Thursday, September 25, 2008

47. Our Enduring Values

The title: Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century
The author: Michael Gorman
Publication: ALA, 2000
Got it from: SC, Christmas 2005

I doubt that anyone except professional librarians would be interested in this book (and if you're even reading this, congratulations) so I'll just say a few quick words. This book was written before 9/11 when our notion of privacy in libraries via the Patriot Act changed American librarianship dramatically. It would be interesting to see how his views on this have changed, particularly regarding the "privacy" chapter, which he targets as one of the key values of librarianship (the others being stewardship, service, intellectual freedom, etc). I agreed with him on a good many points, particularly when he describes the vague buzzwords of MLIS programs and the ALA accreditation process. And trust me, I know all about the accreditation process, having served as a student council VP during an accreditation year and having to (almost literally) court the visiting panel. Other concepts I had to disagree on, particularly concerning the right to privacy, which I think he takes too far, although I'm probably in the minority on this one. I wish this book hadn't been quite so dry, although again, I'm probably in the minority in thinking that librarians take themselves way too seriously. It was interesting to retread some of the points I haven't thought of since I took my MLIS, but overall it wasn't anything I hadn't heard before. B-

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