And VOILA! This is now an infomercial for the importance of Information Literacy. Wait, what? The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has had standards - and now, a Framework - for information literacy for over 15 years. Borrowing more directly from the previous version of the Standards:
- Determine the extent of information needed
- Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
- Evaluate information and its sources critically
- Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
- Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
- Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally"
Librarians are not any more or less biased than any other segment of the population, IMO. Where we differ from others is that our job - our purpose - is to do our best to put our biases aside when working. Article 7 of our Code of Ethics says "We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources" Or as one of my professional idols Barbara Fister wrote in her Library Babel Fish blog for Inside Higher Education put it so eloquently today, "The use of the phrase “politically correct” in this election cycle has positioned free speech as a thing conservatives and libertarians defend against liberals, progressives, and members of minority groups, but as PEN points out, it’s something that is valuable and valued across the board. It’s certainly not something the left should cede to the right just because discussing race, ethnicity, sexuality, and social justice is fraught and difficult...
...In libraries and across campus we have to achieve a balance. You are welcome here, and so are you. We stand for a diversity of voices, and we are against censorship. There’s nothing inconsistent in that, nor is that a bland kind of neutrality, a non-position."