The Politics of Public Librarianship

Hardcover | October 1, 1986

byDavid Shavit

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Public librarians do not usually see themselves as politicians. However, as decision-makers in an institutional setting, affected by a variety of pressures and conflicting interests, they are involved in politics in both the broad and narrow sense. Moreover, recent developments in the public library system have brought the librarian directly into the political sphere. Professor Shavit's study, the first major work on the subject in over 35 years, fills a major gap in scholarship on the public library in the political process and provides a detailed survey of the political context in which the modern library functions.

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Public librarians do not usually see themselves as politicians. However, as decision-makers in an institutional setting, affected by a variety of pressures and conflicting interests, they are involved in politics in both the broad and narrow sense. Moreover, recent developments in the public library system have brought the librarian di...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:170 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 inPublished:October 1, 1986Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313248168

ISBN - 13:9780313248160

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?This book is an excellent overview of the literature; one of its earliest bibliographic references is to a 1949 publication: The Public Library in the Political Process, by Oliver Garceau (New York: Columbia University, Press, 1949)). Garceau pointed out then what Shavit points out now: the public library is part of the political world. However, according to Shavit, there is still a myth 'that public libraries are not political institutions' (p.1). Any institution that expects to receive a considerable portion of its funding from the government must be a political entity, if only in that librarians must lobby the federal and state governing bodies to obtain funding. In 1986, $127,500,000 in total Library Service and Construction Act funding was distributed to libraries through each state library. . . This excellent and well-researched book should be required reading for all public librarians who have an interest in, but little knowledge of, the political process - a process that, Shavit proves, touches librarians at all levels. For those of us who are already aware that public libraries are imbedded in the political world, the book clarifies the situation by bringing together much of the pertinent information.?-The Library Quarterly