Because Librarians rule the world

Hey all,

I have been doing a lot of working helping to found a Martial Arts club here at CMU (one of many) and I am sorry I haven’t posted much. But today I can make up for it!

I love librarians. They are some of the few people whose professions required them to provide unbiased information to everyone. They fought the Patriot Act (“Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.”), keep our history and generally rock. Here are some of my favorite Librarian Quotes:

From The Mummy. Just because I love librarians in popular culture.

Evelyn: Look, I—I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O’Connell! But I am proud of what I am!
Rick O’Connell: And what is that?
Evelyn: I am . . . a librarian!

Here are some Buffy quotes. There are many reasons to love Buffy (women kicking butt, the longest-running lesbian relationship on tv, James Marsters…)

Ms Calendar: Honestly, what is it about [computers] that bothers you so much?
Giles: The smell.
Ms Calendar: Computers don’t smell, Rupert.
Giles: I know. Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell. Musty and, and, and, and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer, is, it … it has no texture, no context. It’s there and then it’s gone. If it’s to last, then the getting of knowledge should be tangible, it should be, um… smelly.

I know I’ve shown this one before. But it is really, really good.

Over coffee one afternoon in the summer of 2001, Andras [a librarian and historian whose family fled the communist takeover in Hungary and who now works at Harvard] reminded me [Matthew Battles] of another way to burn books, explained to him by a colleague who survived the siege of Sarajevo. In the winter, the scholar and his wife ran out of firewood, and so began to turn to their books for heat and cooking. ‘This forces one to think critically,’ Andras remembered his friend saying. ‘One must prioritize. First, you burn old college textbooks, which you haven’t read in thirty years. Then there are the duplicates. But eventually, you’re forces to make tougher choices. Who burns today: Dostoevsky or Proust?’ I asked Andras if his friend had any books left when the war was over. ‘Oh yes’ he replied, his face lit by a flickering smile. ‘He still had many books. Sometimes, he told me, you look at the books and just choose to go hungry.’ ~ (Battles, Matthew. Library: an unquiet History“. WW Norton & Company. NY: 2003. 190-1

What is more important in a library than anything else – than everything else – is the fact that it exists.  ~Archibald MacLeish, “The Premise of Meaning,” American Scholar, 5 June 1972

Libraries:  The medicine chest of the soul.  ~Library at Thebes, inscription over the door

Libraries are the one American institution you shouldn’t rip off.
~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

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

Here is where people,
One frequently finds,
Lower their voices
And raise their minds.
~Richard Armour, “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.  ~Malcolm Forbes

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.  ~Andrew Carnegie

A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.  ~Jo Godwin


What a place to be in is an old library!  It seems as though all the souls of all the writers that have bequeathed their labours to these Bodleians were reposing here as in some dormitory, or middle state.  I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding-sheets.  I could as soon dislodge a shade.  I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odor of their old moth-scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of the sciential apples which grew amid the happy orchard.  ~Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia

Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark…. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.  ~Germaine Greer

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

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