Monday, September 29, 2008

Intellectual Freedom

Because of the wide variety of issues related to Intellectual Freedom, we have broken our topic down to individual postings for each of our main topics, as you will see below. Thanks!

“Intellectual Freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored.” -Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q & A
As put by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, “All human beings have the fundamental right to have access to all expressions of knowledge, creativity and intellectual activity, and to express their thoughts in public.”
Very basically, Intellectual Freedom is the opposite of censorship, but it goes much deeper than that. It encompasses laws and rights that we in America sometimes take for granted. We are assured through the First Amendment that we can say and print what we want with only a few limitations. [Included in the list of unprotected materials are obscenity, fighting words, defamation, child pornography, perjury, blackmail, incitement to imminent lawless behaviors, true threats, solicitations to commit crimes, plagiarism, and arguably, verbal treason). See First Amendment Center.] The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides, in pertinent part, that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . . .” This is the ultimate foundation for Intellectual Freedom as viewed by library professionals in the United States, and is applicable to federal governments as well as state governments via the Fourteenth Amendment (American Library Association. Office for Intellectual Freedom., 2002).

Globally, different nations and cultures have different viewpoints on the subject of Intellectual Freedom. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” This evidences the global opinion for the right to free expression of thoughts and ideas. Many nations have similar provisions as the First Amendment to protect the freedom of expression. For example, the Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution provides Chinese citizens the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. (See Congressional Executive Commission on China). Yet, government censorship in China has extremely limited that basic freedom, including blocks on certain Websites and television/radio broadcasts, such as those from the British Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Free Asia, and the Voice of America. Knowing that oppression of thought continues to exist in certain countries, what value do you place on your own ability to freely express yourself?

The Library Bill of Rights provides that it is the responsibility of libraries and librarians to provide unbiased and uncensored information that encompasses all points of view. Because of this responsibility, it is essential that libraries and librarians do not try and push their views on their patrons and they must make choices on what items to purchase based on need and interest of the community rather than on feelings about whether or not a book is “bad” or should be censored. Libraries are a “neutral provider of information from all points of view.” (Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q & A). This is the standard for every library and this is what we in the profession need to strive for.

One of our greatest and often tested Intellectual Freedoms is the freedom to read. In fact, it is so important that the ALA issued “The Freedom to Read Statement.” It is the librarian’s responsibility to protect this freedom. Libraries are pivotal to the idea of Intellectual Freedom as the place to obtain unbiased and uncensored information that includes all points of view. Furthermore, the job of a librarian is to make information available to everyone. There have been some libraries that have demonstrated what might be considered censuring behaviors to members of lower social classes. As libraries have opened their door to the public, this permits people of all socio-economic backgrounds to have access to its materials. However, signs have been observed in some public libraries that provide that no public bathing is allowed. Although access to the materials is not necessarily denied, is this ban on public bathing a passive-aggressive attempt at limiting one’s access to materials? How do you react to a person who does not have a permanent address but would like to check out materials?

As stated in The Freedom to Read Statement, “Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and libraries the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support (ALA, 2004).” The ALA proclaims that the freedom to read is important to our fundamental beliefs. “The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools to label ‘controversial’ views, to distribute lists of ‘objectionable’ books and authors, and to purge libraries. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.” As librarians we must be impartial and be careful not to censor new or controversial ideas, or even condone them. The responsibility of the library is to provide a diverse array of information and materials, so that individuals can learn without feeling they will have repercussions or lack of privacy.
The Freedom to Read Statement, part 6 provides:
It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information. It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.

Challenges are not just presented by government officials. As LaRue states, there has been an influx of patron-initiated challenges to materials and services found in our public libraries in our generation (LaRue, 2007). He describes these challenges as having two distinct causes. The first, LaRue states, is a generational dynamic, manifesting itself in one of these three means: (a) a liberal or “politically correct” movement; (b) a conservative or “family-friendly” movement; or (c) a “parental profile among the nation’s largest demographic of protectiveness, or even over-protectiveness.” (LaRue, 2007.) The second is the birth of the World Wide Web, which has greatly expanded access to human experience (LaRue, 2007).
Liberal groups have been documented as attempting to ban materials deemed racist or patronizing toward minorities and women’s group since the 1960’s. ("City Mayors Education,") These so-called “Left-Censors” have criticized the use of racist and sexist language, and work to books containing said language to be removed from school textbooks and libraries (Pincus, 1983). This presents a special problem, whereas it would seem to advance the curricula if such materials were removed for presenting racist or sexist views, yet this is still considered censorship. Pincus suggests that there is almost an ironic nature to these liberals as they oppose censorship, but also oppose the use of materials deemed racist, sexist, etc. Conservative groups, on the other hand, have been proponents of censorship of materials they view as portraying immoral, anti-Christian, and anti-American (Pincus, 1983). How would you react if faced with a challenge from a particular group? What if your opinion coincides with that of the group?

According to the ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Manual, most efforts to censor materials arise when a citizen seeks to limit youth access to information in order to “protect” their moral and emotional development (American Library Association. Office for Intellectual Freedom., 2002). “Such campaigns to ‘save the children’ can focus on information about sex, the occult, or alternative religions or lifestyles, or they can center on classic works that are perceived as racist, sexist, homophobic, or hostile to certain ethnic or religious groups.” (American Library Association. Office for Intellectual Freedom., 2002). The ALA provides, however, that, subject to some exceptions concerning illegal materials and curriculum development, children who patronize the library enjoy the same right to read and receive information as adults. (American Library Association. Office for Intellectual Freedom., 2002). In a landmark decision, Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v Pico, 457 US 853 (1982), the United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment imposes limitations on a school board’s exercise of its discretion to remove books from the shelves of high school and junior high school libraries. The ALA has supported this view, and has developed the interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights entitled, “Free Access to Libraries for Minors.” (American Library Association. Office for Intellectual Freedom., 2002). As such, the ALA has taken the stance that it is not the responsibility of a library to monitor the materials a child chooses, but rather that it is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to advise their children about the materials they should select. Id. LaRue affirms that this principle is the current viewpoint taken by libraries, which would include a minor’s use of the internet (LaRue, 2007). How can we as professionals come to terms with the fact that we are not to act in loco parentis or in the place of the parents?

In recent years there have been many laws passed to try and protect minors when they are online. One such law is the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) which is “a federal law enacted by Congress in 1998 to protect minors from viewing sexually explicit materials on the Internet, (Stone, 2008).” Essentially, COPA lays out the reasons why this protection is needed and the penalties for disobeying. The government says COPA is necessary because parents cannot monitor their children effectively. This seems to be selling parents short and basically telling them that they are ineffective. The penalties are pretty straight forward. Anyone who knowingly puts inappropriate material on the Internet where it can be viewed by minors can be fined up to $50,000 for each violation and spend up to 6 months in jail. Violations are defined as each day the content is up so if someone has objectionable material posted for 7 days, the fine could be as much as $350,000. COPA has been challenged practically since it was signed into law perhaps most notable by the ACLU and The Freedom to Read Foundation. COPA was overturned again on July 22, 2008 by the Third United States Circuit Court of Appeals which stated, “COPA cannot withstand a strict scrutiny, vagueness or overbreadth analysis, and thus is unconstitutional, (Stone, 2008).” See also,

The Center for Democracy and Technology states that there are serious constitutional implications arising from the COPA:

It imposes serious burdens on constitutionally-protected speech, including materials such as movies and television programs when disseminated through popular commercial Web sites such as PlanetOut also risk restriction under COPA.

It fails to effectively serve the government's interest in protecting children, as it will not effectively prevent children from seeing inappropriate material originating from outside of the US available through other Internet resources besides the World Wide Web, such as chat rooms or email.

It does not represent the least restrictive means of regulating speech, according to the Supreme Court's own findings that blocking and filtering software might give parents the ability to more effectively screen out undesirable content without burdening speech. Congress has produced no detailed record refuting this finding or supporting the notion that COPA provides the least restrictive means.

[For additional links concerning the COPA, check out the Center for Democracy and Technology Web site.] Do you think COPA was a good idea or do you agree with the Court that it was unconstitutional? Why?

There are typically two primary forms of anti-intellectual freedom behaviors: censorship and challenges. In the broad sense of the terms, censorship is “the action by government officials to prohibit or suppress publications or services on the basis of their content,” while a challenge “is a request that a government body or official practice censorship.” (LaRue, 2007) Regardless of whether a publication is censored or challenged, there is a common denominator between each, which stems from the controversy surrounding these materials.
Indeed, controversial books can be a big challenge to the librarian’s important stance of impartiality and what sort of materials the library chooses to supply. The ALA website offers support for librarians dealing with reporting challenges of library materials. Special terminology to help clarify the actions of challenged materials was developed by the Intellectual Freedom committee in 1986 to assist librarians dealing with challenges for the first time:
Expression of Concern. An inquiry that has judgmental overtones.
Oral Complaint. An oral challenge to the presence and/or appropriateness of the material in question.
Written Complaint. A formal, written complaint filed with the institution (library, school, etc.), challenging the presence and/or appropriateness of specific material.
Public Attack. A publicly disseminated statement challenging the value of the material, presented to the media and/or others outside the institutional organization in order to gain public support for further action.
Censorship. A change in the access status of material, based on the content of the work and made by a governing authority or its representatives. Such changes include exclusion, restriction, removal, or age/grade level changes. ("Support for Dealing with or Reporting Challenges to Library Materials,")
Banned Books Week has been celebrated the last week of September every year since 1982, in order to bring awareness to the importance of intellectual freedom in the United States. This year marks the 27th anniversary of Banned Book Week. As stated by the ALA, “BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.” ("Banned Books Week,")
By providing lists of banned books and doing things such as public readings from controversial books, librarians can be creative and inspire people to celebrate their freedom to read. The ALA provides a partial list of novels written in the twentieth century that have been banned or challenged and the reasoning behind that. See Banned or Challenged Books List. Is there a book on that list that you feel should not be there? If you faced a challenge to that book, how would you handle it?

Sometimes though, the materials in question are censored by a librarian or community member who quietly removes it from the shelf. Nobody notices the missing item, and so this is called “stealth censorship.” The website estimates that for every documented book that is challenged, there are four to five books removed by stealth censorship that aren’t officially challenged. This means that the new ideas and information contained within the book are lost to the community forever, and nobody has even noticed. It is of course impossible to document this form of censorship, and library patrons are ultimately the ones who lose out on potentially useful information. The question here is what can we as library professionals do to combat this issue? According to the Web site,, Judy Blume has stated that the only way to combat this blatant disregard for the First Amendment is to make noise. Do you have other possible solutions for the prevention of stealth censorship?
What if the motive was not to censor but to gain an advantage over someone else? Think back to a time when you were doing a school project and when you went to the library to locate the materials you needed for a project, they turned up missing. You later find out that other classmates were able to complete the assignment, and that they used the exact source you needed. Is this not also some sort of stealth censorship, as it goes against the principles of intellectual freedom?
The term stealth censorship has also been used in the context of Websites. SafeSurf reports that Web sites are being rendered inaccessible for merely being housed on a server that also happens to host one or two unrelated email marketing sites. Persons searching the Web are unknowing of the censorship because they receive a message that merely states that the sites are non-existent. What other forms of stealth censorship can you think of?

One of the essential components of Intellectual Freedom is the right to privacy. The right to privacy implies that people will feel comfortable accessing any type of information without fear of repercussions. The USA Patriot Act, standing for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, was introduced less than a week after September 11, 2001, signed into law on October 26, 2001, and reauthorized on March 9, 2006. ("The USA Patriot Act," 2008). The Patriot Act was intended to “update wiretap and surveillance laws for the Internet age, addressing real-time communications and stored communications (email, voice mail), and to give law enforcement greater authority to conduct searches of property.” (“The USA Patriot Act,” 2008). However, the Patriot Act has had a sort of sweeping effect and has authorized law enforcement officials to use alternate means of obtaining information against persons that go beyond the traditional methods of seeking information from libraries. (“The USA Patriot Act,” 2008).
In light of the importance of privacy and the reinstatement of the USA Patriot Act, the ALA created a model policy detailing how a library should respond to demands for user information. In the article “MODEL POLICY: RESPONDING TO DEMANDS FOR LIBRARY RECORDS,” there are guidelines for dealing with third party and law enforcement requests for library records and user identification and procedures the staff should follow when handling these requests. The mission of this model was to “provide the best guidance for those in the library community who wished to ensure that users’ records were secure from unauthorized or unjustified disclosure.” Within the guidelines are directives for releasing records only when presented with a search warrant or a subpoena and when the officer’s identification had been provided and the information recorded. The guidelines provided are thorough and make it easier for individual libraries to understand their rights and obligations.
An example of the Department of Justice’s demands for records was their subpoena of Google’s search records in August of 2005. When Google denied the request, the DOJ went to court to get an order to force Google to comply. Google does not purge its records due to its privacy policy which leaves these records open to seizure by the DOJ. DOJ’s reasoning behind demands for records is that they would demonstrate the effectiveness of COPA (Child Online Protection Act). This situation and others like it prompted action. “Reacting to the DOJ requests, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) announced January 20 that he would introduce a bill requiring search-engine companies to purge personally identifiable information about their users after a reasonable amount of time, (Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, 2006).” Ultimately, however, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California denied the government’s request of users’ search queries from Google’s query log. Gonzales v Google, Inc, Case No. CV 06-8006MISC-JW (filed on 3/17/06). How do you feel about patrons’/users’ records being used by law enforcement? How can we defend against these types of subterranean methods of obtaining materials from libraries?

There are many resources on the ALA website for those interested in Intellectual Freedom and how it relates to libraries and librarians, including a blog and a page providing links to issues in Intellectual Freedom. Also the ALA has an office dedicated to this issue. The mission of the Office for Intellectual Freedom is “to provide counsel, training, and other assistance to librarians and trustees facing challenges to materials in the collections.”

A list of the most challenged books of the 21st century can be found at:


ALA. Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q & A. Retrieved September 19, 2008
ALA. (2004). The Freedom to Read Statement. Retrieved September 19, 2008
American Library Association. Office for Intellectual Freedom. (2002). Intellectual freedom manual (6th ed.). Chicago: American Library Association.
Banned Books Week. Retrieved September 27, 2008, 2008, from
City Mayors Education. Retrieved September 27, 2008, 2008, from
Google defies DOJ demand for search records [Electronic. (2006). Version]. Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, 55, 63. Retrieved September 24, 2008
LaRue, J. (2007). The new inquisition : understanding and managing intellectual freedom challenges. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.
MODEL POLICY: RESPONDING TO DEMANDS FOR LIBRARY RECORDS [Electronic. (2007). Version]. American Libraries, 38, adv1-adv4. Retrieved September 19, 2008,
Overview: Banned Books. Retrieved September 22, 2008 from
Pincus, F. L. (1983). Censorship in the Name of Civil Rights: A View From the Left. Education Week Retrieved September 27, 2008, from
Stone, D. (2008). Appeals Court Strikes Down Child Online Protection Act. ALA Blog.
Support for Dealing with or Reporting Challenges to Library Materials. Retrieved September 27, 2008, 2008, from
The USA Patriot Act. (2008). Retrieved September 28, 2008, from

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Debunking the stereotypes of Librarians

First, great job group one! Excellent sources and links. I especially liked Rachel Singer Gordon's comments. You asked if all of the negative stereotypes of librarians will cause our children, or the children or teens we serve as patrons to fear librarians or think that they are a mean, boring old group of people. I think not. We as a profession have many resources to offer. For example, if children love to read at a young age, it is due to parental effort in multiple ways but is also part of a librarian's professional role. First, parents instill love of reading into their children because they love to read, also because parents love libraries too. If they didn't enjoy time in a library, they wouldn't bring their child. If a parent wants their child to read and also loves to read then introducing a child to the librarian is extremely important.

The librarian gets a chance to shine at this point. The librarian can recommend books, can do story hours and "grow" with the child by encouraging them to use the library's resources and inviting them to participate in library projects or serve on the Youth advisory council. All of this will help the child realize that they don't need to be afraid of the librarian and that the librarian is not like Madame Pince in Harry Potter. I agree with whoever commented about the Detroit Public Library HYPE teen center and said that teens get to interact with the librarians on a more personal level instead of just dry research. That idea is important because teens need places to go to have their own space, but they also need someone they trust to be part of that space. Rachel Singer Gordon's ideas about figuring out your style in your library fit in with the aforementioned idea. Individuality is a way to make connections.

If we can debunk myth of the scary librarian idea then we not only gain patrons in the library, we may gain collegues in the future if one of your children or teen patrons enters the Library profession.
An additional point to make about our image in the eyes of others is that we are powerhouses of knowlege. As we've discussed Librarianship is not just about books anymore. We need to be able to handle lots of information in many different ways. This refers to diffusing, teaching and creating knowlege. If we show we can handle all of the information successfully as professionals, our clientele will start to understand the scope of our profession. In the case of youth and teen patrons in public and school libraries there are increasing issues that force librarians to be very familar with legal rights and the legal rights of minors. I am planning on reading a book on this topic for my library book review assignment. If teens know that a librarian will stick up for them then we have increased our image appeal.
Additionally, I read some of the blog comments linked to this blog and like one where the librarian said that "Boomer generation" Librarians were not necessarily "deadwood" because they participated in moving the library forward. The librarian said our "image problem" still exists but I think he reminded us that older librarians (not as old as Mary in It's a Wonderful Life but still older) have had to try and help change the image problem by becoming more tech saavy on the job.

We've mentioned Mary as a stereotypical librarian- I can think of a couple more -Marian the Librarian from the Music Man and a librarian in a song. Someone in the LIS program sent the song over the listserv this summer commenting that they didn't know whether to laugh or cry because the stereotype still exists.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Status of the Profession

According to the 2008-2009 Occupational Outlook Handbook “employment of librarians is expected to grow by 4 percent between 2006 and 2016” as a large number of librarians will reach the age of retirement, as more than 2 out of 3 will be over the age of 45 years old. Although factors such as the increased use of technology and the potential decrease in public and governmental funds may impact the hiring of in certain sectors, there is a continued need for librarians in educational environments and in the private sectors. We have decided to look at several factors that can impact the status of the profession. The areas we are focusing on include retirement and MLIS graduation rates, non-traditional staff members in the library setting and how the use of para-professionals impacts the librarian status, and the ever-lingering librarian image problem. Non-Traditional librarians are quickly becoming a regular fixture in many professional settings.

One hot topic of discussion among librarians today is the aging of the librarian workforce and the apparent lack of replacements. A result of both the Baby Boomer generation nearing retirement age and the use of the MLIS degree in nontraditional careers, there has been talk of a severe shortage of librarians within the next decade. However, recent information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook suggests otherwise. Librarianship is expected to grow at 4% between 2006 and 2016, slower than average for the job market as a whole. It is true that a large number of current librarians are preparing to retire in the next decade or two, but there have actually been recent increases in enrollments in MLS programs. Additionally, traditional librarian jobs may actually be decreasing with technological advances and increased user independence, although jobs in nontraditional settings will grow the fastest. Perhaps there is less reason to be worried than previously thought.

The PALINET Leadership Network, a network designed to foster communication among library leaders, conducted a peer panel on this subject in May 2006 ( ). As future library leaders ourselves, I believe we can contribute to this discussion in our own forum on this blog. Please post your own comments, concerns, or questions regarding this issue that will potentially affect us more than anyone else in the library profession.

Librarians, as professionals, are charged with numerous duties. This includes but is not limited to circulation, reference, collection development and weeding, technical service work such as cataloguing and administrative oversight such as budget, grant, and fundraising along with performing many other library operations. With increasing budget constraints, increased cost of benefits, increased use of technology sources combined with high retirement rates of current librarians, many libraries and library boards are increasing the amount of paraprofessionals and technology available. This has created a shift in job duties, as librarians have redefined themselves to fulfill new roles. How do you think the increased presence of paraprofessionals affects the roles and duties of a Librarian with an MLIS?

Christine Schutz (2005), as a graduate with an MLS, remarks on her new appointment, “Now the only professional librarian at the college (which has about 800 students), I have a staff of three with over 30 years of combined library experience and a willingness to get their hands dirty” (p. 50). These non-degreed workers have begun to adopt the moniker of Paralibrarian (daSilva 2005). More and more with deteriorating budgets, the Paralibrarian is assuming traditionally held degreed librarian tasks in order to keep an information organization running smoothly, but receive lower salaries and respect for doing the same work as that of a degreed librarian (Kutzik 2005).

As new graduates with either an MLS or MLIS assume managerial positions within an information organization’s hierarchy it is important to be aware that many of the individuals working for the library will be Paralibrarians. Decisions must be made in regard to the treatment of Paralibrarians within any given working environment. In Jennifer Kutzik’s article, “Are You the Librarian?” (2005) she interviews Irene Shown, a Paralibrarian working for New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, who laments, “You don’t get paid for the work you do – it’s very demoralizing… Even after 20 years, I don’t make what an entry-level librarian starts at” (Does Loyalty Pay? section, para. 2). Respect for colleagues and regard for long term peers is essential in a cohesive, productive working environment. A paradox has arisen in the recognition due those persons who achieve educational success and those persons who have vital working experience within the same information organization for extended amounts of time. Each brings with them invaluable knowledge and know how, but how each group is perceived by society and working colleagues is vastly different. Ultimately, as information professionals, it is most important to determine to employ individuals who will provide the best service to library patrons.

Shhhhhh! I am conjuring up an image of a librarian… What do you see? A man in a business suit? Oh, I know…. a woman smiling with a fabulous hairstyle wearing the latest fashion? Were they shushing? Or providing a valuable service? In 1946, the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” hit the big screen. The main character George is taken back to what life would be like if he did not exist. One snippet revealed that his girlfriend, Mary, would be reduced to a sad- looking librarian and an old maid, too! Flash forward fifty-five years to the Hogwart’s librarian, Miss Pince. She is described in this way,” a thin, irritable woman who looks like an underfed vulture.” (Wikipedia) The New York Times reports that 1.33 million Harry Potter books are in print. That is true mass marketing. And even Wikipedia has turned on us, further stating,” From the very little description of who she is, we can guess that she is very impatient, and stereotypically we would guess her to have small glasses on her nose, which would probably be pointy.” These stereotypes of the librarian’s image run rampant in books, movies, television and in the minds of people around the world. But does this frequent and long-running negative imagery have an impact on us or our profession? Will it actually influence our children’s feelings towards librarians and/or libraries? Rachel Singer Gordon has an interesting take on this topic: Find Your Image Between the Extremes. Perhaps you believe the stereotyping of librarians needs to be challenged; in which case what steps could be taken to change the view of libraries and the profession?

daSilva, A. (2005). We are the Paralibrarians.(Letters and Comments)(Letter to the Editor). American Libraries, 36(4), 28(21).
Kutzik, J. S. (2005). Are you the librarian? The face of quality library service depends on drawing a wider circle in our profession.(Cover Story). American Libraries, 36(3), 32(33).
Schutz, C. (2005). Making the big decisions.(a young librarian's reorganization of an academic library; narrative). Library Journal, 130(12), 50(51).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Welcome to LIS 6010

Welcome to the course. I expect you will create great content here. Please read the instructions for this ongoing assignment and create a Google account if you do not have one already.