Came across this article…seems to jibe with many blog discussions/posts floating about out there just now…thought I’d like to share it. It’s a bit dated in places, but the overall concept seems worth your ruminations….
Libraries 2000, a seminar to re-examine the function and future
development of libraries in Alberta, was held in 1983. A committee
consisting of representatives of Alberta Culture, the Alberta Library
Board, the Alberta Library Trustees Association, the Library Association
of Alberta and the Learning Resources Council of the Alberta
Teachers Association was set up to look into ways of following
up on the suggestions arising out of the seminar. This is the second
booklet commissioned as a result of these discussions.
Public libraries have long attempted to fulfil many functions and
roles in our society. As financial and human resources have become
harder to obtain, librarians and library trustees have had to give
more attention to examining these roles and assessing their relative
worth. In recent years, there has been increasing discussion of the
public library as an information provider, but less discussion of the
more traditional view of library service.
Sam Neill is a professor at the School of Library and Information
Science at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.
This booklet is based on a speech delivered at the Ontario Library
Association Conference, Ottawa, 1984, entitled “The Role of a
Traditional Library in an Age Bludgeoned by Information.” The
opinions and ideas expressed are those of the author and do not
necessarily represent the view of Albe11a Culture, or the Alberta
Library Board. The assistance of the Alberta Library Board in editing
and printing this booklet is gratefully acknowledged .
(click for full article, please)
dove-tailing ever-so-nicely with another book I stumbled across in the library (which also contains a fine consideration of David Foster Wallace in one of the chapters), and considers, I think, the same sorts of issues of humaneness and being alive meaninfully: