"library, traditionally, collection of books used for reading or study, or the building or room in which such a collection is kept. The word derives from the Latin liber, “book,” whereas a Latinized Greek word, bibliotheca, is the origin of the word for library in German, Russian, and the Romance languages.
From their historical beginnings as places to keep the business, legal, historical, and religious records of a civilization, libraries have emerged since the middle of the 20th century as a far-reaching body of information resources and services that do not even require a building. Rapid developments in computers, telecommunications, and other technologies have made it possible to store and retrieve information in many different forms and from any place with a computer and a telephone connection. The terms digital library and virtual library have begun to be used to refer to the vast collections of information to which people gain access over the Internet, cable television, or some other type of remote electronic connection."
"library." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 03 Mar. 2015. <https://academic.eb.com/>
“If information is the currency of democracy, then libraries are its banks.” Senator Wendell Ford, 1998 ALA Annual Conference
“In our country's first year of war, we have seen the growing power of books as weapons. . . ”
“This is proper, for a war of ideas can no more be won without books than a naval war can be won without ships. Books, like ships, have the toughest armor, the longest cruising range, and mount the most powerful guns. I hope that all who write and publish and sell and administer books will. . . rededicate themselves to the single task of arming the mind and spirit of the American people with the strongest and most enduring weapons.”
“Libraries are directly and immediately involved in the conflict which divides the world, and for two reasons; first, because they are essential to the functioning of a democratic society; second, because the contemporary conflict touches the integrity of scholarship, the freedom of the mind, and even the survival of culture, and libraries are the great symbols of the freedom of the mind.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt. Cited by Ditzion, Sidney, Arsenals of a Democratic Culture(Chicago, ALA: 1957) p. v.
“To bring together the records of the past and to house them in buildings where they will be preserved for the use of men and women in the future, a Nation must believe in three things. It must believe in the past. It must believe in the future. It must, above all, believe in the capacity of its own people so to learn from the past so that can gain in judgment in creating their own future. Among democracies, I think through all the recorded history of the world, the building of permanent institutions like libraries and museums for the use of all the people flourishes. And that is especially true in our own land, because we believe that people ought to work out for themselves, and through their own study, the determination of their best interest rather than accept such so-called information as may be handed out to them by certain types of self-constituted leaders who decide what is best for them.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The Public Papers and Address of Franklin D. Roosevelt,” compiled with special material and explanatory notes by Samuel I. Rosenman (Harper & Brothers Publishers: New York, 1950), p. 248
“Democracy is a way of life controlled by a working faith in the possibilities of human nature. . . . This faith may be enacted in statutes, but it is only on paper unless it is put in force in the attitudes which human beings display to one another in all the incidents and relations of daily life.”
“. . . everything which bars freedom and fullness of communication sets up barriers that divide human beings into sets and cliques, into antagonistic sects and factions, and thereby undermines the democratic way of life.”
John Dewey, from “Creative Democracy—the Task Before Us” in The Essential Dewey. Volume 1: Pragmatism, Education, Democracy edited by Larry A. Hickman and Thomas M. Alexander (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1998) pp. 340–3.