Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sustainable Librarianship: Building Libraries for a Warming World

Tuesday, December 3, 2013, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Union Building Room 231/232. Lunch will be provided.

Mandy Henk will discuss her forthcoming book which offers a path toward a new kind of library and a new kind of information system, one based in care for the planet, people, and firmly grounded in the reality that burning carbon is a losing proposition.

With the advent of the full text database, the integrated library system, and now e-books, libraries (and librarians!) have transformed themselves from gatherers and keepers of society's stories and knowledge into conduits for access.  This book is about the dark side of that transformation, which has allowed a few massive corporations to claim ownership of what was previously understood to be common property, the library collection itself.  This transformation has also yoked libraries to a moribund system that is profoundly damaging to the planet, to societies across the globe, and to librarians and library patrons themselves. In response to these issues, the book makes the case for another massive transformation of the contemporary library. This book sketches a path toward a more sustainable library and a more sustainable information system by examining the normative basis for librarianship and looking closely at the challenges of the 21st century, including climate change, rising inequality, and oncoming limits to growth. This path will allow us to maintain the benefits of the information revolution while still tending to our larger moral duty toward future generations.


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