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ERIC Number: EJ875984
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0024-2519
Placing the Library: An Argument for the Phenomenological and Constructivist Approach to the Human Geography of the Library
Templeton, Thomas Clay
Library Quarterly, v78 n2 p195-209 Apr 2008
Place reminds us to tailor our professional work to the shifting concerns, and indeed the shifting criteria, of our shifting constituencies, rather than to a placeless professional vision of what librarianship, society, and literacy should be. Every place maker must make do, make sense, and make place in an environment that is technologically heterogeneous and in which the potential for novelty as well as recurrence is a persistent feature. The siege flag of place has been raised, not only in librarianship but in many sectors, in defense of the human and the parochial, of tradition and local turf. Taking a phenomenological cue, here we attempt to prune and redirect this problematic term. We arrive at what we consider reasonable criteria of success for ourselves: to what extent is our "library," in whatever professional sense we assign that word, vitally connected to the discursive practices of the places from which it draws its mandate? We contend that vitalizing a library in this respect requires us to step outside the sphere of our habitual familiarity and to explore other places. How we go about doing this is a matter of methodology. If a prior conception of place interferes with the absorption of ethnomethods, it should be held in suspension, bracketed at least until the practitioner can grasp the place that already exists.
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 - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: Media Staff
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A