Why media literacy is a shared responsibility to history and the future

When it comes to outlining the mission of libraries, few people in history have the authority of steel magnate and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, who funded the establishment of over 2500 public libraries around the world. The single largest investor in public libraries in US history, Carnegie donated much of his vast fortune to science, education, and peace efforts. In the early 1900s, Carnegie’s view was that “there is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library…”

For those who love books, libraries are sacred places. Once inside, we are surrounded by an infinity of words and inspiring ideas that span millennia; a veritable sea of knowledge waiting to be absorbed. For roughly 2,800 years, subject matter has been systematically organized for intellectual benefit. Whether stone tablets, papyrus, or the digital ones and zeroes you’re experiencing now, scholars, students, and the curious public have trusted libraries to safeguard texts both sacred and irreverent.

Libraries may enjoy a long, rich history but they are anything but archaic. While some readers still prefer physically locating a title and the satisfying sensation of flipping its paper pages, libraries are increasingly offering more digital options for consuming content.

Last year PressReader saw over 23 million library patrons read more than a billion articles from nearly 70 million newspaper and magazine issues.


Libraries are also playing much larger and essential roles for their patrons and visitors these days. They have become community gathering places, learning centers, lecture halls, and sanctuaries as the world collectively endures COVID-19. With more people staying at home during the pandemic, continued library access has huge and important impact. In these times of economic uncertainty, libraries ensure citizens stay connected to health updates and potentially life-saving information. […]


Author: Mulugeta Woldetsadik, Librarian/Information Professional at Hawassa University (HU), Ethiopia

Mulugeta Woldetsadik, Librarian/Information Professional @ Hawassa University, , Sidama Region, Ethiopia

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