Building resilient public libraries with Carnegie in South Africa (1927 – 2012): regularities, singularities and South African exceptionalism

NASSIMBENI, Mary (2014) Building resilient public libraries with Carnegie in South Africa (1927 – 2012): regularities, singularities and South African exceptionalism. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 71 - Library History Special Interest Group. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Building resilient public libraries with Carnegie in South Africa (1927 – 2012): regularities, singularities and South African exceptionalism

This paper examines the contribution of Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) to the development of public libraries in South Africa from 1927 to 2012. It charts this through a parallel examination of two of CCNY’s three South African Inquiries into Poverty, attempting to find links between the idea of the public library as an engine of development (a principle underling Carnegie’s belief in public libraries) and the theme of the Inquiries. It concludes by summarising how the public library developments in particular periods of South African history, and the Poverty Inquiries, reveal evidence of common ground and of discontinuities, and finally comments on the extent to which South African exceptionalism is manifest in the initiatives.

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