by Sylva Simsova
APLIS – 1 September 2008

When social changes are considered by libraries it is often said that reading is on its way out and that libraries will have to adapt to the change. This paper puts forward ideas about the purpose of reading and the role libraries could be playing in meeting the reading needs of their users. The work of libraries in the presence of claims that reading is a thing of the past is not easy. However libraries cannot give up printed texts. Suggestions that they should educate the general public and make them read are also not helpful. The best way to serve users is to try to understand them and to promote the joy, not the duty, of reading. Edited version of a paper given at the Ifla Metlib conference in Prague 2008.

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