Libraries in __The Vanishing Neighbor__

August 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

Once again libraries are not at the table in Marc J. Dunkelman’s  The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community  which discusses the isolation of Americans.

Not wanting to look at the facts of libraries and community engagement Dunkelman mainly ignores libraries and librarians.

book cover

He provides a few weak examples of  library use and non-use to illustrate various points  but it is discouraging after so many years of the library and community movement that  Dunkelman goes for the easy and glib broad-brush.

If, as Dunkelman posits, all you need to do is sit home and read online..HOW DID HE MISS THE LIBRARIANS AND COMMUNITY MOVEMENT? All he needed to do was google:

Librarians and Community.

Do not doubt this will be the topic of much conversation the coming months. One reviewer notes,

“After a panoramic view of how the United States has changed in so many ways, Marc Dunkelman argues that Americans are left with a sense of isolation from neighbors nearby: we keep ‘inner-ring’ relationships with family and close friends plus ‘outer-ring’ with Facebook friends we see infrequently, but we have lost middle-ring relationships with families down the street and a barber around the corner. Institutions, Dunkelman believes, must adapt to these new realities, nourishing a fresh sense of community. This is an insightful call for remembering what Tocqueville found best about America.” (David Gergen,  Harvard Kennedy School and senior political analyst, CNN)

in contrast see:

2009 Libraries Build Communities Volunteers

Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) — an initiative of the American Library Association — seeks to strengthen librarians’ roles as core community leaders and change-agents.

The initiative addresses a critical need within the library field by developing and distributing new tools, resources and support for librarians to engage with their communities in new ways.

Or review the work of librarians on this blog  Librarians Build Communities. or the work of graduates of the Valdosta State University program on community building: Librarians Build Community.

See also work done by librarians:

Julie Biando Edwards, Melissa S. Robinson , Kelley Rae Unger. Transforming Libraries, Building Communities: The Community-Centered Library. – American Library Association 2013.

Hill, Chrystie. 
Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library Community.
Publisher: ALA Editions. 2009.
Mccook, Kathleen de la Peña McCook. A Place at the Table: Participation in Community Building. American Library Association, 2002.

Entry filed under: Valdosta State University.

Libraries in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Ferguson infoPlaylist

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