“Library spaces in the knowledge society – knotting together global and local”


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Bridging Worlds Conference 2008, Singapore
Day One Track Two
Speaker 5 - Olaf Eigenbrodt

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“Library spaces in the knowledge society – knotting together global and local”

  1. 1. Library Spaces in the Knowledge Societies Knotting Together Global and Local Olaf Eigenbrodt Berlin, Germany
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>From information society to knowledge societies </li></ul><ul><li>Public spaces and Communal places </li></ul><ul><li>The social role of libraries in knowledge societies </li></ul><ul><li>Networking and library space planning </li></ul>
  3. 3. Common issues of knowledge societies <ul><li>Science is a direct factor of production </li></ul><ul><li>Concurrence between scientific generated and other forms of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Educational and scientific policy is a central issue of politics </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is one of the main factors of social disparity </li></ul><ul><li>Changing structures of social power </li></ul><ul><li>Non-material necessities are important motives for social struggles </li></ul><ul><li>Authority is based on expertise </li></ul>
  4. 5. The paradoxes of knowledge societies <ul><li>Information paradox: The more context-free information exists in our environment the more important context-bound knowledge becomes. [Läpple 2004] </li></ul><ul><li>Location paradox: The bigger and easier to transact logistics becomes the higher the local integration of a business is valued. [Porter 1999] </li></ul><ul><li>Social inclusion paradox: The easier access to information becomes the more less educated social groups are excluded. [Suchanek 2006] </li></ul>
  5. 6. Knowledge societ ies ? <ul><li>Global perspective: </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Different social organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Various economic problems </li></ul><ul><li>Sociological perspective: </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusion of several other concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple definitions </li></ul>
  6. 8. Public space <ul><li>Beyond the classical differentiation of public and private: </li></ul><ul><li>Self-awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Identification </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Confrontation </li></ul><ul><li>Irritation </li></ul><ul><li>Leisure </li></ul><ul><li>Consumption </li></ul>
  7. 10. Types of public space <ul><li>Representative </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciative </li></ul><ul><li>Social or &quot;Third Space&quot; </li></ul>
  8. 11. &quot;Briefly put, public spaces serve human beings through their physical, ecological, psychological, social, political, economic, symbolic and aesthetic roles which make them inevitable components for societies and cities.&quot; [Akkar, 2007, p. 119]
  9. 13. Urban Development <ul><li>Suburbanisation and reurbanisation are taking place at the same time </li></ul><ul><li>Socially fragmented cities </li></ul><ul><li>Lifestyles are intermingling to new, partly virtual milieus </li></ul><ul><li>Demographic changes </li></ul><ul><li>Growing engagement of the civil societies </li></ul><ul><li>Integration - necessity and problem </li></ul>
  10. 15. Informational Participation <ul><li>The individual is the centre of attention </li></ul><ul><li>Technology is a tool, not the thing itself </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfying people‘s informational needs </li></ul><ul><li>social, cultural and educational background </li></ul><ul><li>Open spaces and open access as basis </li></ul>
  11. 17. Societal Space <ul><li>dynamic, open concept of space </li></ul><ul><li>multifunctional </li></ul><ul><li>constituted by the activities taking place in it </li></ul><ul><li>interdependence of individual freedom and freedom of public appearance </li></ul><ul><li>rational coordination and association of interests </li></ul><ul><li>in terms of Max Weber: &quot;Vergesellschaftung&quot; -> 'gesellschaftlicher Raum' – 'sozialer Raum' -> societal space – social space </li></ul>
  12. 19. Network <ul><li>Large meshed web made of cords interlinked with knots </li></ul><ul><li>Mythopoetic metaphor related to text and web </li></ul><ul><li>Sociological term for complex social relations </li></ul><ul><li>Technical term for the interconnection of different devices </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
  13. 20. Network Society? <ul><li>Ubiquitous networking by technical means (computing, phone, media) </li></ul><ul><li>Replacement of other media and face-to-face contacts by the internet </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Social computing&quot; and &quot;social software&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Identity as main source of meaning (Castells) </li></ul><ul><li>Constant processes of change </li></ul>
  14. 21. Criticism of the concept <ul><li>Small empirical basis </li></ul><ul><li>Internet integrates other media but does not replace direct contact </li></ul><ul><li>For sociology the metaphor 'social' is problematic in connection with technical systems </li></ul><ul><li>Nationalistic and anti-democratic aspects in Castell's theory </li></ul><ul><li>More comprehensive than information society but also technocentric </li></ul>
  15. 23. Local networks <ul><li>Exchange and production of context-bound knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Identification with the community </li></ul><ul><li>Cope with contingency </li></ul><ul><li>Chance for face-to-face communication </li></ul><ul><li>Economically important  location paradox </li></ul>
  16. 25. Global networks <ul><li>Information seeking </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange of context-free information </li></ul><ul><li>Transnational and transcultural contact </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual public spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Experience contingency </li></ul>
  17. 27. Linking local and global <ul><li>Providing and mingling physical and virtual facilities and spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom of information and opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Open access </li></ul><ul><li>Encouragement </li></ul><ul><li>Needs of the community </li></ul><ul><li>Customized information about virtual social networks </li></ul><ul><li>High standard of comfort </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul>
  18. 29. Functions of a library in a communal network <ul><li>Link to a larger informational network </li></ul><ul><li>Representative place for the community </li></ul><ul><li>Place for informational participation </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciative space for amusement </li></ul><ul><li>Coordination of information </li></ul><ul><li>Portal to the virtual space of the library system and otherwise </li></ul>
  19. 31. &quot;The Neighbourhood Libraries offer convenient access to all books and networked resources of the Seattle Public Library close to where people live and work. They are gathering places for exploring and collecting a neighbourhood's common heritage and for discussing divergent views. The Neighbourhood Libraries sponsor programs and offer materials related specifically to each neighbourhood, satisfying educational and recreational needs. Each Neighbourhood Library acts as an information navigator on new electronic resources, helping anyone sort, interpret and select information.&quot; [SPL, 1998]
  20. 32. Thank you very much for your attention! [email_address]