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ERIC Number: EJ1004166
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 82
ISSN: ISSN-0024-2519
Libraries, Policy, and Politics in a Democracy: Four Historical Epochs
Jaeger, Paul T.; Gorham, Ursula; Sarin, Lindsay C.; Bertot, John Carlo
Library Quarterly, v83 n2 p166-181 Apr 2013
This article explores the historical relationships between libraries, policy, and politics in the United States. Far too often, policy and political discussions related to libraries have little historical context. While libraries have long viewed themselves as a pillar of democracy by supporting informed, educated, and engaged citizenry, political and policy decisions have treated libraries in a number of different ways, ranging from neglect to direct intervention. Tracing the development of the relationships between libraries, policy, and politics at local, state, and national levels over time, this article posits that these relationships have passed through four distinct phases. Understanding these phases and incorporating these understandings into library advocacy and perspectives in political and policy discourse will allow libraries to better assert the contributions of libraries to democracy, the reasons for the stances they take, and the importance of political and policy decisions that support and adequately fund libraries. (Contains 1 footnote.)
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-188; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Media Staff
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998; Library Services and Technology Act 1996; Telecommunications Act 1996; USA PATRIOT Act 2001