Connecting our diverse community with library resources that enrich, enlighten and entertain
Public libraries have come a long way from simply acting as a passive repository of information. Contemporary libraries are dynamic, active community centers – places not only to build knowledge through information, but places to build opportunities through education and recreation. Libraries offer families a place to be entertained, relax and learn together. They encourage discussion and debate, supporting community endeavors and giving members a sense of place. By providing a venue for education, information, culture and recreation, the B&ECPL can directly impact the future of individuals, families and businesses in this area, strengthening the entire community.
A Message from The Director
Many credit Ben Franklin with the invention of the public library. It was Franklin's notion that reading and libraries would improve people's "conversation." We believe that the public library improves much more than that. Access to answers in a free and open forum can make the poor rich and the weak powerful. The public library is, perhaps, the greatest equalizer in American society. Here, everyone has a chance to compete on a level playing field.
We must never take that for granted.
Today's public library faces staggering challenges in its attempt to manage the ever-expanding universe of information each of us needs to cope and compete. Meanwhile, the library must strive to preserve a wide range of traditional roles - a place for study and thoughtful contemplation, for children to discover the wonders of reading, for neighbors to gather and discuss common concerns. In our society such places become scarcer and more precious each day.
For nearly 170 years, the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and its predecessors have assembled and preserved invaluable resources, resources that must be protected but also shared. With the presence of B&ECPL's home page on the World Wide Web, the continuing refinement of B&ECPL's online public access catalog and the implementation of a variety of web-based services, visitors from around the world can discover what we have cherished for so long, and residents of our own community can explore a library so large that walls cannot encompass it - a global library.
We must strive to preserve what is best from our past as we embrace what is most essential for our future. We face amazing possibilities.
The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library will:
1. Provide open, equal and free access to information in accordance with the American Library Association's "Library Bill of Rights."
2. Deliver timely, confidential and customer-oriented service to meet the informational, recreational and educational needs of the community.
3. Promote lifelong learning by encouraging all children and adults in their enjoyment of reading and discovery.
4. Contribute to the region's economic vitality by assisting individuals, businesses and government as they pursue better jobs and economic growth.
5. Create and maintain an environment that attracts, develops and encourages a diverse and skilled staff.
6. Listen to the entire community in pursuit of the Library’s Mission.
7. Manage resources effectively and be accountable to its funding sources.
8. Pursue the private and public funding necessary to fulfill the Library’s Mission.