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These days, I'm the director of the American Library Association' s Office for Intellectual Freedom. I'm also executive director and secretary of the Freedom to Read Foundation. See "About Me" for contact information.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lakoff's "Political Mind"

I'm reading, "The political mind : why you can't understand 21st-century politics with an 18th-century brain," by George Lakoff. I haven't gotten real far yet, but I find the notion of taking brain research into account in politics an eminently reasonable suggestion.

Reading over breakfast today, I saw that Lakoff says we construct our world view of "frames" and "scripts." The example was a hospital: a place where you go when you're ill, and follow a script of admission, etc..

I find myself thinking about how to describe the modern library -- and wonder if some of the negative reaction we get to the new circ-desk-free model -- is about that "frame." To date, we've set it up as "information seekers" who appeal to the figures behind the desk.

A better frame might be this: seekers for MEANING who find guides on their quest. I like the narrative of explorer better than supplicant, of a quest for meaning rather than information.

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