The purpose of this paper is to review the websites of 22 national libraries in Ibero-America to determine whether and how effectively they display these organisations’ mission statements, as well as any convergence/divergence among these texts.
A review was conducted of the national library websites of ABINIA’s 22 members to locate their respective mission statements. The statements identified were analysed and evaluated against the positioning and presence criteria and wording proposed by experts.
Website content clearly attests to national libraries’ eagerness to publicise their mission statements, which are readily accessible in most cases. Their functions are represented to a more or less standard pattern. Most are portrayed as institutions responsible for custodying, enriching, preserving and disseminating their countries’ cultural legacy. Other purposes mentioned include the promulgation of and accessibility to the heritage custodied.
The paper may prove useful for professional librarians involved in drafting or revising their organisation’s mission statement in the wake of changing circumstances or on the occasion of the formulation of a new strategic plan.
Of the very short number of analyses of libraries’ mission statements published to date, none discusses national libraries. This is the very first study of national library mission statement in Ibero-America. It forms part of a line of research dealing with national library mission statements defined and available on institutional websites for countries anywhere in the world.
Thanks are owed to Rubén Capdevila, President of ABINIA and Director of Paraguay’s National Library, for furnishing the association’s strategic plan.
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