Librarianship and Legitimacy:the Ideology of the Public Library Inquiry By Douglas Raber Presenters: Huy Chu, Tom Methans, Takeo Sugihara
Warm Up Questions • Do you currently use or have you ever used your public library? • Why do you use your public library?
The Author: Douglas Raber • Info Science Professor at University of Tennessee, Knoxville since 1997. • Experience as Reference Librarian, Political Science Instructor, Library Director. • 26 publishing credits, including 2 books. • Advanced Degrees in both Library & Info. Science and Political Science
Why did Raber Write this Book? • Ongoing evaluation of Librarianship. • Reminder of important issues in Librarianship. • How do librarians achieve status as an integral part of modern society.
Understanding the Inquiry ALA prompts for the Assessment of Public Libraries. • Post War America • New Attitudes – Optimism & Reality • Unmasked Social Divisions • New Technologies • Public Library Wages & Support
Getting Started • Librarians look inward • The ALA - Milam • The Carnegie Corporation • Social Science Research Center – Robert D. Leigh • An Objective Study • Purpose of the Inquiry
The Public Library Inquiry Composed of seven monographs • Bernard Berelson, The Library’s Public (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949). • Alice I. Bryan, The Public Librarian (New York: Columbia University Press, 1952). • Oliver Garceau, The Public Library in the Political Process (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949). • Robert D. Leigh, The Public Library in the United States: The General Report of the Public Library Inquiry (New York: Columbia University Press, 1950). • James L. McCamy, Government Publications for the Citizen (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949). • William Miller, The Book Industry (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949). • Gloria Waldren, The Information Film (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949).
The Library Faith • Reading is in itself good • Reading of books is useful and moral • Free access to information enhances individual progress toward “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and democratic process • Preserves and organizes world’s recorded knowledge
Survival of Librarianship • “that in a political culture whose legitimating principles have been compromised by the reality of power relations, librarianship has little choice but to be prepared to sacrifice a portion of its soul in order to participate successfully in and benefit from that culture.”  Raber, Douglas. Librarianship and Legitimacy: The Ideology of the Public Library Inquiry. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT. 1997. 134.
Reviews of the Book • Pros: Engaging and raises questions that are still applicable today • Cons: Focus on the Public Library Inquiry - the Inquiry ignores social context - the tone of the Inquiry is elitist
How does Librarianship & Legitimacy relate to the Course? • Re-evaluation of librarians’ roles. • How do we establish librarians’ viability in society? • Librarians’ role in democracy.
What if you had to pay to use the library? How would you feel about that? What would happen to those people who couldn’t pay? • How would you get information if there was no public library? Would internet access solve the problem?