Library as Place: History, Community and Culture

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Libraries, as a component of cultural space, are ubiquitous to almost every society during almost every time period. However, as places of cultural and symbolic and intellectual meaning, they have varied greatly. To capture both aspects, this collection of 14 original papers covers library spaces old and new, real and imagined, large and small, public and private. Contributions range from a consideration of the Garrison library in the British Empire, to the Carnegie library as a social institution, to the imagined library in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The result is a fascinating look at the library as a physical, social, and intellectual place within the hearts and minds of its clientele and the public at large.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Library as Place would be a fitting addition to a library systeM&Apos;s professional collection or an academic library."


American Reference Books Annual

"A well-chosen compilation of library scholarship; as always with such things some pieces are far more interesting than others, but for those whose interests run to deep discussions of library philosophy, this book's for you."


PhiloBiblos (blog)

"In this collection of 14 original papers contributors analyze the cultural, symbolic and intellectual meanings of library spaces of all sorts, ages, compositions and aspirations. Papers cover libraries of the past, including the military libraries of the British Empire, the private libraries of the early nineteenth century, and the Carnegie libraries; libraries as places of communal experience, as in a black community before civil rights, for women seeking public lives, for sexual minorities or for those seeking an information community; as places of learning and scholarship as serendipitous space for scholars and goads for undergraduates; and as elements of culture as places of pleasure or imagination, as in the hellish library of Buffy the Vampire Slayer."


Reference & Research Book News

"Library as Place: History, Community, and Culture features 14 papers that examine the library as a physical, social, and intellectual space. This is an eclectic collection, ranging from a history of the establishment of far-flung military libraries during the heyday of the British Empire (to instill sober, regular, and moral habits among the troops) to an analysis of the function of the Sunnydale High School library in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's thought-provoking--the next time I visit my local library, I'll go with a perspective beyond just browsing the new-fiction shelves."


American Libraries

"There is something here for most readers. Those with an interest in historic libraries, library architecture and furnishings, libraries as community centers, and libraries as an idea will find something both enjoyable and enlightening in this collection."


Public Libraries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591583820
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/30/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN E. BUSCHMAN holds a B.S. in history and sociology and an M.L.S. - both from Ball State University, and an M.A. in American Studies from Saint Joseph's University. He has published two books: Dismantling the Public Sphere: Situating and Sustaining Libraries in the Age of the New Public Philosophy ( Libraries Unlimited 2003) and Critical Approaches to Information Technology in Librarianship: Foundations and Applications (Greenwood 1993). He is co-editor of the journal Progressive Librarian and on the editorial board of Library Philosophy and Practice.

GLORIA J. LECKIE has an MLIS as well as an MA and PhD in Geography from the University of Western Ontario. Her research interests include information-seeking behavior, the work of scholars and professionals, academic librarianship, information literacy and libraries as public space. Gloria is currently on the Board of the Association for Library and Information Science Education, as well as on the Editorial Boards of Library Quarterly and the Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science.

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Table of Contents

Foreword   Wayne A. Wiegand   John Carlo Bertot     vii
Space, Place, and Libraries: An Introduction   Gloria J. Leckie   John E.Buschman     3
The Library's Place in the Past
Beneficial Spaces: The Rise of Military Libraries in the British Empire   Ronald Tetreault     29
Libraries in Public before the Age of Public Libraries: Interpreting the Furnishings and Design of Athenaeums and Other "Social Libraries," 1800-1860   Adam Arenson     41
A Grand Old Sandstone Lady: Vancouver's Carnegie Library   Ann Curry     61
Libraries as Places of Community
The Fruit and Root of the Community: The Greensboro Carnegie Negro Library, 1904-1964   Julia A. Hersberger   Lou Sua   Adam L.Murray     79
Locating the Library as Place among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Patrons   Paulette Rothbauer     101
Behind the Program-Room Door: The Creation of Parochial and Private Women's Realms in a Canadian Public Library   Pamela J. McKenzie   Elena M. Prigoda   Kirsten Clement   Lynne (E.F.) McKechnie     117
Seattle Public Library as Place: Reconceptualizing Space, Community, and Information at the Central Library   Karen E. Fisher   Matthew L. Saxton   Phillip M. Edwards   Jens-ErikMai     135
Research Libraries as Places of Learning and Scholarship
Stimulating Space, Serendipitous Space: Library as Place in the Life of the Scholar   Karen Antell   Debra Engel     163
Setting the Stage for Undergraduates' Information Behaviors: Faculty and Librarians' Perspectives on Academic Space   Lisa M. Given     177
The Research Library as Place: On the Essential Importance of Collections of Books Shelved in Subject-Classified Arrangements   Thomas Mann     191
Libraries, Place, and Culture
On the Myths of Libraries   Bonnie Mak     209
Managing Pleasure: Library Architecture and the Erotics of Reading   Abigail Van Slyck     221
Going to Hell: Placing the Library in Bujfy the Vampire Slayer   Adriana Estill     235
Index     251
About the Editors and Contributors     257
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