International Association
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IASL Research Abstracts

IASL Research Abstracts: 175

Findings: Although literacy continues to be a key issue for public libraries in today’s post 9/11 world, librarians see other roles related to furthering socially responsible policy.

Abstract: In our global village dominated by economic rationalism does the public library have a social conscience? Issues given prominence by Patricia Glass Schuman's Social Responsibilities and Libraries, published in 1976 were revisited. As an area of larger community structure and debates of public good, the perennial topic of interest is fast becoming the current hot topic of librarianship. Literacy and learning have long been critical areas where librarians focus service, skills and programming in public libraries. This research project seeks to examine how librarians perceive other issues that often go hand-in-hand with literacy to help individuals and society achieve full potential. The research in this paper is part of a coauthored book that primarily examines politics and the public library discussing issues given new flavour in a post 9/11 world, economic rationalism and social responsibility, public Library as Social Space, engaging the poor and those marginalized because of access limitations. Freedom of information and privacy are constant issues for libraries. Literacy continues to be a key issue for public libraries. Researchers analyzed responses received from open-ended questions on library professional listservs and present findings that indicate what librarians perceive as the role of public libraries to further socially responsible policy. The respondents provide some insight into the most compelling issues for librarians, and what changes in librarian's/library roles have been perceived since 9/11. Findings from the study are also presented in the context of the impact it bears for school libraries, outlining further studies in that area.

Henri, J. & Lee, S. (2006). Public libraries in a socially responsible world: Implications for school libraries. In The Multiple Faces of Literacy: Reading, Knowing, Doing -- IASL Reports, 2006: Selected Papers from the 35th annual conference of the International Association of School Librarianship, and the Tenth International Forum on Research in School Librarianship, Lisbon, Portugal, 3-7 July 2006. Ana Bela Martins, Antonio Pina Falcao, Elsa Conde, Isabel Andrade, Manuele Barreto Nunes, Maria Jose Vitorino, editors. International Association of School Librarianship, Erie (PA), USA, 2006. ISBN: 978-1-890861-32-2.

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