In libraries, we care about information. We oppose efforts to limit, or censor access, to information. But sometimes we struggle with what to do about bad information, or misinformation. You might even think of this kind of thing as “fake news” or “alternative facts.” What I think we need to learn and remember is that it’s not our jobs to decide what certain people and cannot “handle” when it comes to information and reading. It is our jobs to help people find information, and to help them evaluate information. In an interview with Professor Emily J.M. Knox (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), blogger Jessica Colbert helps us understand this issue.
It’s a long post, but one well worth reading. Some highlights:
- The actual reasons why people challenge books are issues of control.
- We have to trust our fellow human beings to make decisions about what does and what does not harm them.
- We should allow people in our community the freedom to essentially make up their own minds. And you might not like where they come out in the end, but that’s not going to change if you don’t allow them to read.
- If don’t have a policy, it can all fall apart.