May 24, 2022

Interview: “The Future of Italian Libraries”

From an Interview with Stefano Parise, president of the Italian Library Association, that was posted earlier today on TeleRead. The interviewer was Sergio Calderale.

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.

Read the Complete Interview

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.