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Progressive librarianship: oxymoron, tautology, or the smart choice

Colin Darch


Librarians have a choice between an instrumental view of their profession or principled engagement. British working class history is used to show how mass cultural literacy and the social availability of information are essential to democracy. Within this reality a neutral library science is untenable. A tradition of engagement has a long history within the profession, valuing concepts such as freedom of expression and human rights. This is now challenged by a view of information as capital and processes of commodification and privatisation. The library is essential to the process of preserving our cultural heritage for the benefit of humankind.

Innovation No.22 2004: 6-9