Libraries And Democracy

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"From Librarian of Congress, James Billington, to founding director of the Center for the Book. John Cole, the leading-edge information specialists of the day come together to discuss the role that libraries play in advancing democracy in the twenty-first century. As issues such as filtering and copyright protection take center stage in libraries everywhere, librarians, advocates, and policymakers alike can find answers to tough questions in this thorough examination of a complex and relevant theme."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of essays, an outgrowth of Kranich's recent American Library Association presidency, presents, in her own words, "different views on the impact libraries have had on democracy." The rather grandiose subtitle might suggest another of those mom-and-apple-pie collections of platitudes, pieties, and propaganda. But Kranich has long been an outstanding spokesperson and campaigner for freedom of information and perhaps the profession's best builder of coalitions and partnerships in support of that cause. Here she has put together a collection that is as far from pious pap as you can get. The level of discourse is remarkably high, and it has been a while since such aggressive advocacy has been seen in library literature. Some of the profession's platitudes are not merely abandoned but strenuously denied ("Neutrality will not work," declares Kranich). The old, easy emphasis on equality is replaced here by a demand for equity, without which equality means little. If the argumentation is invigorating, so, too, is the writing, which is so generally good that it seems almost invidious to mention particular examples. But for those who like to dip before plunging in, take a look at a jazzy prose riff by Randy Pitman ("Sex, Democracy and Videotape") and a powerful piece on information ethics and government power ("From the White House E-Mail to the Stasi Files") by Thomas S. Blanton. This small volume demands the attention of all librarians, trustees, and library educators. A genuine effort should be made to get copies into the hands of politicians and others who may have the power to affect the future of libraries but not much understanding of their importance to democracy.DEric Moon, Sarasota, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838908082
  • Publisher: ALA Editions
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Table of Contents

I Historic and Theoretical Overview of the Role of Libraries and Democracy
Reconsidering Arsenals of a Democratic Culture: Balancing Symbol and Practice 3
Imagining Fairness: Equality and Equity of Access in Search of Democracy 15
Poverty, Democracy, and Public Libraries 28
II Libraries and Civil Society
Libraries and Civil Society 49
Civic Librarianship 60
Information Literacy for the Twenty-First-Century Citizen 70
III Libraries, Technology, and Democracy
Libraries, the Internet, and Democracy 83
The Library Internet Access Controversy and Democracy 96
Libraries, the New Media, and the Political Process 108
Sex, Democracy, and Videotape 113
IV Libraries Supporting Democratic Information Policy
In Support of Democracy: The Library Role in Public Access to Government Information 121
Information Ethics and Government Power: From the White House E-Mail to the Stasi Files 129
Libraries: Where the First Amendment Lives 140
The First Amendment, Libraries, and Democracy 146
Copyright and Democracy: Its Implications for the Public's Right to Know 155
V The Library of Congress and Democracy
The Library of Congress and the Democratic Spirit 169
The Library of Congress and the Widening Horizons of Democracy Building 183
VI Library Advocacy for Democracy
Advocating for America's Right to Know 197
Advocacy for Democracy I: The Role of the American Library Association 203
Advocacy for Democracy II: The Role of the Swedish Library Association 208
Contributors 213
Index 217
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