Quotes About Librarians, Libraries, Books and Reading
Quotes on many library-related topics from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
More favorite library quotes
"What the world of tomorrow will be like is greatly dependent on the power of imagination in those who are learning to read today." -- Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002)
"Cutting libraries during a recession is like cutting hospitals during a plague."
-- Eleanor Crumblehulme, library assistant, University of British Columbia
"Reclaim your role as eco-role models and exemplars in your community. Change is happening rapidly. Let libraries continue to be at the center of it."
-- Wanda Urbanska, host of Simple Living
"At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better."
-- President (then Senator) Barack Obama
"When I was a kid and the other kids were home watching Leave It to Beaver, my father and stepmother were marching me off to the library."
-- Oprah Winfrey, talk-show host
"I used to go to the library all the time when I was a kid. As a teenager, I got a book on how to write jokes at the library, and that, in turn, launched my comedy career."
-- comedian Drew Carey
"If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians."
-- Warren Buffet
"If you cut funding to libraries, you cut the lifeblood of our communities."
-- Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley
"Books educate us about art and politics and people and ideas. This happens in non-fiction and fiction. And in poetry, of course. So many of us have been moved to a deeper understanding of things -- or many things -- by taking in a few dark lines on the page."
-- Author Elizabeth Berg
"It's funny that we think of libraries as quiet demure places where we are shushed by dusty, bun-balancing, bespectacled women. The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy and community. Librarians have stood up to the Patriot Act, sat down with noisy toddlers and reached out to illiterate adults. Libraries can never be shushed."
-- Comedian and author Paula Poundstone, national spokesperson for Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA)
"If it is right that schools should be maintained by the whole community for the well-being of the whole, it is right also that libraries should be so maintained."
--Industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, 1904
“There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the Earth as the Free Public Library -- this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.”
"My mother and my father were illiterate immigrants from Russia. When I was a child they were constantly amazed that I could go to a building and take a book on any subject. They couldn’t believe this access to knowledge we have here in America.”
“Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.”
--Lady Bird Johnson
“Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this mission.”
“Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers. And the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open.”
“Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly.”
“I’d be happy if I could think that the role of the library was sustained and even enhanced in the age of the computer.”
"As a general rule, librarians are a kick in the pants socially, often full of good humor, progressive, and naturally, well read. They tend to be generalists who know so much about so many things that they are quite the opposite of the boring old poops they have been made out to be. Most of them are full of life, some even full of the devil."
-- Bill Hall, editorial page editor, Lewiston (Idaho) Tribune, Sept. 9, 2001.
"Libraries and librarians have definitely changed my life -- and the lives of countless other Americans...they deserve the support and patronage of every single one of us who values education."
-- Former First Lady Barbara Bush
"I'm of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved."
-- Barbara Kingsolver, novelist
"School libraries help teachers teach and children learned. Children and teachers need library resources--especially books--and the expertise of a librarian to succeed. Books, information technology and school librarians who are part of the schools' professional team are basic ingredients for student achievement."
-- First Lady Laura Bush.
"Librarians have always been among the most thoughtful and helpful people. They are teachers without a classroom. No libraries, no progress." --Willard Scott, NBC TV weatherman
"Librarians are at the heart of opposition to foolish, dangerous, misguided attempts at censoring human expression in our free country. I thank God for their efforts."
-- Author Clyde Edgerton
"Librarians are almost always very helpful and often almost absurdly knowledgeable. Their skills are probably
very underestimated and largely underemployed."
-- The Social Audit Consumer Handbook, Macmillan, 1978. Charles MEDAWAR
"What can I say? Librarians rule!"
"Librarians are very special people. They are the caregivers of the world of the mind, the nurturers of dreams and the defenders of truth. Perhaps no other profession is so marked by the singular generosity of its practitioners." -- Denver Post editorial, March 25, 2000.
"When you absolutely positively have to know, ask a librarian." - American Library Association (ALA)
"In early days, I tried not to give librarians any trouble, which was where I made my primary mistake. Librarians like to be given trouble; they exist for it, they are geared to it. For the location of a mislaid volume, an uncatalogued item, your good librarian has a ferret's nose. Give her a scent and she jumps the leash, her eye bright with battle."
(Catherine Drinker Bowen. From: Adventures of a Biographer, 1959)
"Everyone loves libraries, but library workers can't live on love alone. Just ask our landlords, doctors and families." -- ALA
"Libraries are the mind and soul of their communities, and librarians are the mind and soul of the library." -- ALA
"You can't have good education without good libraries, and you can't have good libraries without good staff." -- ALA
"If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians." -- Warren Buffett, U.S. business executive.
"Today's librarian is a well-trained, technology-savvy, information expert who can enrich the learning process of any library user--from early reader to graduate student to young Web surfer to retiring senior citizen." -- ALA
"The most important asset of any library goes home at night -- the library staff." -- Father Timothy Healy, former president, New York Public Library.
"In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us how to swim." -- Linton Weeks, Washington Post, Jan. 13, 2001.
"We cannot have good libraries until we first have good librarians -- properly educated, professionally recognized, and fairly rewarded." -- Herbert S. White, Library Journal, Nov. 15, 1999.
I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card. -- Laura Bush, First Lady
I would walk into the Carnegie Library and I would see the pictures of Booker T. and pictures of Frederick Douglass and I would read. I would go into the Savannah Public Libraries in the stacks and see all of the newspapers from all over the country. Did I dream that I would be on the Supreme Court? No. But I dreamt that there was a world out there that was worth pursuing. -- Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
"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." -- Keith Richards, Rolling Stones Guitarist
Public libraries have been a mainstay of my life. They represent an individual's right to acquire knowledge; they are the sinews that bind civilized societies the world over. Without libraries, I would be a pauper, intellectually and spiritually. -- James Michener, American Writer
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. -- Malcolm Forbes, American Publisher
When I got my library card, that's when my life began. -- Rita Mae Brown, Contemporary American Author
We will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum. --
Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)
This library has something offensive to everyone. If you are not offended by something we have, please complain. -- Dorothy Broderick, Contemporary American Writer.
What is more important in a library than anything else is the fact that it exists. -- Archibald Macleish, U.S. Poet
If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all. --
Senator John F. Kennedy, October 1960
From the ACU Library Quotes Archive
A good library is a place, a palace where the lofty spirits of all nations and generations meet. --Samuel Niger
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." --Jorge Luis Borges
There is no Frigate like a Book to take us lands away, nor any Coursers like a Page of prancing poetry. --Emily Dickinson
"What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education." --Harold Howe, former
U.S. Commissioner of Education
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. --Sir Richard Steel
"My pen is my harp and my lyre; my library is my garden and my orchard." --Judah Ha-Levi (Spanish Poet, Physician)
"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island..." --Walt Disney (1901-1966)
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. --Groucho Marx
The Library is the Heart of the University. --Charles William Eliot CPR and the Library: Resuscitating the
Heart of the University by Isaac Hunter Dunlap, Copyright 1995
My alma mater was books, a good library ... I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my
curiosity. --Malcolm X From The Autobiography of Malcolm X
"When I was your age, television was called books!" --Grandpa in The Princess Bride
"You must live feverishly in a library. Colleges are not going to do any good unless you are raised and live in a library every day of your life." --Ray Bradbury
"What can I say? Librarians rule!" --Regis Philbin (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? 2/17/00)
"I cannot live without books." --Thomas Jefferson
"When you absolutely positively have to know, ask a librarian."
"...I spent many, many hours in...libraries. Libraries became courts of last resort, as it were." --Arthur Ashe
"The only way to do all the things you'd like to do is to read." --Tom Clancy
"Life would be--to me in all events--a terrible thing without books." --L.M. Montgomery
"Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry." --Mark Strand (From "Eating Poetry") Online Poetry Resources
"When life seems not worth living, ten minutes in the library proves otherwise." --Miv Schaaf
"If we didn't have libraries, many people thirsty for knowledge would dehydrate." --Megan Jo Tetrick, age 12, Daleville, IN
"Readers are lucky--they will never be bored or lonely." --Natalie Babbitt, author of Tuck Everlasting
"Nothing is pleasanter than exploring a library." --Walter Savage Landor, 1775-1864
"Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading!" --Rainer Maria Rilke (German poet)
"The dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul--BOOKS." --Emily Dickinson