Luciani, Luca (2008) DALLA BIBLIOTECA ALLA MEDIATECA. Scenari di educazione ai media con un progetto territoriale. [Ph.D. thesis]
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From the Public Library to the Multimedia Public Library: perspectives of education to the media culture with a territorial project.
The first part of this Doctorial Dissertation, contained in the first chapter, aims basically at contextualizing the object of the research. This analysis has the purpose of underlying the contemporary necessity for a transformation, also in our country, of the Public Library in Multimedia Public Library, according to the latest social requirements for communication technology update, which means also cultural and educational update.
This hoped for change, should not be a mere change of name, but the possibility of a real enrichment of culture and communication services. In Italy we are far from accomplishing this changing, which is not true for other so called developed countries.
Among the various experiences of these countries, this research devises in the French "médiatèque" a point of reference. In the first place because the French and the Italian systems were quite similar in their organisational features and typology, before the radical modernisation of the Public Library System in France, accomplished between the end of the '70 and the beginning of the '80 in the last century, following the project of the Multimedia Public Library. In the second place because, beginning from a new name to end with the achievement of concrete results, the "French experience" is an innovative national project carried out homogeneously, which could be envisaged as a model, as a cultural and educational strategy to be followed also in Italy.
In the context of this research, the enrichment of these services has to be seen mainly as an enlargement of the possibility of fruition of audiovisual and interactive media on and off-line, and as the completion of educational requirements.
All this aims at developing people's technical know-how and multimedia skills, in order to allow them to be able to "read" in full awareness, to be able to connect oneself and to live in the contemporary democratic society.
To become accustomed to the technological tools and to the multimedia languages is essential to concretely test these skills, which are the starting step to multimedia communication.
The object of this research is therefore at first analysed from a "problem solving" point of view, in different type of social contexts: institutional, cultural, operational and statistic.
The devising of these contexts aims at defining key words as "media", "multimedia", and "multimedia public library" that will be used frequently in the treatise. It has moreover the purpose of viewing the main topic, that is the transformation of the Library in Multimedia Public Library, in its possibilities of cultural and educational development, with the help of the meagre and often too specialised cultural debate on this particular subject.
The second part of the Dissertation, contained in the second chapter, is meant to be the real core of this research. Here is a deep historical and critical analysis of the theoretical researches and of the practical outcomes related to the concept of Multimedia Library developed in Italy, or in some ways connected to the national territory.
This analysis is being carried out thanks to the researches and experimentation of the late Seventies developed in connection and inside the University of Padua (Audiovisual Laboratory, Professorship of methodology and didactics of audiovisual media, Faculty of Education). On the ground of contemporary experiences the accomplishment of the national project named "Mediateca 2000" has been analysed, together with the debate that aroused from it in the recent congress "Public libraries: the conversation of media" in May 2007. Also two Italian projects, the Mediateca Santa Teresa in Milan and the Biblioteca/Mediateca «Sala Borsa» in Bologna, carried out a few years ago, have been examined: they both propose, though in different ways, the idea of Multimedia Public Library.
The treatise analyses the different experiences through a wide and deep bibliographical and geographical research, following as much as possible a chronological sequence, and arriving till to-day in the investigation of theories, projects, experimentations and outcomes.
Seen as a whole, the results of this research can draw the outline of a new perspective on the idea of Multimedia Library: the suggestions and information about methods, theories and fulfilments, it gives could form the platform for the concrete accomplishment of the transformation of the traditional public libraries in multimedia public libraries.
The third part of the Dissertation is a brief but complete project for the creation of a real multimedia library. The project is located in Padua, in order to be easily applied to the concrete transformation of the Padua Municipal Public Library in a Multimedia Public Library, situated in the restored complex of the former Court of Justice. My role as the President of the 4th South - East District of Padua, a task I undertook a few years ago, gave me the possibility to acquire a specific expertise on this matter, being also the representative of the districts in the Culture Commission of the Municipality of Padua, and the person in charge for the cultural activities for the political party of the former City Councillor for Culture in the city of Padua, and having above all the assignment of evaluating and investigating the projects of fulfilment of this cultural transformation.
This project is aware of the concrete, many-sided problems and expectations of the city administration, considered in the whole of its different politicians, managers and professionals, and tries to fulfil them as much as possible, having always in mind the key idea of the Public Multimedia Library. This is why the project hypothesis is founded on the results obtained from the deep scientific analysis carried out in the second chapter of the Dissertation.
A survey, answered in the form of a questionnaire addressed to the municipal employees of the city public library system, is also part of the project. This survey aims at understanding the psychological attitude of these professional operators, their skills, know-how and abilities. The results have been analysed in relation to the hypothesis of technological and communicational transformation of the traditional public library in multimedia public library, considering also the necessity for technical update to enable these operators to manage and develop the new multimedia library.
The project, along with this chapter of the dissertation, is being completed by the plans of the former Court of Justice, which are a visual rendering of the "concrete project" of the multimedia library, and that has been conceived in tight connection with the plan of restoration of the complex. The drawing of the plans has been carried out with the help of the Architect, working for the City Council, in charge for the move of the Municipal Library in the new complex. This is not meant to be a mere exercise, on the contrary the plans provide for all the security laws for public buildings, bearing in mind all the specific problems of the structure, which means that the plans are to be used for the project of masonry, installations, and furnishings. This is an added pedagogical value to the project and to the dissertation in the whole.
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