Fuse #8

Monday, April 30, 2007

We're Too Damn Nice?

Librarians, as a whole, have many charms. But apparently indulging in a serious form of discourse online isn't one of them.
... one thing I greatly admire about my librarian colleagues is how vastly open minded a group they are. They are widely accepting of new ideas, and welcome into the discussion anyone who is willing to share their thoughts. But perhaps we have become too welcoming, too complacent to remember that we share a responsibility to take our profession forward through intellectual discourse.
A wise piece. Author Steven Bell talks about our reluctance to seriously discuss both sides of a given issue online. He cites as an example Michael Gorman's 2005 criticism of bloggers and how no one had the wherewithal/guts to take the man's side. This, in turn, reminded me of the very beginnings of the LM_Net scrotum kerfuffle when the librarians on that particular listserv spoke against the Newbery Award winning book and very few were inclined to take a pro-Higher Power of Lucky viewpoint. Publisher's Weekly saw the dissent and the lack of defense and reported accordingly. Not a perfect analogy, but similar enough I think.

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