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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Grad School: Day One

Well, that wasn't so bad!

Is that all there is to it? This class is going to be a breeze. We had a great discussion of the Library Bill of Rights and the attendant issues involved. I brought up the parallel problem that sometimes parents get upset when they bring their children to my museum and their little darlings see a nude painting or sculpture, and the need to explain to these patrons that libraries and museums are encyclopedic institutions, not mandated to "protect" people from disturbing ideas or images.

Also, there was a bruhaha some years ago at the Minneapolis Public Library, which forbade the regular chess games on the second floor due to a highly emotional argument that broke out over one particular match. (Men!) I mean, a fight over a chess game. Who knew?

An interesting quote from my required reading:

It is important to recognize the role of self-interest in the formulation of values because even the most altruistic values can be interpreted as a reasonable person or group of reasonable people pursuing courses of action or states of existence that benefit them. (5)

And even more interestingly:

One of the most dangerous delusions of the modern age is the Romantic idea that sincerity is always admirable in itself. The world is full of sincere bigots so consumed by the rightness of their value systems that they use any means to impose them on others. If anything, sincerity harnassed to a desire to impose your values on others is far more anti-social than the deepest cynicism. It is of this that book-banners, clinic bombers, brainwashers, and totalitarians and tyrants of all kinds are made.... Our society is founded, at least nominally, on the metavalues or reason and tolerance as opposed to conformity and faith [emphasis mine]. (7-8)

Root of all evil?
---
Gorman, M. Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century, American Library Association, 2000.

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