As a degreed librarian, I couldn’t let National Library Week go by without a blog about it. Other than a short stint at Amazon, I spent my professional life working in libraries, both academic and public.

The sponsors of this special week have this to say about it: “First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.”

And about the history of this, they add: “In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee’s goals were ambitious. They ranged from “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time” to “improving incomes and health” and “developing strong and happy family life.”

Of course, libraries are about much more than books. You can now check out all sorts of things such as music, movies, e- and audio books, and any number of other things depending on the library. Libraries hold story times for children, discussion groups for adults, and educational programs. They provide free Internet access, as well as reference materials of many other kinds, and librarians to help you find information of whatever kind you need. You will find access to great minds of the past, exciting new authors, old newspapers and modern periodicals. It is a treasure trove for the inquiring mind.

Neil Gaiman, a prolific writer and great champion of libraries has said, “Libraries are the thin red line between civilisation and barbarism,” and my own personal favorite of his quotes; “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers; a librarian can bring you back the right one.”

So value your local library, and pay it a visit, especially during this week. Thank a librarian while you are there. Here is my tribute to my own local library – Christy Davis, thank you and your staff for all you do to make my town a better place to live.


On my Website (address at the bottom of this blog entry) I have dozens of quotes about libraries. Here are a few of my favorites.

Be a little careful about your library. Do you foresee what you will do with it? Very little to be sure. But the real question is, What it will do with you? You will come here and get books that will open your eyes, and your ears, and your curiosity, and turn you inside out or outside in.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Civilized nations build libraries; lands that have lost their soul close them down.–Toby Forward

The health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.–Carl Sagan

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.–Jorge Luis Borges

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.–Marcus Tullius Cicero

Librarians are almost always very helpful and often almost absurdly knowledgeable. Their skills are probably very underestimated and largely underemployed.–Charles Medawar

The library houses thousands of imaginations, thoughts of the living and the dead. A good day in the library means you see the world differently when you depart.–Robin Ince

The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.–Albert Einstein

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.–Jon Bing

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at

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