Saturday, February 10, 2018

Defending the role of libraries in society

Alberto Manguel, the Director of the National Library of Argentina, unpacks his thoughts about books and libraries.

I would argue that public libraries, holding both virtual and material texts, are an essential instrument to counter loneliness. I would defend their place as society’s memory and experience. I would say that without public libraries, and without a conscious understanding of their role, a society of the written word is doomed to oblivion. I realize how petty, how egotistical it seems, this longing to own the books I borrow. I believe that theft is reprehensible, and yet countless times I’ve had to dredge up all the moral stamina I could find not to pocket a desired volume. Polonius echoed my thoughts precisely when he told his son, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” My own library carried this reminder clearly posted.

1 comment:

  1. Aba naman Kuya Alberto, magpahiram naman kayo ng libro ninyo. Ayaw ninyo na ngang magpahiram, tapos gusto pa ninyong nakawin ang libro sa aklatan! I guess there are some rare books that can't be had for love or money so ok, I'll give him his book lust. But I can't believe he doesn't find some happiness in sharing a well-loved book from his own library especially to a new reader.


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