„For me, closing libraries is the equivalent of eating your seed corn to save a little money.“ Neil Gaiman, author
Source: Gaiman, Neil: Libraries are cultural ’seed corn‘.
The library is an institution in the service of humanity for more than 2,000 years. The library goes along with civilisation. At first they were reserved for the elite. From the 19th century on, a new type of library, the public library, open to all citizens, first to adults, then young people and finally to children. Today public libraries are the first place to promote reading among children and even infants, called „baby readers“.
Outside of school institutions, with their limited opening times, they are committed to the joy of reading. The self-training („self-education“) of the citizen, either through fiction or non-fiction collections, is the main objective of the public library to this day. Libraries allow citizens through self-study to climb the ladder in society or to participate actively in societal development at all levels.
Our motivation – and perhaps yours?
Where are the libraries in Luxembourg, which help outside of school structures, all persons of all ages to have the opportunity to get free independent reading and knowledge accumulation?
By 1940, there were five times more „public libraries“ in Luxembourg than today. After 1945, till the 1980s, there were at least three times as many „libraries for all“ as today. In early 2000 society found out: many public libraries were gone – a loss of intellectual capital of great magnitude.
FëBLux has set a goal to raise funds for the few existing small, rural and medium-sized libraries in this country to have a chance of survival. Because conditions are not optimal.
In Luxembourg maybe we can manage to build, as all major countries of the world, a framework of libraries, equally accessible for everyone. We stand for:
- reading promotion, because permanent reading training keeps people mentally fit.
- democracy promotion, by a neutral, independent public information.
- equal opportunities, so that every citizen of the country will have the same opportunities, via knowledge accumulation, to advance in society.
- integration of many immigrants, so that they can better cope in the prevailing multilingualism.
Luxembourg has in some areas, such as libraries, a backlog demand. We want to help to improve this situation. You can contribute with your donation.
„Saying we don’t need libraries because of the Internet, is like saying we don’t need farms because we have supermarkets„. Andy Woodworth, Public librarian, New Jersey, USA, Twitter, 16.30h – 29.03.2014.