The Library and the Availability of Knowledge

“There is nothing more to the credit of a library than that every man finds in it what he seeks, having failed to find it elsewhere.” So wrote Gabriel Naudé as he outlined the steps that were necessary to the establishment of a library in the 1640s. The argument is as sound today as some 320 years ago, but the store of knowledge or information that is available to man, and the number of individuals seeking it have increased tremendously.

Possibly one of the most significant changes that have occurred since the Industrial Revolution relates to the classification, availability, and uses of knowledge. In our rapidly changing world, to avoid duplication of effort on the part of scholars, a research library must contain in books, learned journals and technical reports, an up-to-date record of recent progress in research, as well as the documentary materials that allow one age to speak to another.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 06:1
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