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About and on Behalf of Scriptum Est by Vesa Suominen

Steven Laporte (University Library, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Elsene, Belgium)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 9 January 2017




This book review aims to draw attention to the often disregarded philosophical foundations of the library. Both the library as an institution and the science that studies its workings, are critically analyzed and put into an epistemological and even ideological perspective.


The original work by Vesa Suominen is explored in detail and its key findings subjected to criticism.


The book displays great originality and questions a number of long held beliefs regarding the library. Moving away from the more usual pragmatic and instrumentalist view of the library, the author proposes an approach that values the content of a library independant of its user. This approach, however, raises a number of questions.


Literature on the philosophical aspects of libraries and library science is scarce. Through this review we try to kindle a discussion that involves the basic mission statement of the modern library.



Laporte, S. (2017), "About and on Behalf of Scriptum Est by Vesa Suominen", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 73 No. 1, pp. 181-184.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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