Civil Commitment and the Role of Public Librarians

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Communications in Computer and Information Science, 2018, 810 pp. 376 - 385
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© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG. Western culture has developed based on notions that truth, by overcoming falsehood, underpins democracy. Libraries and librarians have played an important part in the provision of information to support democratic processes. This study explored information services offered by the small number of public librarians whose role is to provide information services to employees of local governments, elected representatives and to the general public in Sydney, Australia and their perceptions of their role in supporting the potential for civic literacy to contribute to the quality of public policies and democracy. In the interviews, librarians emphasised the importance of awareness-raising of their role in providing information; some perceived opportunities to highlight existing partnerships or to develop new ones; and community discussions of fake news were seen to give scope for repositioning the services of librarians. The regime of truth relating information access to democratic principles has not yet been replaced.
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