On Tuesday, April 23 at 12:30 p.m. SHU Dean of Libraries John Buschman will lecture on his recent award-winning book "Libraries, Classrooms, and the Interests of Democracy". The lecture will take place in Walsh Library in the Beck Rooms on the first floor. Light refreshments will be served.
Students in classrooms, schools and universities and library users (often the same groups) are frequently awash in corporate messages – advertising, sponsorships, logos, and so on. Should this bother us, and if so, why? These practices have reached a crescendo in an age of neoliberalism – that is, the market is considered the model of public reason for all sectors of society. It is frequently asserted that these are inappropriate messages inside our educative institutions important to democracy, but that often just boils down to a simple moralizing. The historic entanglements of businesses and advertising with these institutions tell us there was no "golden age," so to sort out the question we must turn elsewhere. Varieties of democratic theory help us to both identify the ways in which educative institutions in a democracy – schools, universities and libraries in this case – are designed to foster democratic culture and practices, and the ways in which neoliberal practices inside those institutions work against those purposes. Buschman reviews the basic ideas and arguments of his recent book.