Tags: Barack Obama | obama presidential library | scholars | academics | children | library

Report: Obama Library More for Children Than a Place for Scholars

Image: Report: Obama Library More for Children Than a Place for Scholars
Former President Barack Obama (Julio Cortez/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 October 2017 01:47 PM

Construction on former President Barack Obama's presidential library has yet to begin, but current plans indicate children will have more interest there than scholars, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Once completed, the library will include a play garden for children, outdoor picnic space, basketball courts and a recording studio. It won't have all of the former president's documents, letters, and gifts he collected while in office, unlike most presidential libraries, which typically house the early drafts of speeches, legislation and correspondence that researchers and students can sift through.

Instead, his papers are kept in a private building in Washington, with the classified materials to be housed in a D.C. facility, and the non-classified documents in a National Archives and Records Administration facility.

"All archivists are waiting to see how this will work, because we are all struggling with how to make things available digitally," Peggy Glowacki, manuscripts librarian at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Richard J. Daley Library, told the paper. "I think in this case it's such a massive amount of material that it will be important to see how they are able to deliver it and make it easy to search."

Despite the lack of personal materials, the library could still hold value for historians and researchers, according to the former head of construction and development for former President Bill Clinton's presidential library.

"Here's how it will be attractive: through the forums, workshops and programs they conduct," said James Rutherford, now dean of the William J. Clinton School of Public Service, to the Tribune. "They can host conferences with administration officials, discussions on how Obama approached healthcare, how he developed the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) executive order. That's how the center will become a research institution."

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Construction on former President Barack Obama's presidential library has yet to begin, but current plans indicate children will have interest there than scholars, The Chicago Tribune reports.
obama presidential library, scholars, academics, children, library
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2017-47-10
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 01:47 PM
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