A contribution published in the magazine Percorsi di Secondo Welfare discusses the many connections between different locations of culture
Libraries as focal points within a knowledge network that becomes welfare, in the fullest meaning of the word. Essential elements in a “cultural well-being” system that is turning social, a web truly interconnected with other entities throughout the territory: social and economic institutions, enterprises and meeting places. A system within which the best corporate culture, not solely focused on economic profit, can find new expression and applications. These are some of the messages put forward in Il ruolo delle biblioteche nello sviluppo del welfare socio-culturale” (“The role of libraries in the development of social and cultural welfare”), contribution by Alessandro Agustoni and Marco Cau. Messages that revolve around the role that libraries, and the systems that link them up, could play as part of territories’ cultural and social policies.
The analysis undertaken by Agustoni and Cau, published in Percorsi di Secondo Welfare some time ago, examines the significance of libraries, starting from the experience gained through CUBI, the new interlibrary system. “Social and technological changes affect the identity of libraries, and are themes that should be discussed and reflected upon in terms of the operating models deployed on an international, and local, scale,” explain the two authors, before adding that “Cultural transformations, technological evolutions, social tensions can lead to a standstill, to throwing in the towel, to the closure of services – or, on the contrary, they can become drivers for change and innovation.” These are the transformations this research work analyses and that generate a number of considerations concerning the many roles that libraries could play, besides the ones associated with books and reading.” Amongst these roles, libraries could in fact be seen as “spaces in evolution, also in relation to work. On the one hand (…) they are places that can accommodate smart working, facilitate forms of agile working, contribute to a better life-work balance, providing accessible spaces and equipment suitable to agile working. On the other hand, the instances of corporate welfare in the public sphere are growing, generating models that can be assessed and employed as a source of information and potential applications.” Corporate welfare, then, that blends in with cultural and social welfare to create new forms of activities that can benefit society, as well as the general economy.
Agustoni and Cau’s work not only is clear and concise, but has the additional quality of bringing into focus what the concept of innovative and significant cultural territories should actually look like.
Il ruolo delle biblioteche nello sviluppo del welfare socio-culturale (“The role of libraries in the development of social and cultural welfare”)
Percorsi di Secondo Welfare, 2019