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Vandals in the Stacks? A Response to Nicholson Baker’s Assault on Libraries

Cox, Richard J. (2002) Vandals in the Stacks? A Response to Nicholson Baker’s Assault on Libraries. Greenwood, Westport, Conn. ISBN 0-313-32344-5

Abstract

Libraries and archives have violated their public trust, argues Nicholson Baker in his controversial book Double Fold, by destroying traditional books, newspapers, and other paper-based collections. Baker's powerful and persuasive book is wrong and misleading, and Cox critiques it point by point, questioning his research, his assumptions, and his arguments about why and how newspapers, books, and other collections are selected and maintained. Double Fold, which reads like a history of libraries and archives, is not a history at all, but a journalistic account that is often based on fanciful and far-flung assertions and weak data. The present book provides an opportunity to understand how libraries and archives view their societal mandate, the nature of their preservation and documentary functions, and the complex choices and decisions that librarians and archivists face. Libraries and archives are not simple warehouses for the storage of objects to be occasionally called upon by a scholar, but they play vital roles in determining and shaping a society's knowledge and documentation.


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Details

Item Type: Book
Title: Vandals in the Stacks? A Response to Nicholson Baker’s Assault on Libraries
Status: Published
Abstract: Libraries and archives have violated their public trust, argues Nicholson Baker in his controversial book Double Fold, by destroying traditional books, newspapers, and other paper-based collections. Baker's powerful and persuasive book is wrong and misleading, and Cox critiques it point by point, questioning his research, his assumptions, and his arguments about why and how newspapers, books, and other collections are selected and maintained. Double Fold, which reads like a history of libraries and archives, is not a history at all, but a journalistic account that is often based on fanciful and far-flung assertions and weak data. The present book provides an opportunity to understand how libraries and archives view their societal mandate, the nature of their preservation and documentary functions, and the complex choices and decisions that librarians and archivists face. Libraries and archives are not simple warehouses for the storage of objects to be occasionally called upon by a scholar, but they play vital roles in determining and shaping a society's knowledge and documentation.
Date: 2002
Date Type: Publication
Publisher: Greenwood
Place of Publication: Westport, Conn
Number of Pages: 232
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 0-313-32344-5
Uncontrolled Keywords: preservation management, conservation, archival preservation, library preservation, reprographics
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2010 10:02
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2010 11:52

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