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LIS 950: Libraries and community

The purpose of this seminar is to explore an important topic in library and information studies in depth — in all its intertwined historical, cultural, philosophical, and political aspects — through a graduate reading/discussion seminar. The topic varies each time the course is taught; this time around, we will focus on "libraries and community"

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Although, I would agree that the last two chapters did seem tacked-on. However, the thread which I most picked up on (and wrote about in my paper) was the design control struggle between architects and librarians when it came to architecture. Van Slyck revisits this throughout in the context of the two camps struggling for professional status. I hadn't really thought of architects and the history of that profession as struggling for recognition of their profession.

Another reaction that I had is the Gladden campaign against Carnegie and the theme of "tainted money” was begun/perpetuated by the Church. Although, I would agree that Gladden’s claim of money that was obtained through illegal or unethical means (20) . . . it is not surprising that this would come from the church who’s own power and position within the community would be threatened. It would be interesting to see how often this occurred in cities and towns where the predominate public fixture would have been the church, which we could [assume] had some conflict as the population's morality and social control were thought to be in the church's province. The theme was alluded to . . . but I'm sure there is much more to discover on the theme of secular vs religious influence/control.

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