Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday Thoughts...

Let every man, if possible, gather some good books under his roof, and obtain access for himself and family to some social library. Almost any luxury should be sacrificed to this.
William Ellery Channing


This quote seems entirely appropriate for a couple of reasons (and I apply it equally to women!). In Melbourne recently we visited one of our favourite haunts - the State Library and its ongoing Mirror of the World exhibition. The Library is a bustling and modern place - people and laptops everywhere; filled with learning and researching and investigating.  But it also has this magnificent Victorian era domed reading room. We were there early and able to photograph it before it filled.  It suggests majesty and a certain reverence for books to me.

Secondly, I was honoured to be approached by Patti Roberts-Pizzuto who each week explores a pathway in her art and learning life; who asked if she could showcase some of my works on her blog as they resonated with her.  We had some wonderful email exchanges and I discovered that she worked for many years in a library.

Libraries are the true heart of democracy to me - their role in sharing information and making otherwise hard to find resources accessible to all and their commitment to retaining the written word for sometimes hundreds of years is a true wonder for which I am grateful.


6 comments:

  1. Hi Fiona - like Patti, I too have spent much of my working life in libraries. Unfortunately, technological advances have moved me further and further away from such places as you picture here...so I love this image of a classic old reading room - they are an endangered species it seems! I'm glad there are still places where you can feel such reverence for the book, and still people who value that feeling as not a luxury but a necessity!

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  2. Hi Gabriella, I stand and overlook this room and feel the sense of readers past whispering and encouraging us to keep loving books. Its a special place.

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  3. Fiona, thank you for providing a link to my blog and more than that, thank you for sharing your thoughts and beautiful work with my readers! Yes, this library view is heartwarming and so classic. Gabriella, you and I have much in common with our passion for books and libraries!

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  4. i have a great love of libraries!

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  5. Fiona, thanks for that link to Patti's blog - lot of food for thought there as there always is in your blog. Isn't that a beautiful library, steeped in silence and knowledge.

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  6. Wow that library looks great! Reminds me of the old reading room in the British Library in London. The BL has moved, to a lovely building, but there was something magical about that central round space under the dome! There's that whole argument about paper books and reading rooms versus e-book readers (about which my husband and I argue constantly and stand at opposite ends of the technological spectrum!) but I don't think anything will replace the beauty and atmosphere and sheer special quality of a good library. Sara x

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