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Dissertation Information for Nevin Douglas Raber

- Nevin Douglas Raber
- (Alias) Nevin D. Raber
- (Alias) Douglas Raber

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Indiana University (USA) (1992)

- Verna Leah Pungitore

- David Kaser
- George Whitbeck
- Timothy Tilton

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: The Public Library Inquiry and the Search for Professional Legitimacy

Abstract: The Public Library Inquiry was commissioned by the Executive Board of the American Library Association to assess the status and prospects of public libraries and public librarianship in the United States in light of the social changes associated with the beginning of the Post-War era. It is the thesis of this dissertation that while the Inquiry represented an effort to conduct an empirical examination of the public library, it also possessed an ideological character that expressed a concern for the legitimate role of the public library in American society and offered a critique of the means by which professional librarianship defined and explained that role to both itself and the public.

The Inquiry was also an attempt to link the purpose of the public library with the more general purposes of American democracy, and by doing so enhance the legitimacy and status of public librarianship as a profession and the public library as a social institution. The Inquiry criticized the profession and the library for their failure to be politically effective forces in American communities. The Inquiry suggested that a reformed public library could be politically effective by serving as a counterbalance to anti-democratic characteristics of the structure of public communication in the United States. This reform, however, would require a new professional ideology on the part of librarians.

The Public Library Inquiry set an agenda for professional debate over the purpose of the public library. Professional reaction to the Inquiry revealed both confusion and conflict over library purposes. This dissertation concludes with an examination of the ideological assumptions that supported the Inquiry and the positions taken in the debate over its implications and recommendations.

MPACT Scores for Nevin Douglas Raber

A = 0
C = 2
A+C = 2
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2010-02-08 12:30:14

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Students under Nevin Douglas Raber

- None

- Diane L. Velasquez - University of Missouri (2007)
- Jenny S. Bossaller - University of Missouri (2008)