Consider what you have in the smallest

Consider what you have in the smallest chosen library.  A company of the wisest and wittiest men that could be picked out of all civil countries, in a thousand years, have set in best order the results of their learning and wisdom.  The men themselves were hid and inaccessible, solitary, impatient of interruption, fenced by etiquette; but the thought which they did not uncover to their bosom friend is here written out in transparent words to us, the strangers of another age.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Books," Society and Solitude

Libraries will get you through times of

Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.  ~Quoted in The Whole Earth Catalog, 1980 edition, originally created by Stewart Brand; commonly misattributed to Henry David ThoreauThis quotation first appeared in the 1980 edition (p. 331) of The Whole Earth Catalog ? originally created by Stewart Brand in 1968 ? and a variant by the American Library Association, “Books will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no books,” appeared in the early 1980s. Both are in turn adapted from the line in a Gilbert Shelton Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers cartoon (“The Freaks Pull a Heist!”): Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope. Thanks walden.org/Library/Quotations/The_Henry_D._Thoreau_Mis-Quotation_Page

For him that stealeth a book from

For him that stealeth a Book from this Library, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him.  Let him be struck with Palsy, and all his Members blasted.  Let him languish in Pain crying aloud for Mercy and let there be no sur-cease to his Agony till he sink in Dissolution.  Let Bookworms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his final Punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him for ever and aye.  ~Curse Against Book Stealers, Monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona

What a place to be in is

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

The library is not a shrine for

The library is not a shrine for the worship of books.  It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one’s devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual.  A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas – a place where history comes to life.  ~Norman Cousins