An elegant defense of libraries…

Laura Miller, at Salon.

The Rose Reading Room is an exceptional place, but even the humblest branch library can provide the same precious resource to its patrons. There’s nothing “elite” about needing some tranquility, either: If anything, the poorer and younger you are, the harder it is to find a quiet spot to read, write and think, where family isn’t crowding around and countless electronic devices aren’t blaring at you from every corner. Access to a little peace and quiet is as essential to a humane society as access to parks and art. That’s not something the Internet is ever going to be able to give us. It can only be found in a real, not a virtual, place, which is what libraries have always been and what we all still need them to be.

I have newly rekindled my love affair with libraries, and am loving every second of it.


One thought on “An elegant defense of libraries…

  1. There’s a really great quote from someone about how libraries are the refuge of perverts and the insane, but I can’t remember the exact wording or who said it. Maybe it was me. Anyways, I agree, spots of quiet are a rare and valuable find. The VPL downtown library is a great place for quiet as can be seen by the numbers of vagrants who choose to use the study desks as places to sleep. I think I prefer University libraries, but then again, I seem to recall the Meclennan stacks used more for copulation than illumination or rumination. (I am not speaking from personal experience). However, despite all this contrarianism, I agree that libraries can or *should* be special places, temples to silence and information.

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