Quotes About Silence In The Library

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Quotes About Silence In The Library

There, I said to myself, are the reasons for the silence and darkness that surround the library: it is the preserve of learning but can maintain this learning unsullied only if it prevents its reaching anyone at all, even the monks themselves. Learning is not like a coin, which remains whole even through the most infamous transactions; it is, rather, like a very handsome dress, which is worn out through use and ostentation. Is not a book like that, in fact?
— Umberto Eco —

An even more pointed example of the the power of the silence tabu in libraries occurred in Duluth in 1981. The police were pursuing a fugitive from justice who ran into the public library. Uniformed police surrounded the building, and the library director was notified that only unobtrusive plainclothesmen were entering the building. Their instructions: "When you find him, overpower him. Quietly." It was done, and only a few people in the crowded building saw a handcuffed man being ushered past the checkout counter. "See," one librarian remarked quietly to an amazed person, "that's what happens when you don't pay your book fines.

— Ray B. Browne

Most people enter a library and don't hear a thing. Eerie silence. I stand between the shelves and hear ten thousand conversations occurring all at once. Each ushering an invitation. The noise is raucous.

— Charles Martin

He is no true reader who has not experienced the reproachful fascination of the great shelves of unread books, of the libraries at night of which Borges is the fabulist. He is no reader who has not heard, in his inward ear, the call of the hundreds of thousands, of the millions of volumes which stand in the stacks of the British Library asking to be read. For there is in each book a gamble against oblivion, a wager against silence, which can be won only when the book is opened again (but in contrast to man, the book can wait centuries for the hazard of resurrection.)

— George Steiner

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