Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

October 2006

Document Type



Library and Information Science (LIS) does not lend itself to philosophizing. Political philosophy offers a useful and necessary approach to thinking about libraries. Teleological thinking helps bring into relief some of the problems and issues of library and information science. When we do not address political problems teleologically, we may confuse means and ends, and ignore ends altogether. As an example of a teleological investigation, the author considers a proposition that some take to be the end of the library, the proposition that libraries should provide free access to all information to all persons all of the time. Should libraries embrace all radical technological changes in a quest to seem relevant? Should libraries act according to the Universal Access Principle?