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Vandals in the Stacks?

A response to the book that generated wide-scale public discussion and controversy about libraries and archives. Libraries and archives have violated their public trust, argues Nicholson Baker in his controversial book Double Fold, by destroying traditional books, newspapers, and other paper-based collections. Baker's powerful and persuasive book is wrong and misleading, and Cox critiques it point by point, questioning his research, his assumptions, and his arguments about why and how newspapers, books, and other collections are selected and maintained. Double Fold, which reads like a history of libraries and archives, is not a history at all, but a journalistic account that is often based on fanciful and far-flung assertions and weak data. The present book provides an opportunity to understand how libraries and archives view their societal mandate, the nature of their preservation and documentary functions, and the complex choices and decisions that librarians and archivists face. Libraries and archives are not simple warehouses for the storage of objects to be occasionally called upon by a scholar, but they play vital roles in determining and shaping a society's knowledge and documentation.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Life Imitates Art? The Big Picture and Baker's World Why Can't the Paper Keepers Keep All the Paper? Newspaper Warehouses Wrong Priorities The Real Thing Burning Libraries, Discards, Card Catalogs, Nicholson Baker, and Library History Persistent Images Mundane Matters Mom, I Harass Monks (Too) Index

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A response to the book that generated wide-scale public discussion and controversy about libraries and archives.

About the Author

RICHARD COX is Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh.


.,."a must-read for all librarians."-American Libraries

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