Document Type

Article

Peer Reviewed

1

Publication Date

Winter 2016

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Library Trends

Start Page

533

End Page

555

Abstract

Lifelong Learning is enshrined in the professional practice of librarians through the American Library Association’s “Core Values of Librarianship” (2004). As a Core Value, the term is extremely vague. What do we mean by lifelong learning, and why does the term have such a powerful hold on the imaginations of educators? This paper works to understand the term by looking at one of the earliest conflicts in American educational history and philosophy: the choice between student-centered schools and employment-centered schools. During the first decades of the twentieth century, America was struggling to define its national core values. Educational theory was seen as a key way to articulate and pass on these values. One pedagogical approach involved developing schools to educate individuals to become thinking and informed citizens; another administrative approach involved creating schools as vocational institutions to educate individuals to become skilled employees. After a brief debate, employment-centered schools emerged as the clear winner. Since that time American schools have been viewed almost exclusively through a vocational lens. The implications of this decision for libraries, schools, and learning are explored.

Journal Article Version

Version of Record

Published Article/Book Citation

James Elmborg. "Tending the Garden of Learning: Lifelong Learning as Core Library Value." Library Trends 64.3 (2016): 533-555. Project MUSE. Web. 5 Apr. 2016. .

Rights

© 2016 The Board of Trustees, University of Illinois. Posted by permission.

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URL

https://ir.uiowa.edu/slis_pubs/15