Abstract

This study examines societal influences on predictions of the future of the library from both the Progressive Era (1895-1920) and the Great Depression (1932-40). Predictions from the Progressive Era tend to place the reader at the crest of a long wave of progress, to foresee voluntary cooperation among libraries, and to stress a moral dimension of librarianship. Predictions from the Depression years tend to place the reader at a moment of historical disjunction and to foresee either a centrally planned library system or a future shaped by wonderful advances in science. The ways in which the predictions examined here partook of the dominant sociopolitical ideas of their day underscore the social embeddedness of libraries.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-3033
Print ISSN
2164-8034
Pages
pp. 102-128
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-04
Open Access
No
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