The world’s first great library was that of the ancient Assyrian King Ashurbanipal II, who ruled an empire that spanned from Iran to Egypt from his Mesopotamian capital of Nineveh in the 7th century B.C.E. The library’s collection was comprised of clay tablets that contained cuneiform writing.

Many of the tablets in his library contained a colophon - a “finishing touch”, akin to today’s title pages, that would contain a warning to library users to take good care of the materials. Consider these the first passive-aggressive library signs:

  • "He who fears Anu, Enlil and Ea will return it to the owner’s house the same day".
  • "He who fears Marduk and Sarpanitum will not entrust it to others’ hands. He who entrusts it to others’ hands, may all the gods who are found in Babylon curse him!"
  • "He who fears Anu and Antu will take of the tablet and respect it".
  • "The tablet by order of Anu and Antu is to remain in good condition".
  • "In the name of Nabu and Marduk, do not rub out the text!".
  • "He who breaks this tablet or puts it in water or rubs it until you cannot recognize it and cannot make it be understood, may Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Adad and Ishstar, Bel, Nergal, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of Arbela, Ishtar of Bit Kidmurri, the gods of heaven and earth and the gods of Assyria, may all these curse him with a curse which cannot be relieved, terrible and merciless, as long as he lives, may they let his name, his seed, be carried off from the land, may they put his flesh in a dog’s mouth!"

Now that sounds more effective than library fines.


Sources: Creative Commons photo courtesy flickr user listentoreason. Translated text from Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Casson and published in 2001 by Yale University Press.

"Everyone, at some point in their lives, wakes up in the middle of the night with the feeling that they are all alone in the world, and that nobody loves them now and that nobody will ever love them, and that they will never have a decent night’s sleep again and will spend their lives wandering blearily around a loveless landscape, hoping desperately that their circumstances will improve, but suspecting in their heart of hearts, that they will remain unloved forever. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to wake someone else up, so that they can feel this way, too."

Lemony Snicket, Horseradish (via bookmania)


Fennec Fox Vulpes zerda


"Apart from my transformations, I was happier than I had ever been in my life. For the first time ever, I had friends, three great friends. Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and, of course, your father, Harry  James Potter. Now, my three friends could hardly fail to notice that I disappeared once a month. I made up all sorts of stories. I told them my mother was ill, and that I had to go home to see her…I was terrified they would desert me the moment they found out what I was. But of course, they worked out the truth…And they didn’t desert me at all.”


baby shells with butter roasted tomato sauce and fresh ricotta.


Inside Springfield’s Central Library, Massachusetts. (by Heather Brandon)