GroupCouncil on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/7247
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AbstractThe idea of the “commons” is often invoked in discussions of the academic library’s future, but these references are usually vague and rhetorical. What exactly does it mean for the library to be organized as a commons, and what might such a library look like? Does the concept of the commons offer a useful lens for identifying the library’s injustices or shortcomings? How might we draw on the concept of the commons to see beyond the horizon of the contemporary library, toward a “Third Library” that truly advances decolonial and democratic ends? This essay engages with such questions and explores how the constituent elements of the academic library—its knowledge assets, its workers, and its physical spaces—might be reoriented toward the commons. It argues that such an orientation might facilitate the emergence of a Third Library that is able to organize resistance to contemporary capitalism’s impetus toward the privatization and enclosure of knowledge, and to help recover a democratic conception of knowledge as a public good.
DescriptionThis collaborative project is part of CLIR's Curated Futures Project, a guide for professionals in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums to navigate beyond discussions of decolonizing collecting institutions to begin taking practical steps to enact change. Organized and edited by CLIR Postdoctoral Fellows and alumni Faithe Day, Synatra Smith, Jodi Reeves Eyre, John MacLachlan, and Christa Williford, the project is the first in a series of collaborations that respond to the theme, “A Third Library is Possible.” The theme draws from the possibilities of the “third university,” a notion developed by la paperson in the book, A Third University is Possible.
CitationJohnson, A., Johnston, C., & Ranganath, A. (2022). The Third Library and the Commons. Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).
Available at: https://futures.clir.org/the-third-library-the-commons/