"Life in the Round" and the History of Libraries in Micronesia

"Life in the Round" and the History of Libraries in Micronesia

Nicholas J. Goetzfridt (University of Guam, Guam)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-319-7.ch012
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Abstract

This chapter uses the importation of an American institution of information—“the library”—into the Pacific region of Micronesia as an example of a contextual-less, cross-cultural information transference that suggests the autonomous impact of distance education technology and protocols on indigenous and other interpretative communities. Such an impact negates the innate values of these communities as they pertain to concepts of “knowledge” and “information” derived from tenacious cultural and social values. Conflicts between indigenous values and the transferences of “the library” and subsequent information technologies are considered along with individualizing values exhibited by early Christian missionaries in Micronesia. Based upon these issues and cross-cultural tensions, the chapter appeals for the inclusion of indigenous contexts into discussions of online educational development and access to better understand and serve these communities and to provide an exemplary situation from which to recognize the importance of cultural contexts in the provision of distance educational opportunities.

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