Barbarians at the Gates of the Public Library: How Postmodern Consumer Capitalism Threatens Democracy, Civil Education and the Public Good
Author: Ed D'Angelo
Publisher: Library Juice Press
Physical Description: 5.5X8.5; 139p.
“This short book delivers a sweeping philosophic, economic, and historical analysis of the trends converting the American public library into a free retail outlet, measured by the same bottom lines as the rest of our consumer society. It is a sobering, convincing, and frightening view of the ongoing corruption of the ideal upon which libraries were founded, and the parallel corruption of our democratic society by the same forces. From that awful day when our own Public Library Association decided to eschew national library standards in favor of local library objectives measured by circulation and the popularity of its entertaining wares, to the declaration by library leaders that the professional judgment of librarians could be reconceived as management decisions following consumerist computer models and statistical analyses, D’Angelo traces the decline of the public good ideal both in the larger society and as it applies to the mission of the postmodern public library. It is an urgent alert, compelling in its application of the available evidence and scholarship, and frightening in its revelation that we may be too late to correct the downward spiral.”
– John N. Berry, III
Ed D’Angelo is a Supervising Librarian at a large branch library in Bensonhurst where since 2003 he has led a philosophy discussion group for the public.