Is the modern library designed to be oppressive?

We can’t, in fact, have a productive (or even coherent) conversation about equality or freedom within libraries and/or librarianship without understanding the ways that libraries (in the modern age) are actually designed to be oppressive.

When you peek into the history of public libraries, perhaps starting around the Public Libraries Act of 1850 in Britain and contuing on during the age of Carnegie Libraries, a period spanning about 70 or 80 years (1850-1920s), we can see that Black men were only nominally citizens (and slavery just barely ended) in the US (while they had the ‘right’ to vote, they were usually unable to exercise that right). Women, of any race, weren’t citizens (unable to vote). And, importantly, this was also still within the more violent stages of the (ongoing) genocide of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Locating the Library in Institutionalized Oppression by satifice.

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