ERIC Number: EJ791498
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-15
Reference Count: 0
Slone, Debra J.
Library Journal, v133 n5 p28-31 Mar 2008
Public libraries were indispensable resources for newcomers during the height of European immigration to the United States. They were havens for the poor and jobless during the Great Depression and bridges between rural and urban communities during times of major demographic change. An increase in the Spanish-speaking population has inspired increased availability of materials in Spanish. Public libraries assist children with homework and adults with literacy, distribute voter registration forms, and provide Internet access. A library in Alaska has so many travelers by water that books are often due when the patron's ship--literally--comes in. A library in Florida is the designated information center for the surrounding community in the event of a hurricane. In other words, a major crisis represents both a challenge and an opportunity to librarians in the workplace. The approaching period of rapidly declining access to oil, which James Howard Kunstler referred to as "the long emergency" in his important "Rolling Stone" article in 2005, will impact their entire culture. There are massive potential effects of this new crisis on libraries and the role of librarians.
Descriptors: Information Sources, Internet, Fuels, Voting, Public Libraries, Librarians, United States History, Library Role, Library Services, Access to Information
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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