In an era when all public institutions are under mounting pressure to demonstrate their value, modern libraries must continuously re-examine their purpose—just what it is they do—and compellingly communicate their role and the contributions (i.e., return on investment) they make to individuals and society. The underlying theme developed will be the connection between literacy, thinking, and learning and how learning has transformative personal, civil, and economic effects. Questions and issues that will be examined include: What is learning? How does it happen? What is the role of literacy in learning? What are the ends of reading, literacy, and learning? Attendees will be presented with a refreshed view of what libraries do/contribute on individual and social levels and why they are prudent, long-term public investments.