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Federal Aid For Libraries - Some Common Sense About The Future

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Title: Federal Aid For Libraries - Some Common Sense About The Future
Author(s): Wagman, Frederick H.
Subject(s): Federal aid to libraries --United States
Abstract: One of the aphorisms that has become part of our folk wisdom asserts that knowledge of the past is essential for an understanding of the present. Another, equally valid and equally bromidic, holds that anyone who would predict the future had better be perspicacious about the present. We seem to have taken the latter apothegm to heart since our society may be the most self-conscious and introspective in the history of civilization if one judges by the number of analyses of its present condition published each year. I shall not presume to essay yet another analysis of the current Zeitgeist; never - the less, since any viable social institution must reflect its time, it seems to me advisable to identify a few of the trends that are presently exerting a powerful influence on library theory and development and on the public attitude toward libraries. That I must refer to these trends separately and seriatim is a consequence of my being a product of the linear, rational tradition that evolved, Professor McLuhan tells us, from Mr. Gutenberg's invention. Obviously, however, they are all closely interrelated. First of all, we seem to be more aware than any previous society of the dominance of the principle of change in human affairs. So convinced are we of the need for rapid adaptation to change that the charge of resisting it immediately puts an organization or a profession on the defensive. On occasion, mere commonsense questioning of proposed adaptations to new conditions or of the efficacy of new procedures leads to the accusation of reactionary thinking, and any profession runs the risk of being downgraded by society if it relies for public approbation on its distinguished tradition of accomplishment more than on its demonstration of receptivity toward the new and modern, even when the new and modern are untested and unproven.
Issue Date: 1966
Publisher: Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info: In W.Ladley (ed). 1966. Federal legislation for libraries : papers presented at an institute conducted by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, November 6-9, 1966. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 89-104.
Series/Report: Allerton Park Institute (13th : 1966)
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/1537
ISSN: 0536-4604
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Rights Information: Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1966.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-07-16
 

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