Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Power of the Public Library

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Janet Robinson (CEO of NYT) quotes Arthur Schlesinger (a Columbus, OH, native)

"The public library has been historically a vital instrument of democracy and opportunity in the United States. Our history has been greatly shaped by people who read their way to opportunity and achievements in public libraries."

Nice. And notice how Schlesinger's quote does dwell on the idea of libraries as repositories. Instead, it speaks to the fact that libraries and librarians are enablers--connecting the public to the information that brings about knowledge and hopefully wisdom. The quote does show it age, however. "In public libraries" no longer holds true in many cases, now that so much information is available digitally.

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