Friday, May 03, 2002

IF A LIBRARIAN SAYS IT, IT MUST BE TRUE: I went to library school, but I must have missed the class where we learned that librarians are gods and goddesses whose every position on free speech and censorship must be correct. I recall some classmates who felt that way, but I just thought they were arrogant schmucks. But now they have someone backing them up, one Jared Kendall, who writes in The Advocate:
If a librarian says that Web filters are bad for libraries, who the heck are we to argue? Why does pornography frighten us so greatly that we're willing to alienate such a wholesome profession? What's next, picking on museum guides? Sure, I realize I'm making tremendous generalizations here. Still, I just can't see how anything opposed by so many organizations of librarians is a good idea.
Librarians haven't been all that "wholesome" for years, and just because librarians can help you search a database or find that musty tome you've been looking for doesn't mean they or their politcal advocacy groups are right about everything. And it's a big leap Mr. Kendall makes from porno filters on computers, that keep kids from viewing sexually explicit material on the public dime (and make the workplace much more pleasant for librarians), to picking on museum guides for displaying Michelangelo nudes. To paraphrase one Supreme Court justice, we know pornography when we see it, and no one's going to see Michelangelo that way. But hey, I don't even need to make an argument. I went to library school. I took cataloging. I know all about classification. Just trust me. I have an MLIS.

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