Opportunity for Leadership: Full and Informed Participation

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An informed citizenry, capable of informed participation, is one of the principles on which U.S. democracy is based, its premise represented in Constitutional principles of intellectual freedom. To what extent does participation in the political process and civic engagement require access to information representing various viewpoints and perspectives? And in turn, how do issues of race, ethnicity and culture, language, economic disparity, and geographic isolation limit such access? Mark Winston offers a cross section of individual, collective, and organizational efforts-from both ends of the political spectrum-to control information access in the hopes of protecting society from itself. Beginning with Brown v. Board of Education, he considers the roleplayed by equality of educational opportunity and agencies such as the library as essential influences on public discourse and sound decision-making.