Our Mission and Values

Gladstone’s Library doesn’t have a short pithy mission statement as it is too multi-faceted to capture its essence in that way. Instead, we have a longer form of words that seeks both to explain who we are and what we do as well as our values and ethos. At the Library, we return to it often to review our direction and decision making and we print it here as a way of encapsulating what we are, what we strive to be and what we believe visitors will experience.

 Gladstone’s Library is…

a residential library and meeting place

dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning

for open-minded individuals and groups

who are looking to explore pressing questions

 and to pursue study and research

 in an age of distraction and easy solutions.

We help people engage more deeply in the questions that concern them.

We are committed to maintaining Gladstone’s legacy of engagement with political, social, moral and spiritual questions.

We do not seek to provide the answers.

We offer resources for people to pursue those questions for themselves – through individual study as well as group debate.

 Moreover . . . we are one of a kind.


We offer a comfortable, sociable and stimulating environment in which to pursue live questions.

We provide the resources for creative study including renowned collections of religious, historical, cultural, and political materials.

We believe that the mind works best when the body is well catered for.

We enable our guests to enjoy solitude as well as social interaction.

We like everyone to leave having encountered something they weren’t expecting – a book, an idea or a person, for example.


Moreover. . . we have an evolving programme of events that keeps us connected with a wide network of writers and thinkers – and makes us worth revisiting.


These are the values we seek to embody:

Welcoming: Friendly people in a comfortable environment; happy to accommodate special requests; open to long or short visits, groups and individuals; making our riches available to the widest audience possible.

Intelligent: Voracious readers; thoughtful about where we can make a difference.

Open-minded: Unafraid to explore ideas; hungry for new avenues of enquiry; engaged with contemporary questions and exploration of the connections between them; liberal in values and attitude; respectfully accommodating different points of view.

Surprising: Having more to us than meets the eye; maintaining the pace of innovation.

Diverse: Celebrating difference and inclusion; giving people space to be themselves. 

Ethical: Defining value in social terms; pursuing progressive standards; caring for the environment.


In summary . . .

We are proudly Gladstonian, as these are the self-same liberal values he lived, breathed and bequeathed us.