Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Hi Everyone, My name is Amy and I am not a fan of blogging and do not know how to really work one so bear with me throughout the semester and I try my hand at this. I can't be described as tech-savvy at all and usually need step by step instructions on how to use even photo editing software. Anyways, I'm in my second to last semester of the SLIS Master's program. I can't wait to be done with school so that I can actually have some free time to myself! I am taking three courses this semester as well as working almost full time and being involved in my brother's wedding in October. I work as an Assistant Children's Manager at a small town library in Illinois. A lot of my suggestions and ideas hit a brick wall and so my job is very frustrating for me. But back to the actual topic at hand....

Library Ethics!

John Stuart Mill poses the question of "should people be allowed to coerce or limit anyone's expression of opinion?" I would have to say NO. In my opinion (and probably most of yours), I feel that everyone has the freedom to their own opinion and you may agree or disagree with that opinion but you have no right to tell them that they are wrong for thinking the way they do. I also feel that Mill has something with his Utilitarian belief of the fact that we are more likely to acquire true beliefs if there is no censorship and that this leads to overall happiness. People are happy when they have all of the information presented to them. No one likes to be in the dark about a subject they are asked about. And how many times have we had an argument with someone who had no idea what they were talking about? This is why we need libraries and librarians! To show them all of the facts so that they can make an "informed opinion".

Also in Fallis' article, there was an ethical dilemma presented that stuck out to me. Can we tell police officers what patrons are reading? To me, this is not a dilemma at all since that goes against all of our privacy laws. We can't even tell a patron's spouse what they are reading, let alone a complete stranger (officer or not). Legally, we can't even tell an officer if we have seen a convicted felon in the library. Why would we tell him what that person is reading?

I can't wait to read all of your opinions!


  1. I was also a little hesitant when I first started blogging, and I'm far from the most adept at it. However, once you get the hang of it and feeling comfortable publishing to this national newspaper, as Mel brought up in her post, you might find it is an intriguing medium to work with, especially when people outside of our group find us and begin engaging in the conversation as well.

    I also got caught off guard by Mills' belief that without censorship, people would be able to develop genuine beliefs, or true beliefs. While I see where he is coming from, I think about what our world would be like without censorship, thus a world where we have access to everything without fear of suppression or omission - how would we as humans respond? Would we suddenly feel completely enlightened, or would the sheer volume of facts and perspectives overwhelm us and encourage apathy? I think the tensions and pushback created by the injustices of censorship do, in part, help in driving genuine thought and, in turn, scholarship in general.

  2. Interesting point, Katherine, about how censorship may help drive genuine thought and scholarship in general. I find it difficult to imagine a world without censorship! Unfortunately, I think the real problem is that many people grab onto a nugget or two of truth from one person or group and then won't listen to any other viewpoints -- and too many people (especially politicians) are too good at spinning facts and data to make sure they always look good.