ERIC Number: EJ875943
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Disorder of Libraries
Stewart, David M.
Library Quarterly, v76 n4 p403-419 Oct 2006
It has long been commonplace in reading studies to say that despite the efforts of authors, publishers, censors, and others to restrict access to print culture, readers evade those restrictions and exert control over their reading. This control can take many forms, from obtaining banned books to interpretive practices that subvert intended meaning. Literary critics have been especially preoccupied with how readers circumvent restrictions placed on what and how they read. Little interest has been shown in libraries, however, as an institution designed explicitly to restrict reading. This essay examines two kinds of subterfuge in antebellum reading that began with restrictions encountered in libraries. These are book cataloging and library manners, the latter insofar as it involved gender and library management. Evidence is drawn less from official sources than from materials found at the margins of library history: letters, diaries, and catalogs.
Descriptors: Library Administration, Libraries, Diaries, Censorship, Reading Materials, Social Attitudes, Gender Issues, United States History, Reading Material Selection
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A