Twenty years ago, the Conseil supérieur des bibliothèques (CSB, National Council for Libraries) detailed a steering document for libraries. Is the text still relevant for libraries today? How has it shaped libraries as they are today? The present article looks at the abstract vision of the individual embodied in the document. It discusses the central place of collections, the marginalisation of entertainment media, and the role of the French National Library, and concludes that the charter is unequal to meeting the issues facing libraries in the twenty-first century.