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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"

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Libraries and Their Intended Patrons

Harris and Javersak both bring into play notions of who libraries were intended for (and exactly who it was doing this intending) and how potential patrons viewed the library. Harris discusses the use of the public library as a mode of 'social control,' control that those belonging to the local power structure deemed necessary to maintain their ideas of what their community should be. Javersak mentions that one of the Labor arguments against the Carnegie library/money was that a Carnegie library would promote anti-labor materials. Another argument was that the poor would be funding (through taxes) a "convenience" for the rich.

How do we reconcile these accounts? Do we need to? In our writing, how will we account for competing narratives of history and intentions?


Blogger Awa said...

My opinion is that there is no need to reconcile these accounts. My primary reason is that these accounts ar not historical facts, rather, they are the viewpoints of different scholoars who came into the field with different theories and perspectives of history. Because of the differences, they frame and propose their own accounts about certain historical facts.
When we try to analyze a certain historical fact, we also come into the field with certain perspectives, we read these accounts but this doesn’t mean we must accept every one of them. We choose the ones that we think reliable or correct, or in other words, we look for our “allies” (in Latour’s term). So, why bother to reconcile them?

11:18 PM  

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