I had a very enjoyable conversation today with Martyn Wade, National Librarian and Chief Executive, of the National Library of Scotland. He made me aware of the relatively new legislation that updates the purpose and functions of the National Library. The library had been operating under legislation that dated from 1925. The new legislation positions the Library to fulfill the kind of role that the citizenry and other national and higher education institutions expect in the digital age. The legislation is brief, to the point, seems actionable and aims to be ‘future-proof’. It’s worth a quick look at 20 very generously-spaced pages. I was particularly taken with a subheading under NLS Functions:
NLS is to exercise its functions with a view to—
(a)encouraging education and research,
(b)promoting understanding and enjoyment of the collections,
(c)promoting the diversity of persons accessing the collections, and
(d)contributing to understanding of Scotland’s national culture.
I’m not aware of other library mission statements that explicitly call out the need to ensure that their collections are enjoyed. I like that very much.
In passing Martyn mentioned the library exhibit called Going to the pictures: Scotland at the cinema. In connection with this exhibit on the library’s Facebook page there was an opportunity to “Scot-ify” famous lines from the movies – Scotland at the Cinema Strikes Back. It’s ongoing and has been very successful. It’s charming and funny. Worth a look. Postcards made from some of the submissions will, of course, be available for sale in the library shop.
Jim coordinated the OCLC Research office in San Mateo, CA, focusing on relationships with research libraries and work that renovates the library value proposition in the current information environment. He retired in 2016.