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Funny story…  I read this article in the New Yorker titled, “Growing Up In the Library” and was instantly intrigued.  The author, Susan Orlean, has written about the Central Library fire in Los Angeles in 1986 in a book called, The Library Book.  Hearing about a library fire made me think of the Librarian of Basra and the rescuing of books from war and fire in Iraq and of course I wanted to read more.  The Library Book is new so I had to put it on hold in my own library.  Once my place in line was secured, I forgot all about it.  After all, there were about 200 people in line ahead of me!

Fast forward a couple months… The Library Book was automatically checked out to me in the Kindle version.  I read the book and enjoyed it.  The Library Book is a lovely compilation of essays, stories and autobiographical pieces written by notable UK authors in support of libraries.  I even selected several quotes from many of the essays and made graphics for them.  Next step is to write this post about the book and add my graphic creations.

This is where it gets funny.  I went to Amazon to read the official excerpt as inspiration to get started.  At which point I became very confused.  The Library Book is about a library fire in LA?  Then what did I just read???

I read a book called The Library Book.  A completely different book with the same title.  And I didn’t even realize it was the wrong book because it had been so long since I put it on hold. Hahahahaha!  I’m pretty sure I’m going to laugh about this every time it comes up forever.  Tee hee.

So…

Why are libraries important?

Summed up nicely by Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan,

“Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential. These aspirations merit our strongest possible support.”

Libraries are a key access point to gaining literacy.  They are a hub of the community even in today’s digital age.  Libraries are full of knowledge and librarians hold the key to guide us in discovering new things.  Budget cuts threaten at every turn but we must hold on and keep these community treasures, these basics of a civil society.

Words of Wisdom – My Favorite Quotes from The Library Book Collection of Essays

The Library Book is an anthology of essays and stories written in support of libraries.  I have collected the quotes that called out to me from each contribution and put them into some lovely graphics for you all to enjoy and share with others.

It Takes a Library by Michael Brooks, The Library Book
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“Far be it for me to discourage people from reading new books, but I can’t help thinking there’s still an awful lot we can learn from the old ones.” – Michael Brooks, “It Takes a Library”, The Library Book

Have You Heard of Oscar Wilde by Stephen Fry, The Library Book
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“It was here that I learned how one book could lead to another.[] It was an analog, card-indexed way of mouse-clicking from one link to another.” -Stephen Fry, “Have You Heard of Oscar Wilde?”, The Library Book

Alma Mater by Caitlin Moran, The Library Book
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“A library is where the wealthy’s taxes play for you to become a little more extraordinary instead.” -Caitlin Moran, “Alma Mater”, The Library Book

The Punk and the Langside Library by Hardeep Singh Kohli, The Library Book
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“Libraries are very special spaces, spaces where people come together in separate but joint pursuits of knowledge, of learning. Libraries are the heartbeat of communities.” -Hardeep Singh Kohli, “The Punk and the Langside Library”, The Library Book

the secret life of libraries by Bella Bathurst, The Library Book
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“The great unsold truth of libraries is that people need them not because they’re about study and solitude, but because they’re about connection.” – Bella Bathurst, “The Secret Life of Libraries”, The Library Book

libraries are essential in shaping nation's consciousness, "If You Tolerate This..." by Nicky Wire, The Library Book
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“Ridding our towns, villages, and cities of libraries, which are essential in shaping a nation’s consciousness, seems like a direct attack on the soul of the country.” – Nicky Wire, “If You Tolerate This…”, The Library Book

The Future of the Library by Seth Godin, The Library Book
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“Reading makes all of us more thoughtful, better informed and more productive members of a civil society.” – Seth Godin, “The Future of the Library”, The Library Book

The Magic Threshold by Bali Rai, The Library Book
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“I’ve always considered libraries to be magical and warm places, full of excitement and wonder.” -Bali Rai, “The Magic Threshold”, The Library Book

Alma Mater by Caitlin Moran, The Library Book
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“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft, and a festival.” – Caitlin Moran, “Alma Mater”, The Library Book

"Library Life" by Zadie Smith, The Library Book
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“Despite the many wonders of the internet, you might suddenly long for the smell of old books.” – Zadie Smith, “Library Life”, The Library Book

"Libraries Rock!", by Ann Cleeves, The Library Book
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“Libraries aren’t supermarkets; they’re places of cultural importance, where magic happens and where dreams begin.” – Ann Cleeves, “Libraries Rock!”, The Library Book

Kids Love Libraries Too

Want a fun book to share with kids about loving the library?  The Library Book (yes, another book with that SAME title!) is a lovely illustrated book of the lyrics by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark.

The Library Book is a delightful illustration of a song by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark.
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The Library Book is a delightful illustration of a song by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark.
The Library Book is a delightful illustration of a song by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark.
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You never know who you might meet on the shelves of the library!

Listen to The Library Song by Tom Chapin

It’s pretty catchy actually…

Still on hold…

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for a turn with Susan Orlean’s The Library Book.  I’m #60 in line now!

UPDATE: I finally got a turn to read The Library Book and it was well worth the wait! Want to know what I thought?

The Library Book by Susan Orlean displayed on bookshelf
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