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The past and FUTURE of libraries

theological_hall

thanks to dottorpeni on flickr

I really enjoyed reading the Darien Statements on the Library and Librarians. It succinctly puts in perspective the place of libraries and librarians in the world.

It came out of a gathering called: In the Foothills: A Not-Quite-Summit on the Future of Libraries (which I wish I could have attended). This group, composed of some very bright library enthusiasts, undertook the task of thinking about the library in big picture terms. It’s often easy to lose this perspective when you’re going to meetings or sorting through mountains of email, but I find this statement invigorating, and something that we as librarians, archivists, etc. can really draw strength from:

The Role of the Library

The Library:

  • Provides the opportunity for personal enlightenment.
  • Encourages the love of learning.
  • Empowers people to fulfill their civic duty.
  • Facilitates human connections.
  • Preserves and provides materials.
  • Expands capacity for creative expression.
  • Inspires and perpetuates hope.

I hope that when I and my colleagues are making decisions about our library and what we should be doing, that we don’t lose sight of this big picture perspective. I know personally I will try to keep in mind that my mission is bigger than just myself or my institution. It is about all libraries together and about humanity.

Andy Burkhardt

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