Friday, January 30, 2009

"Race & Place"

"Inquiring about wireless service, I was dismayed to learn that although wireless access was available a some locations, it was 'not available at our branch.'" - "Race & Place"

Several of the articles we've read have brought up the need for tailoring the libraries' collections for the specific communities the libraries serve. This makes a lot of sense and I would imagine is incredibly important in increasing circulation and use of the library. But shouldn't libraries be a place of equal access for all people? In "Race & Place" the author goes to her home library and finds they don't have wireless internet. It seems that this is unfair and having wireless would benefit the community. But she points out that she gains attention when she pulls out her laptop - implying that many community members don't have laptops. So what is the use of having wireless internet in a community where few have laptops? Maybe the library would benefit more from opening a new row of computers, since those are in demand. That may have come out a little wrong, but my basic question is - what is tailoring a library to its community and what is discriminating against a community and holding it back?


  1. I agree with the point you make here about this paragraph. It is very true that there are two sides to everything depending on how you look at or take part in it. I feel that what you say is true, and that is probably why there are so many divisions in our communities.

  2. I think this is a really interesting MIS because it can be applied to many of the readings we have done thus far. It fits well with Seugnet's MIS from "Bowling Alone" about the perpetual cycle that happens in poorly connected communities.

  3. I also think this is very interesting because in this quote the author seemed so surprised that there was no wireless access but I agree with you that in this community it seems that wireless access would not be very beneficial. I believe although you don't want to discriminate against any community, the most important thing with libraries is to meet the direct needs of the community. If these needs are not met then why would a person from the community want to use the library.