- Candida Höfer, LIBRARIES, Essay by Umbert Eco, Schirmer/Mosel Verlag Gmbh (2006)
引用させていただきます:Umbert Eco, De Bibliotheca, pp.10-11
Now, what's so important about the problem of access to the shelves? One of the misunderstandings that dominate the concept of libraries is that you go into one to look for a book whose title you already know. In reality it often happens that you go to a library because you want a book whose title you do know, but the principal function of the library, at least the function of the library in my house and of that of any friend we may chance to visit, is to discover books whose existence we never suspected, only to discover that they are of extreme importance to us. Of course, it's true that this discovery can be made by leafing through a catalogue, but there's nothing more revealing and exciting than exploring the shelves that perhaps contain a collection of all the books on a certain subject--something that you wouldn’t be able to discover in a catalogue ordered by authors' names--and to find another book beside the book you went to find, one that you weren't looking for but one that emerges as being of fundamental importance. In other words, the ideal function of a library is to be a bit like a second-hand bookseller's stall, a place where you might make a lucky find, and this function can only be fulfilled through free access to the aisles lined with shelves.