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Education, the Public Sphere, and Neoliberalism: Libraries’ Contexts
Library Quarterly (2020)
  • John Buschman
The period covered by the publication of Library Quarterly (LQ) has been one characterized by the
arc of three defining contexts. First, libraries have been inextricably tied to educational institutions
in the modern era. Second, libraries developed within democratic societies and took on aspects of
the public sphere (as did classrooms), even while public spheres were being transformed in the
macro sense. Third, these two contextual conditions predominated for half of our period but led to
a fundamental conservative rethinking of civil society institutions like schools and libraries: neoliberalism
as a loose set of economic and market principles projected into schools, universities,
and libraries, resulting in economic and political inequalities and an undermining of democratic
and civil society institutions. These three contexts do not explain everything about libraries during
LQ’s run of publication, but they situate a great deal of that history.
Publication Date
Citation Information
John Buschman. "Education, the Public Sphere, and Neoliberalism: Libraries’ Contexts" Library Quarterly Vol. 90 Iss. 2 (2020) p. 154 - 161 ISSN: 0024-2519
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