Category Archives: Book Reviews

Managing Cultural Change in Public Libraries – Marx, Maslow and Management (New Book Flyer)

In Managing Cultural Change in Public Libraries, John Pateman and Joe Pateman draw on the ideas of Marx and Maslow to present an ambitious ‘analytical framework’, which, they say, can be used to create bold public-library strategies, structures, and systems. Pateman and Pateman argue for radical—but sustainable—transformations in public libraries.

Shiraz Durrani: Never be silent; publishing and imperialism in Kenya, 1884-1963 2006 review by John Pateman

This important book is well researched and scholarly, but at the same time written in a popular style and very accessible. It tells the inspiring story of the successful Mau Mau resistance movement against imperialism and colonialism in Kenya. It also tells the story of how central publishing and information were to this struggle for freedom. While it deals with a particular country and period in history, it is timeless and relevant in the sense that these struggles continue today.

Caribbean Libraries in the 21st Century: Changes, Challenges and Choices, edited by Cheryl Peltier-Davis and Shamin Renwick (Information Today, 2007) – reviewed by John Pateman

A book on Caribbean libraries is rare and so this is a most welcome addition to the field of international and comparative librarianship. The editors set out ‘to document the state of Caribbean libraries in the 21 st century by examining the responses of these institutions to the changes, challenges and choices in an increasingly electronic and virtual information environment.’

Barbarians at the Gates of the Public Library by Ed D’Angelo, Library Juice Press, 2006 – reviewed by John Pateman

In this well argued, well written and well presented book, Ed D’Angelo seeks to demonstrate ‘how post modern consumer capitalism threatens democracy, civil education and the public good’. One key public good and vehicle for civil education is the Public Library, and D’Angelo argues that there are a number of ‘Barbarians at the Gates of the Public Library.’ These include market forces, consumerism, privatisation, materialism and commodification. I would add liberal democracy to this list, and this is where I diverge from much of D’Angelo’s thinking. Some of this divergence may be due to the following three factors: I have a UK perspective; I have a Marxist analysis; and my starting point is that public goods are a product of Capitalism.

The Fact of Blackness: Frantz Fanon and Visual Representation Edited by Alan Read Reviewed by Julian J. Samuel – ‘Ignoring the role of violence in Fanon: playing with the bones of an exhumed hero’

Please see the following PDF: The Fact of Blackness Frantz Fanon and Visual Representation Edited by Alan Read Reviewed by Julian J. Samuel – ‘Ignoring the role of violence in Fanon playing with the bones of an exhumed hero’

Knowledge Management: Social, Cultural and Theoretical Perspectives Edited by Ruth Rikowski

This book includes contributions from a variety of academics and professionals, looking at KM from different perspectives. The book is divided into 4 parts: Social, Economic, Political and Philosophical Perspectives; Practical Perspectives; Cultural Perspectives and Theoretical Perspectives. Both Ruth Rikowski and Paul Catherall have contributed chapters to this new book (also edited by Ruth), Ruth’s chapters include: Leadership in the knowledge revolution: an Open Marxist theoretical perspective and analysis. Knowledge management: internal, external and social cultures. An Open Marxist theoretical analysis of knowledge management within and across cultures. Knowledge management: an Open Marxist theoretical perspective and analysis. (more…)