We are in an era of unprecedented change for libraries and the life of information. Bookstores throughout the western world are closing down. Libraries in the USA, UK and some in Australia are being defunded or closed. Many question the relevance of libraries, including some librarians. I am again surrounded by defeatists and the hopelessly optimistic. Many librarians appear to be searching for One Big Technology to save us. I believe that just like in Tasmania in the 1990s, this is a flawed search.
There are many other systems for sharing ideas. Why do we need libraries? What is our ‘unique value proposition’?
Libraries are a system for sharing ideas
in a way underpinned by the values of
PRESERVATION, OPENNESS, FREEDOM and PRIVACY.
This is our ‘Unique Value Proposition’.