Fields of action


We are clearly acting for the promotion of public libraries (German: öffentliche Bibliotheken / French: bibliothèques de lecture publique). Formely these libraries were called popular libraries, „libraries for the people“ (German: Volksbibliotheken / French: bibliothèques populaires). Libraries for everyone, not only for an elite.

Unsere öffentlichen Bibliotheken sind kläglich ausgestattet und werden noch jämmerlicher verwaltet. Ich weiß schon was kommt! die alte dumme Ausrede von der Kleinheit unserer Verhältnisse. Daß wir nicht genug Geld aufbringen, um Büchereien von wissenschaftlicher und kultureller Bedeutung einrichten zu können ; daß wir ein armseliger Kleinstaat sind, dem großstaatliche Aspirationen schlecht zu Gesichte stehen. Wir lassen uns mit solchen Ausreden nicht abweisen.“ Frantz Clément (*03.11.1882 – †02.06.1942). Clément, Frantz: Unsere öffentlichen Bibliotheken : ein Stückchen Kulturpolitik. In: La Voix des Jeunes : journal de l’Association Générale des Étudiants Luxembourgeois. – N°8, Août 1918, p. 85-87.

A democratic society depends upon an informed and educated citizenry.“ & „Information is the currency of democracy.“ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US-President (1801–1809)

If information is the currency of democracy, then libraries are the banks.“ Wendell H. Ford (1924-), US-Senator (1974-1998)

There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.“ Andrew Carnegie, (*1835 – †1919), Scottish-American steel baron & famous philanthropist.

“A Democratic Agency for Education. The public library is the product of modern democracy and is a practical demonstration of democracy’s faith in universal education as a life-long process.” UNESCO public library manifesto, 1949 (The Public library : a living force for popular education)

In modern societies libraries are particularly important as a means of ensuring that all citizens have access to the knowledge and culture they wish. It is extremely important to organize access to their material; this has a role to play in realizing citizenship, as have periodicals which keep readers up to date on legislation, other administrative decisions and events. Without such services, society cannot be democratic, open and transparent, because it cannot be assumed that all citizens will acquire a wide range of material. Investing in libraries means investing in democracy and equality.” Report on the Green Paper on the role of libraries in the modern world / Committee on Culture, Youth, Education and the Media ; Rapporteur: Mrs Mirja Ryynänen. – 25.06.1998. – (A4-0248/98), p. 13.