Tuesday, September 26, 2006

the fall of the library

I'm browsing through a book called Library: The Drama Within by Diane Asseo Griliches and Daniel J. Boorstin. It has made me think of the struggle that libraries here in Alberta, especially the smaller ones, face every year. The funding is always being cut and without the federal grants and fundraising societies, there would be a pretty dismal library system. The book is made up of an essay and photographs with short descriptions/explanations of the photo. There are a few quotes that I like. NYPD Officer Dombranski talks about some of the library closures in the US due to lack of funding: "Some kids go to the library...Others go to the street. But they can't go to the libraries if the libraries are closed." Malcolm X talked about learning to read in the library of a correctional institute. He said "My alma mater was books and a good library. I don't think anybody ever got more out of going to prison than I did. Ten guards and the warden couldn't have torn me out of those books. Months passed without even thinking about being imprisoned...I had never been so truly free in my life."
There was a picture of a tiny library that used to be a post office somewhere in Virginia that could only hold about 5 people. It inspired me even more to create a library when I live where there isn't one.
Some lady named Sheila Bourbeau says it so simply: "A library is books and somewhere to put them and some people to want them there..."
And here is one last quote from someone who's work I don't entirely enjoy, but I loved this:
"Come, take choice of all my library, and so beguile thy sorrow." - William Shakespeare
The picture on the cover of the book is of "The Grand Reading Room" of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, France. The picture below I thought was kind of cool because it is of an old jail turned into a library and it still has the barred cells, and a rope hook and trap door for the gallows were left on the third floor.


Dagga said...

Oh libraries, how I love them, check out this site

Dagga said...


elisabeth said...

i am in awe of those libraries. i like the red spiral staircase. imagine the great people who have sat and studied in those places.

that was a funny post too.

Seaneria said...

I wish I had the same fondness for libraries. I appreciate the utility but most of my memories involve 20 hour study sessions with three red bulls keeping my eyes open and adding an odd twitch to my extremities.

elisabeth said...

hehe that sucks.
maybe when you are an old man you will have reconciled and will hang out in libraries again.

phyllis sweetwater said...

last time a went to the library my kids ran screaming up and down the isles and throwing the books off the shelves. I would love to go to the library but something (3 kids who gets there ideas from the restricted section in Harry Potter) is stopping me. I hope you start up a great library Liz, I'll help you. (that means we have to be neighbours forever)

Rus said...

guess you better move to mexico