On politics

Just had a quick run through some self-avowed conservative librarians- and for balance some liberal. Both US. Interesting reading. My conclusion is, everyone is an evil, self-serving godless/god ridden heathen/fundamentalist… but I jest.

I describe myself as a liberal/social democrat. In European terms. Mixed economy, avoidance of war where possible, creation of opportunity as the way to deal with poverty etc whilst still providing support. Equal rights. Sensitivity without pandering. Balance and a desire not to confuse certainty with being right, or struggle/conflict/war with always being a positive thing.

In terms of librarianship, it must as a whole be ‘neutral.’ That is not to say discernment be abandoned; collection development is all about the appropriate. However, nothing should be refused solely because it makes us uncomfortable. Or approved because it has that affect on others.

Professional bodies must be careful about making wide political statements, except where they clearly relate to libraries. People should use pressure groups and the like for political protest/action, be it pro-this or anti-that.

Back to the consideration of what libraries are for… I’m off to read MLA‘s Blueprint. Thanks to Michael for the (inadvertent) heads up on this. It’s hard to keep track of all the plans and manifestos in libraryland…


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