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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"

Monday, November 28, 2005

Discussion Questions for Civic Space / Cyberspace

In Civic Space / Cyberspace the authors make various claims supporting the (past, present and future) roles played by public libraries and librarians in the “Information Age.” This is not limited to but includes:

• Digitization
• Preservation
• Free unrestricted access from censorship
• Guidance to “best” sources
• Selection, authenticity and quality control
• Rare or out of mainstream collections
• Privacy and confidentiality
• Neutral physical location
• Multilingual services
• Children’s services

Is this too much, or too little? Are all of these simply at the core of public librarianship? Should public libraries try cut some services and focus on only some of these aspects in the future? Should the library being trying to offer more services? Are there other services that the library should focus on (add to the above list)?

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