The Election of Donald Trump to the Presidency and the Crisis of Liberalism in Librarianship

Sierpe, Eino The Election of Donald Trump to the Presidency and the Crisis of Liberalism in Librarianship. Journal of Radical Librarianship, 2017, vol. 3, pp. 65-75. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

The advances of extreme right-wing political forces in the United States, exemplified most recently by the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, highlight the importance of initiating a critical and thorough examination of the function and effectiveness of institutions long believed to serve as fundamental pillars for public education and the advancement of democratic ideals, including libraries. Despite a carefully managed and revered public image as nearly-sacred spaces for freedom in intellectual development and unobstructed democratic participation and engagement, libraries have long maintained a posture of obedience and unquestioning subordination to the needs of elite social power structures, including those historically defined by racial supremacy and oppression. Under the present conditions, and despite public proclamations about libraries being on the “frontlines” of the liberal anti-Trump “resistance”, as witnessed during 2017 American Library Association annual professional conference in Chicago, it is highly unlikely that mainstream libraries will be able or willing to spring into action and play an effective, credible role against the alarming rise of alt-right violence and proto-fascism in the United States. Such a role would have to be grounded in a progressive, alternative model for culturo-informational leadership and critical information and political literacy education in the United States. Developing this alternative in the short- to medium-term may prove a near impossibility as it would require radical changes in the way mainstream libraries are conceptualized, as well as in the ideological structure and delivery of library and information science education programs.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: critical information literacy, Donald Trump, fascism, liberalism, political education, US presidency
Subjects: A. Theoretical and general aspects of libraries and information. > AZ. None of these, but in this section.
Depositing user: Stuart Lawson
Date deposited: 01 Oct 2018 08:54
Last modified: 01 Oct 2018 08:54


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