(Comunicação em vídeo)
This paper will argue that librarians should avoid taking the populist route when seeking to promote reading and other aspects of the service. The perils of populism can be seen all around us. Other public service organizations demonstrate that the more a service places emphasis on populist appeal the greater the risk of sacrificing its integrity and losing sight of its original purpose. For what might appear to be the right reasons, professionals working in a variety of cultural organizations have been urged to popularize what they provide in order to attract people who are not currently using what their service offers. It is suggested that the public library has to be much more than a simple retail service and that it should do things that commercial organizations will not. Moreover, it should seek to counteract the ignorance and prejudice engendered by a society that cultivates celebrity, cash and trash. This means that the politicians and professionals responsible for the service need to move on from the position of addressing agendas that have been suggested by others, to one where they argue for what is necessary and valuable. The speaker in reviewing some current professional debates about literacy, commercialised culture and the need for excellence suggests that as we enter a more serious age there are signs that Richard Hoggart’s arguments for “critical literacy” might be heeded and that librarians might use them as a compass to guide them in their activities.
(O prof. Bob Usherwood não pode estar fisicamente presente na conferência)