Public Libraries and their Contribution towards Economic Development: a discussion

Vanda Ferreira, Santos
2009 LIBRES Library and Information Science Research Electronic Journal   unpublished
This paper discusses the public library's role in society as a focal point for local economic development, adapted to the countries in the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR-composed of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay). It proposes a re-focussing of public libraries towards the idea of an information centre, to contribute towards local economic development by satisfying the information needs of citizens, small businesses, new entrepreneurs and community institutions. This new vision of
more » ... public library as an information centre creates greater links and integration between the public library and its local community. Public libraries and economic development would seem like an unlikely combination, especially in the Latin American context. However, what does seem more realistic is the setting up of an information service in public libraries to provide added value information; this will be of great importance in justifying the existence of the public library within its surroundings. Introduction A larger debate regarding the new model of the public library needed by our society has been taking place over the last few years in international and national meetings in an effort to define the public library's role and to integrate it into the information sector as a main component.