Why ALA Works with Other Institutions and Funders to Develop Traveling exhibitions

Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine

Site Support Notebook

Libraries are many things to their communities. They offer the practical information people need to improve the quality of their lives and to increase their options in a complex society. Libraries also give their communities something less tangible, yet just as essential to a satisfying and productive life—nourishment for the spirit.

Programs that encourage people to think about history, ethics, science, music, visual and literary arts and human values are an integral part of the mission of libraries. Exhibitions in libraries stimulate the public’s interest in the world of ideas. They are not ends in themselves, but starting points for substantive programming, discussion and study.

One goal of ALA exhibitions is to encourage visitors to go beyond the images and to explore exhibition themes with the help of programs and bibliographic aids offered by host libraries. A related goal is to help libraries strengthen their role as an intellectual forum and central cultural and educational institution in the community.