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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, November 03, 2005

Sirianni’s and Friedland’s “Civil Society”

  1. How can a gigantic multicultural society as in the USA where there are many subgroups make something out of the concept of public sphere and civil society?
  2. Since “civil society” is voluntary and is meant to seek common ground and public goods, how can citizens in world where there lies senses of government and corporate orientations understand their roles in civil society? Is civil society something in the middle bridging individuals to the state and to the private sector, as it is described as the “third sector”?
  3. How can library fit its nature in the concept and goals of “civil society” or can library serve as a bridge, or civil society, itself?

To me, this week readings bring me some thoughts. In addition to the questions I came up regarding the readings we read, I am wondering

  1. Can we name some of the existent public sphere we see or know? Can anyone help find a metaphor of this concept?
  2. How do we see ourselves and our positions as a librarian, a researcher, and a citizen fit in the "public sphere", and how can we make something or do something by being active in the sphere?


1 Comments:

Blogger Soojin Park said...

Public libraries....in the public sphere.... as a bridge!!!

Sharing and formulating ideas in civic society is based on the fact that the public need to be exposed to a variety of ideas and opinions. The most important role of the public libraries is to gurantee intellectual freedom, by providing various information or knowledge, horizontally and longitudially. This is the evidence of the public library's work as the public sphere. The public libraries can be understood as the virtual space for sharing written (or formalized) speakings from the contemporary and the history

3:39 PM  

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