The 10-Minute International Librarian #66: Be able to explain why heritage matters

In last week’s post, our exercise focused on how to explain the importance of access to information.

A key aspect of the work of libraries, and one that makes an indispensable contribution to access, are efforts to ensure the safeguarding of heritage.

Without libraries and others there to ensure the survival into the future of the works of the present and the past, the memory of the world is poorer. These are arguments currently being made in the context of the European Week of Conservation-Restoration.

Yet the protection and promotion of heritage does not always receive the attention it should, seen as a less urgent priority than other issues.

While under-investing in this field may look like a saving in the short-term, it creates serious and lasting issues.

So for our 66th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, be able to explain why heritage matters.

In particular, think about types of heritage that your library may help safeguard – including local history, intangible creativity, or other materials.

What would your arguments be to convince a decision-maker – especially one who may not otherwise be particularly interested – of the importance of protecting it, and of the benefits it can bring in the future?

Think about practical ways in which heritage can support the goals decision-makers may care about – community cohesion, supporting new creativity, or enabling education.

Share the arguments that have worked best for you in the comments box below!

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! 1.3 Work with library associations and libraries to identify key legal and funding challenges to their work, and advocate for action.

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box.