Monday, February 2, 2009


More often than not libraries mirror rather than oppose
local politics and socioeconomic stratifications.
This quote is from Race and Place: A personal account to an unequal access page 32 (page 3 in the reader).

I chose this particular quote because it reminded me of another overused quote/cliche "The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer." This stuck out to me in particular because it is talked about throughout the story. The young girl (I assume Tracie is a girl) has her 'yellow palace' library and is quite happy with it. When she goes to the 'white cathedral' it is then that she realizes that her yellow library is quite inferior to this white one. Later in life she becomes a librarian herself and goes back and visits the yellow library once more only to discover that the yellow library is one branch that is lacking wireless internet. Other branches have access, however this one does not. In the early part of her article it is mentioned that her neighborhood was quite underprivileged. The hospital was forced to close and became a small clinic. They even lacked a grocery store. For her to come back after all this time and discover that even though the library had been moved and relocated that it was still lacking the basic privileges other branches of libraries had shows that it is still unequal from the other libraries in the library system. To go full circle, this library still reflects the local politics and the community around it. It is not an outside entity, but rather a mirror of the community, as the author suggests. The most relevant way I could portray this is by just showing it at face value; the poor are divided by the rich within our society. This is relevant to myself and my fellow classmates obviously since we're all denizens of this community. It is a key point of the reading the author was stressing. In all though, I think it is a great summary for the class as a very real and evident divide that has been and is continuing to be a challenge in any environment, especially in the library system. I feel that it should be one of our top concerns and I'm curious to see if you agree with me.

-Dave Winn


  1. I definitely agree that the rich have an increasingly large effect on the lives of the poor and it makes no sense that resources are given to people who already have everything. I think it is amazing how the gap between rich and poor continues to widen and how people that are extremely wealthy continue to encourage that divide. Although it doesn't have to do with libraries, a girl in my consumer science class last semester did a research paper on the types of foods in groceries/restaurants available in poorer neighborhoods and there were definitely less options (i.e. organic food) for neighborhoods with minorities and/or areas with no money. I find it fascinating that people don't see the connection between health issues among poorer people and the resources (such as health care, food options, etc.) available to them. And that's just one example...

  2. That's certainly a new perspective to me, referring to "resources are given to people who already have everything." I have never actually considered it that way, but now it seems extremely clear that most often poorer people are denied resources because richer people can satiate the materialism of the entities producing the resources. One example is that companies continually produce items at very high prices because richer consumers will want to partake in the current fads. Technological and digital advances are isolated from disadvantaged communities because only the wealthy are targeted through advertisements by companies seeking more profit. I agree with you both, Dave and Mayumi.

  3. Great examples, both of you. Glad to see my opinions and observations are shared. Albeit a sad outlook...