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Topic: What Is The Meaning Of Public Libraries?
This is a Topic with a single Session
“A great library cannot be entered by one of refinement in thought and aspiration without a certain feeling of awe. Surrounded by the productions of genius, the elegance of art, the delights of the mind, it is but natural that in the quiet, silent library, reverence should possess the soul.” Richard Skinner, November 1861
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What is true about each perspective, and how can we bring these together to understand the best meaning of a public library?
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Perspectives & Resources
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"Libraries represent the power of knowledge"
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Topic: What is the meaning of public libraries?

Libraries represent the power of knowledge

“Knowledge is power, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives.” Thomas Jefferson

Libraries, to me, represent the power of knowledge. Within them are held the collective wisdom of those who have both shaped and transformed the world in which we live from scientists, to activists, to philosophers, to religionists.


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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on April 29, 2018
This is the opinion of Michael Benson
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Recommended Resources (Review before voting)
Link: To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library NYT, Sep 8 2018
Other Resources
Link: The Meaning of Libraries Huff Post, 12/09/2013

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What is most important – and true – about each perspective, especially those you disagree with? Taking all this into account, what do you think is most important about libraries?

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