Monday, August 28, 2006

Perspectives (or, Role of the Library)

While checking my RSS feeds tonight, I read Lucian's post about "Relative Democracy": "We need only look a little northward to be thankful for what we have."

And there's this post by Alex Halavais on the War on Terror: "Let’s end—or at least reduce—terror. How do we do this? The answer is always the same: education." (Read what else he has to say on "education").

Kevin follows the post where he suggests that if "Terrorists manufacture fear, Let’s manufacture happiness."

Here's a Singaporean blogger's view on "Being deaf in Singapore". (Also posted at

FeetWhile waiting at the train platform in Seoul, I saw these stickers on the floor, presumably to remind commuters to keep an appropriate distance from the edge (maybe also as reminders to let other communters alight first).

The stickers were in blue, which reminded me of this poem:
I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet. ~ Denis Waitley

All those posts reminded me of one word -- Perspectives.

Which made me think about the role of the library.

Libraries could (or ought to be) institutions that allow users to explore perspectives. Of course the cynics would argue that libraries could be avenues for disseminating propaganda under the guise of offering perspectives. Sure, I think anything can be abused, but that's a line of thought for a different post.

I think the very act of setting up a public library, making books from various subjects available (providing Internet access is a bonus), is already a way of offering perspectives.

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