A public library is the most enduring of memorials…

Mark Twain, 1907

“A public library is the most enduring of memorials, the trustiest monument for the preservation of an event or a name or an affection; for it, and it only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them” — Mark Twain

This quote resonates most profoundly today as many libraries face increasing budgets short falls and the rise of eBooks. However, the spirit of the quote is still apt and Twain is right in singling out the library as being something whose purpose and value endure despite the passage of time and the ravishes of war. Libraries exist not just to provide access to information but to preserve information. Many local artifacts find their way to public libraries and archives and wouldn’t exist or be publicaly avaible if not for the library. While books may go out of print due to low demand or expiring copyright, libraries hold on to these materials as long as possible, hoping that a reader may stumble upon it while browsing.

What are your thougths on Twain’s quote? How does it reflect on the status of public libraries today?

*As a side note, I am hoping this will become a regular feautre: Quotes to Muse. I’ll locate a quote about libraries (usually from a person of note) and muse on it. And you’re thoughts are always welcome.

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