Open to All? The Public Library and Social Exclusion

Muddiman, Dave and Durrani, Shiraz and Dutch, Martin and Linley, Rebecca and Pateman, John and Vincent, John . Open to All? The Public Library and Social Exclusion., 2000 Library and Information Commission Research Report 84, 1, Ove . London: Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries. [Book]


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English abstract

Open to All? reports the findings of an 18 month research project, “Public Library Policy and Social Exclusion”, based at Leeds Metropolitan University and conducted in partnership with the London Borough of Merton (Libraries), Sheffield Libraries, Archives and Information Services, and John Vincent, an independent consultant. Volume 1 provides an overview of the study and its main conclusions and recommendations. It reviews the context of social exclusion and the nature of the problems facing public libraries and other public institutions. The record of the public library in tackling disadvantage is critically assessed and the weaknesses of a predominantly “voluntary” approach to exclusion based on access are highlighted. The findings of a survey of contemporary public library services and of eight case studies of public library authorities are then reported. These suggest that although public libraries are currently modernising their services, this modernisation is unlikely to refocus the public library on excluded communities and social groups. The project concludes that to do this, and to become more than superficially “open to all”, the public library will need to transform itself into a far more proactive, educative and interventionist public institution, with a concern for social justice at its core. The suggested elements of this transformation are detailed in a penultimate chapter, which highlights good practice, and in specific project recommendations which conclude the study.

Item type: Book
Keywords: UK - public libraries; social exclusion; social inequalities.
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BC. Information in society.
D. Libraries as physical collections. > DC. Public libraries.
Depositing user: Zapopan Martín Muela-Meza
Date deposited: 06 May 2005
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:01


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