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"
Figure 32 presents trends in Protestant, Catholic, and United Way Giving. All show a decline in the amount of giving over time (125). There are two major problems with the three graphs presented. First, each of the graphs uses a different scale on the vertical access (Protestant 0.0% to 4.0%, Catholic 0.0% to 2.5%, and United Way 0.00% to 0.16%). The scale of the vertical axes could be attributed to poor layout work done by Putnam or the publisher instead of negligence or an attempt to fool the reader. I can maybe overlook this shortcoming. Second, what the vertical axes measure are different. For Protestants it is “Giving per Member for 11 Major Protestant Denominations As a Fraction of Personal Disposal Income [emphasis added],” for Catholics it is “Giving per Catholic As Fraction of Household Income [emphasis added],” for the United Way it is “Giving to the United Way as Fraction of Total Personal Income [emphasis added]” (125). Fraction of Personal Disposal Income, Household Income, and Total Personal Income are not comparable units of analysis and this makes comparison between the three groups impossible. I cannot just ignore this problem and find that in this case Putnam is an untrustworthy and incompetent.