Libraries and research on reading: a fruitful exchange, 1955-2001

A survey of a half century of exchanges and of partnership between libraries of all persuasions and research in the sociology of reading reveals a closely linked network. Research leads to action, and action gives rise to new empirical research. Three periods can be detected. The denunciation of inequalities and taboos leads on to knowledge of the practices of readers and those excluded from reading. Then it is a matter of evaluating the role of the tools and of advisers and other intermediaries.