Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Quote of the Day (Zadie Smith, on Well-Run and Neglected Libraries)

“Libraries are not failing ‘because they are libraries.’ Neglected libraries get neglected, and this cycle, in time, provides the excuse to close them. 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.”— English novelist, essayist, and short-story writer Zadie Smith, “Northwest London Blues,” originally printed in The New York Review of Books, reprinted in Feel Free: Essays (2018)

In her fine essay, Smith notes that there are libraries with different types of functions. One of the better research libraries—yet one that also had, before the onset of COVID, attracted visitors because of its sheer beauty—is the Library of Congress. I took this shot of its magnificent entrance hall while visiting the DC area in November 2015.

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