The Minister of Culture today reaffirmed the fundamental role of libraries at the congress of the Association des bibliothécaires de France, and praised the work done by all librarians. 

The latest survey on the public and the uses of libraries confirms that they hold a special place in the cultural landscape: 40% of French people over the age of 15 attend them, against 25% in 1997. The network of libraries and media libraries can be the spearhead of the country’s cultural reconquest.

A national mobilization campaign will be organized among local authorities to raise awareness of the issue of schedules and rethink libraries as places of social cohesion in accordance with the commitment of the President of the Republic. To launch this reflection, a major national debate will be organized and carried out at the regional level by the Regional Directorates of Cultural Affairs (DRAC). This debate will bring together all stakeholders: librarians, all public officials, trade unions, citizens, communities and elected officials.

Françoise Nyssen, Minister of Culture, wishes to go further in terms of mobilization and entrusts a «ambassador» mission to Erik Orsenna, writer and academician. He will tour France to promote the project of opening libraries and gather stakeholders' expectations.