"In Senegal, the polite expression for saying someone died is to say his or her library has burned." So writes American author Susan Orlean in The Library Book, in which she uses a disastrous library fire to illustrate the role of libraries as community spaces and as the collective memory of a people.
The Unesco Public Library Manifesto, which was prepared with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, states that the public library is a "living force for education, culture and information, and as an essential agent for the fostering of peace and spiritual welfare through the minds of men and women".
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