Biblionews-work-table-talk

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BiblioNews.org -- Beyond Books: News, Literacy and Democracy and America's Libraries

Cambridge, Mass. (Boston), April 6-7, 2011 at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media

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What did the Beyond Books tables talk about on Wednesday evening? Here are some notes.</b>

  • Journalism and libraries missions are growing into congruence and become natural partnerships.
  • Jack Brighton: The library has the opportunity to be the facilitator, the common ground where people can come together and tell stories.
  • Liza Barr-Kessler: It is sort of easy to engage people when there there is a crisis, but how do you engage them proactively, in a position way, before the crisis. Look for imaginative ways we can engage people.
  • Marlon Crocket: We talked about how powerful aspirations can be -- get people together and ask them imagine what they are hoping for -- that's powerful.
  • Helen Grasso: There need to be peer relationships, no sense of one person owing something to another -- that ruins democracy. You can't just be informed, you have to be active; that's really critical. A safe space where you feel free to speak up. Net giving -- people come and they give what they have to give. The power of collaboration in democracy -- a fuel for accomplishing.
  • One thing that came up at each of the tables is the potential role that journalism and library can play in increasing the transparency and reliability of information so that fosters greater trust in our community engagement.
  • Linda Fantin: Is who shows up always right. There is a strong political assumption. When you call you over the air, you get a certain constituency in the room. You have to be proactive in inviting people and watching on the mix. How do we actually make that happen -- getting the right mix?
  • Nancy Kranich: The issue of diversity is really important -- how do we not just bond together but bridge. Hopefully libraries represent bridging institutions.
  • Peggy Holman: The quality of the invitation is perhaps the most important and challenging task. Racial diversity is not one that is particularly broad in our room right here.
  • Karen Perry: Had really good tables. Trying to make the connection between libraries, journalism and democracy. Hard in a broad sense, not a small sense. Two threads: The role that libraries have to inspire curiousity and engagement at any level -- how that is a natural grounding for journalism for being a good consumer as well as producer of journalism -- and the beginning of community building and democracy.
  • Mark Tomizawa: David Weinberger challenged us: What do we believe is true. If we don't believe what is true, how do we have any election or choice? Libraries have curated truths which have stood the test of time and in real time journalists are supposed to kick in and say here is what happening now. And maybe if the two don't fit together then maybe that's the canary in the coal mine. Maybe the two need each other?