Tuesday, February 3, 2009


From Page 45 of Better Together:
"Clark says that the first public act of many newcomers in the city is to get a library card. It is the first official document that connects them to their new home, that makes them part of the place. They can get one even if they do not speak English, and they do not have to prove anything except that they live in Chicago. Mary Dempsey describes the library as 'the least threatening institution.'"

This is a nice idea but to me it seems antiquated, and is probably not still true today. The internet as an access point to information has made the library almost unnecessary in todays society, as its ability to store physical document is not needed because it has been replaced by the internets ability to store them virtually.
The question then becomes what has taken the libraries place as a non-threatening government institution and the answer I think is nothing. Immigrants and the poor have been scapegoated to an extent and our now the oppressed in our society, notice that when talking about the Auto manufacturers struggles, attention is placed on foreign competition and the autoworkers union as nefarious things rather than introspectively look at what has got them in this bind, but thats a whole different topic. Still the governments relationship with many is adversarial, and it would be nice for some other thing that allows people to feel apart of their community and the country as a whole.

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