ERIC Number: EJ851643
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
Librarians, Librarianship and "The Uses of Literacy": A Review Article
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, v41 n3 p191-197 2009
First published in 1957, following a battle with nervous lawyers, "The Uses of Literacy" is recognized as one of the founding texts of cultural studies. Its critique of mass culture reverberated far beyond that discipline. It influenced the librarians of the day who were beginning to think about issues of class and consider their services in a social context. This review considers its current relevance and discusses the views of library professionals who support and oppose Hoggart's thesis. Library educators and practitioners also consulted other writers who examined culture and class but the author suggests that Hoggart is closest to the library world. Libraries were part of his development and he contributed to professional journals and activities. "The Uses of Literacy" remains relevant to the concerns of the working class and reminds librarians of their responsibilities. It is pertinent to current professional debates about literacy, commercialized culture and the need for excellence. As we enter a more serious age there are signs that Hoggart's arguments might be heeded and that members of the profession will use them as a compass to help them counter the abuse of literacy.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Librarians, Public Libraries, Socioeconomic Status, Working Class, Social Environment, Popular Culture, Cultural Differences, Adult Literacy, Mass Media Effects, Library Role, Social Mobility
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom