Here’s on Exchange From the Interview:
Calderale: How do libraries, as “public squares of knowledge” (as coined by the librarian and essayist Antonella Agnoli), need to change if they intend to come back to life?
Parise: Italian libraries cover about 12 percent of the general population. It’s not a small percentage (out of about seven million people), but it’s very little when compared to the average of other European countries. In order to change this situation we should highlight the central role of library patrons, destined to become the main focus of library service, defining its features and, to a certain extent, its rules.
We should also widen our scope by reexamining the “study-research-leisure” model that has marked libraries’ development in Italy during the past 30 years. Providing basic training on the use of IT and on informative research techniques, supporting a proficient exploration of the web, encouraging individual growth: These, I believe, will be the main activities of libraries in the next few decades, increasingly oriented to the creation of widespread competence and skill. In order to achieve this, of course, we will need librarians equipped with a much different set of skills from the current ones.
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