in light of the qualitative experience we provoke in those communities.
The creation of value is a task that implies nothing less than the reinvention of our Library, in harmony with global, national and our specifically congressional contexts. This means that we must establish permanent relationships with the community so as to develop its capacity to act. This focus obliges us to leave our offices and participate actively in the daily routines of congresspersons, to be present “on the ground”, so that they can count on our support in their parliamentary and representational roles.
Moreover, new technology demands that we recover our historical role as teachers of alphabets, now extended to include the “alphabets” of information technologies. This demand translates into the commitment to generate information management abilities in our prime target community to help them act skillfully in the information society.
On the basis of this new common sense, we no longer think of the Library of the National Congress as a source of products and services generated in response to user demands, but rather as an institution that collaborates in the expansion of possibilities with its community members, as human beings, that makes knowledge available to them that is comprehensible and congruent with their individual values and inherent cultural practíces, with their concerns and those of the communities most relevant to them. The Library must be an institution that offers congresspersons the collaboration and tools they need to fulfill their roles and commitments, and to construct their own identity as such.
I believe that, in this way, the Library will become an instrument for the creation and accumulation of social capital.
The Library, as I conceive it, is therefore an invitation to congresspersons to enter into a mutually advantageous conversation.
The book in your hands is a collective creation by members of Library staff who have been actors in the transformation processes have mentioned. I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to this book’s editor, Mr. David Vásquez, and to its contributors Ms. Ximena Feliú, Ms. Marialyse Délano, Mr. Juan Guillermo Prado and Mr. Pablo Valderrama, as well as for the content contribution of Ms. Ana María Zúñiga, the review and translation into English by Thomas Connelly, and to Ms. Carla Grandi, who