Mr Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Opening a place dedicated to public reading and book is always a great
emotion. I feel great sympathy for the figure of the librarian
who welcomes and guides the reader with kindness and generosity. To the
way of a Lucien Herr rue d'Ulm at the time of the Dreyfus affair, he made
part of these figures that draw a landscape and shape a universe.
How can we forget that Marcel Proust was a librarian at the Mazarine de
1895 to 1900? How to forget that Leconte de Lisle and Anatole France
were librarians of the Senate? And what about Hector Berlioz, librarian
of the Conservatory, by Théophile Gautier, librarian of the princess
Mathilde or Robert Musil, University Librarian
Vienna technique from 1910 to 1914?
Reading is the ultimate gateway to the universe – from
of culture. Because reading is not a
cultural practice like the others: it is, in a way, the one that
can condition all others.
Over the last 20 years or so we have seen a diversification of
uses of the book – with less literature
production of books and in the practice of reading – and, more
further diversification of text supports. With the development of
of the magazine press and especially the spectacular rise of the
screen», characteristic of 14-25 years, we are increasingly
read on other media than the book. But the printed book
remains a great tool for learning and opening up to the world and I
I am delighted to see the share of the youth book (30% of the fund) in which
knows the vitality and creativity of the Eiffel media library.
To tame the book object, to accompany its handling, is already to enter
in a learning process and in this «taste of reading» (Alberto
Manguel) without which there can be no readers tomorrow.
The development of the digital cultural offer is the major challenge
years to come, and I have made it one of the priorities of my action. There are
a few days, the Parliament almost unanimously passed the law on the price
digital book. France is the first country in Europe to
of such a law. 30 years after the law on the single price of books (1981), this law
intends to take into account the new modes of reading but also to offer
the conditions for a harmonious development of this market still
Adapting public libraries to new uses
by sealing with them a “digital contract” is one of the
my priorities. And I know that this equipment, this place in the strongest sense of the word,
was conceived in the light of this «revolution».
I know, Mr Mayor, that this new cultural equipment
service of the Levallois offers digital resources in
many domains - including nearly 6000 e-book titles but
also periodicals and music - as subscribers of the
media library can legally download from them. The
Eiffel Media Library also offers quiet working areas,
individual reading places, which are very important for students,
for students who are looking for the calm they don’t always find
at their home.
In the spring of 2010 I announced 14 proposals for the
development of reading”. I particularly wanted to promote
opening hours of reading places but also
increased accessibility for prevented audiences. This
title, I am pleased that the Eiffel Library has paid attention to
visually impaired and hard of hearing persons, in accordance with
that I announced as part of the National Commission
Culture-Handicap. Culture and creation are places of exchange
and meetings; there is no reason why audiences should
be uniform, be identical. For me, the culture
is aggregation, mixture, diversity: it cannot be a place of exclusion,
it cannot create intimidation, it must never appear
inaccessible.
Networking all the actors of public reading in a territory
given. I am thinking of associations that act on a daily basis on the ground,
for which we will redouble our efforts. Working in a network,
offering a unique map, the three media libraries of Levallois are at this
exemplary consideration: united in a common website, offering
services, they make the book and reading a link between the
The city’s neighbourhoods are a link between the urban area.
The Ministry of Culture and Communication has always been a
partner attentive to the needs of local and regional authorities. In Ile-
France, with the expertise of the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs
(DRAC), it accompanied the construction and
which reflect the profound changes in lifestyles and
the people of Ile-de-France. He helped fund this new
media library combining modernity and proximity - up to 35% - where
Eiffel, the builder and entrepreneur, installed in 1864 the company of
construction of Levallois Perret (SCLP), in a neighbourhood now in
full renovation.
By offering a reading room on the ground floor, this project
light and transparent architecture, including glass panels on the façade
are reminiscent of an open book on the city – here I want to greet the
work of architects Sandra and Dan Munteanu - this «place» in the city
links with the origins of public libraries, these
reading» which were born in the 18th century. Space dedicated to the very young
at the time of storytelling, heaters and spaces for reading-relaxation,
mezzanines capturing natural light, the interior design cannot
to lead the appropriation of places by all readers and contributes to
make the library not only a place of culture but also a
place of life and learning for citizenship.
Everyone knows that the librarian is a professional of memory, a
professional who often makes body with books to the point of becoming luimême
a man-books, internalizing the contents or organizing
their only references until they enter the catalogue… as we enter
religion!
Alongside elected officials, librarians, I carry this ambition to the service
reading, access to knowledge for the wider public, this requirement
meeting and dialogue between audiences in their diversity. It is
at the heart of my idea of Culture. It is what makes me say
one of my predecessors, Jacques Duhamel, Minister of
Pompidou, that the Culture is what allows us to
Making a Day of Work a Day of Life”. Thank you.