Thursday, May 16, 2013

Librarianship as a controversial profession?

When I began my M.L.I.S. at Wayne State University, the first class that I took was an overview of the librarian profession which involved the history, current concerns and directions, etc.  One assignment was particularly eye opening in that I had never considered the possibility that librarianship could be controversial.  I had never even thought about the ethical issues involved in a person's desire to fulfill a research need or learn more about a topic.  Did I take these things for granted growing up in Canada or was I simply naive?  A bit of both I would guess.

Anyways, more about the assignment: students were tasked with picking one of thirty possible ethical scenarios (who knew there could be so many to choose from) and write about how they would handle the situation, based on a literature search, ALA standards and personal judgment.  Some of the scenarios seemed unlikely in my mind, while others were incredibly plausible.  Some were worth losing your job for (civil rights violations, etc.). 

I think back to that class with two library figures inundated with media coverage as of late.  Who would have guessed that your local librarian could stir such controversy?

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