Michael Gorman reaffirms the enduring values of librarianship in new book

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/24/2015


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association



CHICAGO — In the almost 15 years since public intellectual, librarian and philosopher Michael Gorman published “Our Enduring Values,” there has been a sea change in the way much of the world thinks about and uses libraries. Young librarians and seasoned LIS professionals alike are experiencing increasing pressure to adjust to new economic, societal and technological demands amidst the often dire rhetoric currently surrounding the future of our institutions. In his stirring new manifesto “Our Enduring Values Revisited: Librarianship in an Ever-Changing World,” published by ALA Editions, Gorman addresses head on the “existential panic” among library professionals caused by the radical shift in how libraries are viewed. He reconnects readers with the core values that continue to inspire generations of library professionals and scholars—while making the case that these values are doubly crucial to hold on to in the brave new shifting world of librarianship. Destined to become another classic of library literature, this book explores such contemporary issues as:

  • the growing emphasis of the library as a cultural institution, placing libraries within their cultural context as gathering places for learning, access to information, and community;
  • the impact of technological innovations on core values such as access and stewardship;
  • library places and spaces of the future;
  • how the mass digitization of books, archives and other materials affects the purpose and function of libraries;
  • intellectual freedom and privacy in the era of the PATRIOT Act, Wikileaks, and Edward Snowden;
  • the role of libraries as both champions and facilitators of social justice.

Gorman is the former dean of library services at the Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno, and served as president of the American Library Association in 2005–2006. He was the first editor of the “Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, Second Edition” (1978), and of the 1988 revision of that work. He is the author of several books, including “Our Enduring Values,” the winner of ALA’s Highsmith Award in 2001 for the best book on librarianship, and the memoir “Broken Pieces: A Library Life, 1941-1978.” He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Margaret Mann Citation in 1979 and the Melvil Dewey Medal in 1992.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.