May 18, 2022

Interview: CEO, National Library of Korea on Librarians Becoming ‘Information Mediators”

From The Korea Herald:

Facing the digital age, libraries are increasingly pressed to stretch beyond their traditional role to offer more user-friendly and versatile functions, said Lim Won-sun, chief executive of the National Library of Korea.

“Basically, we want to run a service that actively approaches (readers). Up to now, libraries’ role had been to collect and organize information for people to seek out,” Lim told The Korea Herald. “We want to approach people and say, ‘Don’t you need this (information)? I think this may be of interest to you.’”

The NLK, founded in 1945, is a state-run repository that collects and organizes digital and paper documents in Korea for all citizens. It boasts a collection of more than 9.2 million offline and online documents.

The published interview consists of five questions and answer sets. Here’s one of them.

Q: Libraries are extending their roles beyond the traditional function of storing books. What is your opinion on the extended functions of libraries?

A: Public libraries basically serve local residents. Of course, books and other materials are at the center of such services, but there is no need to be restricted to the boundaries of the materials.

A user might have a demand related to a book, but it does not necessarily mean that he or she has to borrow the book from a library. One can take part in numerous events, such as a meeting with the author, book studies and even debate programs.

The key thing (for libraries) is to provide a place to share intellectual resources.

Read the Complete Interview

Visit the National Library of Korea Website (English)

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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.