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This article discusses the short- and long-term challenges of academic librarians in an increasingly hostile environment, and the ways in which these challenges reflect the broader struggles of faculty and professionals. What they are experiencing across the country--in the context of corporatization, the elimination of collective bargaining, and the fiscal crisis--is, according to this author, an erosion of the rightful role of faculty and academic professionals in the educational decisions made on campus. Lack of shared governance has always been the root problem. With the failure of collegial mechanisms of shared governance, faculty members have increasingly turned to collective bargaining. Legislatures and university administrations are thus fighting this last vestige of checks and balances on their corporatizing agenda--an agenda that manifests itself in every corner of the university, from science labs to classrooms to computer centers to libraries. The struggles of academic librarians are, in microcosm, the struggles of all. The author argues that distinctions matter, even in the heat of attacks against collective bargaining.