Washington, D.C.

August 5, 2016

President Barack Obama

As you come together from across the globe and the United States around the importance of librarianship and information services, it is my pleasure to extend my warmest regards.

Our collective knowledge—borne out of centuries of inquiry and labor, and more interconnected and within reach today than ever before—represents the foundation of economic, cultural, and social progress made by generations of our peoples. This event reminds us of our duty, as an international community, to shape a future in which all people can fully and freely access and contribute to the great, living bank of accumulated information we share as citizens of the world. As long as we endeavor to protect and expand this access—from addressing the barriers of censorship and suppression to fighting the forces of exclusion—we can bring about a future in which every person is freer and in which all our societies are more vibrant and defined by greater possibility.

You have my very best for a wonderful time in Columbus and an outstanding event.

President Barack Obama

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