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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"

Friday, November 04, 2005

Leckie & Hopkins VS. Buschman

Bridge's questions are also on my mind. When reading Leckie & Hopkins' article, I was comparing it with Buschman's Dismantling book, and it's very interesting to see their common points and discrepancies. Both talking about public place (though "public sphere" has much more implications than "public space"), and criticizing "new economy", some of Leckie & Hopkins ideas seem to be in line with the "new public philosophy" and much less critical, for example, their comments on the modernist buildings and their accounting of "foot traffic", and that "public monies spent on the … central libraries are a sound investment."

Back to "public sphere" and "public space", I think Leckie & Hopkins explain "library as a public space" much more clearly than Buschman does with "library as a public sphere". I wonder whether it is due to the complexity of the concept of "public sphere" itself or because Buschman confound "public sphere" and "new public philosophy" as we discussed in class.

And a small issue about Leckie & Hopkins: they emphasize the diversity of the clientele of the central libraries. However, almost of all these people are "well-educated". To me, this greatly weakens their argument of diversity.


Blogger Soojin Park said...

They need to describe the meaning of 'diversity of the clientele' more specifically. Since they did not mention, I cannot say. However, I just try to think about the issue in their perspective. The two metropolitan cities have a variety of ethnic groups. Therefore, they just assume that legitimate clientele is diverse. If they mentioned, it would have been better.

4:15 PM  

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