Thursday, April 24, 2008

Does the destruction of libraries herald the death of a society?

Is this not a tragedy? The ruins of an abandoned Russian library, the full series of pictures is here at English Russia.

Hat tip: Hang Fire Books


Anonymous said...

It's just horrible and makes my stomach ache to see it. How do you answer your own question?

Ted said...

I so treasure books that even abandoning books rather that actively destroying them suggests the devaluation of knowledge. When my family emigrated to the US with only 10 crates allowed, many of them were filled with books. But I don't know under what specific circumstances that particular library was left. It could be a town near Chernobyl abandoned because of radioactive fallout or a village whose people were depleted by abject poverty - when I read about life in Russia, it cannot be easy.

Sheila O'Malley said...

Maybe used for firewood or something. But still - it is a horrible sight.

Sam said...

Ted, I may be wrong, but I've been told that the pictures are of an old "technical school" library of some sort and that all the books are out of date and useless. The school was supposedly shut down and abandoned, and has since been vandalized.

I don't know that any of this is true, however.

Ted said...

Sam - It would be interesting if that is the story. Can you remember where you had heard about it? A picture may be worth a thousand words, but context is everything in understanding the meaning of that picture!