Tag Archives: book

Quot. Sansom: The Guildhall’s Librarian

Fictional description of the Guildhall Library in London in 1540 and its librarian. I’m sure the librarians there are much more reader-friendly and service-orientated these days 🙂 .

But I’m afraid there are still some libraries left even today, where a  librarian not unlike the one described by Sansom watches over the collection, scowling at every reader who innocently wishes to consult one of its books …

The librarian was one of those fellows who believes books should be kept on shelves, not read, but with the aid of Vervey’s note I was able to get past him. He watched sourly as I put the volumes in my satchel.

Sanson, C. J. Dark Fire. London: Pan, 2007. 978-0-330-45078-2.

See here for information about today’s Guildhall Library and its services.

Advertisements

Quot.: Intimidating catalogues and librarians

In turn-of-the century Bolton, Alice Foley was delegated to borrow books from the public library for her entire family. (After a long trek in clattering clogs, she had to confront enormous catalogues and equally intimidating librarians.)

Rose, Jonathan. The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. New Haven and London: Yale Nota Bene, 2001. 0-300-09808-1.

Quot.: Whitechapel Library – “a meeting place for boys and girls”

Libraries are not only (more or less quiet) places where one can pursue one’s studies,  but also social places to meet people – and maybe even find love. This was already the case over a century ago:

Meanwhile, the second generation was making good use of the Whitechapel Public Library. It has acquired legendary status as a haven where Jewish slum kids could escape overcrowded flats and plunge into books, but there also study was a social activity. “It was not only a place where one could just about get an hour’s homework done in four hours, but a meeting place for boys and girls,” recalled one habitué. […] There was much conversation and some rowdiness, in spite of a stern librarian.

Rose, Jonathan. The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. New Haven and London: Yale Nota Bene, 2001. 0-300-09808-1.

Quot.: Famous librarians – Robert Burns

Among the famous persons who also worked, at some time in their career, as librarians, we also find famous Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns (1759-1796):

In Dunscore, Dumfries a squire had set up a parish library for his tenants and neighboring farmers, with Robert Burns serving as librarian.

Rose, Jonathan. The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. New Haven and London: Yale Nota Bene, 2001. 0-300-09808-1.