraries fueled her obsession for "Sweet Valley High" books and later a movie deal. "Binge Thinking," October 23, 2009.
I envision librarians atop barricades, protecting our civil liberties, guarding our rights to privay, and unbanning books.
Agatha Award–winning mystery novelist KATHERINE HALL PAGE on why she dedicated The Body in the Sleigh to librarians. "Author’s note," The Body and the Sleigh.
Libraries give a town a moral center. I don't know how we would get along without them.
Pulitzer Prize winning author TRACY KIDDER, in an October 26 Cohasset (Mass.) Mariner interview.
No other civilization, ever, has had anything comparable to our [U.S.] public library system.
Pulitzer Prize–winning historian DAVID MCCULLOUGH, “Historian Looks at Americans in Paris,” Martha’s Vineyard Vineyard Gazette, June 12.
Look, if you want a safe job, work in a library.
Moscow crime reporter SERGEI KANEV recalling the dangers of his profession, including an attempted strangulation with a wire earlier this year. “Moscow Crime Reporter, Facing His Obituary Daily,” New York Times.
Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money . . . . I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.
Science fiction author RAY BRADBURY, writing in support of the Ventura County (Calif.) Library, New York Times.
When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books.
JAMES TRACY, headmaster of Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, and chief promoter of the library’s going bookless. “Welcome to the Library. Say Goodbye to the Books,” Boston Globe.
Is screen the new paper? Will publishing houses go the way of the old-fashioned record store? Is digital delivery the new bookstore? Is Google the new library? Is the author the new musician, playing directly to the audience? Is the audience the new author?
JONI EVANS, a former book publishing executive, recalls the artifacts of publishing in a former era and speculates on the tools and products of publishing today. “When Publishing Had Scents and Sounds,” New York Times.
Librarians and teachers report that students will almost always refuse to read a book not on the Accelerated Reader list, because they won’t receive any points. . . . The passion and serendipity of choosing a book at the library based on the subject or the cover or the first page is nearly gone.
SUSAN STRAIGHT, in an essay on problems with Accelerated Reader, a “reading management” software system that helps teachers track student reading through computerized comprehension tests and awards points for books based on length and difficulty. “Reading by the Numbers,” New York Times Book Review.
As for the intellectual property, I try not to get too worked up about it. . . . I like to get a little bit of perspective on it by remembering that back before the internet came along, we had a very special term for the people who buy a single copy of a book and then allow all their friends to read it for free. We called them librarians.
Science fiction author CHARLES STROSS, in a dialogue with economist Paul Krugman on future trends at a program at Anticipation World Con in Montreal.
Yes, a librarian can now be anyone—from your cute neighbor or cool classmate, to that sophisticated babe or handsome hunk. Or better yet, he can be a multitalented computer expert who is into flip spin, poi, fire breathing, and photography.
Rachel C. Barawid, in her article “It’s Hip to Be a Librarian,” Manila Bulletin (Philippines), Aug. 27.
Look, if you want a safe job, work in a library.
"Moscow Crime Reporter, Facing His Obituary Daily," New York Times
That's why I love you Library. You are always thinking of others. But could you get those baristas back on, say, a Monday?
Dear Wicomico Library: "Why We Think You Are So Top Shelf," The Salisbury (Md.) Daily Times.
I was studying to be a librarian . . . The next thing we knew, we were running into Jamie Foxx on talk shows.
To ask why we need libraries at all, when there is so much information available elsewhere, is about as sensible as asking if roadmaps are necessary now that there are so very many roads.
I am a proud non-reader of books. I like to get information from doing stuff like actually talking to people and living real life.