“The Library is an open sanctuary. It is devoted to individual intellectual inquiry and contemplation. Its function is to provide free access to ideas and information. It is a haven of privacy, a source of both cultural and intellectual sustenance for the individual reader. Since it is thus committed to free and open inquiry on a personal basis, the Library must remain open, with access to it always guaranteed.”
Vosper (1913-1994) was an influential American librarian who taught at UCLA and Kansas University. He advocated for the thoughtful development of collections and international collaboration between libraries, including the development of multi-lingual collections. He was the winner of the prestigious Joseph W. Lippincott Award and recognized by American Libraries as one of the Top 100 Librarians of the 20th Century.
In 1970, Vosper refused to close the doors of the UCLA library in response to anti-war protests, despite instructions to do so by university leadership. Instead, he posted notice that the library would be considered a sanctuary devoted to the free access of information.