NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ912048
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1946-7109
More than a Library?: Urban Poverty and an Exploratory Look at the Role of a Neighborhood Institution
Ly, Carolyn
Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education, v7 n2 p22-33 Fall 2010
Libraries have traditionally tended to be one of the few institutionally provided public resources for local residents in poor, urban, neighborhoods. This paper presents findings from the exploratory phase of an ongoing research project which examines, through participant observation, the "value" of a public library in a poor urban neighborhood. To what extent do residents make use of traditional library resources? What alternative functions does the library serve in the neighborhood? The findings collected have suggested that the library as a social space contains value to the immediate neighborhood in ways beyond physical utility; it holds a significant symbolic value or meaning to local residents. These findings suggest that within impoverished urban neighborhoods, locally oriented public institutions need to be recognized as fulfilling a variety of unintended functions for the surrounding community. (Contains 22 endnotes.) [The introduction to "More than a Library?: Urban Poverty and an Exploratory Look at the Role of a Neighborhood Institution" was written by Waverly Duck.]
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education. 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A