Democracy in America’s Libraries
A work session for journalists, librarians and the public
April 6-7, 2011 / MIT / Cambridge, Mass.
(immediately prior to the National Conference for Media Reform)
For more information and to register go to:
For three centuries in American towns large and small, two institutions have uniquely marked aÂ commitment to participatory democracy, learning and open inquiry — our libraries and our freeÂ press.
Today, economic and political realities â€“ or fashions â€“ invite a thoughtful examination of theirÂ roles, and the opportunity for collaboration among these two historic community informationÂ centers, one largely public, one largely private.
Journalism That Matters, (the American Library Association,) the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, the Media Giraffe Project at UMass Amherst and the New England News Forum invite you to join in a work session for civicÂ information transparency that builds from and beyond books.
With via a pre-event social network, an evening agenda-setting dialogue, a day of roundtableÂ planning and closing action commitments, weâ€™ll discover whatâ€™s possible at the intersection ofÂ public spaces, open documents, citizen reporting and journalistic purpose.
Among the questions we may ask:
â€˘ What might libraries do to facilitate community social news networks?
â€˘ Must free speech be absolute within a taxpayer-supported institution?
â€˘ Should librarians be more partisan than reporters? Reporters more partisan than librarians?
â€˘ Are libraries poised to become public-access media centers as cable fades?
â€˘ Should a library operate a news collective, non-profit or citizen-journalism service?
â€˘ How can libraries help preserve a free digital information commons?