Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. In the modern state there are very few sites where this is possible. The only others that come readily to my mind require belief in an omnipotent creator as a condition for membership. It would seem the most obvious thing in the world to say that the reason why the market is not an efficient solution to libraries is because the market has no use for a library. But it seems we need, right now, to keep re-stating the obvious. There aren’t many institutions left that fit so precisely Keynes’ definition of things that no one else but the state is willing to take on. Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It’s not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.
Zadie Smith, in the New York Review of Books. (via thebronzemedal)

(via libraryjournal)

  1. ccclibrary reblogged this from folksterlibrarian
  2. ellenbleaney reblogged this from thebronzemedal
  3. hheather17 reblogged this from bookshelfporn
  4. folksterlibrarian reblogged this from bookshelfporn
  5. mvryb reblogged this from bookshelfporn
  6. little-one-winged reblogged this from queendarthzannah
  7. a-poets-corner-of-a-room reblogged this from queendarthzannah
  8. kawaii4always reblogged this from chomperella
  9. chomperella reblogged this from apollolras
  10. andrewmcintyre reblogged this from phendrana
  11. phendrana reblogged this from bookshelfporn
  12. chitownbuddhist69 reblogged this from chitownchef69
  13. queendarthzannah reblogged this from apollolras
  14. jkjournal reblogged this from futurecanadian
  15. futurecanadian reblogged this from apollolras
  16. thats-not-candy-thats-sand reblogged this from apollolras
  17. lesbianearl reblogged this from apollolras
  18. apollolras reblogged this from soemily
  19. metempsicosis reblogged this from rgr-pop
  20. bibliophilemrh reblogged this from thecommonlibrarian
  21. neverjay reblogged this from cleolinda
  22. idowhatidosodoyou reblogged this from makkahmeetslife
  23. planninginseattle reblogged this from zestoftheday
  24. litandtea reblogged this from bookshelfporn
  25. sokkasituations reblogged this from okayophelia
Where we post about the stuff we're reading, looking at, and reporting on - by the staff of School Library Journal

find us elsewhere
SLJ.com
Facebook
Twitter
Vimeo

twitter.com/sljournal

view archive