Wednesday, February 4, 2009

MIS Week 3

Throughout Putnam and Feldstein's "Better Together", I was extremely surprised at how highly they regard libraries, describing them as something that can shape and better communities. Honestly, this opened my eyes to a completely new perspective about the purpose of libraries (even though we have been talking about it in class, this made it more tangible to me) and how much they can offer. I chose the quote "a five to seven million dollar investment tells people in a neighborhood they're valued... in a community like Cabrini Green, starting with a library sends a very different and much more positive message than starting with a police station" (42). I've wavered on whether or not to agree with this quote. Maybe because I've never lived in a place that has made me feel undervalued, I never connected investments in a neighborhood with a feeling of acceptance, hope, and belonging. Furthermore, if I lived in a dangerous neighborhood, or one that was rundown, I do not think that I'd rather see a library built before a police station. Additionally, if a police station was built before a library I do not think it sends a negative message that makes one feel less valued; police are placed in a neighborhood to keep you safe which shows that you are something valuable and worth protecting. Yet, I understand the notion that building a library would send a positive message. Having a brand new library, a place to go where you can feel safe bringing your child and that offers classes, technology, and access to resources you may never have otherwise had a chance to experience, is extremely positive and hopeful. This reading really made me think outside of just the community I am familiar with and my perspective on libraries is definitely changing. I found this article really interesting and am looking forward to learning more about the effects that library systems have over their communities.

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