Here are the questions and comments group 2 came up with for the readings for class on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
Theresa and Emily
J. P. Quincy, Free Libraries
Jesse Shera, Causal factors in public library development
Shera writes “The belief was widely held that reading was a ‘good’ thing in itself and that the act of reading tended to elevate the reader, and this faith in the printed word as an instrument for the building of character is often expressed by the proprietors of corporation libraries” (238). Based on Quincy’s article, would he agree with this assessment of the power of reading?
Robert V. Williams, The Public Library as the Dependent Variable: Historically Oriented Theories and Hypotheses of Pubic Library Development
Williams gives us the main theories and shows us how they fail and provides us an alternative, but where do we start? Especially given the fact that “our community of scholars is small and the issues so diverse” (Williams, 330). Do you believe that one of these theories provides us with a better starting point? Williams writes “The three candidate theoretical explanations of public library development considered thus far have all treated the library as a dependent variable, subject to factors within the social system but having no direct effect on the social system or, indirectly, on itself” (Williams, 338). How does this tie in with Quincy’s view of libraries as a moral center in the community? If the initial expectation of libraries was to have a specific effect on the community, what are the implications of overlooking this effect in historical research? How would one study the impact of the library on its community?