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"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it? Good God, we also would be happy if we had no books and such books that make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. What we must have are those books that come on us like ill fortune, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us."

—Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Austrian writer, The Metamorphosis, The Trial

 

Illinois State Library

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Illinois State Library

300 South 2nd Street

Springfield, Illinois


2701-1796

United States of America


1-800-665-5576 (IL only)


The Illinois State Library is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jesse White is the Secretary of State and State Librarian. Anne Craig is the Director of the Illinois State Library. The Illinois State Library was created more than 150 years ago to serve the needs of state government. As the official library for state government, it has come a long way since 1839 when the young Secretary of State, Stephen A. Douglas, saw to it that space was reserved next to his new office for a small, fledgling library. Today, the State Library has become a computer-age doorway to worldwide information, providing patrons with an electronic bridge to the collections of universities, public and corporate libraries, and new information systems that will continue to develop into the 21st century and beyond.
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