Library Juice Manifesto


I\'ve given Library
something it should have had years ago: a manifesto.
Actually it\'s an adaptation of the statement I gave New Breed
when they interviewed me for their inaugural
issue. It expresses what I think are a large number of
librarians motivations for being librarians and expresses
what is known as the \"library spirit\" from a certain
angle. It is titled \"The Ideology of Librarianship: A
Libertarian Socialism of Information,\" and it is inside,
here:The Ideology of Librarianship: A Libertarian Socialism
of Information

Libraries are special because they are at once
communitarian, libertarian,
and models for sustainability.

They are communitarian in the economic sense because they
are built on
solidarity. A community pools its resources in order to
share them.

Libraries are libertarian in the social/intellectual sense
because of the
ethic of intellectual freedom, which says that all ideas
should be included
and nothing censored.

This combination of economic communitarianism and
libertarianism creates the ideal support system for a
democratic society,
because the library provides everyone with access to ideas
and provides
access to every idea.

In addition, libraries are models for sustainable systems.
By following the
\"borrow, don\'t buy\" ethic, libraries provide an
alternative to consumerism,
an alternative to environmentally unsound overproduction
and spiritually
unsound overconsumption.

And libraries excite me further because they need to be
changed. They tend
to leave out alternative or street-level materials; there
is presently a
tendency toward privatization of services and functions
(with attendant
barriers to access); libraries and library organizations
need their
decision-making processes democratized; access to local
information in libraries needs to be improved; in general,
libraries tend
to depart routinely from their founding principles as they
struggle for a
handhold in the environment of an increasingly neoliberal
political economy
and an increasingly reactionary social climate. We need
to advance the
Library Paradigm of information organization, preservation
and access, to
freshly propagate the idea of the library in society in
terms of its
underlying principles.

Notwithstanding their imperfections, libraries serve as a
rare example of
beautiful ideals actually functioning successfully in the
world. This
means that libraries should serve as a model for other
institutions and
endeavors. We need to spread the Library Spirit across
society and teach
it, as a model for positive change beyond the walls of
libraries and
throughout all contexts of information, communication, and
learning. This
is the Ideology of Librarianship, and we can make it grow.

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