Message to Library, Archives, Records, and Information Professionals from the New State Librarian of Texas

Information is power. To be informed is to have agency—the ability to think and to do for oneself, to exert influence, and to shape circumstances. Places that house information, preserve knowledge, and further research and learning are among the most powerful. Libraries and our allied information institutions are as vital as ever. Though the people who work in libraries, archives, and records management organizations may not always feel powerful, history teaches us repeatedly that information—the right to access it and the responsibility to share it—is fundamental to a robust and informed citizenry.

The mission of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission is to help Texans lead informed and productive lives. Indeed, I believe that all knowledge organizations share this fundamental purpose. As the new State Librarian, I am incredibly honored to be in this work alongside the talented and committed people who staff and support libraries, archives, records management, and information organizations.

We are in an especially important time. Our communities, students, researchers, and publics are demanding the best of us: facts, truth, objectivity, respect for diverse viewpoints, responsiveness to learning needs, and safe environments where all are welcomed and able to find information that is valuable and meaningful.

One might imagine that little about libraries or reading could evoke debate, but then, anything with such enormous power often draws strong passions. I keep in mind the many difficult times in history when people had to fight for access to information—everything from making sure all people (the poor, the marginalized, minority populations, and so many others) had access to reading materials to the cases in history when totalitarian regimes attempted to wipe out viewpoints and histories through book burnings and eradication of historical and archival records.

Generations of Americans have fought to preserve our right to information among our most cherished liberties. We all take special pride and responsibility in our role protecting these rights. And, in our area of work—that of libraries, literacy, reading, history, and all forms of 21st century information resources—I am thankful to work alongside all of you to ensure that we continue to serve the public and support access to a broad array of resources, technologies, and viewpoints.

Thank you for all you do!

2 thoughts on “Message to Library, Archives, Records, and Information Professionals from the New State Librarian of Texas

  1. BRAVO. Superbly put.
    Access to information, especially historical fact, is vital for citizens – and governments. Libraries are key to an informed and involved Texans. I’m thankful that Texas values libraries and the insights and knowledge they empower.

  2. Great article and congratulations.
    After reading your article it reminded me that as a new state employee in the mid 1970s through the late 90s, I spent many hours in the Texas State Library doing a variety of research projects for my various positions in the Governor’s office.
    I would like to tip my hat, not just to current staff but to individuals who have long retired and helped many state employees and citizens before there were computers on the desk of state employees.
    The employees of this organization were most helpful to those of us who had to use the library professionally and personally as I spent many hours there doing research on family ancestry matters.
    Again, congratulations on your appointment. I look forward to seeing and hearing about the great things the Library continues to do for Texas and for Texans.
    Morris X.Winn

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