Public Libraries, and a Pedagogy for Lifelong Learning

Designer Librarian

Recently, Library Trends released its latest issue on the core values of librarianship. I haven’t yet had time to read through all the articles, but I did start with Elmborg’s piece, titled Tending the Garden of Learning: Lifelong Learning as Core Library Value. It’s a philosophical read that got me thinking about what a pedagogy of lifelong learning might look like in the public library (from a practical standpoint).

First of all, what is lifelong learning, really? One of the best descriptions I have come across appeared in an editorial in the November 1975 issue of Educational Leadership. Wilbur J. Cohen wrote that “learning is a continuous, permanent, lifelong pursuit. It is a process which commences with birth and only terminates at death and is then carried on by others in a never-ending continuum.” (On a side note, Wilbur Cohen was one of the pioneers of our social…

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