Where’s the Town Square?
In the introduction of David Carr’s most recent book, Open conversations: Public Learning in Libraries and Museums, 2011, he invites us to think with him:
We need to replace ruthlessness and selfish individualism with becoming something together. As we can see in pockets of our past, it will not be the first time we have done this. It will begin with stories told in places where we live, to others who sit near us. Over time, we all will be unafraid to speak in the safe places we have made for discoveries, reflections, and voices. If we teach ourselves to speak, listen and think together, our places, our libraries, will open us to ourselves–to something courageous within ourselves–and move us toward the possibilities of self-rescue than every civilization needs.
As we discuss the gains and losses from our use of technology, Carr urges us to remember the value of the agora, plaza, or square and pursue the type of open, non-polemic discussions in the life of a democracy that lives there.
Where are these conversations held now?