Outcome 1b

Demonstrate how a philosophy, theory, model, and/or major perspective of the library and information profession guides practice in diverse settings.

This midterm paper for LIS 707 Leadership, Marketing, and Strategic Communication addresses the question of how libraries can make themselves vital and relevant in the 21st century, a theme that I have found myself returning to frequently in many different contexts during the course of my education. In this essay, I propose that rather than being a passive window into the world’s store of knowledge, the library of the future will serve its patrons by providing them with tools to construct their own windows.

When it comes to defining the role of libraries in society, ‘access to information’ has always
been the north star and central mission of the institution, with the other activities undertaken by
librarians viewed as being in the service of this primary mission. This is not to suggest that the
meaning of ‘access’ has not undergone many shifts and re-examinations since the 19th century
beginnings of modern libraries, and it is widely understood that without organizing principles,
expert guidance, and a commitment to intellectual freedom and social justice, the central mission
of access would be entirely moot. “The library is a growing organism”, as Ranganathan said in
his classic Five Laws of Library Science, and various ways that libraries have evolved to enable
this mission of access are, like a living thing, a tangle of interrelationships that cannot be

“Facilitating Content Creation as a Core Component of the Modern Library”

Jason Grey, MLIS