n English in Africa - "An Inalienable Right to Read" : Unesco's promotion of a universal culture of reading and public libraries and its involvement in Africa, 1948-1968

Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



"This Manifesto proclaims UNESCO's belief in the public library as a living force for education, culture and information, and as an essential agent for the fostering of peace and spiritual welfare through the minds of men and women." So reads the current Unesco Public Library Manifesto. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has, in the years since its foundation, attempted to shape the development of a library and reading culture based on certain principles envisioned as both universal to all people and fundamental to the future progress of the world. Yet the work undertaken by Unesco, and the ideas that have shaped the nature of this work, has largely remained unexplored by historians.

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