Librarians develop myths to explain themselves to society and to generate support for their profession. Since the last quarter of the 19th century, the prevailing myth has been the myth of the library as place. Confronted with social change, librarians are searching for a new myth. They are abandoning the myth of the library as place and are adopting uncritically the assumptions and values of the myth of the electronic library, with profound consequences for the future of librarianship.
This book examines the assumptions and values of the myth of the electronic library, compares them with the myth of the library as place, and explores the meaning of the library as a place, alternatives to the information society, the role of the librarian in a therapeutic society, and the politics of librarianship. It concludes with a set of propositions with the objective of encouraging librarians to assess critically the role of libraries and librarianship in the context of social change and, especially, to debate more fully the implications of the myth of the electronic library for librarians and the users of the library.
|Series:||Contributions in Librarianship and Information Science Series , #82|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)|
About the Author
WILLIAM F. BIRDSALL is University Librarian at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has previously held positions at Iowa State University, the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, and the University of Manitoba. His publications include articles in Library Journal, Canadian Library Journal, Journal of Academic Librarianship, The American Archivist, and the Journal of Library History.
Table of Contents
Introduction: the Myth of the Library
Breaking the Myth of Library as Place
Creating the Myth of the Electronic Library
Myth of the Electronic Library in the Information Society
The Sensuous Library
The Therapeutic Librarian
The Intermediary Librarian
The Librarian and the Library
The Politics of Librarianship
The Politics of the Electronic Library
Libraries and Life Chances
Conclusion: The Second Century