Public Libraries as Impartial Spaces in the 21st Century - IFLA 2009
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Public Libraries as Impartial Spaces in the 21st Century - IFLA 2009

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Co-authored paper presented at the IFLA 2009 pre-conference in Torino, Italy: Libraries as Place and Space.

Co-authored paper presented at the IFLA 2009 pre-conference in Torino, Italy: Libraries as Place and Space.

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Public Libraries as Impartial Spaces in the 21st Century - IFLA 2009 Public Libraries as Impartial Spaces in the 21st Century - IFLA 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • PUBLIC LIBRARIES AS IMPARTIAL SPACES IN THE 21 ST CENTURY: POSSIBLE, PLAUSIBLE, DESIRABLE? Christine Rooney-Browne, PhD Researcher David McMenemy, Course Director University of Strathclyde, Glasgow IFLA 2009 Satellite Meeting Torino, August 2009
  • To discuss...
    • The public library as a public space
    • Adopting retail models
    • Exploiting revenue streams
    • Public libraries in virtual spaces
    • Impartiality: romance or reality?
  • The public library as a public space...
  • The public sphere... Photographer: Wolfram Huke “ ... Access is guaranteed to all citizens ...They...behave neither like business or professional people transacting private affairs, nor like members of the constitutional order subject to the constraints of a state bureaucracy. Citizens behave as a public body when they confer in an unrestricted fashion – that is, with the guarantee of freedom of assembly and association and the freedom to express and publish their opinions - about matters of general interest “ * *(Habermas, 1964, p.49).
  • The public library as a public sphere... Real world: branch libraries Virtual world: online libraries * ** *(Photo courtesy of Edinburgh’s City Libraries); **(Darien Library)
  • ‘ Back in the day...’ The Public Libraries Act 1850 *(Images courtesy of Cartoonstock.com) *
  • The Times They are a-Changin’*... *(Dylan, B, 1964).
  • Adopting retail models...
  • Bookstores: better at delivering the ‘library experience’...? “ Part bookstore, part library, part living room...” * *(Kotler and Armstrong, 2001, p.494).
  • “ If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em...”
  • A match made in Heaven...? “ In a true public library the user is a citizen rather than a customer . The commercial sector is not concerned with citizenship. Customers and consumers are viewed differently from citizens”** (*Image courtesy of iStockimages.com) ** (Usherwood, 2007, p.47). ?
  • Rise of the Citizen-consumer...? (Usherwood, 2007, p.120 - 121); **Clarke et al 2007. p. 9).
  • Exploiting revenue streams...
  • Commercial partnerships... *(Gazette, 2008).
  • Sponsorship... * ** *(Aye Write Festival, Glasgow, 2009); **Library of Congress Book Festival, 2009)).
  • Affiliation schemes ...at the click of a button * *(Milton Keynes Library, England 2009)
  • A step too far...? “ civic society’s unique space for free communicatio n and critical reflection in contrast to the market’s commercialisation of experiences” ** *Staffordshire County Council, England; **(Skot-Hansen, 2002). *
  • Impartiality in virtual spaces...
  • Users expect the (virtual) world...? * * (Maness, 2006); Darien Public Library, 2009).
  • ‘ Free’ web 2.0 services…
  • ...but at what cost? * *Facebook ad page, 2009
  • Impartiality: romance or reality...?
  • A bleak future...? *(Getz, 1989, pp. 4-5). “ the strength, diversity and growth of our library community is a consequence of the affluence of our economy ... libraries – along with the rest of society – have to ride the waves of macroeconomic activity ” *
  • Conclusions...
  •  
  • Values for sale...? * *Word cloud created using wordle.net
  • OPEN UP THE DEBATE CONTACT ME: E-MAIL: [email_address] BLOG: www.libraryofdigress.co.uk Twitter: crooneybrowne