Libraries Remember Day

September 11 is a day we remember many things about the attack on the World Trade Center and other buildings. It was Bill Erbes of Bensenville Community Public Library who started libraries Remember Day. He suggested other libraries join his being open 24 hours on September 11, from midnight to midnight, as a remembrance of not only that terrible time but of the part libraries play in preserving freedom and history.

What may not be widely known is that the American Library Association adopted a patron’s bill of rights way back in 1939. I have abridged it, but you can read the full document here.

  1. Library materials should be available to all.
  2. Libraries should provide materials presenting all points of view, not limiting them to a particular belief system.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship.
  4. Libraries should work with all groups concerned with freedom of speech and information.
  5. The library should be open to all users.
  6. Is about making library public spaces and meeting rooms equally available to all.

This has led libraries to do such things as make sure a patron’s record is private. Most library systems break the link between patron and items checked out after they are returned so that no one’s reading habits can be used against them. Libraries provide access to the Internet so that all can access available information. Libraries fight censorship in all its forms.

Libraries also preserve history, collecting source documents, cataloging, and housing them so that they are available for researchers and others. Even in this age of instant information, we need libraries to help sort the wheat from the chaff, nd to provide a long, historical view.

Neil Gaiman has called libraries “the thin red line between civilisation and barbarism.” Libraries remember even when the powers that be don’t want them to.

Quotes about libraries

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.–Ray Bradbury

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.–Keith Richards

Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.–Walter Cronkite

The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man.–T. S. Eliot

To Whom It May Concern: Welcome to the library where no one will tell you what to read or tell you what to think…. Meanwhile a book over there on a shelf will be glancing at you sideways getting up the courage to ask you out make you laugh make you cry make you fall in love.–Meg Rosoff

A public library is the most enduring of memorials, the trustiest monument for the preservation of an event or a name or an affection; for it, and it only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them.–Mark Twain

Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.–Lady Bird Johnson

Libraries are about Freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.–Neil Gaiman

The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history.–Carl Rowan

Libraries remind us that truth isn’t about who yells the loudest, but who has the right information.–Barack Obama

Knowledge sets us free, art sets us free. A great library is freedom.–Ursula K. Le Guin

I go into my library and all history unrolls before me.–Alexander Smith

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Library Lovers Month

February is Library Lovers Month. There are many different kinds of libraries. Colleges and universities have large research libraries. Towns and cities have public libraries, holding more fiction and popular books, though there are materials for research as well. Businesses have special libraries of materials helpful to their employees. Often these are in the form of periodicals in the area of the business, as well as database access. Law libraries hold volumes of old court decisions to help lawyers as they prepare cases. Schools have school libraries to serve the children in their care. My own local library also has collections in the senior center and the jail. Each of these will hold different kinds of materials for different needs.

Contrary to popular belief, librarians don’t spend their time reading. They are likely to be helping patrons, choosing books, evaluating newer kinds of materials, purchasing items, applying cataloging information so that the books on a particular topic can be found shelved near each other, and many other tasks. Within that world, only those with a master’s degree in library science or closely related field are actually called librarians. Others receive on the job training and do some of the more mundane tasks such as checking out books, shelving materials, getting books ready to be used by the public and other such. But all have the same goal, which is to best serve the patrons, so they can be connected with the information they need, whether that’s looking up an arcane law, getting the latest Stephen King book, participating in a book club, watching a film, doing genealogy, bringing a child to story time, or much, much more.

It is very appropriate to celebrate libraries in this day and age when so many are closing from lack of funds. There are multiple reasons. People with the means are likely to just purchase what they need, or use Google. But as Neil Gaiman says, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.” So show your local library some love this month.

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Quotes about libraries

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

A library of wisdom, is more precious than all wealth, and all things that are desirable cannot be compared to it. Whoever therefore claims to be zealous of truth, of happiness, of wisdom or knowledge, must become a lover of books.–Richard de Bury

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

The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy and community.-–Paula Poundstone

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

A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination.–Caitlin Moran

What in the world would we do without our libraries?–Katharine Hepburn

Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.–Lady Bird Johnson

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

More than a building that houses books and data, the library has always been a window to a larger world–a place where we’ve always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts that help move the American story forward.–Barack Obama

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National Friends of Libraries Week

The third week in October is National Friends of Libraries Week. This may be an unfamiliar term. Friends of Libraries are groups which operate on the local level to promote their local libraries. Friends groups often hold interesting seminars and other informational meetings. They raise money for their local libraries, for there is not a library anywhere which has money to buy all the materials they want. They often spearhead expansion projects. They may run book sales. My local Friends group runs a perpetual book sale in the library garage. It’s called the Bookie Joint. Gift books which the library can’t use, and older books weeded from the collection are for sale there for very reasonable prices. It’s open two or three times a week and is often quite busy.

If your library has a Friends group, find out how you can get involved. If it doesn’t, the American Library Association has information on how to get one started. You can find all sorts of useful information about Friends groups here. Your librarian will thank you. Don’t know if your library has a Friends group? Ask your local librarians. They will know. My local library has a link to our Friends group on the main Web page. It clearly states who the Friends are, what they do, when they meet, and how to get involved.

But whether or not you join an official Friends group, I urge everyone reading this to become a friend to their local library. They serve an important purpose in this information age, particularly for people with fewer resources. I don’t know what I’d do without my library!

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Quotes about libraries

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.–Ray Bradbury

Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.–Walter Cronkite

What is more important in a library than anything else – than everything else – is the fact that it exists.–Archibald MacLeish

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

What in the world would we do without our libraries?–Katharine Hepburn

The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man.–T. S. Eliot

To Whom It May Concern: Welcome to the library where no one will tell you what to read or tell you what to think…. Meanwhile a book over there on a shelf will be glancing at you sideways getting up the courage to ask you out make you laugh make you cry make you fall in love.–Meg Rosoff

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

A public library is the most enduring of memorials, the trustiest monument for the preservation of an event or a name or an affection; for it, and it only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them.–Mark Twain

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

Most people don’t realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn’t value its librarians doesn’t value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?–Neil Gaiman

You could go to a secret corner of the library where the only people talking are between the covers of books. They speak so softly that you can only hear them in your head as you read about forests and oceans and deserts and caverns and museums and a thousand other things.–Douglas Wood

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com

Library Card Signup Month

September is the month to sign up for a librarycard. The short theme of this piece is if you don’t have a library card, get yourself to you library and signup for one NOW! Many people seem to believe that in the age of the Internet and Amazon, libraries are obsolete and totally unneeded. If that’s how you feel, get it out of your head because it’s an outdated reminder of a bygone day.

Modern libraries (and I’m mostly speaking of public libraries here, though academic libraries and special libraries are also important} are treasure trove of information you can use in your everyday life. Libraries provide books, yes, of course, and that is their main type of material, but they also carry video – VHS, DVD, and Blueray – audio books – on cassette, CD=ROM, mp3, and perhaps other types. They also have music in various media. They have newspapers, likely back to volume 1 issue 1 at least for the community newspaper. They contain government documents, genealogical information, and reference books covering a wide variety of subjects either in paper copies or through databases available to their card holders.

And that doesn’t begin to cover all the other things they do, from story times for children, to book discussions for teens or adults, to movie nights. I used to belong to a library group that would read a particular book during the month, and then watch the movie based on the book, followed by discussion of the two. I also belonged to a writing group sponsored by my local library. In short, libraries are full of wonderful things and much to discover.

Many library workers have advanced degrees in library science, or some variation of that. Does it seem like I’m being overly enthusiastic? My work life was in libraries and I know them forwards and backwards. But libraries are buildings full of dreams and staffed by people who will be happy to help you and your family to find yours.

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Quotes about libraries. Especially note the firs by Neil Gaiman.

Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.–Neil Gaiman

The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.–Kurt Vonnegut

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

Everything you need for yo A library is the first step of a thousand journeys, portal to a thousand worlds.–Orson Scott Cardur better future and success has already been written. And guess what? It’s all available. All you have to do is go to the library.–Jim Rohn

A library is thought in cold storage.–Herbert Samuel

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

A library is the only single place you can go to learn something new, be comforted, terrified, thrilled, saddened, overjoyed, or excited all in one day. And for free.–Amy Neftzger

A library of wisdom, is more precious than all wealth, and all things that are desirable cannot be compared to it. Whoever therefore claims to be zealous of truth, of happiness, of wisdom or knowledge, must become a lover of books.–Richard de Bury

More than a building that houses books and data, the library has always been a window to a larger world–a place where we’ve always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts that help move the American story forward.–Barack Obama (speech to the American Library Assn., June 2005)

No university in the world has ever risen to greatness without a correspondingly great library… When this is no longer true, then will our civilization have come to an end.–Lawrence Clark Powell

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

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, athttp://www.quotelady.com.

National Library Week

National Library Week

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.

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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 http://www.quotelady.com.