Department of Geography

Past events

Public Library Geographies: pasts, presents, futures

Wednesday 10 October 13:00 until 15:00
Global Studies Resource Centre, Arts C, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex
Speaker: Dr Jo Norcup
Part of the series: Geography Research Seminars: Beyond the Fringe

Chair: Ben Rogaly

ALL WELCOME (coffee/ tea and cake is provided)


This paper argues for the timely consideration of public library geographies. Until recently (Norcup 2017), public libraries have been overlooked by geographers who have otherwise attended to studies of public institutions such as the workhouse (Driver 1993), the asylum (Philo, 2004), schools (Ploszajska 1999) or carceral institutions such as prisons (Moran 2015). This paper argues that the public library as discreet architectural spaces, in mobile form, and across wider information and technological systems of accessing knowledge and cultural materials offer different scales of geographical investigation into popular public geographies of knowledge and power, offering up a 'litmus' to the social and cultural geographies in and across which they operate. Through specific historical examples of public library pioneers and practices, this paper will raise questions about how cultures of public library-making have changed over time, and what current changes might mean for geographies of knowledge, power, and equity of access in the present and future social and cultural geographies of England.

See also:
Awkward geographies? An historical and cultural geography of the journal Contemporary Issues in Geography and Education (CIGE) (1983-1991)

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By: Martin Wingfield
Last updated: Friday, 28 September 2018