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Title:“More than just a building to sit in for the day”: Reproducing digital hope and urban poverty in the library
Author(s):Greene, Daniel
Subject(s):Digital divide
libraries
cities
labor
race
ethnography
homelessness
space
access
institutions
Abstract:Where does the emancipatory, entrepreneurial hope in personal computing inherent to the digital divide framework come from? This paper provides one answer, examining the urban public library's production of that hope as a way to manage the social pressures placed on the institution. Drawing on three years of fieldwork and interviews in Washington, DC, I argue that personal computing is a site of conflict over what the library, and its digital tools are for: A public service space or an entrepreneurial training center? I demonstrate how the library builds the hope in personal computing into its digital technologies. The conflict between the two visions of the library space is institutionalized within librarians' professional practices. Homeless patrons adapt these technologies of hope to form spaces of play, collaboration, and rest. Ultimately the institution overwhelms these adaptations because, for, the hope in personal computing to survive, the library must necessarily regulate or eliminate other visions of the space.
Issue Date:2016-03-15
Publisher:iSchools
Citation Info:NA
Series/Report:IConference 2016 Proceedings
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/89295
DOI:10.9776/16265
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 is held by the authors. Copyright permissions, when appropriate, must be obtained directly from the authors.
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-08


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