world politics

A Library For All Peoples

In a Washington Post column last week, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington proposed A Library for The New World:

[T]he time may be right for our country’s delegation to consider introducing to the [UNESCO] a proposal for the cooperative building of a World Digital Library. This would offer the promise of bringing people closer together by celebrating the depth and uniqueness of different cultures in a single global undertaking.

And in this time of war and strife, what makes such a proposal so important?

Libraries are inherently islands of freedom and antidotes to fanaticism. They are temples of pluralism where books that contradict one another stand peacefully side by side just as intellectual antagonists work peacefully next to each other in reading rooms.

And I can’t think of a better message to start the holidays with.