After reading chapter 5 of Luker, this is the bedraggled daisy I came up with for my research interest. Also, I need to note that I have changed my area of research since last week. Originally I was going to focus on pornography in the public library, however, when I thought about this more in depth, I realized that it is really a matter of censorship that must be enforced by rules and constant surveillance. I couldn’t seem to find a good research question from this area of interest.
My second area of interest has always surrounded homelessness, and while I was at work the other day, a lady wanted to sign up to get a public library card, but she didn’t have a permanent address. In this case, we would give the patron limited capabilities within the library until they can provide proof of their permanent address.
I realized that this is a bigger issue than meets the eye with regard to intellectual freedom, public policy, and many more concerns (mainly political).
Therefore, starting from the beginning (post from last week), these are my thoughts this far.
You need to be a member of the library in order to utilize all the services a library has to offer. To become a member you must have a permanent address. If those without a permanent address are given the capabilities to become a member irrelevant of their circumstances, will they abuse their privileges? For example, if library services are extended to those without a permanent address, how do you hold an individual accountable in terms of borrowing library material?
Will the general public feel reluctant to go to public libraries if homeless people are there as well? Overall this issue is extremely political. It seems as though the library system is ultimately pushing the homeless out of eye sight, however, according to the Canadian Library Association, “It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee the right of free expression by making available all the library’s public facilities and services to all individuals and groups who need them.” A homeless person is just as much of a citizen to their community as someone who has a permanent address.
See what I mean? This issue is so complicated and I’m so excited I’ve discovered it so I can work on it as a research interest!!
Canadian Library Association.
http://www.cla.ca/Content/NavigationMenu/Resources/PositionStatements/Statement_on_Intell.htm. Retrieved on September 23rd, 2013.