Discussion questions from group 5
-On page 17 of "Consensus and Contradiction" the authors criticize wide-
spread library policy of using circulation numbers to measure success
by saying, "just as many lawyers will tell you that their objective is
to see justice done, whereas they are actually out to win cases, so
many librarians will tell you that education is their objective, when
they are busy trying to increase circulation." (pp.17) What are other
ways to measure success in the library? Do you think there is a
different objective that institutions should focus on?
-What are our current values towards different types of reading
materials? Is it, “As long as kids are reading, it doesn’t much matter
what”, or is it more prescriptive?
-Gorman says on page 10 that the “true literacy” of the population is
declining. What is “true literacy,” and what is “functional literacy”?
-Is there any sense in libraries (or the ALA) coming up with a general
approach to new technology, or are the circumstances too varied?
-The author asks the reader how the superficiality of the Internet can
be improved. Does this mean that librarians should encourage patrons to
visit sites only seen as serious? Is it censorship to promote some
websites over others?
-Why Thomas Jefferson would love Napster
Do you agree with the author that today’s copyright laws go too far?
Should libraries uphold the law, regardless of whether we believe it
is just, or should we advocate for change? Should the ALA even take a
stance on this issue?
(posted by Greg from an email sent by group 5)