Quote Archive

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
--Abigail Adams (1744-1818),Letter to her son, John Quincy Adams, 8 May 1780

The time to read is any time: no apparatus, no appointment of time and place, is necessary.
--John Aikin (1747-1822), Letters from a Father to His Son, 1796

"When you absolutely positively have to know, Ask a Librarian."
--American Library Association (ALA)

“[Librarians] study their field with as much determination and as much delight as open-heart surgeons."
--Maya Angelou (1928-), poet, Cincinnati Enquirer, February 9, 2006.

Information Literacy: "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."
--Association of College & Research Libraries, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

"...I spent many, many hours in...libraries. Libraries became courts of last resort, as it were."
--Arthur Ashe (1943-1993), U.S. tennis player, from Library News, #5, Winter 1982, p. 1

Readers are lucky--they will never be bored or lonely.
--Natalie Babbitt (1932-), U.S. author of Tuck Everlasting, attributed

Knowledge itself is power. ("Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.")
--Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Sacred Meditations. Of Heresies, 1597 (Meditationes Sacrae. DeHaeresibus)

"Libraries are not made, they grow."
--Augustine Birrell (1850-1933), British essayist and politician, "Book Buying" from Obiter Dicta, second series

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
--Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author, attributed

"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."
--Ray Bradbury (1920-), U.S. author, Writer's Digest, Feb. 1976, p. 25

"Laws die, books never."
--Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), Richelieu, Act 1, Scene 2

I used to go to the library all the time when I was a kid. As a teenager, I got a book on how to write jokes at the library, and that, in turn, launched my comedy career.
--Drew Carey (1958-), U.S. comic and actor, attributed

"The true University of these days is a Collection of Books."
--Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), Scottish essayist and historian, from On Heroes and Hero-Worship, “The Hero as Man of Letters,” (1841)

The only way to do all the things you'd like to do is to read.
--Tom Clancy (1947-), U.S. author, attributed

"Readers transform a library from a mausoleum into many theaters."
--Mason Cooley, 1993, City Aphorisms, Eleventh Selection, New York

"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 (1915-1990), U.S. editor and essayist, American Library Association Bulletin, October 1954

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install,
A lovely bookshelf on the wall."
--Roald Dahl (1916-1990), from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

"The book is man's best invention so far."
--Carolina Maria de Jesus (1914-1977), Brazilian author, from Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus

"There is no Frigate like a book
 To take us lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a page
 Of prancing poetry."
--Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), U.S. poet, Complete Poems, 1924, Part One: Life XCIX

"The dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul--BOOKS."
--Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), U.S. poet, Letter to Joseph Lyman on her potential blindness

"A WORD is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day."
--Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), U.S. poet, Complete Poems, 1924, Part One: Life LXXXIX

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island...
--Walt Disney (1901-1966), U.S. entrepreneur, Film producer, Animator, and Director, attributed

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.
--Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), Abolitionist, writer, and statesman, attributed

"One's work may be finished some day, but one's education never!"
--Alexandre Dumas (1824-1895), French playwright, novelist, My Memoirs, Vol. III, trans. by E.M. Waller, p. 256

"Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly."
--Roger Ebert (1942-), Yahoo! Internet Life column, Sept. 1998, p. 66

"Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book."
--Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), U.S. President, military leader, Remarks at Dartmouth College Commencement, June 14, 1953

"The Library is the centre of the University."
--Charles William Eliot (1834-1926), President of Harvard, 
CPR and the Library: Resuscitating the Heart of the University by Isaac Hunter Dunlap, Copyright 1995

The part of my education that has had the deepest influence...was how I was able to apply everything I learned in the library to certain situations in my life.
--Gloria Estefan (1957-), musician/singer, attributed

"When I was your age, television was called books!"
--Peter Falk as Grandpa in The Princess Bride

"Read, read, read!"
--William Faulkner (1897-1962), Rascoe, Lavon. "Interview with William Faulkner." Western Review 15(1951): 300-304

"Read in order to live."
--Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French author, Les Oeuvres, 1857

"If information is the currency of democracy, then libraries are its bank."
--Wendell Ford (1924-), U.S. Senator, 1974-1999 (D-Ky.), 1998 American Library Association Conference, after receiving an honorary membership

"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence."
--Robert Frost (1874-1963), American poet, Reader’s Digest, Apr 60

"In my view, investing in public libraries is an investment in the nation's future."
--Bill Gates (1955-), Seattle Times, February 21, 2003

When I was young, we couldn't afford much. But, my library card was my key to the world.
--John Goodman (1952-), U.S. actor, attributed

"In any library in the world, I am at home..."
--Germaine Greer (1939-), Daddy, We Hardly Knew You

"My pen is my harp and my lyre;
my library is my garden and my orchard."
--Judah ha-Levi (c.1075-1141), Spanish Jewish Poet, Philosopher, and Physician, quoted in Life's Little Book of Big Jewish Advice compiled by Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs, 2004

What in the world would we do without our libraries?
--Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003), U.S. actress, attributed

"Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."
--Anne Herbert (1950- ), U.S. writer, quoted in The Next Whole Earth Catalog: Access to Tools, ed. Stewart Brand (1980), p. 331.

"Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books."
--bell hooks (nee Gloria Watkins, 1952-), U.S. Author, Outlaw Culture, Ch. 8, 1994

"What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it feels about education."
--Harold Howe, II (1918-2002), former U.S. Commissioner of Education, Interview in "On Libraries and Learning," School Library Journal, February 1967, v. 13, p. 28.

I cannot live without books.
--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. President, attributed

"Knowledge is of two kinds: we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."
--Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Life of Johnson, Boswell, Vol. V., Chap. IX., 1775

"I found my voice in books..."
--James Earl Jones (1931-), U.S. actor and voice of Darth Vader (Star Wars),
Testimony at a Literacy Hearing before the Subcomittee on Education Reform, October 8, 2002

"A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us."
--Franz Kafka (1883-1924), German Jewish author, Letter to Oskar Pollak, January 27, 1904

"Literature is my Utopia."
--Helen Keller (1880-1968), from The Story of My Life

"The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you."
--B.B. King (1925-), Jet, Mar. 23, 1992, Vol. 81, no. 22, p. 14.

"Nothing is pleasanter to me than exploring in a library."
--Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864), British poet, from The Works of Walter Savage Landor in Two Volumes: Vol. IIPericles and Aspasia, ed. J. Forster, London: 1853, p. 391

"The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology, nor defense."
--J.A. Langford, 1880, The Praise of Books, "Preliminary Essay"

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."
--Harper Lee (1926-), U.S. author, from To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960

"You can't get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."
--C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), British author, theologian, C.S. Lewis On Stories and other essays on literature, ed. by Walter Hooper [ix]

"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books;"
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), U.S. poet, Morituri Salutamus, st. 21 (1875)

"I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world."
--Margaret Mead (1901-1978), U.S. anthropologist, New York Times, Aug. 9, 1964 (original quote from 1927 interview)

"As you grow ready for it, somewhere or other you will find what is needful for you in a book."
--George MacDonald (1824-1905), Scottish novelist & clergyman, The Marquis of Lossie, 1877, ch.42

"I can imagine living without food. I cannot imagine living without books."
--Alice Foote MacDougall, The Autobiography of a Business Woman, ch. 2 (1928)

"My alma mater was books, a good library ... I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity."
--Malcolm X (1925-1965), U.S. African-American leader, from The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
--Groucho Marx (1895–1977), U.S. comic actor, attributed

I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go into another room and read a good book.
--Groucho Marx (1895–1977), U.S. comic actor, Quoted in Leslie Halliwell's Halliwell’s Filmgoer’s Companion (1984)

"A good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life."
--John Milton (1608-1674), British poet, from Areopagitica: a Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England (1644)

"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting."
-–Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762), British society figure, letter writer. Letter, June 22, 1752, to her daughter Lady Bute.

Life would be--to me in all events--a terrible thing without books.
--L.M. Montgomery (1874-1942), Canadian author, attributed

"Wear the old coat, and buy the new book."
--Austin Phelps (1820-1890), Professor, preacher, author, The Theory of Preaching (1881)

"What can I say? Librarians rule!"
--Regis Philbin (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? 2/17/00)

"The Web is cool, but the library is magic."
--Arthur Plotnik (1937-), "Who Loves You Like the Library?" The Writer, November, 2003

"With one day's reading a man may have the key in his hands."
--Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. Poet, Canto 74, Pisan Cantos, 1948

"The book should be a ball of light in one's hand."
--Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. Poet, Guide to Kulcher, 55

A good library is a place, a palace where the lofty spirits of all nations and generations meet.
--Samuel Niger(Charney) (1883-1955), Yiddish Literary Critic, attributed

A man of learning is never bored.
--Jean-Paul Richter (1763-1825), German writer, Hesperus, VIII, 1795

Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading!
--Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), German poet, attributed

When life seems not worth living, ten minutes in the library proves otherwise.
--Miv Schaaf, U.S. journalist, attributed

"A bookstore is one of the only pieces of physical evidence we have that people are still thinking."
--Jerry Seinfeld (1955-), U.S. comic, Sein Language, Introduction

"Come, and take choice of all my library, And so beguile thy sorrow..."
--William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Titus Andronicus, Act 4, Scene 1

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."
--Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729), Irish writer and politician, Tatler, no. 147

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
--Mark Strand (1934-), U.S. poet,  from "Eating Poetry" (1.1-3)

If we didn't have libraries, many people thirsty for knowledge would dehydrate.
--Megan Jo Tetrick, age 12, Daleville, IN, (Ithaca College alumni, Peace Corps volunteer)

"How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book!"
--Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), Walden, "Reading," (1854)

"Books are humanity in print."
--Barbara W. Tuchman (1912-1989), U.S. author, historian, Library of Congress Center for the Book lecture, The Book, 1980

"Books are weapons in the war of ideas."
--U.S. Government Printing Office, Office of War Information, S. Broder (artist), 1942 World War II Poster

"He who would learn without the aid of books,
Draws water in a sieve from running brooks."
--J.B. Leicester Warren, A Guide to the Study of Book-plates (ex-libris), 195. Translated from a Latin book-plate, "Haurit aquam cribis qui vuti sine discere libris"

"Getting my library card was like citizenship; it was like American citizenship."
--Oprah Winfrey (1954-), from Johnson, Marilyn. "Oprah Winfrey: A Life in Books." Life Sept. 1997, p.48

Thanks to a donation from an alumnus, the Special Collections at ACU's Center for Restoration Studies now houses two Ethiopian religious texts dating back to the turn of the 19th century.

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