Magazine article American Libraries

Thus Said

Magazine article American Libraries

Thus Said

Article excerpt

"If you're going to rebuild these things, you can't just sit there and give a lot of speeches and say, 'In the year 2050, Mayor Richard M. Daley promises you a new library.' It just doesn't happen. I hate to say it, but someone has to pay for it. You need good libraries. You need good police stations, fire stations, all these things. Otherwise, you're just putting money into older buildings and you're losing in the long run. You have to do this." Chicago Mayor RICHARD M. DALEY, Chicago Sun-Times, July 20.

"The Reading Room is spectacular. Did you know they have a book there where people signed in to read there? Karl Marx, Lenin, Mark Twain, and now George W. Bush. From one end of the spectrum to the other." President GEORGE W. BUSH, as quoted by Reuters, July 19, on a tour of the British Museum.

"What next? The Exxon White House? The Microsoft Supreme Court? The Barnes and Noble Library of Congress?" Museum of Natural History Senior Ornithologist STORES OLSON, on the Smithsonian Institution's "Unit Naming Opportunity" plan, New York Times, June 27.

"They were amazing creatures, these librarians, always around, always knowledgeable, always suggesting books you'd like, They remembered names, yours or a long-dead author's. They played the card catalog like concert harpists. Yes, librarians expressed concern over loud talking, which apparently was bad for books. But these women were quietly wise, like professional aunts or teachers without the chalky fingers. And librarians were paid like teachers--not much." Los Angeles Times EDITORIAL, June 11, decrying low salaries for librarians.

"Laura Bush appeared at a Washington public library in April to kick off 'the Campaign for America's Libraries'--just one week before her husband's budget cut the federal outlay for libraries by $39 million. Photo ops are nothing new in the modern American presidency, but didn't they used to occasionally dramatize a president's policies rather than disguise them?" FRANK RICH, New York Times Op-Ed page, June 9.

"For almost a year, I have had the privilege of serving as a trustee of the Boston Public Library. I was long acquainted with the Copley Square research library, but now I appreciate its dedicated, knowledgeable, and patient staff more than ever. …

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