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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, October 13, 2005

A Couple of Thoughts

I would have liked McCook to have delved into the concept of "fortress America" more thoroughly in Chapter One, as well as into the "ideological discomfort" with the concept of cybercommunity building outside libraries in Chapter 6.

Is McCook's emphasis on "stability" and "resilience" of libraries and communities so different from the motivations of early library leaders?

I can't resist: on p. 69 McCook talks of "This approach calls for less large centralizaed governemnt and more responsilibity on the part of local governments, individual citizens, and community institutions for tackling public problems." Now, isn't this view that of the traditional Republican politicans and leaders? Yet many of these community building initiatives were carried out during the Democratic Clinton presidency, with the traditional Democratic emphasis on big governement involvement. What does all of this say about the U.S. politically during the 1990s, as well as the library profession during this time? Is it all about compromise?

Irene

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