This volume is the first to examine the social, cultural, and political implications of the shift from the traditional forms and functions of print-based libraries to the delivery of online information in educational contexts. Libr@ries are conceptualized as physical places, virtual spaces, communities of literate practice, and discourses of information work.
Despite the centrality of libraries in literacy and learning, the study of libraries has remained isolated within the disciplinary boundaries of information and library science since its inception in the early twentieth century. The aim of this book is to problematize and thereby mainstream this field of intellectual endeavor and inquiry. Collectively the contributors interrogate the presuppositions of current library practice, seek to understand how library as place and library as space blend together in ways that may be both contradictory and complementary, and envision new modes of information access and new multimodal literacies enabled by online environments.
Libr@ries: Changing Information Space and Practice is intended for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and educators in the fields of literacy and multiliteracies education, communication technologies in education, library sciences, information and communication studies, media and cultural studies, and the sociology of computer-mediated space.
"That information is the vital element in a 'new' politics and economy linking space, knowledge, and capital is the central theme and premise of this provocative and compelling [volume]....This is a vital collection to be read not only by teachers, libraries, and academics of all persuasions, but also, more broadly, by the general reading public."
—Michael A. Peters
University of Glasgow, From the Foreword