JUST what is a good library supposed to offer if it is to be an asset to the community("Not right forum for discussion" by Mr Darius Lee; Thursday)?
First and foremost, libraries must champion information rights that enrich the lives of all and build communities for everyone while avoiding censorship, for was it not the late United States President John F. Kennedy who famously asserted that "libraries should be open to all - except the censor"?
They are repositories of knowledge for anybody who seeks, and not only for those of a particular creed or sexual orientation, or those who want to read only what they believe in.
We go to libraries to learn about the past, to be informed about the present and be inspired about the future - without bias.
Libraries must allow us to explore different interpretations, each as cogently argued and rational as any other antithetical one.
They must have scope for the radical and the unconventional, so that young sprigs of understanding can develop into new founts of knowledge.
Libraries bring to the fore the contrasting nature of moral, religious and scientific arguments, balancing the interplay of faith and rationality.
One reads, one learns, one discovers, then one concludes based on the wealth of collated information available in these treasure troves.
Denial of the past, prejudice, misinformation through non-representation and suppression through censorship are not traits that any self-respecting library should possess, and lobbyists of any faction should respect this sanctity.
The blogosphere is full of bigotry, the Internet is replete with disinformation, and religious institutions are dictated by rigid diktats.
If the library, the best place to garner resources to dispel ignorance and gather enlightenment, is not the right forum for research into further rational discourse and discussion, then just what is? Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)
This article was first published on July 12, 2014.
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