วันนี้ อยู่ในช่วงเวลาของการตัดสินใจว่าจะไปเข้าร่วมประชุม IFLA 2009 ที่ Milan ดีหรือไม่ อ่านกำหนดการไปเรื่อยๆ ก็ไปพบบทความที่เพื่อนร่วมวิชาชีพจะนำเสนอในการประชุม IFLA 2009 ที่ Milan หลายบทความดีๆ พบบทความนี้ก็เลยถือโอกาสเลือกที่จะอ่านก่อนจากบทคัดย่อ (ใครได้ไปฟัง คงว่าไม่กันนะคะ) จากเรื่อง
Parliamentary libraries: an uncertain future?
By Anna Galluzzi, Biblioteca del Senato “Giovanni Spadolini” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Galluzzi, Anna. Parliamentary libraries: an uncertain future? [Online]. Accessed 3 August 2009. Available from http://www.ifla.org/annual-conference/ifla75/index.htm
Parliamentary libraries are libraries serving the parliamentary institutions on a national or local level. Usually they were and are founded at the same time as the Parliament itself and are organised according to the parliamentary model of the country in which they are located. The parliamentary library’s mission is to support and facilitate parliamentary activities and make available all the useful sources of information to the parliament as a whole. Thus, the parliamentary library is a specialised library from the point of view both of the collections’ coverage and of patrons whom it is addressed.
Today, parliamentary libraries are at a turning point in their history. All over the world they are deeply changing their nature and experimenting new possibilities. In particular, they are facing two main turnarounds:
• the convergence towards a digital and networked society which is strongly affecting libraries of any type;
• the changing role of Parliaments: some scholars talk about a crisis of traditional parliaments as institutional places whereas some of the main decisions regarding political life and society are taken elsewhere.
The internal fragmentation of parliamentary administration, the multiplication of search possibilities, the amount of topics debated every day and the need for information processed and immediately available for use are some of the reasons why the traditional parliamentary libraries are lagging behind in everyday parliamentary activities. This is why parliamentary libraries are re-inventing themselves according to two main
• becoming internal documentation centres and integrating their services with other parliamentary offices and departments and, sometimes, giving up their physical structure;
• extending their role beyond the boundaries of the parliamentary library type and assuming other functions; according to this statement, some parliamentary libraries have opened to the general public; others have got the status of national libraries or have become central research libraries for a specific disciplinary field such as political science and law.
In 1931 Ranganathan wrote: “libraries are living organisms”. If true, this means that they are expected to adapt themselves to the context in which they work, without giving up their inner mission and role in the society. How can parliamentary libraries face this challenge in a meaningful way?