Sunday, August 22, 2010

Libraries, Low-Income People, and Social Exclusion

Gehner, John 'Libraries, Low-Income People, and Social Exclusion', Public Library Quarterly 29 (Jan. 2010)1, 39 - 47

As a library school student John Gehner was troubled by Indiana Dean Blaise Cronin who wrote “What a Library Is Not."
Gehner observed: "Here was a person of influence within the library profession--the head of a respected academic program-making generalizations about poor people and complaining about what an ill-mannered and unmanageable bunch they were."

'Libraries, Low-Income People, and Social Exclusion' by John Gehner suggests that libraries can improve services to low-income persons by helping to minimize social exclusion. The author points out the significance of negative perceptions affecting the way that professional librarians approach those who face social exclusion for many different reasons. He suggests the need to move beyond categorical problem solving to a more comprehensive sense of community development as a way to positively affect the lives of low income families and individuals.

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