One of the first acts of dictators when they come into power is to destroy and ban books. In this important book, Patrick Boyer reminds us that to protect democracy, we have to protect the written word and the free access to it; in other words, we have to recognize and celebrate the role of public libraries in making books accessible to the public.
(Marina Nemat, author of Prisoner of Tehran and inaugural recipient of the European Parliament's "Human Dignity Award)
If an informed public is the foundation of a democracy, then libraries and a free press are like twin cornerstones. In Local Library, Global Passport, Patrick Boyer reminds us just how essential libraries and an unfettered press are to the functioning of democratic society.
(Diana M. Daniels, General Counsel, The Washington Post Company (1988-2007) and past president, Inter American Press Association)
From my perspective as an historian with responsibility for a library, Patrick Boyer's book appeals on many levels. As he so eloquently sets out in the context of Bracebridge, libraries are far more than bricks and mortar that house books. Libraries are fundamentally linked to their communities, whether it is Bracebridge or Parliament Hill. These communities provide the support not just for the bricks, mortar and books, periodicals and newspapers that fill the shelves, but increasingly computers, databases and online versions of all these things as well. In turn, libraries have a responsibility not only to be repositories of knowledge but also to make this knowledge available to their community. This is the vocation of a librarianto serve as the conduit of knowledge to those who seek it-in the service of their community.
(William R. Young, Parliamentary Librarian of Canada, Ottawa)
About the Author
J. Patrick Boyer is a constitutional lawyer, political science professor, veteran of the House of Commons, journalist, and author of some twenty books on Canadian history, law, politics, and governance. He also frequently comments on Canadian public affairs for various media outlets. Patrick lives in Muskoka and Toronto.