Numerous studies and articles downplay the value of libraries, citing instances of library defunding, layoffs, and outright closures, along with studies on the waning usefulness of libraries based on flawed quantifiables. Such pronouncements spread fear of obsolescence and irrelevance, contributing to dissatisfaction in the library profession. Yet polls in the United States and Great Britain reveal the library profession's enduring value among the most trusted professions.

To kick off the column "Mayflower: Ode to New Beginnings", this article frames library pressures in a context of broader trends affecting economic and educational conditions, examines professional stewardship and the library profession’s enduring value, and portrays the wide range of skill and knowledge areas to which libraries are natural contributors.

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Published in Against the Grain, v. 30, no. 4 , p. 37-39.

© 2018 Antje Mays

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