The public library matters. It matters for community and culture. It matters for education and literacy. It matters for inclusion and democracy. It matters for personal and social well-being. It matters as a stalwart against an increasingly privatized and politicized world. We must recognize the public library as a place for community, education, literacy, democracy, and culture. But we cannot expect more from the public library if we continue to be apathetic and allow its gradual erosion on various fronts. The public library deserves continuous collective attention and defense. This presentation serves as a defense of the enduring importance of the public library in contemporary society.
Dr. Marc Kosciejew is Head of Department and Lecturer of Library Information and Archive Sciences within the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences (MaKS) at the University of Malta. He has been published in scholarly and professional journals, lectured in Europe and North America, and presented worldwide from Canada to China at diverse universities, institutions, and events from MIT to the National Archives of Sweden to Malta’s National Book Festival. He is also the winner of ARMA International’s prestigious Britt Literary Award for 2014 for his article on personal data rights.
In 2007 he conducted research in North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) on the secretive Communist state’s library system, becoming one of the first English-speakers to present and publish on this specific topic. His articles on North Korean libraries, featured in a 2009 two-part series in the national journal of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), are some of the first articles to directly discuss and critically analyze the libraries, specifically the national Grand People’s Study House, of the so-called “hermit kingdom”.