Dissertation Information for David Monroe
- David Monroe
- Library and Information Science
- University of California, Los Angeles (USA) (1998)
- Virginia A. Walter
- Mary Niles Maack
- Anne Gilliland-Swetland
- Richard Alan Yarborough
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: ALA Goal 2000: A narrative policy study
Abstract: Since the American Library Association (ALA) adopted the Library Bill of Rights in 1939, ALA has become increasingly connected with the idea of intellectual freedom. By 1969 intellectual freedom had become the defining ideology of the association. Historically ALA has developed an image of itself as a defender of the public's right to access to any and all information.
In October 1994, the Executive Board of the American Library Association endorsed a five-year plan for the association called ALA Goal 2000 which emphasized "intellectual participation" over intellectual freedom. The tension between intellectual participation and intellectual freedom within the American Library Association gives rise to the questions addressed in this study: What is ALA Goal 2000's relationship to intellectual freedom? Does ALA Goal 2000 represent an increased awareness of the importance of policy in ALA? Who created ALA Goal 2000 and what factors caused it?
This study uses a relatively new methodology called narrative policy analysis which provides insight into complex, polarized policy issues. A key aspect of this methodology is the creation of a metanarrative from a group of narratives on a specific policy problem. A metanarrative is the story told by the differences among narratives on a particular issue. Eleven interviews with an elite panel of individuals were conducted on the historical development of ALA Goal 2000. The transcripts of nine of these interviews were converted into narratives from which a metanarrative on ALA Goal 2000 was derived.
The metanarrative on ALA Goal 2000 reveals a single important division: between those narratives partial to intellectual freedom as a closely interpreted ideal, and those narratives which espouse socially responsible interpretations of intellectual freedom. This study shows that ALA Goal 2000 differs from previous intellectual freedom policy in that Goal 2000 extends the purview of intellectual freedom beyond information access to information use and acquisition, to "intellectual participation." The data also implies that the respondents believe there is an increased awareness of the importance of policy in the association. This study also shows that Elizabeth Martinez was the most important factor in the creation of ALA Goal 2000