American libraries in wartime: the role of propaganda

by Smith, Ashley M

Abstract (Summary)
This paper examines several periods of military conflict in American history and how these periods had an effect on the spread of propaganda through public libraries. First, it investigates the events leading up to, and including, the First World War in the years from 1914 to 1918. Although America was only actively involved in the war for a short period of time, propaganda was at work in the years leading up to military involvement. The paper then looks at propaganda in the aftermath of the war and the period leading up to and including World War II, mainly the years 1941 to 1945. Propaganda was still in heavy use at this time, although librarians were more aware of its existence and effects. After this war ended, the United States became involved in the Cold War and propaganda was not as often discussed in library literature. This paper will briefly looks at how McCarthy, Korea, and Vietnam all played a role in refining librarians’ views on propaganda through the middle of the century. The paper concludes with an examination of how the legacy of the twentieth-century has followed librarians into the 1990s and 2000s. Modern warfare coupled with the attacks on 9/11 brought propaganda into a new, high-tech arena, and librarians have had to learn to teach patrons to find and judge information on their own.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Jerry Saye

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:american library association war service propaganda public libraries united states history 20th century world 1914 1918 1939 1945


Date of Publication:03/28/2007

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