This study highlights the critical and under-examined role of the school library as a space for civic education and moral development for students across the United States. Through conducting a historical analysis and literature review, this work examines the policies and standards that have guided the development of the school library, and argues that these decrees have effectively adapted to the needs of American society, as well as inadvertently guided the sociocultural expectations of good citizenship. The findings of this work suggest that the nature of school libraries center them as a foundational space for the cultivation of civic dispositions and moral identity, and that this must be acknowledged to make the most of our library resources and contribute toward civic engagement goals. This presentation concludes by advocating for the school library as a necessary institution, and provides recommendations on how to acknowledge and develop library spaces as hubs for civic education.
Monica Blaisdell, Drexel University, United States
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