I attended a conference recently where the presenters said we shouldn’t talk about what libraries do, but about why we do it. A few years ago the theme had been that talking about why we do things was too lofty and idealistic and that we needed cold hard facts. Because here’s the truth – we can’t talk about why libraries exist and why we do what we do, without talking about democracy. Libraries are a foundational institution of a democratic society.
The ideal of a library is that is provides knowledge and information to everyone – no matter their race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation; everyone is welcome here. Libraries are about putting knowledge and information into everyone’s hands – whether it’s literary knowledge or digital literacy, whether it’s science knowledge or political knowledge, whether it’s information for a two year old or a ninety-two year old. Knowledge and information are available here for everyone, at any time of life.
Libraries are meant to be the great equalizers, the equal opportunity educators. Everyone is welcome here. We believe that knowledge put in anyone’s hands helps promote democracy. And that’s why we exist – to promote democracy, justice, equality, and learning.
So, open our doors. Everyone is welcome here.