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2013 LACUNY Institute

The 2013 LACUNY Institute 

Libraries, Information, and the Right to the City

April 5, 2013

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Keynote Speakers:

Christine Pawley – Former director of the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison and historian of print culture in America.

Jessa Lingel – Doctoral student at Rutgers and author of “Occupy Wall Street and the myth of the technological death of the library.”


Libraries, Information, and the Right to the City

In recent years movements of scholars and activists have advanced a concept known as “the right to the city.” As the noted geographer David Harvey puts it “the right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city.” Situated at the heart of a global metropolis the Library Association of the City University of New York (LACUNY) is in an excellent position to initiate this dialogue.

The 2013 LACUNY Institute committee welcomes proposals that examine how library and information professionals engage in such social transformations. The majority of the world’s population now resides in urban areas making questions surrounding the city central to understanding the shape of the 21st century. The goal of the 2013 institute is to create a dialogue about how library and information professionals can (or should) move beyond being guarantors of access and become engaged in communities’ production of knowledge. We consider “the city” to be the public sphere broadly defined (i.e., proposals that examine these issues in small communities are welcome). The massive technological transformations of recent years have changed the nature of both libraries and the public sphere. At the 2013 LACUNY Institute we would like to explore the roles of libraries and information in the polis of the future.

Here are few examples of subjects that would be considered appropriate:

  • Librarians and social movements
  • Libraries and public services
  • The ethics of representation
  •  Services to traditionally marginalized groups
  •  Critical information literacy
  •  The ethics of user generated content
  •  The ethics of neutrality
  •   Libraries and civic engagement
  • Open access and the public’s right to information

We look forward to your participation in the spring of 2013!

Submission of proposals for papers should include:

  • name(s) of presenter(s)
  • title(s)
  • affiliation(s)
  • contact information
  • abstracts of 300-500 words.

Presentations will be 20 minutes with time allocated for questions and discussion.

Full papers will be published in a special issue of Urban Library Journal.

Submit a 300 to 500 word abstract to this webform or email a word document with the above information to


Deadline: December 21, 2012

Notification of acceptance: January 25, 2013

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