Monday, January 3, 2011

Libraries and education, briefly stated

I will confine today's post to a brief observation based on Tony Judt's book "Ill Fares the Land" He speaks of the decaying effects of unequal access to resources, and how, under conditions of severe inequality all other desirable goals become hard to achieve. He goes on to note some particulars about education: Under conditions of endemic inequality the permanently underprivileged cannot get a good education, and without that " they cannot hope for minimally secure employment-much less participation in the culture and civilization of their society." Conversely, "better educated populations not only lead better lives, they adapt faster and at less cost to disruptive technical change." The library is part of the solution to the problem of unequal access to education and unhindered access to information. As we think about the the services we provide to the community we need to keep in mind these transcendent roles. The value of empowering our customers and a common focus on providing excellent service cannot be underestimated.