Quotes from Famous People

Quotable Quotes About Libraries

My guess is (it will be) about 300 years until computers are as good as, say, your local reference library in search. Craig Silverstein, director of technology, Google.com

One of the greatest gifts my brother and I received from my mother was her love of literature and language. With their boundless energy, libraries open the door to these worlds and so many others. I urge young and old alike to embrace all that libraries have to offer. Caroline Kennedy

My encouragement to you is to go tomorrow to the library. Poet Maya Angelou during a speech to a college audience that encouraged students to read voraciously and never stop learning.

Libraries are community treasure chests, loaded with a wealth of information available to everyone equally, and the key to that treasure chest is the library card. I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card. First Lady Laura Bush

Those who declared librarians obsolete when the Internet rage first appeared are now red-faced. We need them more than ever. The Internet is full of 'stuff' but its value and readability is often questionable. 'Stuff' doesn't give you a competitive edge, high-quality related information does. Patricia Schroeder, Association of American Publishers President

I used to go to the library all the time when I was 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.
Carey appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, where he announced that all of his winnings would go to Ohio public libraries. Carey donated nearly $600,000 to the Ohio Library Council.

I have a real soft spot in my heart for librarians and people who care about books. Ann Richards, former Governor of Texas

In hard times, libraries are more important than ever. Human beings need what books give them better than any other medium. Since ancient nights around prehistoric campfires, we have needed myth. And heroes. And moral tales. And information about the world beyond the nearest mountains or oceans.

Today, with books and movies more expensive than ever, and television entertainment in free fall to the lowest level of stupidity, free circulating books are an absolute necessity. They are quite simply another kind of food.

For those without money, the road to the treasure house of the imagination begins at the public library. Columnist Pete Hamill, New York Daily News

My childhood library was small enough not to be intimidating. And yet I felt the whole world was contained in those two rooms. I could walk any aisle and smell wisdom. REGION w:st="on">U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove

Libraries are places where we writers go after we die, if we're lucky. We?re going to live on through libraries. But there is also something more. In addition to being a place that we go after we die, if we are lucky, libraries are also the place where a great many writers are born. Joe Klein, author of Primary Colors and The Running Mate

Being in the library is so addictive for me that I really have to exercise self-control so I can get some writing done at home. Janet Fitch, Author of White Oleander

The library (in the migrant community) I grew up in was my only link to the outside world. Playwright and filmmaker Luis Valdez

When we build a public library, we don't have to pay to get in, but when we build a stadium, we have to pay the owner every time we go to a game. Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura

It was a great place to write a novel about book burning, in the library basement. Author Ray Bradbury on the writing of his classic novel Fahrenheit 451 over 50 years ago.

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. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

The public library is more than a repository of books. It's a mysterious, wondrous place with the power to change lives. Chicago Tribune literary editor Elizabeth Taylor

Many librarians perform their duties with a profound sense of responsibility: supporting the foundations of democracy by ensuring free access to information. New York Times reporter John Schwartz

Libraries are my passion in life. Before I became mayor (of Los Angeles), I used to sneak out here during lunchtime...and I'd go to a corner and take a book--any book almost--and read it for a while, and then feel rejuvenated. Richard Riordan

But despite the meek, shush-shushing stereotype, librarians are largely a freedom-upholding, risk-taking group. In the name of the First Amendment and anti-censorship, they have championed the causes of provocative writers and spoken out against banned and challenged books. Writer Linton Weeks, Washington Post


It's an essential fight librarians are making, an age-old fight; yours is a battle for civilization. It's a fight for our country's founding values. Radio talk-show host Jim Hightower

Books and reading saved a very lonely childhood. At the library I found people who took interest in me. From books, I learned about people and compassion. Nancy Slonim Aronie, Author of Writing from the Heart

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. Author Ray Bradbury

Librarians. I give them all the credit in the book. The Mormon Family Library...was so generous and so kind to me. They are amazing... I would call them and say, 'Would you look up in the 1840 census the Henry family around Milton, Virginia?' And...they would... Librarians at Hunter College, the University of North Carolina library, and the Library of Congress as well.

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who edited a manuscript he purchased entitled, The Bondswoman's Narrative by Hannah Crafts, the first known novel written by an African-American woman who had been a slave.

As a child I was a very shy little blonde kid that didn't speak at all to anybody...And what was wonderful about the library was that you didn't have to say a word. So it was my oasis. And you didn't have to ask for things in full sentences. You could just point to a shelf and say, '18th century dolls,' and the librarians would lead you there. It was amazing. I felt like a queen. Adrienne Yorinks, award-winning illustrator and quilter.

I find that when I come out of the library I'm in what I call the library bliss of being totally taken away from the distractions of life. Tracy Chevalier, Author of Girl with a Pearl Earring

My very identities as a reader and a writer began at the Walt Whitman branch library. Paula Spencer, Woman's Day Contributing Editor

I fell in love with libraries when I first walked into the school library in Falls City, Texas, population 462. It was tiny and I quickly read through almost everything, but it was a lifeline for a child starved for a larger world. In many ways I owe great chunks of the life I lead to libraries.
Jane Chestnutt, Editor-in-Chief, Woman's Day Magazine

I liked reading and working out my ideas in the midst of that endless crowd walking in and out of the (library) looking for something. I, too, was seeking fame and fortune by sitting at the end of a long golden table next to the sets of American authors on the open shelves. Author Alfred Kazin
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I have relied on the library to provide the research materials for five books and uncountable magazine articles. But what has always impressed me most forcefully is the institution's connection to the everyday life of New Yorkers, from giggling teenagers to the very old...From its beginnings, this (library) building has served both as an instigator and a mirror of social change. The Library is one of the last bastions of respect for those who try to carry on...independent scholarship...As a writer, I can never get over the sense of being absolutely lucky to be able to get my hands (literally) on so many books.Writer Susan Jacoby

Going to the library builds a kid's imagination. Books help them discover themselves and the world. Baltimore Oriole All-Star shortstop Mike Bordick

Teenagers can discover the pleasures of reading and gain the power of knowledge by going to libraries. With that power, they will be invincible. NASCAR driver Ward Burton, winner of the Daytona 500.

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

We must not think of learning as only what happens in schools. It is an extended part of life. The most readily available resource for all of life is our public library system. Author David McCullough

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

Getting my library card was like citizenship; it was like American citizenship. Oprah Winfrey

"When I was a kid and the other kids were home watching "Leave it to Beaver," my father and step-mother were marching me off to the library." Oprah Winfrey

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

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. You can measure the awareness, the breadth and the wisdom of a civilization, a nation, a people by the priority given to preserving these repositories of all that we are, all that we were, or will be.
Publisher Malcolm Forbes

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. Musician Keith Richards

My alma mater was books, a good library. Malcolm X

What libraries give you is all three tenses -- the past tense -- the present tense in which we live and the future that we can only imagine. These places have teachers who are living and dead and we are lucky to have them. If I sit here and read Aristotle, he is speaking to me across a thousand years -- more than a thousand years. That sense that I am in the company of the great greatest people who ever lived is a humbling experience but a liberating experience. Columnist Pete Hamill, New York Daily News

A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life. Author Norman Cousins

The part of my education that has had the deepest influence wasn't any particular essay or even a specific class, it was how I was able to apply everything I learned in the library to certain situations in my life. . . The library takes me away from my everyday life and allows me to see other places and learn to understand other people unlike myself. Musician Gloria Estefan

As a child, I loved to read books. The library was a window to the world, a pathway to worlds and people far from my neighborhood in Philadelphia. And even today, as I travel around the world, I often visit places I used to dream about because of the books I'd read. The library made a difference in my life.
Broadcaster Ed Bradley

The free access to information is not a privilege, but a necessity for any free society. One of my favorite things to do as a young man was wander through the stacks of my hometown library. I'd just browse until I found something interesting. Libraries have definitely changed my life. Actor Edward Asner

When I was young, we couldn't afford much. But, my library card was my key to the world. Actor John Goodman

We all love to hear a good story. We save our stories in books. We save our books in libraries. Libraries are the storyhouses full of all those stories and secrets. Actor Kathy Bates

I am here because libraries and museums are singular and important institutions with unique contributions to make to our nation. But more importantly, I am here as an advocate for children and families, for healthy communities, for economic development, for scholars and researchers, for individuals who seek educational and informational resources throughout their lives. Former U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Robert Martin

The day I discovered that one could go to the public library and take out books was one of the happiest of my life. Columnist Liz Smith

There are ways to recover one's perspective. You can wait for one of those periodic crisis that summon the best of the decent men and women who toil at virtually every level of government. Or you can go to your local public library, where the democratic ideals of liberty, equality, and free inquiry are still burnished by daily use. Columnist Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press

I really didn't realize the librarians were, you know, such a dangerous group. They are subversive. You think they're just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They're like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn't mess with them. You know, they've had their budgets cut. They're paid nothing. Books are falling apart. The libraries are just like the ass end of everything, right? Filmmaker and author Michael Moore

I think the New York Public Library is so, so amazing. It's literally the coolest place - It's good shelter from the sun and it's the most beautiful building. It's really, really fun. Actress Natalie Portman

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

As a child, my number one best friend was the librarian in my grade school. I actually believed all those books belonged to her. Author Erma Bombeck

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. Author James A. Michener

When I was a child in the Navy during World War II, I was perennially grateful to the armed services libraries for having on hand a good supply of those pocket books, which were so common in that period. I must have read a couple hundred of them, and they did a lot to save my sanity." Author James A. Michener

Librarians have always been among the most thoughtful and helpful people. They are teachers without a classroom. No libraries, no progress.
Broadcaster Willard Scott

Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better. Author Sidney Sheldon

The library is not only a diary of the human race, but marks an act of faith in the continuity of humanity. President, Carnegie Corporation Vartan Gregorian

The library is our house of intellect, our transcendental university, with one exception: no one graduates from a library. No one possibly can, and no one should. President, Carnegie Corporation Vartan Gregorian

We are not mere gatekeepers and doorkeepers of humanity's heritage. We also must protect its dissemination. We must beware of all censorship in whatever form it comes, because to censor, to tamper with truth, to tamper with our memory, is to commit a historical sin. We, as librarians, have a major duty that we must all share all over the world, in order not to allow anybody to control, to twist, and most important of all, to manipulate our human will and through it our free institutions. President, Carnegie Corporation Vartan Gregorian

The library is central to our free society. It is a critical element in the free exchange of information at the heart of our democracy. President, Carnegie Corporation Vartan Gregorian

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. No committee decides who may enter, no crisis of body or spirit must accompany the entrant. No tuition is charged, no oath sworn, no visa demanded. Of the monuments humans build for themselves, very few say "touch me, use me, my hush is not indifference, my space is not barrier. If I inspire awe, it is because I am in awe of you and the possibilities that dwell in you. Author Toni Morrison

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. Author Barbara Kingsolver

Here was one place where I could find out who I was and what I was going to become. And that was the public library. Author Jerzy Kosinski

When I got my library card, that's when my life began. Author Rita Mae Brown

A library book...is not, then, an article of mere consumption, but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, is their only capital. Thomas Jefferson

Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there. Clare Booth Luce

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. Tennis Champion- Human Rights Activist Arthur Ashe

Libraries promote the sharing of knowledge, connecting people of all ages with valuable information resources. These dynamic and modern institutions, and the librarians who staff them, add immeasurably to our quality of life. President George W. Bush

Children know that if they have a question about the world, the library is the place to find the answer. And someone will always be there to help them find the answer--our librarians. (A librarian's) job is an important one. Our nation runs on the fuel of information and imagination that libraries provide. And they are in charge of collecting and sharing this information in a helpful way. Librarians inform the public, and by doing so, they strengthen our great democracy. First Lady Laura Bush

Here is where people
One frequently finds
Lower their voices
And raise their mind
Richard Armour