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Title:Progressive reform and the moral mission in Australian public libraries at the beginning of the “Information Age”
Author(s):Gaunt, Heather
Subject(s):Library Economy
Moral Values
Progressive Practices
Abstract:Progressive ideas about library economy, emanating from American and British libraries, contributed directly to the development of local procedures in public libraries in Australia in the late nineteenth century. The new consciousness of library professionalism, and scientific approaches to classification and library organization, led to new ideas on library design and functioning in the major Australian public libraries, building upon a consideration of local conditions and requirements. These developments coincided fruitfully with the Federation period, when the separate Australian colonies joined to form the Australian nation. Librarians sought to modernize their institutions in a positively charged climate of national progress, selfawareness, and pride. However, the transition to progressive practices was not uniform across the major Australian libraries. Conflicts between moral and technological values meant that some librarians rejected progressive practice and maintained older approaches, particularly in the area of classification. The Tasmanian Public Library, led by Chief Librarian Alfred J. Taylor, was an example of this. This paper examines Taylor’s approach in the wider context of changing attitudes to professionalism and library economy, his own paternalistic and humanistic approach to library organization, and the specific needs of the Tasmanian community.
Issue Date:2014
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:In Library Trends 62 (3) Winter 2014: 541-555.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-31

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