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Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

What I Told the American Library Association

I recently had the privilege of addressing the American Library Association‘s “Summit on the Future of Libraries” at the Library of Congress in Washington. I was mostly there to give a talk about Think Like a Freak, but I took advantage of the setting to speak about libraries as well. Here is some of what I said:

I know you didn’t invite me here to tell you how much I love libraries … but I’m going to do it anyway.

Without the public library in the town in upstate New York where I grew up, I probably wouldn’t be standing here today. Not that I wouldn’t be alive – even I don’t think libraries are that powerful – but I don’t know if I would have become a writer.

It was in that library that I learned to read. It was in that library that I learned to write. It was in that library that I learned to do research. My first research project was a historical essay about a little overgrown Quaker cemetery up on a hill behind our house, a cemetery that nobody alive knew anything about – but the library did.

The Public Library Renaissance

We usually hear about these declines in isolation. But taken together, they seem to suggest that cultural pursuits across the board are on the decline. Indeed, if nobody seems out buying books, movies and music, what are they doing with their leisure time instead?
Apparently: going to the library.

The FREAK-est Links

The top 10 science and technology stories of 2007. Can scientists replace sleep with a drug? The key to raising gifted kids: don’t tell them they’re gifted. (Earlier) Libraries see record attendance, computer use from “Generation Y.” (Earlier)

If Public Libraries Didn’t Exist, Could You Start One Today?

Raise your hand if you hate libraries. Even though this blog doesn’t enable me to peer through the screen into your living room (yet), I am guessing there aren’t a lot of raised hands out there. Who could possibly hate libraries? Here’s one guess: book publishers. I am probably wrong on this, but if you care about books, hear me . . .