A Rant on Intellectual Freedom

Once upon a time….

I was in a ____ literature course, and a particular day was focused on [fictional books on a controversial topic, one in which I differ in personal opinion from most of the vocal members of the library profession].  We discussed our reflections on the reading choices as a class.  Although I cringed at hearing some of the storylines, I would, of course, support the inclusion of these titles  in a collection, pending age-/review-/balance-/budget-appropriateness.

My gut was very uncomfortable with this discussion, not only with the vision of some of these books (which were contrary to my own worldview, but I’m used to that), but largely with the fact that most of the library profession seems to think that it is the only way to see the world, and that other points of view are [adjective describing unacceptability].  Sadly, the professor and fellow students seem to perpetuate the notion that a character or theme of a book must agree with their set of values, especially within this controversial topic.

This smells awfully similar to the 180-degree opposite intolerant mindset that the same people complain about.  Woe.  The best I can do is stick to my beliefs in my personal life (a luxury which in some fields is being eroded), defend intellectual freedom, and make sure that my future library welcomes all points of view, not just the ones in vogue.

For more information about Intellectual Freedom, check out ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.

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4 responses to “A Rant on Intellectual Freedom

  1. Christine,
    WELL SAID.

  2. Thanks!

  3. Here! Here! A library student myself, I can attest to having an identical experience

    • Thank you! I’m sorry to hear that you have to encounter this! What type of library(ies) do you hope to work in? Best of luck!

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