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  • But although technology is vastly changing their roles, librarians are still seen as "trusted agents" and their role as navigators of the Internet will be critical to everyday life and the future economy.
  • I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking something up and finding something else on the way.
  • Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.
  • To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence.
  • You go into the restaurants of a town and you see people with hungry stomachs, but you go into the library of the same town and you will see hungry brains feasting upon their favorites. There are all too few libraries, and far too many restaurants. People should eat less and think more.
  • Libraries are the key to ensuring that the divide between information rich and poor is kept as narrow as possible.
  • The computer is only a fast idiot, it has no imagination; it cannot originate action. It is, and will remain, only a tool to man.
  • Throughout my formal education I spent many, many hours in public and school libraries. Libraries became courts of last resort, as it were. The current definitive answer to almost any question can be found within the four walls of most libraries.
  • I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the over door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it.
  • Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.
  • People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.
  • If your library is not unsafe, it probably isn't doing its job.
  • There's no use going to school unless your final destination is the library.
  • Being a writer in a library is rather like being a eunuch in a harem.
  • The closest we will ever come to an orderly universe is a good library.
  • There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank nor office, nor weight receives the slightest consideration.
  • Whatever the costs of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.
  • The great consulting-room of a wise man is a library.
  • Th' first thing to have in a libry is a shelf. Fr'm time to time this can be decorated with lithrachure. But th' shelf is th' main thing.
  • Consider what you have in the smallest chosen library. A company of the wisest and wittiest men that could be picked out of all civil countries, in a thousand years, have set in best order the results of their learning and wisdom. The men themselves were hid and inaccessible, solitary, impatient of interruption, fenced by etiquette; but the thought which they did not uncover to their bosom friend is here written out in transparent words to us, the strangers of another age.
  • An intelligent person is not necessarily one who knows the answers but rather knows where to find them.
  • A university is a group of buildings gathered around a library.
    • Shelby Foote
    • Variant: A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.
  • The richest person in the world – in fact all the riches in the world – couldn't provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library.
  • The challenge now is for public libraries – particularly in low-income communities – to stay connected. Libraries need support to maintain quality technology services so they can effectively serve the millions who count on them for their only access to computers and the internet.
  • A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.
  • He that revels in a well-chosen library has innumerable dishes, and all of admirable flavor.
  • I have always believed that libraries are the most civilized places in our world, the most generous and democratic, the least judgmental, belonging to no one and everyone, doing the noble work of at once preserving and circulating the ideas and expressions of mankind.
  • No possession can surpass, or even equal, a good library to the lover of books. Here are treasured up for his daily use and delectation, riches which increase by being consumed, and pleasures which never cloy.
  • He has his Rome, his Florence, his whole glowing Italy, within the four walls of his library. He has in his books the ruins of an antique world, and the glories of a modern one.
  • You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!
  • A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right to bring up children without surrounding them with books.... Children learn to read being in the presence of books.
  • Libraries are one of the only face-to-face services left where kids can come with no appointment and get professional services from someone with a master's degree who assigns no grades, makes no judgments. It's the greatest democratic institution ever created.
  • The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think 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.
  • Librarians have always been among the most thoughtful and helpful people. They are teachers without a classroom. No libraries, no progress.
  • The prestige of the library of the future will not be the size of the collection, but the number of clicks to its website.
  • A keeper of books:
    I've traveled the world twice over,
    Met the famous; saints and sinners,
    Poets and artists, kings and queens,
    Old stars and hopeful beginners,
    I've been where no-one's been before,
    Learned secrets from writers and cooks.
  • To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one.
  • He who lends a book is an idiot. He who returns the book is more of an idiot.
  • "Libraries change lives. They are the soul of a people."
  • Steal not this book, for fear or shame, For it is in the owner's name; And when you are dead, the Lord will say, "Where is that book you stole away?"
    • Book inscription
  • I was the pride of the public library... until I discovered Smirnoff.
    • 1965 advertising slogan
  • A new library is like finding a $100 bill on the sidewalk.
    • Anonymous library patron. as quoted in PUBLIB message, 11 September 2000
  • All with one library ticket
    To the wonderful world of books.
  • When you absolutely positively have to know, ask a librarian.
  • Nobody graduated from a library
    Nobody graduated without one.
  • Libraries keep the records on behalf of all humanity....the unique and the absurd, the wise and [the] fragments of stupidity.
  • Don't write in a book unless it is your check book!
  • To maintain a public library intact, the librarian should buy three copies of each book: the first to show, the second to loan, and the third to read.
  • A person's library consists of all the books he has that no one wants to borrow.
  • The road to success is always under construction.
  • A library is a hospital for the mind.
  • By the time a man can read a woman like a book, he is too old to collect a library.
  • The worst level of service that Internet users will accept is the best level of service they have ever seen.
  • Information that cannot be found is not information, it is landfill.
  • Knowledge is free at the library. Just bring your own container.
  • Book lovers never go to bed alone.
  • On how many people's libraries, as on bottles from the drugstore, one might write: "For external use only".
  • A library is an arsenal of liberty.

Library inscriptions (unsourced)[edit]

  • The medicine chest of the soul.
    • Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes.
  • Books Set the Spirit Free.
    • Carved over the door of the Lockport Public Library, Lockport, New York
  • Nutrimentum spiritus.
    • Translation: Food for the soul.
    • Inscription on the Berlin Royal Library