ERIC Number: EJ701756
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar-15
Reference Count: N/A
Our Public Intellectual: Matthew Battles--Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Library Journal, v129 n5 pS19 Mar 2004
Many people take for granted the tools of the librarian's trade: typography, books, even the idea of a library. But when Matthew Battles looks at these things, he sees responses that evolved to meet human needs and wants to know more. What purposes were these tools put to and what do they tell people about the culture that produced them? What does the destruction of books and libraries tell people about the power of the ideas inside them? What Battles thinks about, he writes about. After "Lost in the Stacks" appeared in Harper's he was invited to expand the article into "Library: An Unquiet History" (Norton, 2003). He did not want to write a dry history of library facts, he wanted to look at the interplay between knowledge and cultures. This goal prompts Battles's friend Joshua Glenn of the Boston Globe to describe him as "Harvard Square's last trim public intellectual ... and a scholar of the history of the very idea of the library."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts